We had the good fortune of connecting with Elsie Russell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Elsie, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I have been involved in interior design and home staging for most of my professional career and I love all aspects of decorating, About 12 years ago, I started painting furniture to stage in vacant properties for sale and I fell in-love with the creativity of transforming used (but solid) items and furniture into pieces that were updated and stylish…..basically adding character and ultimately turning them into a piece of art! I realized my dream of owning my own shoppe, 2 Chicks Home and Market, a year or so after I became a retailer for a furniture paint line and teaching workshops. My dream to INSPIRE folks to create beautiful pieces, furniture and spaces in their own homes (and work spaces) was my ultimate goal for starting my own business!
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
2 Chicks Home and Market is full of creative, artistic and local items made by over 30 plus folks who contribute to the shoppe in addition to what we do. We are a stockist for the creative lines of DIYPaint, Iron Orchid Designs and Roycycled Treasures and love to share what those products are all about in our workshops. In addition, we offer local farmer’s goods, gourmet and local specialty food items, amazing Swan Creek candles, hand painted furniture, home decor, hand-made jewelry, textile art, local books by local authors and so much more from those 30 plus creatives that we are so happy that they allow us to share their wonderful products, too, We love to say that we fill our shoppe with things we love and people we love!
I’m proud that we have really created a place where people really see what we are passionate about and they are inspired!
Also, that they realize we do what we do because we love it, and it’s not just the act of selling something. There’s a big difference in that. I’ve learned that people really will be supportive when they see “why” you do what you do and the reasons behind that passion, not because you sell a product!
I’m going to share one big difference with my business and surviving the times we all have experienced recently. We were shut down in the Fall of 2019 suddenly, all in one day….as a fire swept through our 300 block in downtown Denison, TX. Defeat and shock were definitely the immediate reactions but I realized from a business boot camp I attended directly after that tragedy that there really are no excuses, if you want something bad enough you and only you can drive that bus right through that set-back, but it will take you surrounding yourself with a village of helpers and friends who are willing to ride that bus with you! Surround yourself with others that believe in you and are willing to help you along the way to get to the other side of those life and business challenges. It’s the real reason we are still going strong 10 years now. The community and support system you curate and cherish will be of utmost importance to be able to persevere and definitely lots of prayers, too!
I fell so blessed to have the opportunity to care for and share our little brick and mortar space on Main St. during our time in history until the next generation gets to share their story. But, I hope to continue to have my little spot in our sweet downtown for a very long time to come! It’s hard work, that’s for sure, but the reward is so BIG! It’s definitely what dreams are made of when it brings you so much happiness and such satisfaction to be able to go into that shoppe every day and visit with the most amazing folks who share their time with us!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I had to think about this…..there are so many that have touched my life and as a whole should receive a deserved shoutout, but I think I’d like to recognize all the STRONG women out there who create in some form or fashion, whether it’s the arts, foods, homemaking, business, being a parent, etc! I was raised by strong, creative women who were always creating something beautiful to share with others! When I was growing up, my mother, her sisters and aunts always had some form of a project on our dining room table (sewing, painting, creating) and I think that is weaved into my fabric of who I am. Fast forward to now, and there are so many wonderful customers, that stop in to share what they’ve created from products that we sell! It makes me realize that the act of creating and sharing is far-reaching in so many ways but especially to inspire others! So, here’s a huge shoutout to all those that inspire creativity in others!