sweet pickins home about sweet pickins contact sweet pickins sweet pickins portfolio shop sweet pickins sweet pickins in the press sweet pickins is available for refinishing custom refinishing with sweet pickins favorite projects our home Image Map Sweet Pickins Policy Sweet Pickins FAQs

{Moving Shop} – back home again and what i know now

Lots of word here!  Sorry i have been gone so long and then write this big ol book!

Well, after a long couple months of going back and forth, we finally decided to move my shop back home again.  I have been renting a shop for the last year that was about 5 minutes away from my house and approx 1500 sq ft.  The space was beyond awesome, but being away from home and paying rent sucks!

(Packing up!!)

I have learned so much over the past year about what i thought i wanted for my business, and if i never made the decision to rent the shop last year i wouldn’t know what i know now.  My plans have totally changed.

About a year and a half ago when i was working from my garage, i dreamed of having my own store one day.  I wanted a quaint little shop filled with cute little unique decor items and packed with my painted furniture.  I had plans of finding an old house on a busy street with a garage in the back and then converting the house to the store and using the garage as a work space.  I would have some cute perky girls working in the store, while i was busy in the back painting away!

Thats what i thought i wanted and if i had that little store then i would be satisfied and life would be complete.

Not anymore… priorities change.

I found that with having my rented working shop that i was gone from home way more than planned (and that’s why i never get to post on this blog anymore!!).  Although it was super close to home, it was just easier to stay there when say someone planned to pick up furniture at six – “well, im not going to leave @ 4 or 5 and then just come back again at six, i will just stay and work and then leave after the customer comes.”  And then Zailee’s gymnastics was right next door to my shop, so i would drop her off and then just run to the shop and do one more quick thing and then before i knew it i would miss her whole practice which i told her i would watch.  I also had tons of late night pick ups/drop offs.  I know that i could for the most part control when i was “open”, but i needed to be accommodating to the customer.  Most people work during the day and so i needed to be there at night for them.  There was countless times when i had to leave dinner or when helping with homework or during my favorite show (how dare they!!) to meet a client, its just how it was.

I also thought that i could have more freedom in my shop, get more creative because i could spread out and leave projects here and there, but that didnt work out as planned either.  I collected lots of crap/future projects that i needed to store, so that crap took up lots of room.  Room is money.  And this is a business, i am paying rent here, things need to come in and out as fast as possible to make a profit – otherwise this is just a very expensive building to house my hobby!  I dont think my husband would go for that!

And the whole rent thing – ugghhh!  I have never paid rent to anyone in my life!   (except for a storage unit for my furniture).  Me and my husband have always just bought our stuff outright, so we owned it in the end.  Paying rent for a space that i dont get to call my own in the end just sucks!  While we were considering coming back home or not, we looked into buying our own shop, but i couldnt get anything in my area for the price i wanted to pay, plus the pros of being at home outweighed the cons at this point.  And saving the approx $8000 a year for paying rent or the mortgage on my own shop was a huge factor in our decision for what our plans for the future are.  I would much rather put that 8K into our cabin.

But – with quitting my job almost 2 years ago to start my own business, having a shop that i controlled (for the most part) – i learned that i LOVE MY FREEDOM!!  I dont have to ask anyone if i can take a couple hours off to go to the dentist or to my kids school, i dont have to tell someone that i am going to the bathroom so they know where i am at!  I dont have to get permission to leave early or come in late because i have something else that i need to do – i am the boss here!  If i want to leave in the middle of painting a dresser to buy that super cute pillow that i regretted not buying the day before, i can just lock up and leave!  If me and my husband decide to take a few hours off and go furniture shopping, i can!  If i dont want to work on the  computer that night to keep track of business bills, i dont have too!  The freedom of running my own working shop is awesome, but if i had my own store – i wouldnt get that- i would be working all the time to keep up with everything, the responsibility would be huge.

(Emptying out all my stuff)

And while i have my freedom now, i still work my ass off to get things done!   Its not like i go shopping for hours and out to lunch with the girls everyday – i wish!  I work more now than i have ever worked before.

