A visual wall art reminder to do what you love

Do what you love, love what you do - metal letters with rusty gear wall art via https://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/

I don’t often shop retail for home decor items. But every now and then, I love seeing what’s out there. 

Do what you love, love what you do - metal letters with rusty gear wall art via https://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/

(letters are from Urban Barn, Abbotsford, BC)

When I shop, I love playing a little game. “If I had my own line, what would I put my name on in this store?”

In most cases, the stores have a variety of things that appear reclaimed. It takes everything out of me not to gather everything up, and create a Funky Junk section. Rarely do you see one set up like that, but rather, the look is scattered, not really telling the full story. Know what I mean?

Do what you love, love what you do - metal letters with rusty gear wall art via https://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/

One day awhile back while shopping, (back in this January post in fact) the need to create was so great, I gathered up the nerve and asked to speak to a store manager. And of course was met with a “We don’t have authority to allow you to do that. Head office makes those decisions.”

The message was pretty loud and clear. They had their own merchandising staff, they didn’t need me. πŸ™‚

I was rather proud I even had the nerve to ask. It was hard!  But wasn’t brave enough that day to push harder. 

Do what you love, love what you do - metal letters with rusty gear wall art via https://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/

Would you like to hear one dream I have every time I walk into a retail outlet? The never ending feeling drives me crazy. But it’s a good dream. πŸ™‚

It’s in the AM, but I’m pumped this particular morning. A new shipment arrived in a local store and the crew are waiting for me to guide them on the new layout. I grab a latte on the way, and can’t get there fast enough.

Finally arriving, I push my way through a well weathered front door wearing the coolest rustiest handle possible, and am met with boxes. Boxes upon boxes, piled high… waiting. Setting down the latte, I throw my jacket aside, roll up my sleeves, grab an exacto knife, pry open the first box… and gasp.

And do it again and again. I’m emptying out boxes of merchandise I’ve designed myself.

Satisfied with everything looking just the way I imagined, I go back home to my workshop, and design more one of a kinds.

Would you believe it was difficult for me to write this? It was. That fear factor is a dream breaker!

Do what you love, love what you do - metal letters with rusty gear wall art via https://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/

So when I came across ‘do what you love love what you do’, there was no doubt in my mind I needed them. Even if they weren’t rusty metal. I didn’t design them so I can’t have them my way today. So I hung them up the only way I knew how. With a hint of (the gear) me.

The words, placed right beside where I work, are a reminder that maybe I should stop playing life a little too safe. Try more new things that scare me. And of course, stay on track doing things I love.

I’d love nothing more than to work with a store or represent a line or… something. I don’t know how it’s done or how to get there, but I do know one thing…

I’m hoping this little visual reminder will encourage me to dig a little deeper and find out.

What’s something you dream of doing?

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Categories: Blogging, DIY, Inspiration, Junk Drawer
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48 thoughts on “A visual wall art reminder to do what you love

  1. Now that is an awesome dream to keep having over and over. I DO NOT DOUBT that you will have your own line in a store one day. You are one of the most creative people. I can just picture it!!! Great post

  2. I love your posts and all the ideas you share. I am an old junker and love that your blogs get my creative juices going. My husband isn’t quite as understanding about some of my “funky” ideas they keep me thinking. Selfishly I hope you don’t get that dream job for a while because if you do you may not have time to blog.
    Keep up the “funky junkin”

  3. If you promise to get the product line up and running, I promise to buy! Wishing you all the best in this, Donna…be fearless!

  4. Donna — Someday someone is going to read this and say “I know just the person to make this woman’s dream come true.” I know a woman who has a publishing company and I have thought about telling her about you and how totally impressed I am with absolutely everything you create and write. Give me a nod and I will. Most importantly, NEVER give up. Ellen, the slipcover queen of central Illinois

  5. That’s a great dream, and I say go for it.. Keep your eyes and ears open for that opportunity, and don’t be afraid of a “no” answer. You know what you can do. Now you have to get someone else on board with you. Thanks for sharing. Sometimes getting that dream out into the open is the first step into making it a reality.

  6. I have no doubt, you will accomplish your dreams!
    I love your posts, and am dreaming someday I will have a place to pursue my love of junk, too!

