When Pam Beattie, a stay at home Mom, married for 20 years had a yearning for something more, she focused on her passion for French furniture to launch a new business. Venetian Décor is her boutique upholstery and design house that specializes in creating down duvets, custom filled seat cushions and reproduction French furniture, to name just a few of her offerings. Pam is the ultimate recycler using vintage fur coats to bring a new life to these heirlooms and re-purpose them for something new and unique.
Pam designs custom pieces that act as windows in time and reflect old world craftsmanship, dedication, and attention to detail. Venetian Décor does not promote the trapping and killing of animals but works exclusively with vintage fur coats to ensure that these historic resources are refashioned into useful and appreciated products.
According to Pam:
“Our mission is to imbue a little corner of your life with some old world magic and elegance by re-purposing vintage items and giving them a modern twist. My love of beautiful vintage fur coats and French furniture inspired me to create this line of products for you to enjoy for many years to come.”
A Little Bit of History Preserved
Her signature pieces are beautiful one-of-a-kind furnishings and throws made from vintage fur coats and buttons just like great-grandmother owned. “We are based in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia, where the pioneer spirit of early fur trappers and adventurers still whispers through the spruce and fir at night, and the hopes of gold-seekers echo down the wild rivers.” For Pamela, working with re-purposed fur coats and vintage rhinestone buttons and jewelry is a chance to imagine a moment in time in a world of horse-drawn buggies and mink capes to bring a touch of old world elegance into the busy modern world.
Pam came up with the prototypes for Venetian Décor in her home studio, an 800 square foot space where she also sells her creations. She uses Italian made and imported French furniture as well as antique French furniture for her pieces. The soft Italian made leathers, natural silk fabrics and ribbons, plus natural down cushions and wool are the ultimate in eco friendly materials.
Her first big break came from an Interior Design Show in Vancouver, BC where she showcased her wares. A writer profiled her business and featured a two page article in the Vancouver Sun newspaper with photos, and the official buzz began. The writer tackled the animal rights issue and deftly wrote that re-purposed fur means that no animals have died today. It also means that no faux fur, with its own environmental issues including pollution and petroleum based synthetics are being manufactured for these artistic creations.
Pam has her own philosophy about using vintage fur:
“I truly believe that I have found a final resting place for these animals. It’s a way to say that we appreciate you and respect you.
Whether you believe in Pam’s vintage fur credo or not, kudos are due to this mompreneur that has created a viable business she is passionate about.
Venetian Décor has was featured in a high profile article in the Beverly Hills Times magazine. Pam hopes this will introduce her brand to celebrity clientele that could really put her on the map. The Venetian Décor signature style is a blending of shabby-chic, eco-chic, French, Boho and refined but relaxed glamour styles blended together for a one-of-a kind design.
The Challenges of a Working Mother
Inspired by her own creative mother who was a ceramics artist, Pam feels a great sense of accomplishment with her new business venture. She still loves being a mother but finds this new work fulfilling and it gives her a sense of purpose so she can now put herself first. Her husband and family have been very supportive and enthusiastic and her daughters even lend a hand with her pieces.
With a new beginning in her 40’s when her kids are about to leave the nest, Pam is ready to succeed in her new business but admits there are challenges. She is a one woman show and shared that her responsibilities as a wife and mother don’t change with her new business so now she has two full-time jobs!
Without financial backing or business loans available to her, Pam used her savings to purchase the start up materials including reproduction furniture from Italy. She reinvests her profit into the business and keeps her overhead low by working from her home studio. Her husband is a professional in the building industry so he has been helpful as a resource for some basic business fundamentals but Pam has been on her own to learn the trade of the interior design industry. She advises other budding entrepreneurs to do their research about trademark, company name and logo first, and then focus on your product.
Waste Not, Want Not
Inspired by shabby chic queen, Rachel Ashwell, Pam is building her brand on the historic preservation of vintage furs as a way to honor the history of each piece with a new life. Re-purposing has become vogue in the art, interior design, and fashion world so Pam is capitalizing on the “waste not, want not” approach. Since vintage fur can last up to 100 years, her creations make sustainable sense, economically, environmentally, and socially.
Pam was featured on the Canadian TV show Urban Rush and she was recently approached by a jewelry designer to sell her pieces in their store. These baubles are a favorite of celebrities, Tori Spelling and Anne Heche so Pam hopes that they might also consider buying one of her pieces. If you have an heirloom fur coat that you want re-purposed, consider commissioning Pam to make you a custom piece that will live on for years to come.
While Pam is living a new dream with her own business, she is also establishing a practice of re-purposing and recycling items to create new furnishings. This business woman with a conscience feels like a butterfly that has just begun to spread her new wings
Pam’s Advice and Action Steps:
- Don’t overwhelm yourself with a new business, take baby steps and preserve your inner peace.
- Follow your heart and do something you are passionate about.
- Be sure you have a good resource team (family, mentors, etc.) to back you up.
- Go for it because you have nothing to lose by trying.
- Do your homework in setting up your trademark, company name and logo.
Favorite Quote: “You will never know if you don’t try.” Pam Beattie
Venetian Décor http://venetiandecor.ca/
Fur Council www.furcouncil.com