From Humble Beginnings Great Things Grow

As a Savvy Furniture Painter you know just how good it feels to choose a piece of furniture. Along with your brush, paints and then the first dip of your brush into the pot. The delicious first swipe of paint on your project and you are away.

That’s it, right there. The first swipe. There is nothing quite like it.

So many painters in this boutique industry are in it for themselves, to see how much money they can make, or take off others. Their primary aim is narcissistic intention. However, when you get painters that are community minded, magic happens.

Jenny Morton from The Not So Shabby Shed in Greenhills is one such savvy furniture painter. Each week Jenny spends a class period teaching all aspects of furniture painting to The Lake Macquarie Adolescent Support program (LMAS)

Once a year the LMAS program runs what they call a Humility Project. This is where the kids spend 10 weeks preparing and painting items that are then auctioned off (in the Not So Shabby Shed) and the money is donated to their choice of charity. It goes beyond that first swipe of paint though. Jenny also teaches marketing skills, staging and photography. The kids get the joy of each aspect of furniture painting right through to the auction. And we know how amazing it feels when someone buys our refinished furniture.

Some of the things they learn include preparation – cleaning and sanding, applying paint, distressing, paint types and finishes, and furniture styles. Retro – from the past, Cigar legs, Queen Anne (who is she anyway right?) and then there is Matte (probably from Queen Anne’s era) Finish and Sheen.

Guys love to decoupage too. Check out Tupac on the cupboard there.

The Humility Project is called Humble Beginnings.

It’s mission statement is following:
At Humble Beginnings we believe that no act of kindness is too small. We strive to empower ourselves and others through the act of giving. We are grateful for the generosity of others towards us, and in turn we aim to pass on this generosity to others through our furniture restoration project.

“People don’t buy the product, they buy the belief” of what it can do for them, and how it makes them feel. This applies to everything, people buy the belief of how it makes them feel. As savvy furniture painter we have several ‘checkpoint’s’ of how things feel. And our customers buy our furniture on how it will make them feel every time they see it.

“People don’t buy what you do, they buy ‘why’ you do it.” So much so that in 2016 Humble Beginnings raised through auction, $1208 which was generously donated to Alzheimer’s Australia. $862 was donated to the Cancer Council in 2017.

How’s that for amazing feels?

This community project seeks to give an incredible amount to all those involved and recipients at all levels. Everybody wins. And that, feels amazing. I believe in that.

From Jenny

“I truly love my day job with these kids and to be able to incorporate my painting passion to help not just the kids but the wider community is amazing.”

Participants are so proud of their painted works of art, the ones they can take home. New Savvy Furniture Painters in the making. 

The program has wider reaching impacts, such as being able to open up as to what is possible for the future. This 10 weeks shows fundamental and foundational steps to move forward to achievement, and most importantly, teamwork and selfless contribution to others without digesting themselves in the process .