Designer Bios

The 3rd Annual DIY Contest and Auction will be on Friday, October 13, 2017!

Last years designers….

Donna Kennell and Greg Jordan                                                    Donna and Greg

Tell us about yourself:

“My husband and I own Refab-ulous Furniture at 5950 Seneca St, Elma, NY.  We specialize in upcycle, repurposing, and making custom furniture, lighting, and decor.”

Why do you want to participate in the DIY Contest?

“To raise money for Habitat for Humanity Buffalo and to raise awareness of our great business.”

Jackie Hausler                                                                                         jackiehausler

Tell us about yourself:

My husband and I run haus2home.com.  The goal of haus2home is to reinvent and re-purpose furniture and accessories to help people furnish their homes as we did ours.  Along with that, we also seek to teach and inspire others to get creative with DIY projects and old items to give them a new a new chance at life; avoiding the dumpster blues like the plague.

Why do you want to participate in the DIY Contest?

“I love reclaiming, reusing, upcycling,  and doing what I can to help the earth.  I feel like this competition is a great way to do that while also raising money for a very worthy cause.”

Andrew Emerson                                                                                 aemerson10

Tell us about yourself:

“I am the owner of Emerson James Inc. Custom Lighting and Fabrication. I’ve been involved in the lighting industry for over 13 years and 2 years ago founded my own business to create one of a kind lighting fixtures and furniture for individuals and businesses.  We currently co-op a space with Wrafterbuilt Furniture at 1376 Hertel Ave, Buffalo. Between our two businesses there isn’t much we can’t make for your home or business.”

Why do you want to participate in the DIY Contest?

I always try and stay active with the community and look for new and creative ways to give back to a region that has always been very kind to me. This contest appears to be a great new way to do so.”

David Spear                                                                                               david spear

Tell us about yourself:

“I am a woodworker in the Buffalo area.  I am from Oklahoma City, OK moving to Buffalo chasing grand kids.  I feel I have a creative mind and a large skill set to bring any idea you have to life.”

Why do you want to participate in the DIY Contest?

“I feel like this is a good way to use my gifts and talents to help those that find themselves needing a hand up.”

Rob Baird                                                                                                           baird woodworks

Tell us about yourself:

“I am the owner of Baird Wood Works.  I enjoy working with junk other people throw away; turning discarded materials into functional and beautiful furniture that people can use for years to come!”

Why do want to participate in the DIY Contest?

“To help raise money for a good cause!”

Heather Larson                                                                                                   HeatherLarson

Tell us about yourself:

“My name is Heather Larson.  By day I’m a Human Resources Professional.  In my free time I love being crafty.  Along with my husband Brian we have made home improvements, crafted items from nothing, upcycled existing items, and do this for ourselves, friends, and family.”

Why do you want to participate in the DIY Contest?

“I love the ReStore.  So many items in my home have come from the ReStore.  This contest gives me the opportunity to show others what great items the ReStore has and how you can incorporate these items and hopefully inspire you all for a fantastic cause.”

Shawn Faulkner                                                                                     1168399_1039609362719227_1117132422_a

Tell us about yourself:

Five Acres Furniture & Design by Shawn Faulkner is a custom furniture and built in designer and fabricator.  My products come from my love love for nature and wanting to utilize the natural cycle of fallen old growth materials to enhance your living spaces.”

Why do you to participate in the DIY Contest?

“It’s for a good cause and love making things.”

Jenna Smith                                                                                               jennasmith

Tell us about yourself:

“When I’m not coming up with a billion ideas for DIY projects, loading my garage with new items, and experimenting, I work in Marketing at the University at Buffalo.  I am also the co-Founder and Director of Adventure at the Beyonder Academy, a creative education initiative in partnership with the International Center for Studies in Creativity (ICSC) at SUNY Buffalo State for youths and educators.

Why do you want to participate in the DIY Contest?

“I have a passion for thinking creatively about how to be resourceful and perhaps repurpose items.  As I have begun to seek out items for projects the ReStores are the first places I look.  The DIY event sounds pretty cool and whatever is created goes to a good cause.  Sounds like a win-win.”

Meghan Sullivan                                                                           Habitat_Nieman_018

Tell us about yourself:

“I DIY and do rehab projects for fun in my free time.  I haven’t begun selling products at all besides on craigslist, but I’d like to start that in the future.”

Why do you want to participate in the DIY Contest?

“I’ve wanted to get involved in Habitat for Humanity ever since I helped with a house for my friend’s basketball team back in college.  I seriously thought about it a few years ago by got busy with work.  I like how this event allows you to put your own flare on things to sell for a good cause.”

Beverly DiPalma                                                                                    beverly

Tell us about yourself:

“My background is in graphic design, marketing communications, and art direction – currently freelancing.  I’m a part-time watercolor Artist and owner of Painting Uncorked – step-by-step paint parties for birthdays, bachelorettes, corporate team building, etc.  Create your own watercolor masterpiece.

Why do you want to participate in the DIY Contest?

“I want to give back.  I’m excited to help out Habitat for Humanity.  I want to use my creative juices in a medium other than paint and digital.”

Erin Gurnett                                                                                               1044906_644661255546640_220039841_n

Tell us about yourself:

“I am a crafter, a mom, a wife, a student, and a human service worker.  In my free time I love to incorporate crafting, art, and family time into activities.  I belong to a women’s craft group that completes monthly craft projects, we call it our ‘Pinterest Group’.”

