We had the good fortune of connecting with Abbey Harper of Waterloo Wares and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Abbey, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
Because I enjoy it! I struggled in lecture classes in college, but in all of my art classes I did well and it seemed effortless because I was truly enjoying what I was doing. Each assignment was life-giving instead of drudgery. After having 2 kids and an international move, it was clear that we needed an income boost. When I was considering how I could add some income for our family, it was a natural choice for me to start doing this- something I love and had the ability to do.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I restore and sell Mid Century Modern furniture. I strive to maintain as much of the integrity of the pieces I work on as I can. Sometimes that isn’t possible and I have to use creativity to repurpose an item,
but as a whole I try to keep it original. The designers of these pieces were so intentional in how they drew them up and with the materials they chose and I think that’s really important to honor. So if I find a piece that has been painted, I strip it and restore back to the wood. It’s such rewarding work, especially seeing the final product happily re-homed, where it can remain for 70 more years.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
When I’m in Atlanta, I make sure to stop at 5 Daughters and get an OG 100 layer donut. I also love vintage shopping, of course. My favorite spot is Brick + Mortar and they have the best candles in the world. I love hanging out in the parks and after living in Brazil for 5 years, I find Buteco a refreshing place to stop for a caipirinha or whatever else they have to eat!
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?
My dad always fixed and restored things when I was growing up and now when something breaks, my kids send it to Grandpa. He also has owned his own business my whole life, so I learned a lot from him about all of that. A lot of my abilities started with him and then grew from others who taught me more about this specific type of furniture through online groups. Now I’m able to give advice to people who are trying to work on their own furniture and I’m happy to help, although I definitely don’t know all the answers!
Facebook: Waterloo Wares