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We thought we would start off the blog adventure with an article written by our friend and master media consultant Serena Mah. She’s been working tirelessly for us and we are so grateful to have her on our side. 

YEG People

If it is a Friday, I know if I knock on a certain west Edmonton shop, I will find them.

The door opens to reveal two sisters in law wrapped in a buzz of creativity. They look at ease with their hair up, minimal makeup; splashes of paint cover their sweatpants.

They are Reloved, a vintage paint creator and distributor in Edmonton. They describe themselves as makers, who have always enjoyed making something, new again.  And they are giddy with excitement over their latest development.

The paint will soon be in the hands of the entertainment elite.  Persistent calls for more than a year have paid off.  Reloved will appear in swag bags given to performers and nominees at The Grammys® in Los Angeles on February 12.   Each bag includes paint, a brush, glaze and a gift card.  The entrepreneurs describe it as the “pinch me moment with huge potential.”     The move is bold, expensive, costing the company $8,000 but the chance at star recognition could elevate the product’s platform onto a new level.

This dream began nearly 6 years ago by accident. Andrea Vienneau inherited a garage full of furniture and she and sister in law, Dez, thought they could flip it with a bit of paint.   “It was a lot of hard work”, Dez remembers, “We almost died from the paint fumes.”  It was the beginning of an idea.

Reloved and its magic formula eliminates the hard work that usually comes with refinishing an old piece.  “We all have something we are emotionally attached to but its ugly”, Andrea says with a smile.  Now the sanding, priming, and fumes that comes with that process is eliminated.  “It sticks to anything, just clean and away you go”, Dez laughs, “just like that”.

However, the winning formula didn’t come easy.  With a background in chemistry, Andrea, recalls twenty thousand pounds of minerals and powder delivered to her and how her husband carried it all into the garage, in a suit.  “Once you have 20 thousand pounds of anything, you know you are committed”, Andrea remembers shyly. Countless hours of research, mixing and re-mixing, and Reloved was born.

Reloved retails in 45 stores in Canada.  The company hopes to soon expand into the UK.   Reloved features 27 different colours and it plans to experiment with new colours, with a neon fuchsia on the horizon. 

After spending an afternoon with the pair, you easily see how they complement each other.  Andrea is the details person. Always fixing things, ensuring everything is just right.  Dez is very social, the heavy lifter with a power tool and yellow stickies everywhere with her creative ideas.    They won’t reveal what is the secret to their magic paint but they are willing to leave other female entrepreneurs with some advice.  They believe female entrepreneurs should “lean together, not be combative, to lead with love. The most successful ones are the ones who lead with love, with no cattiness, we help each other”, says Andrea and Dez as they finish each other’s thoughts.

-Serena Mah