Hello, my friends! Vintage Violet here to introduce our September retailer of the Month Julia Fischer of Shangri-La Lane. She not only has oodles of talent, style for days …she has a wicked sense of humor! Without further ado, let’s begin our chat….
Tell me a little about yourself, my dear…
I’m a wife and mother who wanted to have a business working from home, one that would allow me to raise my family while fulfilling my need to create and contribute financially. I now also have a special needs rescue dog, [insert audible awwww from me] who is unable to be left alone for an extended period of time, and my schedule works well for all of us.
How did you get started in the furniture painting, paint retailing business?
I started painting furniture long before I made it into a business, simply because I was on a budget and knew I could change the look of virtually anything with a little paint. Once I decided to open a retail space it made sense to offer a line of paint in addition to my furniture pieces.
Where are you located?
I have 2 locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Frisco Mercantile, 8980 Preston Rd, Suite 1504, Frisco, TX 75034 and Kiss & Makeup Boutique, 214 N Kentucky St., McKinney, TX 75069.
Tell me about your clients? What are they like? Why do they come to you?
My clients are people who want to renew family heirlooms and treasured furniture pieces on a budget. They’re kind, friendly, and eager to learn. I walk them through every step of the refinishing process, and they know they can call me at any time for extra help if they need it and/or visit my website for tips & tutorials.
I love the name Shangri-La Lane (so fancy), how did you come up with it?
Shangri-La is a fictional place described in the 1933 novel Lost Horizon by British author James Hilton. Hilton describes Shangri-La as a mystical, harmonious valley, gently guided from a lamasery, enclosed in the western end of the Kunlun Mountains. Shangri-La has become synonymous with any earthly paradise, and particularly a mythical Himalayan utopia. I added “Lane” to set it slightly apart, and because I thought it was a fitting business/store name.
What do you love most about painting furniture?
The end result that gives me a unique piece of furniture. I have to admit, though, that I love the whole creative process, everything from visualizing the personality in a piece of furniture to bringing that vision to life. I also love the almost meditative, relaxing or exhilarating process of laying paint to my piece. I should mention that I’m currently obsessed with painting over upholstered furniture pieces, obsessed! [nope, could not tell at all….]
What inspires you?
My mood mostly, as I try really hard to create looks that haven’t been done or at least add my own twist on the ones that have.
What makes you laugh?
Everything! A good sense of humor is essential to surviving this crazy ride we call life. I love a good prank & am able to laugh at myself often.
What makes you cry?
Animal cruelty. I have a huge soft spot for animals and I advocate for them daily. [I heart you!]
Tell me something completely random about you!
My husband & I were married after 5 weeks of dating and will celebrate our 15 year wedding anniversary this November. We chose adoption to grow our family and brought our now 9-year-old son home when he was 19 months old. Three years later in 2010 we adopted our daughter, who was 9 years old at the time, from China. In 2013, we purchased a Prairie style home built in 1925 in historic downtown McKinney, which we have slowly been renovating in our spare time. And we have two awesome rescue dogs that complete our family.
Isn’t she awesome??? If you want to find out more about Julia and Shangri-la Lane visit her on her website or on Facebook.