Coming Soon... August 16 2015
So blogging…….I has become necessary that I blog.
Why, you ask? Because social media is very important to the success, and growth, of a business.
What business, you ask?
Drum roll please…..
The new Repeat Offenders retail store!!!!
Yep, that’s right I am opening a retail store in Winston-Salem, NC. My concept for Repeat Offenders is signature antiques, mixed with painted furniture and gifts. I will also be stocking a couple lines of milk and chalk paint (TBA) and teaching painting classes. I am going full speed ahead into the world of retail store ownership, in the hopes that I don’t crash and burn!
So how did all this come about, let me take you back in the space/time continuum that is my life. Many people know I worked in racing most of my adult. Many think it’s glamorous, but the truth is, it is a lot of traveling, bad hotels, bad food and being away from where ever I was calling home at the time. Do you see the glamor? Yeah, me either. Then one day into my life walked Kevin Hamlin. I knew the first time I kissed him I was going to marry him (true story!). Six months later he moved me from Dallas, Texas to North Carolina. Two years later I was married to the man of my dreams at the advanced age of 43.
When he moved me to NC we bought our first house. This was the first house I actually owned. That was not a rental and I could do with whatever I wanted. The nomad that I was owned nothing; Kevin walked away from his divorce with a Corvette. A very clean slate for both of us. I have always been very artistic, and grew up with a mother who flipped houses; so I had some skills. I was living with a man who didn’t care what color that bathroom was, or if the dinner was burnt; this gave me carte blanche to experiment.
What does this have to do with the store? I’m getting to it…
Armed with a little of knowledge, his support and something I never had before… time, I was off and running. I was determined to become Martha Stewart. Then my ADD kicked in and I became Monster Stewart a decorating, cooking, home making maven on steroids. Paint chips, fabric swatches, catalogs, home décor stores (I think they got tired of seeing me at Pottery Barn) HGTV, YouTube videos, books, Lowes (it’s like my second home); I was obsessed and having the time of my life. I had my successes; our lake house is the first thing to come to mind. I had my failures; the chocolate bedroom with bright red oriental accents was awesome in theory, not so good in person. But the end result was people coming to our home and loving it, or cooking dinner for the crew guys at the track and getting hugs and praise from my extend racetrack family. This turned into friends asking for advice on decorating, or where I got something, asking how I did a paint technique, asking for recipes or taking me with them to shop for their own home. I was on to something, I had found my niche!!! Even back then I had the thought in the back of my mind, “wouldn’t it be cool to have a store of my own?”
Then a bad thing happened. Red Bull Racing closed its doors and Kevin was unemployed. He was at loose ends and had nothing to do and days to do it in. I was supportive, and nurturing as possible, helping him and his crushed ego through a very had time. Weeks turned in to months without a job offer. I was as understanding as I possibly could be. One morning I walked into the living room to find him once again in rapt attention to a rerun of the “Andy Griffith Show”. Instead of yelling at him to get out of the house! Get a job! You’re making a dent in my pretty sofa! I went downstairs to my work space in the basement where I had a cache of antiques stored and started working on them. I was down there all that day, then the next and the next. Pretty soon I had a bunch of restored antique, and paint furniture. I was watching YouTube videos and teaching myself to upholster. On the internet getting tips on paint finishes and wood working techniques. Yep I threw myself and my ADD into avoiding fights with Kevin, and the end result was some really cool pieces. Which, I started selling on Craigslist, eBay and Etsy. Again, I was on to something! The voice in my head said, “Dude, you need your own store.” (I’m from California, the voice in my head speaks “Dude”)
Thank the Lord and Jeg’s, Kevin finally got a job in June, but was required to spend the majority of his time in Ohio. At the same time we also sold our lake house and moved into a much smaller home in High Point. I decided there was not enough things to do at the new place, and day drinking was becoming an option; so I rented a work space a few blocks away and got back to refinishing antiques, and painting furniture. It was now my job. A job I could not wait to get to in the morning! This led to a couple of booth spaces in antique malls. I am now a legitimate business; Repeat Offenders Inc is born.
