I am a furniture refinisher with my own small business in a very small town in NY. I started out over twenty years ago out of necessity (I was poor, and I had a lot of donated furniture from some fantastic friends). I was able to turn my necessary hobby into a business, and I've been fortunate enough to have been able to work for a very high end custom furniture designer for a few years prior to starting my business. Most of what I do, I've picked up along the way from some very knowledgeable people and a lot of trial and error.
While I specialize in refinishing, I also like to dabble in making small items like boxes and miniature halloween caskets (strange, yes....fun...yes and they can also be used for a beloved pet that may have passed away). I'm able to do some gold leaf work, faux finish work, and I have recently (within the past year) begun using only Danish Oil finishes with a waxed lacquer topcoat. I make up my own alcohol based stains when I don't use the danish oil.
I do a lot of home improvement, usually by the seat of my pants, but so far, so good!
After a recent accident to my store, since I've had to rebuild nearly from the ground up (thank goodness I didn't lose any tools in the process...) I've decided to revamp the structure of my business...no more refinishing, but I'm going to devote more time to my small projects like boxes, knife scale replacement, guitar picks and maybe even try my hand at some cutting boards.
-- Sue (Susan) Mad Jester Woodworks, "Not what I have, but what I do is my kingdom" Thomas Carlyle