Anyways, what i am trying to say for those that are still reading, is that the shop was awesome, but my priorities have completely changed this past year.  I thought i wanted a shop where i could separate work from home, but thats what the shop became…work.  Trying to keep up with everything by myself was very tiring.  And i have done the whole “employee thing” – 3 times!  Working by myself is how i want to work, for now anyways.

I ended up working at the shop way more than i wanted to keep up with paying rent and paying myself.  Right now my priorities are my kids and being with them when they get home from school.  And a year from now, it will be building our cabin as a family and then spending time there as a family instead of stressing about running a shop or even a store.  I enjoy my freedom too much now!  I learned that i dont want that responsibility anymore.  I want my time back and i will get more of that when i am back home.

BUT – i still have to/want to work!  We have moved out of the shop and moved all my furniture into a storage unit.  I have partially set my shop up back in the garage and will be finishing it up this week.  I will keep selling all my stuff online and taking custom orders.  I get lots of emails on how i am set up, especially when it comes to paints booths/ventilating so i will be sure to post than when its done.

(Old shop all cleaned out and freshly painted for the new renters)

While there are def pros and cons to being at a shop vs. working at home, the pros for working at home right now outweigh the cons.  I dont want to spend all my time working just to keep up with having more space.  I quit my job to pursue my painting, and while my painting is a job, the demands of the shop made it become more like work.


For all of you small business owners of retail shops out there, i think you guys are awesome!  I cant even imagine the work that goes into having a retail business!  I love all the cute little shops filled with unique items, and thats def what inspired me in the 1st place to want my own store.  And who knows, i may change my mind again over the next year!


51 Responses to {Moving Shop} – back home again and what i know now

  1. Daphne October 3, 2012 at 7:05 am #

    I love your work. You have such wonderful ideas and pics. Keep them coming.

    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} October 3, 2012 at 7:28 am #

      thanks so much!!

  2. Lorna from Atlanta October 3, 2012 at 7:08 am #

    You’re awesome. . You had put the cart before the horse and now you are living your priorities and life can be fun again. Wise woman.

    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} October 3, 2012 at 7:29 am #

      so true! Im just glad i had the shop experience before jumping right into my own retail space – things happen for a reason :)

  3. karen bates October 3, 2012 at 7:17 am #

    Wow, you are awesome to let go of the dream to be practical and be at home for your kids. It is a tough decision but I am sure in the end you will be glad you did it. When the kids are younger it’s always the best solution but in this day and age, not always doable.
    I look forward to your ongoing adventures.

    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} October 3, 2012 at 7:37 am #

      yup, i am so glad that i had the shop opportunity before jumping right into a retail space, because my priorities completely changed the last year!

  4. Joyce Mercer October 3, 2012 at 7:17 am #

    As someone who has worked from home most of my adult life……………and I am 73 years old or young (depending on the day). You have to learn to run the business and NOT let the business run you. Your children will be grown and gone in a flick of an eye. I regret saying way too often – “Not now, I’m busy”. Enjoy your family and learn to say “NO”…..and mean it.

    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} October 3, 2012 at 7:32 am #

      You are so right! Just being home the last couple days when the kids have got home from school and i can come in from the garage to help them get started on homework/chores has been so great! Giving them my attention and putting away the “work” is difficult but i gotta do it!!

  5. April October 3, 2012 at 7:33 am #

    Thank you for your honesty. I am one who works full-time (and enjoys it) but dreams of having my own business or workspace one day. So for you to really show the good and the bad of it, makes it more realistic of how it would really be.

    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} October 3, 2012 at 7:39 am #

      you are welcome! And the experience will be different for everyone – im just so glad i was able to experience the shop and figure out what was right for me :)

  6. Elissa October 3, 2012 at 7:39 am #

    Glad to hear an update from you I’ve been meaning to see how you were! So happy for you and ill always be a loyal fan/customer no matter where you are at! Take care! :)

    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} October 3, 2012 at 7:47 am #

      Hey!! How are you?! Thats one of the things i stressed over, will people still take me seriously working from my garage? But in the end i dont think people really care when cute furniture comes from – whether a garage or a shop!!