So I am killing it at my booths. I start getting custom orders. The esty store is hopping….uhmmm I need my own store!
Then one morning fate steps in in the form of Miss Mustard Seed. I love her blog and check in on it damn near every morning. I love her style, her attitude and her enthusiasm. Her blog that morning was about putting things out to the universe and seeing what comes back to you. For some reason I was compelled to comment on her blog and put my desire for my own store out there for the universe to see. Later that day I had a meeting with our new accountant. It was our first meeting and he was asking questions about our finances and such.
He asked, “What do you plan on doing with your little business?”
I said, “In a perfect world I would open my own store.”
He said, “Really! Because I have a couple vacant retail spaces. Would you like to take a look at them?”
Just that quick everything started to fall into place. I signed a lease and remodeling began on a space big enough to move my shop and warehouse into (seems I’m a bit of a hoarder), and a retail space out front. The new world headquarters for Repeat Offenders Inc is in the works. I didn’t tell anyone at first. The fear of failure or jinxing it kept me tight lipped (highly unusual for me). But now that the finish line is in sight I have to think about filling my new store with people to buy my product.
Hence the return to blogging….
Hence the long blog post….
Sooooo……Drum roll please!!! Repeat Offenders new store space. Not much to look at now, but it’s going to be GREAT!
The remodeling so far has been an adventure, which I plan on sharing here on my blog, to increase my social media foot print, to gain followers and hopefully customers….blah blah blah. Just come back and see the crap I have been dealing with, you may find it amusing :)
Happy Anniversary RO July 17 2014
So I have been in business for a year now. One whole year, amazing!
I started Repeat Offenders out of my garage, and at the time it was all Craigslist and eBay sales. When we moved last spring to a much smaller house I had tons of unfinished pieces and nowhere to work on them. This caused me to rent a small space in a commercial strip mall; viola I am a business. Of course the procrastinator in me did not make it legal for a couple months. Paperwork was filed on July 14, 2013…..Happy Anniversary Repeat Offenders!!
So what have I learned in the last 12 months…..?
- Having my own business has turned me into a cheap skate. I work hard for that money; I am not giving it up easily.
- You can have cash flow and still be broke.
- My hole in the wall sanctuary is kind of a dump, but I love it!
- I can endure a lot because I am cheap; no AC last summer, great for shedding a few unwanted pounds. No heat this winter. Well until the first snow, then I bit the bullet and had the gas turned on. I am cheap; not crazy!
- I have mad wood working and artistic skills!
- New tools make me happier than new clothes….which if you know me at all, you will know what a monumental statement that is.
- Speaking of clothes; I don’t own anything that doesn’t have paint on it.
- There is not enough time in the day for everything I have to do.
- Social Media is very important. With my back ground in PR, some would find this statement strange coming from me. I thought it was all pee-pee ca-ca until I was convinced by a PR friend (reads as Elon Warner) to try it…..who knew you could sell a dresser from an Instagram post! Eureka! Yes I concede, social Media is a very important pain in the ass, but it pays! See earlier comments about my new found cheapness.
- I am oh so appreciative of the support I get from the core people in my life; my husband Kevin, he shakes his head a lot, but comes home and builds me stuff. My sister-in-law and best sounding board EVER Jill. My best friend Deb. Who if Jill is a sounding board, Deb is the voice of reason. My woodworking bestie Spencer; who has taught me so much over the last year and sharpens my chisels. And my core group of friends/critics; I text them all these ridiculous pictures and they give me invaluable input. Input that keeps me going at times; Gina, Nicole, Shelley, Elon, Mary, Lisa, Tara, Mikey, and Nicky.
- The most important thing I have learned this year is that I have skills. That combined with my creativity. Equals something that I can actually make a buck doing. Which is very gratifying for me; very gratifying
Happy First Anniversary Repeat Offenders!!!!
About Me..... March 21 2014
My name is Patti Miles-Hamlin; I am a racing wife, there I said it!! Married to the love of my life; Kevin Hamlin. With our 3 dogs and 2 cats, we are living the dream in High Point, NC.