  7. Donna, you need your own store so you can go in everyday with latte in hand and arrange it however you see fit for that day. Your own ,junk, your own repurposed items! I worked in retail for 22 years and loved to play and display things. Today’s large retailers now have floor plans to the items of how things need to be displayed, so believe me when the person said Corporate dictates the why where and when, they do. They took the creativity out of it, part of the reason I no longer to retail in the corporate world!

    • I worked in retail for 13 long years, and luckily at that time they gave you creative license to do your thing. That was the best part of that job, displaying the floor! My vision seems to fall in line with a line of goods sold in other stores vs my own store, but who knows… πŸ™‚

  8. Donna,

    Yes…I love the wall words! BUT…so curious about that inside screen door I see to the left of the words. I am puzzling now about how to add a screen door (can’t find a deal on one of the sliding kind to fit) to some repurposed patio doors I’ve added to a sleeping cottage in my backyard. It appears from the pic that this door is being used on a door that opens to the outside. I compare my door puzzle to what you have been dealing with on your bathroom window. It’s not getting done because I just don’t know what to do. Would love to hear suggestions.


  9. I worked for a major supermarket here in the East for 27 years. Many times people asked about bringing in their products and they did. Make the call !!! Start with a smaller , privately owned store (which ours – Wegmans- was) and go from there. You have to keep in mind, how many good you can supply. But many a small company has got a start thru our company. Miss it now that I’m retired !
    Always voice your dreams…………you never know who can help you realize them!

  10. I thought you might like to see the use of a mattress spring in this blog post πŸ™‚ Sorry if it makes you wish you had picked that one up.
    Go for your own line! Be brave. I have an Etsy shop but it lacks the real me. Not enough hours in the day to spend creating and promoting.
    Until that time it is what it is. Good luck!

  11. I can totally see you having your own store or doing design work, sort of like what Junk Gypsies do near Houston, TX. As far as having a line, I think it would be hard to mass produce ‘junk’ the way you like it. Have you ever watched the Junk Gypsies tv show? It still runs here on Arts and Entertainment network. I’m sure you could find them on the internet. Last filmed in 2012, I think. They decorate a room or home in each episode. I bet if you just put the word out that you were open to doing that (locally at first), folks would bite!

  12. That darned fear thing swallows me up often. Sometimes you just have to take a leap (or little hop) of faith and go for it. Have you thought about renting a booth somewhere- you know, start small, and before you know it, everyone is coming in just to buy your junk and you have taken over the store. See, I’m dreaming right along with you. πŸ™‚

  13. You are the most unselfish bunch EVER. No one has told me what they aspire to do. You came to my own rescue instead. Wow.

    Thanks so much for your encouraging words! I was laying in bed this AM wanting to draft this post because putting it out there scared me. I’m now glad I didn’t. πŸ™‚


  14. Start with prototypes, rent vendor space in one of the markets (Atlanta, High Point, Chicago, Vegas) and start taking orders. Items would have to be available in multiples, not OOAK. You would need to have all the inventory ready or able to be made JIT (Just in Time) for delivery to retailers. Eventually, you would need manufacturing employees, perhaps in cottage industry. I know you could do it!

  15. Donna, you have a brave soul and your willingness to go for it inspires our inner strength. Thanks for that! I am amazed at the creativity you possess and I always look forward to what surprises you have in store for us. Simple but powerful words of wisdom for you. Each day keep your faith strong and ask for blessings and favor and something amazing will come your way!

  16. I actually had a job almost like that – I was doing display work for an antique/vintage store. LOVED it, and still plan to dabble in it every now and then. I swear, I would almost pay THEM to let me go play with all that “stuff!”

  17. Jamie you will get there! And having the dream and telling it is the first step; well, OK you’ve already taken so many steps, but you must also believe.
    Wow just think what a difference you could MAKE in the world.
    I confess dragging some stuff around in Hobby Lobby but then my son made me stop!
    Love your blog, thanks for all the inspiration. Now if you could just explain to my husband why it’s not ok to sand down and paint that cute little red rusty wagon he found…I WILL make a shelf out of it!

  18. Go for it, Donna!
    I thought of the Shabby Chic lady (Rachel, I think her name is). I wish I had something so clear in my mind…you’re on to something!
    God will direct.

