The New England Girl

American Made Since 2011

Nicole Schmidt-Goncalves

Salisbury, Connecticut
The New England Girl is all about re-purposing and up-cycling vintage and antique pieces to create one of a kind design.

Tell us about your business.

In 2011 I thought that my short bout with unemployment was surely the end of all days. I found that it was entirely what I needed. I rediscovered what I loved to do, spent more time in my studio and started painting furniture instead of paper. I was always a crafty person but felt that push to go into the corporate world after school. Soon after I started painting furniture for my own interests, friends and neighbors began to ask me to paint theirs. Soon I was building custom furniture and home decor. We quickly expanded and moved to a larger home with a better shop space. I see myself going onto television. My goal is to inspire others to recreate and reinvent not just their furniture but also themselves during the process. :-) My motto is "let the sun shine on recycled style". I would love to share my ideas and designs with bigger companies and be able to "re-invent" the way we know manufacturing in the furniture industry.

What makes your business stand out?

When I began my business, I branded myself versus the business. I am The New England Girl-- I did this so that I could be flexible with the ever changing times and learn new skills to incorporate into the business. I felt that If I named my business i.e "dream decor" I would be tied to the decor and have a hard time branching out... I am unique in my approach to business--I care about the people, i'm always in my community and my goal for the business is not money--its recognition. I strive every day for growth in knowledge, getting to know my community and showing others how they can transform and create too!

What's the best business advice you've received?

I have had been given so many pieces of good advice over the years. You know, going to the Flea Market you meet some old timers, new timers, and just in general amazing people who always have something interesting to say. I think I can narrow this down to 3 things: 1. Always, Always put the people first. 2. Buy Low, Sell High. 3. If you see something you cant live with out, buy it! There is no such thing as "if its meant to be" at the flea market" 4* if you are passionate about what you do, that will reflect and others will follow you and be inspired.

Comments (0)


Mark Your Calendar

    Aug. 31, 2015

    Final day for entering the Audience Choice Award competition.

    Oct. 19, 2015

    Final day to cast your vote for your favorite makers.

    Oct. 23, 2015

    2015 Editors' Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.

    See past Award Winners
    Nov. 7, 2015

    Don’t miss our networking event and maker lecture series in New York City. Tickets are available now.

    Discover the American Made Summit

More Finalists

  • 2015 Audience Choice Winner

    Baiser Beauty

    Erika Arguello & Claudia Llamosa & Maria Copello
    Baiser Beauty is a natural luxury skin care and beauty line handcrafted in Miami Beach with 100% certified organic ingredients.
    Style, Beauty
  • 2015 Style Finalist

    Salt + Stone

    Jacqueline Stone
    We're exploring the evolution of love. Our medium is jewelry.
    Style, Jewelry
  • 2015 Style Finalist

    Tola Jewelry

    Shoma Lahiry
    Delicate yet substantial, understated yet distinct, Tola Jewelry designs and handcrafts modern heirloom quality fine jewelry in San Francisco.
    Style, Jewelry
  • 2015 Style Finalist

    Stormy Kromer

    Gina Thorsen
    We make classic, yet contemporary products with the same passion, purity and practicality as the first Stormy Kromer cap over a century ago.
    Style, Accessories