To all of my regular readers . . . I owe you an apology.
Like a faithful reader who emailed me recently, you may be wondering, “Did I miss the post where Milk Paint showed up?”
And the answer is no, you didn’t.
I did share the story of why and how I am now carrying MMS Milk Paint in a Facebook Live video I hosted on Lost & Found’s Facebook page awhile back, but I never shared the whole story here on the blog.
And that’s where the apology comes in. In the excitement of launching a new product line and adding a second location, I forgot that it would be a good idea to share the story with you all here! You have been so faithful to follow along as I have talked and talked and talked about Fusion, and now all of a sudden I threw something totally new at you without really telling you why or where it came from!
So please accept my apology. I want to share this story with you now, if you will follow along with me for a few minutes.
Let’s rewind to March 2013, about a year into Lost & Found’s business, and meet this piece:
This was one of my earliest furniture flips, and I painted this piece with Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint.
Back in 2013 I was using mostly Annie Sloan Chalk Paint for my flips, but had heard about MMS Milk Paint because I was (and still am) a huge fan of Miss Mustard Seed–the furniture painter and home decor blogger behind the line. I found a small local shop selling MMS Milk Paint bought this color–Luckett’s Green–to try on this dresser.
While I found milk paint a little trickier to work with than chalk paint, I still really enjoyed the finished product and fell head over heels for the colors in the MMS Milk Paint line. I also liked that I could buy a quart of milk paint for basically half of what a quart of AS Chalk Paint cost, so I started using MMS Milk Paint whenever it seemed to fit with the piece I was working on.
Over the next 2 years I painted about 10 pieces in MMS Milk Paint, experimenting with layering colors and going for that chippy finish. Here are a few of them . . .
along with this Antique Chest of Drawers,
and this Cherry Blossom Dresser
Just to show you a few!
Every time I would bring a milk-painted piece into my booth space to sell, people would be so intrigued with the chippy finish or with the faded color, and ask what type of paint I used. I soon learned that I seemed to be the only person I knew in the area using Milk Paint!
After about a year of this, being the entrepreneurial person I am, I thought, “Maybe I should try and sell this?”
MMS Milk Paint was still being sold by the same small shop in the area, but it didn’t seem like it was really getting into the furniture painting world. Annie Sloan was kicking butt and taking names! But I loved this product and wanted to help people learn how to use it! And I thought the idea of working with Marian Parsons, the Miss Mustard Seed Herself, as one of her local retailers would be an amazing opportunity!
So I applied to be a retailer, hoping that even though there was already one in the area that my pitch of “I can show people how amazing this paint is!” would let me still have a chance of being approved.
But it wasn’t meant to be. The territory had been locked down by the other retailer, who I soon learned, was expanding to a much larger brick and mortar store. Not only would MMS Milk Paint be carried at that location by this retailer, but at several other booth locations around my area. So that was that.
I was bummed, to say the least. But business is business, so I moved on. I still bought milk paint and used it on my pieces, along with chalk paint from time to time, and kept flipping and posting, flipping and posting.
THEN in January of 2015, while looking through some posts from another furniture painting blogger, I read about Fusion.
And when I read about how Fusion was NOT a chalk paint and didn’t need any wax topcoat (curious? read more about that here), I knew it would be a game changer in the furniture painting world. And I knew I wanted to be a part of bringing that product to the market.
You may not know this . . . but Homestead House, the same small family company that manufactures Fusion Mineral Paint also manufactures MMS Milk Paint! So the first thing that came into my head was that the big store owner who had the local Milk Paint territory probably already knew about this product and was likely going to want to add it to her inventory.
I don’t know this “Big store owner” I keep referring to personally, I am sure she is a lovely person. And I really do wish the best for her local business! So please don’t think I am badmouthing anyone! But from a purely business perspective, I was afraid I was going to lose this line to this big shop also and I was not going to let that happen!
So that very day I sent in my application to be a Fusion Mineral Paint retailer, and the rest is history.
Since Fusion was new to the market and I was working to promote the brand, along with having a garage full of wholesale priced paint at my disposal, I started using Fusion almost exclusively for my furniture makeovers.
But here and there, I found ways to use MMS Milk Paint. Like on this hand-painted oak dresser I painted in Layla’s Mint for a friend.
And I kept drooling over all the gorgeous milk painted pieces on Marian’s blog and envying the large collection of Fusion Retailers who were able to carry both lines in their shops.
And at Haven Conference, I watched the Milk Paint Retailers gather with Marian to go out to dinner and so desperately wished I could join in . . . It was just a world I really wanted to be a part of.
Fast forward now to this past January,
just a few months ago, when I met with Meagan who was planning on opening up a new boutique in downtown Plano. She wanted me to sell my painted pieces in her shop and also stock some paint. During our conversation, while I was telling her about my paint process, I mentioned that I use milk paint from time to time.
And that’s when she said, “I think that’s the line of paint that [insert Big Shop Owner name here] has on clearance. I don’t think she is going to carry that anymore, will you still use it?”
What? Seriously? The territory was opening up?! Had anybody else heard about it and applied to carry the line?!!
Not only had the opportunity to expand to a second location just fell into my lap, but also the chance to now work with the paint line I had always loved and been drawn to!
This news all came to me within a week or two of my spinal surgery (read about that here), so it was kind of a crazy time to be making significant business changes. But these were 2 opportunities that really felt too good to be true . . . so with my husband’s agreement, I decided to jump into both of them–expanding to a new location and applying to be a MMS Milk Paint Retailer.
And now I have the extreme pleasure of saying I am the Dallas area Retailer for not only Fusion Mineral Paint, but also Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint. And I have the pleasure of teaching workshops at my new location to customers wanting to learn how to use these fantastic products themselves.
I don’t know why the big shop owner decided to give up the milk paint line. I have had some friends in the flipping world speculate that the sales of the line were low, and question whether or not it was a good move for me to take it on. And I’ve had some other friends and family wonder if it would make sense to my customers, after 2 years of talking about how great Fusion is because you don’t have to have a topcoat, to then try to sell a paint that requires waxing and sealing.
And honestly I don’t know. It may not be a great business move.
But really, that’s not why I’m now also selling milk paint.
I’m selling it because I love milk paint. I always have, and now I get the chance to help others learn to love it too.
Why do I love milk paint?
Now . . . That’s going to be Part 2 of this post, coming in a few days 🙂 I plan on breaking down both Fusion and Milk Paint for you and letting you know what I love about both and where I tend to use each one.
But today was just about the story–because it’s right for me to tell it to you.
I want you to know that if I decide to sell something, it’s always because I love it, think it’s amazing, and believe it can bless others.
I want to be worthy of your trust in my business, and for you to never feel like I’m trying to pull a fast one on you by just throwing out whatever products I can.
I sell what I love, plain and simple.
And that’s why I’m selling Milk Paint 🙂