  19. Hi Donna: I am new to your blog and love what you are doing. I thought of your dream and one idea might be to set up a booth at an antique show or have your own annual show on the property. A lot less expensive then a store and a lot less restrictive on your time and you could then build up the displays and tear them down. Sorry, I hope this doesn’t sound to bold of me. Enjoy your day.

  20. You could definitely create a brand with your style! Go for the dream! And there’s a product you can buy to rust your words – right up your alley! I forget the name but you can ask for it in the hardware store.

  21. I gotta have this! Unlikely I’ll find it in Hawaii, but it’s on Amazon! Ordering now! Found the rusting product – it’s muriatic acid. Gonna make mine rusty! Do you think I have to remove black paint first?

  22. We have a store here named “Finders – Keepers. I don’t know how it works but you set up your own area stage it how you want. Or a store who works on consignment. I don’t know much about this but if I didn’t have bad health I would look into this.

    God Bless!

  23. Keep dreaming, Donna, don’t ever stop! And one day, your dreams will come true. Look how far you’ve come in the last few years? Amazing…
    I love your sign, it is so true and should be in everyone’s home.
    Debbie πŸ™‚

  24. I love the saying that you put on the wall. I have a small way that I need to put something on and I believe that this will do it. Where did you get these?

  25. I dream of being a full-time volunteer – at my church in our Mercy Ministries, in my community and with local animal rescue organizations.

  26. Oh wow, I am so in love with your “saying”. I think it often myself. I guess we are really lucky to be able to feel those words every day. I love what I do as well. Great read. Thanks!

  27. Donna, I do know what you mean. I so want to do everything and so many times want to take a really cool idea one or two step farther than the designer did to give the item that Ah Ha moment. I love designing. My problem at this time in my start up is finding someone to make more of my designs. Seems like no one is looking for a job at this time in my network. I live in a rural area. It will work out so right not I am everything from CEO to janitor if you know what I mean but I love it all. Thanks for allowing me to look inside of someone else that is like me.

  28. Oh Donna, I can totally relate to this. I have envied celebrities for a while now, because their fame opens retail doors for them to sell their product lines, even when they are not normally associated with products. My over-active imagination has enough ideas to create a new design idea daily. But at least we have the internet to share and sell our designs….:)

    I am impressed that you stepped outside your comfort zone to approach the store. You should feel very proud of yourself. We all need to create more “Atta Girl” moments for ourselves. It gives us more confidence each time we conquer something new, and the more practiced we get at it, the more fearless we become!

  29. I’m truly addicted to your site. You draw me in with the visuals and your way of writing is clever, too. You’re extremely talented and WILL be where you want to be when the time is right. I would purchase nearly everything i’ve seen you design. Of course, I’m a thrifty shopper, so it would have to be my price range. Haha. I love what you found and how you put a piece of yourself in there.

  30. When you get where you want that dream to take you-may I come along with you? I am always changing things without people even knowing I’m doing it.im always saying that there is more to life and even at my age 70 + I’m still looking for it! You do a great job! Keep up the great work! Keep me in mind!

  31. hello Donna,

    Love your post! I am wondering if you have considered opening (if you don’t have already, I didn’t see a link) an Etsy shop? Talking about wanting your own shop and your own line, I think Etsy might be a good start!!! Also, your comment about trying things that scare you, not playing things so safe and doing what you love…all on target! If you do open an Etsy shop, I’d love to see it!

    I quit a good paying state government job in 2011 to do SOMETHING ELSE and am still in the process of figuring out how to do what I love and make a living at it. I am co owner of a pet services business now, and I have an Etsy shop that I haven’t done much with, I am trying to find a direction for it. I am taking classes towards becoming an occupational therapy assistant, hoping to tap into my creative side and start making art from junkmail and thrift store finds, and am also to figure out a way to make money online and blogging and all that. πŸ™‚

  32. Donna,
    What a pleasure it is to find your website! I’m brand new here. Love your post and your pictures, your designs. You seem to be the type who will make her dreams come true in due time; at just the right time it will happen.

    Your sense of design totally inspires me. I don’t have the money to decorate my house because I spend all my extra income on my photography. But, 2014 is the start of a new beginning for me. I am starting my own interior photography business. That’s the dream that excites me. I am very excited and will be sharing some of your posts with my audience, which is really microscopic right now. πŸ™‚

    Many blessings to you and your followers in 2014.

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