      • Elissa October 3, 2012 at 8:13 am #

        Nah no one should care where your awesome furniture comes from or out of, you are amazingly talented that’s all that matters! I’m good, not near as busy as you! Life just keeps chugging along. :)

  7. Heidi Caminiti October 3, 2012 at 7:41 am #

    I always tell our daughters that you don’t know ’till you try. You tried, it was not what you expected, you had the courage to say so, Good for you!

    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} October 3, 2012 at 7:58 am #

      Thanks! Im so glad i tried because everything i was expecting the shop to be was (the space was great, the separation of work/home) – but i didnt expect a lot of other things and i never would have experienced them if i never tried!

  8. Ann Marie @ Twice Lovely October 3, 2012 at 8:16 am #

    I’ve decided the same things you have Sausha. That’s the beauty of this “biz” is that it’s so flexible. For those of us with kids, that’s one of the biggest draws. These are precious days that I don’t want to miss out on. Another option, and what I do as a happy medium between owning the cute little shop and selling out of my backyard, is finding a cute little shop that is willing to consign your pieces at a reasonable rate. That way you don’t have the overhead or risk own shop ownership, but your furniture is displayed and sold in a cute retail setting. It’s the best of both worlds for me. :)

  9. Meg October 3, 2012 at 8:27 am #

    That’s so brave of you! To start a business, to continue it on your terms. It’s awesome and inspiring and I just am so happy you picked the path that’s right for you and your family!!

  10. Clydia October 3, 2012 at 8:46 am #

    Thanks so much for sharing! I work full time, have three kids and do my little hobby out of our garage. I dream of having my own space but your post has reminded me to be content where I am right now! :) Can’t wait to see your posts on how you are set up now at home.

  11. Sherri October 3, 2012 at 8:50 am #

    Thank you for the insite on having a business away from home. I love painting furniture and was thinking of a shop…I think you just answered a lot of my own questions.

    Thank You

  12. Stephanie October 3, 2012 at 9:03 am #

    Thank you for sharing your story and experience. I have the same dream of an old barn filled with furniture and items I’ve painted but I fear losing my freedom and sanity. Great to hear your perspective. Thanks!

  13. Paula S. October 3, 2012 at 9:05 am #

    Awesome! You should be so proud of yourself for taking the risk and learning from it! I owned my own business for 3 years and it is a lot of responsibility. I was blessed enough to get out of it. At times I wish I worked for myself again, but it would have to be in a different industry. Thank you for sharing your experience and I am sooooooo happy for you and your family that you can spend the time together again! What a huge blessing!

  14. Jenny October 3, 2012 at 9:28 am #

    So glad you’re “back”! Looking forward to more blog posts of your wonderful projects.

    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} October 9, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

      thank you, me too!!

  15. Rochelle October 3, 2012 at 10:10 am #

    Thanks for the post. This is exactly what I needed to read as I am wanting to start my own business. I struggle with leaving my current job and what the new one will exactly look like. I dont want to have to make all kinds of changes in the beginning of starting up. I feel like I need a plan, but with a young family, I guess change is always a factor in the plan. You really inspire me to go for my dream Thanks Sausha!

  16. Kathy October 3, 2012 at 12:29 pm #

    Sounds like you put a lot of thought into what decision you made. I struggle everyday, whether to quit my job and pursue my own business. I am taking steps to do it, getting all the ducks in a row so to say. My children are all grown and gone now, but still love being home and having the flexible day to go places as needed! I’ve had the retail shop before and that is not even an option! No way, no how, so I understand the paying rent thing. My husband works for himself, so I work for health insurance so to say. It makes the decision even harder. I’m sure it is for the best! Congratulations!

    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} October 9, 2012 at 4:54 pm #

      I remember the year long or so that i struggled with the decision to quit my job – it was a long year with lots of emotions. I had a great job with even better benefits. But, its been almost 2 years since i left and not one day goes by that i regret the decision – best thing ever for me! Good luck with your situation and im sure whatever you decide you will make it work for you and your family :)

  17. Adrienne October 3, 2012 at 1:37 pm #

    Glad to hear from another woman trying to do it all while maintaining her sanity. Sometimes I think we as women don’t always support each other enough in terms of saying what you are doing now is enough. We always think we need to do more, more more. Bigger, better. And sometimes right where we are, is enough. So You Go Girl!

