NEW?ULM - Rob and Lori Pietz of On A Whimsy Home Furnishings see beauty in everyday home goods. The two modify and refurbish old and undervalued housewares to create unique pieces. They enjoy enlivening these pieces so much that they have made a business out of it.
At first, On A Whimsy was comprised almost exclusively of larger furniture items, but it soon became apparent that there was a need to expand inventory. Now, in addition to furniture, Rob and Lori sell hundreds of vintage housewares, lawn and garden decorations, rustic home goods and collectibles. Buyers can expect to see lamps, pillows and occasional chairs displayed right next to dressers, coffee tables and desks.
Although the small business has only been up and running for about a year, Rob and Lori had been toying with the idea of refurbishing old or outdated home furnishings and selling them at an affordable rate. In fact, they came up with the name for the business 11 years ago.
A portion of the inventory of ‘On a Whimsy Home Furnishings’ is displayed outside during a sale on Bavarian Blast week. The business, owned by Rob and Lori Pietz of New Ulm, also offers lamps, pillows, occasional chairs, dressers, coffee tables and desks and vintage housewares.
The name reflects the entire goal of the business.
According to Lori, they want to provide customers with a unique variety of repurposed furnishings and other home goods at a reasonable cost so that they can "purchase items on a whim."
Rob and Lori work as a team. Rob acts as the painter and fixer-upper, while Lori focuses on preparatory tasks like cleaning the items, designing the fabrics and touching up the collectibles.
Rob, a production control manager at Beacon Promotions, and Lori, a first-grade teacher at Jefferson Elementary, already have full-time schedules, so much of the work has to take place in the evenings or on weekends. Lori's schedule helps out, too; with summers off, she is able to devote more time to the business.
In the past year, On A Whimsy has held two large sales at their home just outside of New Ulm at 61851 Zempel Drive. The first sale was held in November 2013 as part of the GnomeMade Artisans Market. After exceeding monetary and inventory-based goals, the pair decided to hold a sale in conjunction with the Bavarian Blast and Crazy Days weekend.
Rob and Lori plan to continue the biannual sales with this year's GnomeMade Artisans Market in November on next year's Bavarian Blast weekend. Item-specific sales can be made through the 'On A Whimsy' Facebook page or by phone.
For more information and to see pictures of On A Whimsy's inventory, 'like' them on Facebook.
Rob and Lori Pietz can be contacted directly at 359-3630.