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#1: The Origin Story of MelDidItHerself

Updated: Sep 28, 2022

Welcome welcome WELCOME my friends to the inaugural podcast. Holy shit. I am so excited to be finally taking on this exciting project that has been living in my head for some time now.


Some of you might be joining me from my community over on Instagram or Tiktok at MelDidItHerself, or you might have just come across this when searching for something new to listen to, or better yet, maybe you had a friend tell you to check it out. Whatever the reason, I want to thank you so much for joining me over here and I intend on making this a space full of educating, motivating, learning as we go, and sharing all aspects of my journey in furniture refinishing and business with you.


So let’s take a step back and let me tell you why I felt a podcast was the next right step. Since early 2020 around the time of the pandemic beginning, podcasts have quickly become a really big part of my everyday routine. When lockdown started for us here in Canada in March 2020, I found myself having a lot more free time in my day without a whole lot to fill the void. I found myself consuming a lot more content, and that was around the time my obsession with DIY and home décor and furniture makeovers started.


So I was filling a lot of that empty time with YouTube videos and tutorials, watching all of these great creators who were guiding me through so much information and teaching me how to do so many of the things I know how to do today. And I was totally hooked, and worked my way back through the catalogue of videos that these great DIYers had available online but then after awhile I found myself kind of waiting for them to upload every week, I would sprint through all of the videos because I was so excited for what they would be sharing, and then I would be waiting for the rest of the week for them to upload more.


But what I also realized during that time is that I was spending a LOT of time sitting on the couch watching these videos, and being the busybody that I am, it wasn’t aligning very well with me as a long-term approach to learning and entertainment. For awhile I would carry my phone around in one hand while trying to tend to the chores around the house or whatever it was that I was doing.


But then one day when I was looking through Spotify for new music to listen to, I realized there was a Podcast category in the app that I had never REALLY explored or thought about. And I obviously knew what podcasts were before that, but I had never really looked into if there were any that would interest me. So I did, there was, and fast forward to today, basically any static air that I have in my day, I will throw in my AirPods and listen to a podcast.


I love them for entertainment purposes, but more than that, I find it is such a useful way for me to work more learning into my days and to keep me motivated and on track. It’s a way that I can learn passively, while getting into a state of flow with whatever I’m doing and passively plug away at my To Do list while focusing on the content.


I love listening to podcasts geared towards entrepreneurs, content creators and furniture refinishers, and covering topics like personal finance, finding focus, marketing, goal setting, personal development, career success, health and wellness, and then maaaaybe a sprinkle or two of true crime and some of my favourite comedians.


These podcasts have been such an invaluable resource to me and my personal, professional, physical and mental development over the past couple years and I owe it to the podcast hosts and creators who show up every week to bring this knowledge to me. So I figured, what the hell’s holding me back from bringing what I know to others, too? Soo here we are, because I try not to overthink things and let it get it my way. Better to beg forgiveness than ask permission, or something like that…


Anyways, let’s talk MelDidItHerself and what you can expect from me every week when we show up here together.


I mentioned earlier that I started to become a DIY and home décor fanatic around the time of the beginning of the pandemic, and that space is where I started seeing people doing furniture makeovers and absolutely transforming the pieces they either already had in their homes, or came across. I honestly wouldn’t even say that I was especially drawn to that aspect of interior design or anything, but I was just picking up tips as I watched all of this content and got a general idea of what steps went into a project like that.


So then when I got on one of my organization sprees one day amidst the uncertainty of the beginning of COVID and trying to control my surroundings, as I have a TENDENCY to do.. I began rearranging our basement and came across some furniture pieces my parents had brought to us when they last visited.


We had bought our first home the summer before, in August 2019, and were slowly furnishing and decorating it over time and I’m honestly not even sure if my mom had brought it thinking that we could use it, or she might have just wanted to clear the clutter it was causing out of her home, but she brought us my late grandma’s sewing table and a set of her nightstands.


All were solid wood, vintage, well crafted, and though they were definitely showing their years of wear, they were still in one piece and actually pretty ideal in terms of size for our space. So as a make-work project I decided to giv’er a go and make the sewing table match the boho vibe I was slowly bringing to our guest room.


Aaaaand I spray-painted it. Fully. Like took 3 cans of emerald-y hunter green spray paint and sprayed the fuck out of it. Which, knowing what I know now, DEFINITELY wouldn’t be my first thought or approach but I gotta say, it turned out looking pretty great and has held up great since then so, fair enough. Another great reminder not to overthink things too much, amirite??


So that first project gave me the confidence to take on the next project, which were the wooden nightstands. I found an orbital sander on clearance at my local Home Hardware, figured out how to sand down, stain, and seal the nightstands. Again, I would have had a bit more finesse if I were taking the project on today, but ultimately they turned out great and we still use them in our bedroom!


After that, I was rellllllatively obsessed with learning all I could in terms of furniture painting and refinishing and restoration and taking in whatever knowledge I could, in order to keep doing fun new things to the furniture pieces I came across and seeing how they came out. The first projects I took on really did give me the quick wins I needed in order to pump my own tires and give me that confidence boost to keep trying things out, which is why I always recommend trying out a smaller project that’s manageable when you’re first starting out. Although I probably wouldn’t recommend starting off with a family heirloom from a deceased relative because… that could have gone bad for sure.


So today as I record this, it’s over 2 years later and I have started my own furniture refinishing small business in my city of Ottawa, Ontario (shout out to anyone else in the city that fun forgot), and I do content creation to help share the knowledge that I have picked up over the years from awesome creators who were doing the same for me to pay it back.


I have absolutely loved the community that I have found in this space, both with other furniture refinishers around the world who are constantly inspiring and teaching me more and more, and those who follow me on social media and support and motivate me to create every day, and the amazing clients I have had the opportunity to refinish a piece of furniture for. I can honestly say that this journey has filled me up in such a meaningful way and I wake up every day excited to plug away at a project and create, so thank you for being a part of that. Even if today is your first day joining me!


But I do need your help - because I want this podcast to be the best and most useful it can be for you so I need to know, what would you like me to cover? I want this to be a space both for someone who has never taken on a furniture refinishing project of their own but is interested in learning more, as well as for hobbyist refinishers who are maybe thinking of turning it into a business, to seasoned full-time refinishers alike.


I’ll bring you the no BS approach to how to tackle furniture painting and refinishing projects, any lessons I’ve learned along the way in terms of starting a business doing this and navigating everything within that world, and how together we can bring new life to the old and unloved.


But I wanna know specifics - so help me out and go check out my Instagram post on my page @MelDidItHerself about launching episode 1 of this podcast and leave me a comment letting me know any topics you’d like to see covered, specific questions you have, or just let me know if you’re excited for more episodes to come! If you’re interested, you can also follow me on TikTtok and YouTube, both are @MelDidItHerself.


And something you may not know about me… I love little motivational messages. They literally always get me fired up, and I keep a running list of ones that are especially catchy or speak to me in the Notes app on my phone. So I’m going to end every podcast episode with one of those that I have noted down over the years, in hopes that you leave our time here each week feeling inspired, motivated, and ready to take on whatever comes your way that week.


So this week’s Mel’s motivational message is: One Day or Day One, you decide.


Today is another Day One for me, my friends. What are you going to choose for that goal or project that you’ve had in your mind? Take it on one day, or decide that today’s Day One?


Alright, that’s it for now, I appreciate your time, and I’ll catch you guys next week!


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