I met my husband through racing. I worked for many years in NHRA Drag Racing as Public Relations representative. My Husband Kevin Hamlin is a famous NASCAR Crew Chief, who I instantly fell in love with the first time he kissed me. Originally from Santa Maria CA. Kevin moved me to North Carolina 15 years ago, when we knew we could not spend another minute apart. We were inseparable from that time on. I went to the racetrack with him every weekend, living out an amazing dream.
Two years ago he took a position with a team based out of Ohio. We could not move there, and he gets very little time at home now. I was forced to find a way to occupy my time. Since day drinking was not an option; I started refinishing, reupholstering and repurposing antiques.
So about me….
I like the old the musty and crusty. I live to make things pretty, and love to pair modern fabrics with old pieces. I adore French country, shabby chic and Victorian antiques.
I missed my calling not going to design school, because there is an interior designer burning inside of me.
I pride myself on doing it myself. I have an amazing set of tools. I get gifts of table saws, chain saws and nails guns from my husband. Who needs diamonds? I got a router bench for Valentine’s Day!
I am opinionated….I mean really opinionated, and brutally honest. So, I apologize in advance for offending anyone. Things bug me and I have to speak up. Kevin says I have no throttle stop on my mouth, and he might have a point. I also embarrass the hell out of him from time to time….sorry honey!
My Dad used to say, “I was over educated and under employed.” Dad is right, but I can answer all the questions on Jeopardy, so I got that going for me…..which is nice.
I love to cook, good wine, old movies, music, my pets and of course my wonderful husband.
I am an animal lover; 3 dogs 2 cats. They are my best friends and constant companions. My Westie Cracker, goes everywhere with me. Know that before you invite me to your house for a visit.
I am a flagrant “F” bomber (Come on!....I carry ear plugs for the children). I drink too much. I am all about having fun and laughing. My sense of humor can be brutal at times, and not everyone gets me. I have a wonderful extended family and friends who love me even if I am “Aunt Party” who occasionally falls down laughing and yells, F**K!!!
So that’s me in a nut shell. I traded the fancy clothes, manicures and gourmet dinners of my old racing life; for a paint splattered jeans, a saw dust filled shop and sandwiches at my work bench. And absolutely loving every minute of it! (Disclosure: my racing life wasn’t all that glamorous; lots of bad hotels, bad food and long hours. But I did acquire a lot of nice clothes and had regular mani/pedis)
We are currently looking for a brick and mortar space to open a retail store…..stay tuned it may be a bumpy and fun ride.
Welcome To Repeat Offenders!! March 18 2014
Hi and welcome to Repeat Offenders!!!
Repeat Offenders is an accidental business started out of love, need, and boredom; my love of vintage and antique furniture, my need to create beautiful things, and a lot of time on my hands when my husband accepted a job out of state. What started out as a way to keep me from day drinking, and a work shop full of “good” junk; snowballed into a Etsy store, a website, a work shop in High Point, then two workshops in High Point, antique sales……currently searching for a retail location. Phewwww, no boredom around this place any more.
I specialize in refinishing antiques lacking in love and oozing with potential. I like to use modern fabrics on my upholstered pieces, but my love of all things French country, makes toile my fail safe. Painted furniture is very popular now, and I find myself with paint brush in hand quite often. I use a combination of latex paint, chalk paint and milk paint, depending on what the piece will be used for on an everyday basis (I have my opinions on chalk and milk paint, but that’s a blog for another day) I find repurposing antiques and architectural finds challenging and fun (and for some reason I make a lot of lamps, lol). My creative outlet comes in the form of hand painted signs. Refinishing or painting client pieces has been a very lucrative part of my business. So think of me when you want to have Grandmas rocking chair refinished.
I try to use natural and low VOC products whenever possible. When reupholstering pieces I use all new materials. I build, fix, refinish and reupholster everything myself (with occasional help from my husband when he is home). I am a one woman band, and loving every minute of it.
Welcome to Repeat Offenders!
Welcome! April 18 2013
News coming soon.