    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} October 9, 2012 at 4:51 pm #


  18. Shelly October 3, 2012 at 2:33 pm #

    Just enjoy your children while they are small. They grow so quickly before you know it they are gone. I have waited for years to open that same little quaint boutique that you want but I waited until my youngest graduated from high school because I too am a work-aholic and would never be home (which I’m not).

    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} October 9, 2012 at 4:51 pm #

      when my kids are gone, i will need a break – they wear me out already! Moving home was a good move for me and im already much happier. A retail space may be what i want in the future, but not now. Have fun with your shop!

  19. Nancy October 3, 2012 at 2:55 pm #

    This was a great post that answers a lot of questions that I often ask myself. It’s great to have the extra space of a big workshop but you pointed out clearly the cons of rent and what it all means. I’ve dreamed of the exact little shop with a garage in the back to do work. Your experience was valuable to hear. Thanks

    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} October 9, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

      you are so welcome!

  20. Mindi October 3, 2012 at 3:14 pm #

    I am so happy for you! Isn’t is amazing how life changes, and we can learn and move on, and be happy, because we have learned and grown….

    You are so amazing and it doesn’t matter where you paint, it will always be awesome! Enjoy your “new” freedoms!

  21. Traci Gyles October 3, 2012 at 5:49 pm #

    I agree about the shop thing! I did it too and it does consume a lot of your life. I work from home and sell from home and I LOVE it! I’am my boss and if I don’t want to paint all day I don’t. It is just me to worry about no co workers.
    So i’m happy for you if this is truly what you want! You will still do wonderful things on your time. Not that working at home is a breeze either but it is nice Enjoy getting to see your family more and do things in your time.
    Thanks for the sweet words I needed to hear that! It will all work itself out in it’s own time.:) Have a wonderful week! Traci.

  22. Christal Robinson October 3, 2012 at 7:16 pm #

    Thank you for this post! I work from home and sometimes at a clients house because I also do cabinets, walls and their existing furniture. I love what I do and have begun to think its too good to be true for much longer. I haven’t had the desire to own my own shop or rent for these reasons. This works for me rather well and now I don’t feel so lazy or like a scardy cat for not wanting so. Your work is awesome and you love what you do and thats what matters. I’m happy to hear you will have more time for your family. They do grow up very fast.

  23. Christa @Stories of a House October 4, 2012 at 5:05 am #

    Hey, good for you, girl! Your shop was kickin, but you have other priorities that you want to tend to at the drop of a hat. I don’t blame you a bit for moving your shop to home. You have the space, so why not? Being out later in the evening would be hard for me, too. People will buy your beautiful furniture no matter where your shop is!

  24. kristin October 4, 2012 at 10:34 am #

    Great post! I’m so glad you posted this, it answered a lot of questions I’ve been having with my little business.

  25. MJ October 6, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

    THANK YOU!!! I work out of my garage and everyone keeps telling me I need to get my own shop and I keep saying NO NO NO!!! This is exactly why! I do have a dream of that cute little place, but don’t want to pay rent. I keep it all and I want to keep it that way! Needed this blog post so glad you wrote it!!

    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} October 9, 2012 at 4:46 pm #

      so glad you can relate with this post! Having a shop may be right for some people and it may be right for me in the future, but not right now :)

  26. Heidi Allred October 7, 2012 at 7:14 am #

    You tried it, you learned from it, you changed your mind. And that’s awesome. It makes me tired just THINKING about all the time you had to spend away from home and family. People will buy your awesome stuff no matter where you are selling it from. I thought it was fun to come to your house to pick up my stuff. I wish you the very best. And I can’t wait to get a new house with more space so I can fill it with more of your amazing furniture. You go, Sausha. I think you’re amazin’.

  27. Angie Northan October 7, 2012 at 10:44 am #

    You are right- family first! Always. Besides, nothing has changed. You are still an amazingly talented painter! The customers will still be there, you just have a slightly smaller space to store your stuff :)

    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} October 9, 2012 at 4:44 pm #

      thank you and exactly!!

