American Made Since 2013

Andrea Vigh

Sarasota, Florida
I upcycle old wooden items and transform them into something beautiful. I mostly make bulletin boards, but I also create other household decor
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Tell us about your business.

I wanted to share something that I love to do: painting! Shortly after I survived a terrible car accident at the age of 32, I realized that life is short, and I went to decorative painting school. 3 years later discovering Etsy opened my eyes the possibility to paint smaller items instead of my previous designs on walls and large furniture. Now, I can ship anywhere. I have the opportunity to make more people happy with my work. I started shopping locally at garage sales and second hand stores. On these "treasure hunt trips" I find many home decor items. Then my upcycling procedure begins. I really love the transformation process, making beautiful and useful items out of something nobody noticed in the stores before. I am completely self-educated on business and how to sell. I see my business growing every day, people love what I do :) In the future I know I will be hiring people to do the technical part of the business, so I can spend more time with designing and painting.

Tell us about your workspace, shop, or studio.

My workspace is our guest room turned into my lovely shop. It is actually my favorite part of the whole house! So much of my time is spent in this organized mess of a room. It is hectic and artistic, yet still organized. I have a 6 foot table to paint on, and finished items hanging on my walls waiting for their happy owners :) I have plenty natural lighting, with plants in the window. I have shelves I made myself for tools and paint. All of this in my workspace encourages a positive attitude. This mindset enhances my creativity and keeps me thrilled to be working!

What inspires you?

Every purchase I make truly inspires me. As soon as I find a frame or wooden item my mind starts shaping it into something completely different. The texture is usually what first gives me my ideas! From there, colors and nature have a way to individualize my work. They give me an aim towards a finished product. When people like my work that motivates me even more!

What makes your business stand out?

The name: YouMatterDesigns really says it all. I'm obsessive about my business, but of course in a good and healthy way. As many have said, the love for all of my work really "comes through". I pay close attention to the details, and believe the many details make the whole. I absolutely love making my creations and people say it definitely shows.The items I choose to upcycle were once beautiful pieces on their own, and have somehow found themselves outdated. I have the power to recreate the items and make them into modern day beauties. My shop inventory is never boring and the items are all unique.There are never two items exactly alike. It takes a lot of time and thought. But the effort does not stop there. I personally communicate with my customers and everyone who contacts me. I even leave a handwritten thank you note on the receipts.Overall, every aspect of the business is very important to me. I believe that really shows in everything I do and makes my work unique.

What advice would you give an aspiring creative entrepreneur?

Believe in your skills, learn and study always to be able to grow, invent and improve. Learn about your limiting patterns that stop you from where you want to be. When you face hard times, know that they are here to challenge you and make you better. Take a break sometimes, so you come back with new ideas, clear mind and motivation. Don't forget the love and the reasons why you started in the beginning. Be grateful every day , and in this case for the unique skills you have, not everybody can do what you can. Dare to dream big, that will give you the positive pressure to go towards them. Remember to live with passion and have fun !

What does American Made mean to you?

Although I was born and raised in Hungary, I am now a proud U.S. citizen :) So to me, American Made means the freedom to make handmade, inspiring items. American Made is so unique, and shows me that hard work pays off when doing what you love.

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    June 23–Sept. 9, 2014

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    Oct. 17, 2014

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