Giving Ourselves Credit for Our Skills

woman artist

I never thought of myself as a teacher or an artist.

I opened The Salvaged Boutique, a brick and mortar store in Lakewood, Ohio with my sister a little over two years ago.

We had a vision for a home decor boutique with an open studio. The studio would serve two purposes: first, a workshop area filled with tools for us to upcycle and refurbish furniture and second, a studio space to offer creative DIY workshops.

Our workshops range from how to paint furniture with chalk-style paint, how to make paper flowers, personalized wood signs, ombré painted pumpkins, winter wreath making, painted pallet signs and more.

Recently, I’ve noticed the compliments and feedback my sister and I receive about being good “teachers.” Huh?

And then someone recently asked me, “Are you an artist?” I paused… it was a long pause. I seriously had to think about this one. I casually responded with “Sure,” all the while doubting myself.

So, I started to think about how rewarding the past two years have been. How satisfying it is to see women and men walk into our studio, quiet and reluctant to think they can actually craft or DIY. To witness how they are filled with joy once their projects are finished. They leave our studio happy and feeling accomplished.

I thought about all of our clients who have entrusted us with their furniture for custom painted services. Who book color and design consultations with us so we can give new life to their old buffet or dining room set, and how pleased they are when they walk in and see the “after.”

And then I realized WE make this happen. It’s me and my sister who have visions for our upcycling projects, who come up with designs, who create the makeovers, design the workshops, create the lesson plans and inspire and motivate our students to create their own masterpieces.

That’s when it hit me: YES we are BOTH teachers and artists.

Over the past two years, we often encourage students to believe they are “artsy” and “crafty.”

I’ve identified myself as an entrepreneur, so why haven’t I encouraged or allowed myself to believe I’m an artist or a teacher?

No more. I’m owning it. I’m letting myself step out of the box that I kept myself in for many years. I’m giving myself credit for these skills.


What are you giving yourself credit for this year?

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Kathy Cruz

Kathy is half of the sister-team that makes up The Salvaged Boutique. Sisters from the Cleveland, Ohio area who love to decorate and resurrect old and salvaged items, Kathy and Karen are pickers, DIY'ers, thrifters, upcyclers and furniture refurbishers. Their dream of owning a storefront became a reality with a home décor shop and studio opening on October 24, 2015 at 13383 Madison Avenue in Lakewood.

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