My husband and I moved into our custom built home over a year and a half ago. One baby later, we still have some unpacking to do and lots of decorating. My Pinterest followers will attest that I have a slight obsession with reclaimed wood, vintage style furniture and all things repurposed. I’ve been holding out for the perfect pieces. So, you can imagine my excitement over the arrival of Shabby Love, Harrisonburg’s newest up cycled store. For weeks, I’ve been “oooing” and “aaahhhing” at the products on their website. Now, I can finally shop!
Before Shabby Love’s grand opening this past weekend, I sat down with owner Hanna Kappes to learn more about the store and the inspiration behind the products.
KK: Tell us about Shabby Love.
HK: I travel the roads of the East Coast in search of unique finds that catch my eye. I take shabby, used things and give them love again. We opened in downtown Harrisonburg on February 22nd at 80 W. Water Street beside of Bella Luna.
What inspired you to expand your hobby of up cycling into a business?
I have always been really creative, and when my husband and I got married I started painting a few of our hodge podge pieces. When we moved to Virgina over 3 years ago, I was really inspired by history and all the great, old things that I was surrounded by. So, I painted a few more pieces.
Friends would ask me to re-do some of the things they had. I had people contacting me and giving me items they wanted to get rid of. I was hooked. I loved taking something that was shabby and giving it a new look – a second, third, and fourth life. I started Shabby Love’s website, and by word of mouth things spiraled into 8 employees and, now, 2 stores.
Can you share some insight into your creative process? What inspires your design?
Each piece that we create speaks differently to me so I don’t really follow a process. My wheels turn about each project and what I plan to do with it. As far as design inspiration, I love so many different styles and forms of design. I mostly go after old things.
What advice would you share with others who are interested in repurposing everyday items?
Get inspired and try it! It’s extremely easy and so much fun. The before and after results are addictive and your doing a great thing by taking something and reusing it.
Why did you decide to open a store in downtown Harrisonburg?
I love what I do and I love giving back by teaching workshops and inspiring others. I have been pondering on doing a second store for a while, but the question was where. My husband and I visited several places. I am a feeling person and when we pulled in to Harrisonburg for the first time, it just felt good. There are a lot of things going on – revitalization, an old city with a lot of history, and it felt right. So I looked at my husband and said “let’s do this”.
Kim Kirk is the Editor of the Do Downtown blog and the Director of Promotions for Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance.