Hermans Steel Garage
While searching for a couch for her new home, Lisa came across Hermans Steel Garage–an Etsy account featuring quality vintage furniture–and could not wait to share her find with everyone at our office. Not only did we all appreciate Mark’s impeccable taste in design but we also love his story:
In 2011, after raising 4 kids in a 3 bedroom, 1 bath brick Colonial, we moved on out into the suburbs into a 1963 mid century home. Up until that time, we only lived in Colonial or Victorian homes. All the furnishings that I had were purchased to suit those houses and when we arrived in our current home nothing looked right. So, I started looking around online for homes like ours and I kept seeing mid-century furniture in all them. They were gorgeous! I bought a piece here and there, got bored and sold them on Craigslist. Then, I kept buying and selling until I thought my livingroom and dining room looked nice. Most of the time, when I sold a piece, I’d have the same Dealers contact me to purchase my stuff. I stalked them and realized that they were selling my $100 items for $500. I thought, “hell, why don’t I do that?” So, I started an Etsy store and began.
My Father, Herman, had just built a huge steel garage to house his boat and convertible and said that I could use some of the space to sell things. In no time flat, I was taking over 75% of his garage. So, to thank my Dad I named the shop Hermans Steel Garage.
When I first starting buying pieces to sell I tried to find items that were in perfect condition. I had no clue how to refinish a piece of furniture and with four kids I didn’t have the time to learn. After awhile, I hired our tenant, Kris, from our previous home, to come and clean the pieces. To my great surprise, she started sanding, reconditioning and polishing. It was great! When I ran out of room at my Dad’s place, I moved everything into storage units. As Winter came, I quickly realized that decision was a horrible mistake–there was no heat, no water and no electricity. Talk about Frozen! So, I bit the bullet and rented warehouse space which had everything we needed. It’s not much to look at but it’s mine! And it seems that as soon as we set up Shop, the pieces moved a lot quicker.
Soon after that, my Friend Melissa started bringing in and working on her own pieces, which I consign. Because of Kris and Melissa making these pieces beautiful, I’m getting pickier with what I chose to sell and how it should look when it leaves the Shop.
I now love and am so passionate about this little business of mine. I’m obsessed with learning as much as I can. Whenever anyone offers advice, I’m all ears and I try to absorb as much information as I can. There are so many incredible people out there with so much knowledge, that at times I’m overwhelmed and feel that I’m not worthy. But I keep plugging away with what I love to do and it seems to be working.
At ANDesign we have an admiration for people with a keen eye for design and a desire to bring about the aesthetic of the past into our modern times. We want to thank Mark for taking time out of his busy schedule to chat with us. He truly as an amazing shop and you guys should definitely check it out when you get the chance!