Flo Ward

Visionary Furniture Painter and Upcycle Creationist
We Chic’d It!
Why did you start your business, or choose the position you are currently in?

This business came out of necessity. As a young family in the early 2000s, we refinished furniture as a means of reusing “hand-me-downs” or yard sale finds, not realizing that those years of struggle would help us to build an awesome business later on. In 2011, after a recent move to NC, the birth of our youngest child, purchase of a lake house to remodel, and 2 weeks into my new teaching career, my husband lost his high-paying job that brought us down here. We knew that we needed income immediately. He and a fellow co-worker (who also had recently moved and lost his job) went to local storage unit auctions just like you see on TV. They bought low and flipped the items online or at our monthly yard sales. We noticed that when we refinished, refurbished, reupholstered, or upcycled the furniture/home decor items, they brought a profit. We did this alongside teaching, searching for long-term employment, parenting, and remodeling our dream home. By 2013, our neighbors began requesting commission orders, and we needed a logo to go into the local consignment shop booth with our items, so We Chic’d It! was officially created. The meaning behind our name…We Chic’d It! – We wanted something that defined the products and services that we offered. We – as in you and our team of artisans; Chic’d – the act of making your pre-owned furniture/home decor item refinished, refurbished, repurposed, or reupholstered. (We originally only did the shabby chic style for customers, but we’ve since expanded.); It – the item(s) that we work on with you or for you.

You just won 10MM in the lottery. What would you do?

$2 Mil – towards charities that have the same mission as I do when it comes to environmentalism within our creative ways of usage in home furnishings and the jobs they produce. $2 Mil – business ventures that would help grow creative businesses nationally and abroad. $2 Mil – cleaning up any debt that my direct family has, including myself (college/homes/vehicles/misc.). $2 Mil – retirement/savings. $1 Mil – my businesses for land acquisition, contractor collaboration, and new level goals. $500K – my emergency/rainy day/recession fund. $250K – split between my previous college/universities I attended/graduated from. $250K – vacation.

Your Journey: How did you get to where you are?

My journey actually started much earlier than the creation of this business. I grew up with creative entrepreneurial parents who were also educators. In the early 90s, while working in my parent’s businesses, I knew how important it was to work with reliable contractors, advertise in “your market” vs just to say you advertise, the importance of your mailing list/Rolodex growth, plus growing with technology (computer usage in 1990, website creation by 1992, use of digital camera by 1994 for posting online images and blogging by 1995). I also ran various neighborhood businesses with my girlfriends for extra movie/trip/snack money. However, I didn’t realize that my creative skills and prior experiences could become my career until I switched my college major in 2000 to Fine Arts with a Computer Graphic concentration. This major required me to learn about color theory, use of recycled materials, clay, acrylics, graphite, computer software programs that we can now do on our cell phones but originally took days to complete on our desktop computers, marketing our senior projects, videography, and so much more. All of these experiences make me who I am today.

What is the most interesting thing about you that we wouldn’t learn from your resume?

I wanted to be an oceanographer from elementary school until early in college. Then my junior year, I had to dissect animals and I immediately changed majors. I still love the ocean (really any water and creatures near/within our waterways).

WOW MEMBERS LOVE TO GIVE REFERRALS; WHO IS A GOOD REFERRAL FOR YOU?

Well, homeowners hire me to “Chic”/breathe new life into their family heirlooms. Businesses hire me to “Chic”/create solutions for their work-space(s). I travel worldwide as a Visionary Furniture Painter & Upcycle Creationist, so anyone who fits those needs would be an ideal referral. 

How would your best friend describe you?

Patient, creative, and purposeful

What inspires you?

The world inspires me. Every day when I see colors in nature, feel textures within various fabrics/surfaces, hear non-intentional inspirational comments/quotes from strangers, smell the wonders of various foods from different cultures that all inspire me to create and bring my client’s visions to life.

What makes you laugh?

My children, comedians, etc.

If you were stranded on a desert island and could take three items, what would they be?

1. Multi-utility knife (Swiss Army) 2. My garden seed collection 3. Someone to talk to, dream with, and build together – it could be my spouse, one of my children, family, friends, or even strangers. We’re all human beings with many of the same needs and wants of companionship.

Whats your definition of success?

Success when it comes to business: To be able to walk into a crowded room of strangers or onto a large stage where they know your mission, values, and how you conduct business in a positive and honest way without having to introduce yourself, and they want to be a part of it.

Why is it important to you to be part of WOW?

When I first started going to networking groups, I had to travel 25+ minutes away to meet fellow women who had some of the same goals, trials, and similar life experiences as myself and whom I could talk to without feeling like I didn’t belong. When WOW came about, I was very pleased to have them right here near my home and business. The women are great, the relationship building is powerful, and I’ve been an advocate since day one!

What do you want your legacy to be?

I’m currently living my legacy of working on our environment through my mission of keeping people from throwing away unwanted furniture/home decor items into landfills, our waterways, and off the sides of the roads when they can be reused, refinished, refurnished, reupholstered, or repurposed into something new.