I come from a very creative family where decorating your home was as much important as what you chose to wear. My mother always made an extremely cozy home that was spotless and very Country Living inspired. I remember her painting furniture when I was in grade school with Ralph Lauren paint which was a big deal at the time. The company even asked her to send a picture of her work because it was so different, everyone at the time was paint to update there walls, not furniture.
In 2007, my husband and I moved back to St. Louis from Maui, Hawaii. After living on the island for several years we had acquired plenty of things, but we couldn’t bring much more than clothes back with us because it’s was so expensive. We had nothing and I mean NOTHING. We rented a flat in the city and began hitting thrift stores and estate sales for furniture. We needed every kind of furniture for our home and we were on a very limited budget. As I began to acquire a few pieces I started going to the hardware store and picking up paint and remaking the pieces into what I really wanted them to look like. At the same time I was also the manager at Famous Barr in the cosmetics department as a makeup artist, something I had been doing for 18 years.
"...but my love for home decor and painting transformation had grown to a whole new level. Every room in our house had furniture that I had found in a thrift store or on the side of the road and I had flipped it to give it new purpose and life."
By 2012 my husband and I had our first child, a baby boy, and we relocated to a cute little house in Florissant which was close to my parents. I was still doing makeup, but my love for home decor and painting transformation had grown to a whole new level. Every room in our house had furniture that I had found in a thrift store or on the side of the road and I had flipped it to give it new purpose and life. With the exception of our mattress and couches everything was old turned new!
GreyDays was inevitable! At that point I was selling pieces I had revived out my garage and posting my work online. My friends would contact me to redo their pieces, too. It wasn’t until I had my daughter in 2015 that I finally took my dream and made it come to life. By then my father had retired from working on antiques for over 40 years and I really wanted to take this journey with him. He specializes in staining woods and repairing wood grains so the match was perfect.
When my daughter came along, so many new feelings arose inside of me. I was determined to show her that she could do what she loved, and I would show her that by example. In April of 2017 I found a little hole-in-the-wall building that was falling apart and turned it into a workshop for my furniture as well a location for my wedding makeup business that I had been running for the last 6 years while being a stay at home Mom.
I named the business Grey Days after my daughter Grey Stone Wilkerson because she gave me the inspiration to start the business. I’m not sure if I would have taken that leap if she hadn’t inspired me to think about what I wanted her to see when she grows into a woman. I wanted her to know that you can have it all but you have to hustle and sacrifice, you will struggle and at times fail, but it’s worth doing what you love. Most of all, I wanted to spend my time when away from my family, doing what I loved so I could be the Mom they needed me to be, which was available!
When we moved to our workshop I had been sitting on over 10 different pieces of furniture that I had repurposed. By the time we opened our doors in October I sold all 10 pieces in the first month. I have found that the best part about working with my daughter is how much we get to laugh together and listen to music.
- Lauren Wilkerson,
Owner of Grey Days STL