  28. Ashley Clark October 9, 2012 at 10:09 am #

    I like!!! Good for you!! I will have you paint and I will buy no matter what!! You are awesome!! Enjoy your time!:)

  29. Shelley Smith October 9, 2012 at 3:43 pm #

    Woah! I just read this… CRAZY!
    My heart was pounding the whole time I was reading this, because I was waiting for you to say “I’m not painting furniture anymore”… AHHHHHHH! I would have fainted for SURE! lol.

    I’m happy to hear that you know what you want. Sometimes it takes doing something, and finding out it’s not going to work, to figure out what you really want :)
    You did GREAT out of your home with the business, and I know you’ll continue to be just as successful, because you’re freakishly talented girl!
    Happy to call you my friend, and best of luck with everything in the future!

    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} October 9, 2012 at 4:39 pm #

      you are too sweet, thanks so much!! I am so glad i made the decision to come back home – today was my 1st real day of “working” and it was awesome! I think last time i was working from home i knew it was temporary and so i always felt in limbo. Now im here for good and im ready to get settled in!

  30. Sondra "Upcycled Gems" October 13, 2012 at 11:17 am #

    I’m so glad that you posted this. I’m new to the business and am loving what I’m doing. However, was doing the whole thing of should I or should I not get my own shop also. Currently I work out of my garage also. Where my circumstances are a little different than yours, my oldest son just married this summer and my youngest is in his second year of college. I can see, from your experience that I need to really think hard about “getting my own place”. All the things that you said make so much sense. If I do go out on my own, then I give up the freedom that me and my husband now have to just up and go whenever we want now that the kids are gone. We’ve waited for these years for a long time and I sure font want to compromise that. Thanks for your complete honesty to all us out here that have dreams just like yours. I hate that we have to learn from your experience, but your sharing sure will save a lot of us having to go they what you did. Enjoy those kids, because as everyone says, they will be gone before you know it! Thanks again.

  31. Brenda October 16, 2012 at 7:12 am #

    I’ve loved following your blog for the past few months. I’ve been faux finishing as my career for the past 17 yrs. Cabinet finishes have become my “bread and butter” income for the past several years. But, I’ve also done more furniture for clients in the last 10 months than in the past 10 years, soooo I bought some furniture, painted it up, took it to a show (wrong crowd and that’s another story) and didn’t sell anything. My question is now – how do I market all of this furniture that is now painted and sitting in my dining room (instead of MY furniture that goes in there).

  32. Laura@Ms Smartie Pants October 17, 2012 at 7:40 pm #

    This is the first time I have ever been to your blog and the first post I have ever read and boy am I glad that I did. I have an idea for a business that I intend to start from my home, for the exact reasons you mentioned. I have been considering working from my home for a year and then to a store but I don’t want to be a slave to it. Your post was confirmation that my gut is right! I don’t need to learn the hard way, your experience can be my teacher. Thanks for sharing!

  33. Laurel October 18, 2012 at 2:53 pm #

    Just fyi, you should blur your license plate photo in this picture for security reasons.

  34. Laurel October 18, 2012 at 2:53 pm #

    Just fyi, you should blur your license plate photo in this picture for security reasons.

  35. Debbie October 29, 2012 at 6:09 am #

    Sausha, I am sitting here on the east coast waiting for the big storm to arrive and I finally sat down to reply to this post. I wanted to do it sooner, but guess what, I am really really busy with my kids too!
    I wanted to let you know how thankful I am to have you share your business insite with us, the good and the bad. You are an amazing business woman but also an amazing mother!! I have been faux painting and doing furniture for over 10 years. Recently, I decided to just focus on the furnture (too tired to climb scalfolding anymore!) and you have been my inspiration!! I dream of growing, but like you, I hate being away from kids and what my small business gave me for years, was precious time with them. My boys are in highschool now, and soon I will have all the time in the world for my business. You will never regret the time you spend with your children…it truely goes too fast!
    I was thinking of you when I read this post from Ms. Mustard Seed. You probably have seen it, but it is some great business advice from her friend at Lucketts. I am going to print it out for myself too.


    Keep following your heart Sausha.. your business will grow in ways you never will imagine!! Debbie

Leave a Reply to Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} Click here to cancel reply.