Brandy Siemens loves painting, people and finding great old furniture and decor. Combine all of those talents with a love of teaching others, and you have Vintage Style and Designs. As the exclusive Louisville dealer of the renowned Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan, Brandy has helped so many Louisvillians upcycle and restore their furniture, giving it new life. Taught by her grandfather, who was an antiques dealer, she’s been hunting for treasures since she was a teenager. This is a girl with a good eye, and today, she’s our FACE of Louisville!
Tell us about Vintage Style and Designs.
Vintage Style and Designs is a home decor and design shop specializing in unique vintage finds for both you and your home. We carry everything from vintage furniture, decor, handmade jewelry and much more! We are also the Louisville area stockist for Chalk Paint® brand decorative paint by Annie Sloan, as well as many other products for transforming furniture such as Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint, Artisan Enhancements and Efex mouldings.
When did you decide to go out on your own and open up a store?
I had a few pieces of furniture that I wanted to transform, and I was searching the Internet one day for ideas on what to do with them. I stumbled across an article about Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan, so I ordered a few colors from a stockist in Chicago, and I instantly fell in love with it. I was so surprised this product was not yet available here in Kentucky! It had always been a dream of mine to open my own design shop since my degree and background were in art and interior design. I just couldn’t get past the fact that this fabulous product was not in Kentucky, and I saw an opportunity to start my own business by bringing Chalk Paint® to Louisville and incorporating it with my love for the old and transforming vintage furniture.
What is your specialty?
Here at Vintage Style and Designs, we help customers discover their own sense of style, whether it be in their decor or transforming their own piece of furniture and projects with the many specialty products we have available.
Can you give us any advice about DIY paint projects or repurposing in general?
Be sure to start with a clean piece! When repurposing secondhand pieces, you will never know what the previous owner applied to it, such as furniture polish or oils. Always inspect secondhand pieces thoroughly before bringing them into your home for signs of infestation. When painting, use top quality products and brushes. You don’t want to risk having your paint finish fail down the road due to inferior products. It will be more expensive to do a piece over again than to do it right the first time. Finally, have fun! Painting is like therapy … get lost in it.
What is the hardest part of your job, and what is the easiest?
Fitting it all in! As any working mother will tell you, finding time to fit everything in is the hardest. It doesn’t help that I am a control freak who has a hard time delegating things, so trying to get it all done is impossible! That goes from all the day-to-day aspects of running the shop to getting both of my very active children everywhere they need to be. Sleep is a luxury nowadays.
The easiest part of my job is the customers! I have been in sales since I was 17, and have loved meeting and working with people. When a customer comes walking in with a huge smile on their face to show us how they have transformed their project, it just makes my day.
Give us a peek at your agenda. What’s a typical day or week like for you?
Well, according to my daughter, Taylor, it is, “in a car!” My day starts at about 6 a.m. checking my emails before I even get out of bed. After getting my two children off to school and myself ready for the day, I am either at the shop, on the phone or working on orders and shipments. Once school lets out, all the afternoon running begins to one of the many sports activities between my 8-year-old son, Evan, and my 15-year-old daughter, Taylor.
What advice do you treasure?
“Don’t blink.” I have always heard that phrase regarding children, and I have to say it to myself daily. My two are growing up so fast, and I want to be there for every moment possible! That is why I cherish I was able to be at home with both until they started school and try my best to plan my days to be home with them after school. I am able to do that with my mother’s help covering the shop while I am gone with them. This has allowed me the opportunity to follow my dreams both in my career and at home with my husband, Jason, and our two children.
Fill in the blank. You’ll never see me without my ____________.
You will never see me without my ponytail holder or my peppermint lip balm!
Where can we find you hanging out around town?
If I am not at a ball field or gym of some sort, you can probably find me digging around for unique finds. Did I mention I love old stuff?!
What’s your favorite thing to do in Louisville?
Antiquing, of course. My grandfather was an antiques dealer, and I have loved going searching for unique pieces since I was a teenager. I love to find pieces with a story behind them.
Night owl or early bird? What do you do during that quiet time?
I tend to do all my painting in the middle of the night when the house is quiet, and I tend to lose track of time. If I am not painting, I can easily stay up all night reading.
Tell us some of your favorite local restaurants.
What’s on your personal reading list right now?
Dan Brown’s Inferno. I love the art history references in this series. I am also patiently waiting for my daughter to finish Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes, so I can read that before the movie comes out because the book is always better.
Lightning round! Give us your:
Candy or junk food splurge: Coke or Dr Pepper
Guilty pleasure song: Just about anything ’80s hairband!
Tearjerker movie: Anything Disney, because I cry at all of them while my kids look at me funny
Nail polish: OPI You Don’t Know Jacques
Cocktail: Anything with rum!
Cartoon: My husband says Tasmanian Devil because I am nonstop.
What are three of your favorite things right now besides faith, family and friends?
- Our two new kittens we adopted in September. They help me to relax when I am stressed.
- My Converse Chucks! I love them because they are funky and so comfortable. I fear daily that my husband is going to hide them from me because they are looking so bad.
- Chalk Paint®, of course! I don’t know if I would have had the nerve to pursue opening my shop without having this product that I felt such a desire to tell the world about.
Thank you, Brandy, for sharing a peek into your world, and thank you to Adele Reding for today’s beautiful photography.
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