Trash to treasure—furniture flipping becomes booming business

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“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” according to an old saying, and Decatur residents Deanna and Andrew Cauthen have made a business of turning what some have regarded as trash into treasured pieces of furniture.

What started several years ago as a hobby and an inexpensive way to furnish their Decatur home, the married couple has turned into a lucrative home business, Revamped Furnishings.

“We both have an eye for the potential in a piece that someone else may have discarded, but it’s not the same eye,” Deanna said. “Often he sees something I don’t see and other times I see what he doesn’t see.”

Andrew said he started years ago refurbishing furniture and has built his skills over the years. Now, when he comes home from his job with DeKalb County he usually spends a few hours restoring a piece covered in scuffed paint or marred with nicks and scratches to its former beauty.

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Decatur Residents Flip Furniture for Financial Freedom

Andrew and DeannaWhat do an old oak dresser, a mini refrigerator, and a Lane coffee table have in common?

They were all curbside furniture finds discovered by Andrew and Deanna Cauthen, owners of ReVamped Furnishings.

Although they are both successful communications professionals, helping several family members in crisis over the years had left them struggling financially.

“We had gotten behind on some things and we knew we needed to increase our income, but the question was how should we do it,” said Deanna, who works part-time as a writer and public relations/marketing specialist.

The Cauthens took a close look at their furniture-flipping hobby and ultimately decided to monetize it.

“We essentially gave ourselves a pay raise instead of waiting for someone else to give it to us,” Deanna said.

As longtime thrift store shoppers, Deanna and her husband, a communications manager, have been finding and fixing furniture for almost two decades.

“We started out purchasing and refurbishing stuff just for ourselves to set up house and home when we first got married. Over time it became a hobby and we began to fix and sell items to other people,” she said.

These days, most of the furniture that they flip is from curbside finds.

“Every time we go out, we’re always on the lookout for the next piece. Sometimes we will come across a piece that I think is awful, but Andrew will see the potential in it. Over the years, I’ve learned to trust his judgment about those kinds of things,” said Deanna, who primarily does the marketing for the business.

She also talked about the adrenaline rush they get every time she and her husband find a piece of furniture.

“Actually, the rush is three-fold. We’re thrilled when we find the piece, excited to refinish and restore it back to its former glory, and we’re always ecstatic when we sell it.”

Deanna said the business is growing by leaps and bounds. They recently built a workshop so that they can have a dedicated workspace and have had to rent a storage unit to house the furniture that needs to be refinished.

“People talk about finding their passions, but I think that it’s up to each of us to discover our passion as we go about the business of life. If you work long enough and hard enough, you’ll develop a love for something, and who knows, it could end up being a money maker.”

“We haven’t reached all of our financial goals yet, but we’re definitely on our way,” Deanna said. “It’s such a blessing to be able to make the money we need doing the thing we love to do the most.”

Anatomy of a Workshop

Spring 2017

Andrew, with the help of grandson Bryce, starts laying the foundation for the workshop.

Fall 2017

With some help from friends, the framing for the walls and the roof gets put into place.

Inside paneling is installed.

Winter 2018

The front door and windows of the workshop are installed.

Andrew installs double doors.

Reclaimed wood becomes the “new” siding for the workshop.

Spring 2018

Andrew puts up a temporary tarp roof on the workshop and “dries it in”

Summer 2018

Andrew, with the help of friends John and Ryan, installs the corrugated metal roof, and the workshop is finally completed.