Rocking the Chair Transforms the Old into Chic Home Furnishings
At Rocking the Chair furniture shop, extreme makeovers occur every day. This shop gives neglected furniture a new life and frequently a new purpose as well.
The shop’s artistic and creative process produces new, eclectic furniture and household accessories from old furniture and other items. These transformations rely heavily upon exceptional woodworking skills, excellent craftsmanship and a large dose of artistic talent.
The shop does many other things, such as build custom furniture, but it specializes in the re-purposing of old and neglected furniture into new, chic home furnishings.
The team that owns Rocking the Chair is as eclectic as its imaginative creations. John and Sharon Kidd moved to Fredericksburg from Alexandria, Va. John was a professional museum display fabricator and his wife, Sharon, was a staff accountant for a large firm.
Sharon and John Kidd, owners and artists at Rocking the Chair. Photo by Larry Faulkner.
Their journey to downtown Fredericksburg began several years ago as the couple worked together to make unique furniture for their own home. They enjoyed the process of rehabilitating and re-purposing old furniture into something new and exciting. Soon, they had orders from their friends to build custom furniture using their unique style. The couple’s success inevitably led to custom orders from friends-of-friends and then outright strangers. The order volume began to grow quite larger.
The Kidd family are certainly not people who do things in half-measures. The couple quit their day jobs and rented space at 915 Sophia St. Rocking the Chair was born. The shop, open about a year now, soon took on the eclectic vibe of its owners. The shop’s furniture changes almost continually due to high demand for their offerings.
Initially, they rented a small space in their new shop to a local artist named Kelly Anderson. Kelly, a fine arts painter, used the space inside Rocking the Chair to display her own work. Soon, however, Kelly found herself collaborating with the couple on their furniture creations. Kelly found that she enjoyed the challenge of painting on furniture surfaces to create impressive works of art. The team dynamic between the three young people clicked. In no time, Kelly was also working full time on the shop’s furniture inventory.
Rocking the Chair partners (l to r) Kelly Anderson, Sharon and John, with Kelly’s son. Photo by Larry Faulkner.
John, Sharon, and Kelly are now partners at the shop. “It is nothing for us to be in the shop, working until 4 a.m. to get a piece completed,” said Sharon. “We all love working together and it makes coming to work such a pleasure.” The team members all agreed that the artistic work, creative collaboration and running their own business has been a dream come true for all of them.
At Rocking the Chair, quality is both their motto and their passion. “John repairs or replaces whatever is necessary to make our furniture sturdy and sound before our creations are ever touched by Kelly or me,” said Sharon.
“Anyone can paint furniture. Our furniture goes through a four-step process before any paint or finish ever touches it. Our processes and commitment to quality make an obvious difference in our products’ durability. If you scratch other painted furniture, for example, many times the paint will easily come off. Ours will not.”
Having just survived a rough winter that negatively impacted all downtown businesses, the team is now looking forward to the blue skies of spring in Fredericksburg. Their biggest challenge right now is keeping their shop stocked. In fact, during our interview, a customer came in and bought two items. He had never been in the store before, but immediately fell in love with their unique style. The commitment to quality, artistic vision, and the team’s creative synergy is sure to keep the business rocking for some time to come.
Rocking the Chair is located at 915 Sophia St. in downtown Fredericksburg. Photo by Larry Faulkner.
Rocking the Chair
915 Sophia, Fredericksburg, Va. 22401
On Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/rockingthechair
John Kidd: furniture maker and woodworker
Sharon Kidd: business accountant, furniture painter, furniture re-finisher
Kelly Anderson: fine arts painter, furniture re-finisher
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