Why do you want to participate in the DIY Contest?

“I enjoy turning unwanted items into treasures, to creatively repurpose items to fit a need.  I enjoy working with my hands, crafting, and a challenge.  I see potential in everything and love before and afters.

Hannah Malinowski                                                                            12390962_10154382741747802_8623520799024528645_n

Tell us about yourself:

“My name is Hannah and I am a Buffalo State graduate.  I studied fine art throughout my schooling, specifically Painting.  I have been been painting furniture for the last ten years.  Mainly, I focus on creating custom functional artwork.  My designs tend to be very colorful and graphic.” Check out Hannah’s work here.

Why do you want to participate in the DIY Contest?

“I love the idea of creating something for a cause and getting my artwork out there for everyone to see and enjoy.”

Melissa Swiatek-Odien                                                                     72ebc4_ee85ffb73b164426bad058a0905145db

Tell us about yourself:

“My name is Melissa and I am the owner of DIYBflo, an alternative Arts & Crafts supply store and classroom space.  We specialize in second hand and vintage supplies for art, craft, and DIY projects – cool stuff that you can’t find at big box craft stores at competitive prices!  We also host a variety of classes to encourage people to get in touch wither their creative side.  My goal is to promote eco-conscious making through reuse, recycling, and re-imagining.”

Why do you want to participate in the DIY Contest?

“I would like to participate to demonstrate how, with some creativity, it can be fun and satisfying to re-imagine common items into new and artistic purposes and that you don’t need to buy new items or supplies to create great arts and crafts.”

Meredith and Melinda Preve                                                  MUE0RkUwMUYyMEREMzBFOEQ5NEI6ZDhlZGJmZGUxYmU0NThjZGQ5YTE4YjQxNWE0ZTE0ZDM6Ojo6OjA=

Tell us about yourself:

We are a mother/daughter stationery company, The Witty Gritty Paper Co., and we specialize in creating cute & clever greeting cards and Art prints using only the finest watercolors and illustration inks.  We are passionate about preserving the integrity of the artwork and therefore, none of our good are created digitally.”

Why do you want to participate in the DIY Contest?

“We love DIY and repurposing and will take any opportunity to give a plain piece new life.”

Jean Schweikhard   iusb_760x100.11900065_9fvs

Tell us about yourself:

“My background is rooted in Advertising.  I still freelance, but have new interests that keep me busy with various artistic endeavors.  I have my own Etsy shop where I sell prints and wooden signs. I really enjoy working with my hands away from the computer and have recently started doing assemblage pieces and upcycling furniture.”

Why do you want to participate in the DIY Contest?

“I make things all the time anyway, so I thought it would be good to participate in this effort.  It’s a great idea and a great cause.”

Suzanne Pfleger                                                                                  Habitat_Nieman_045

Tell us about yourself:

“I’m employed at Grand Island School District.  I love curbside treasures and DIY projects.  I live by recycle, reduce, reuse (and ReStore)!”

Why do you want to participate in the DIY Contest?

“I love to work on furniture and find creative outlets.”

Mylinda McCrady                                                                                    10920903_10102204109548748_6011284750990062597_n

Tell us about yourself:

“I’m a self-taught portrait artist, but I love experimenting with all types of art media and design.  I belong to a monthly women’s group that we call “The Pinterest Party”.  We have been restoring furniture pieces and creating unique art for nearly 2 1/2 years now.  A few of us from the group have banned together to showcase our talents for this great cause.”

Why do you want to participate in the DIY Contest?

“I had such a blast last year because it spawned so much creativity.  It was fun to work with a partner and this year I’m excited to see what I come up with on my own.”

Stephanie Malinowski                                                                               12390962_10154382741747802_8623520799024528645_n

Tell us about yourself:

“I have volunteered at various Habitat home builds with students from the high school I work it. Habitat is a great organization!”

Why do you want to participate in the DIY Contest:

“I am participating to see if what I envision will be something of interest.  Also to encourage others to be able to look at a used piece of furniture and recreate it.  The contest is a wonderful idea that encourages creativity and looks for creativity to give old items new life.”

Deborah Petronio                                                                                          YKNWF_w120h160

Tell us about yourself:

“The assemblage work I create is both whimsical and funky.  My style ranges through kitsch, to steampunk, to slightly disturbing. One thing that permeates all of my assemblages, whether it be a piece of jewelry or the head of an old doll that opens to reveal a secret compartment is the use of vintage and recycled materials. My goal is to use these materials in new and unexpected ways. Frequently people see one of my creations and it evokes a long lost childhood memory. The doll heads in particular beckon to an past era when there was no plastic, and craftsmanship was seen in everyday objects.”

Cathy Sullivan                                                                                             Habitat_Nieman_018

Tell us about yourself:

“Along with my loving husband I have raised 5 great individuals.  As a duo, Mike and I have completed many home renovation projects together.  The role of “do-it-yourself” is definitely one we embrace and enjoy. More satisfying is now watching our own adult children conquer their own home projects, which we are more than happy to help with.  Professionally, my days are spent in a classroom, currently teaching 6th graders ELA.  I love crafting of all kinds…sewing, making jewelry, needle crafts, and so on.”

Why do you want to participate in the DIY Contest?

“The world needs to slow down and look at waste a bit more carefully.  I love that this contest encourages people to do just that with a creative eye, then use that material to fulfill a new purpose, or restore what once was.  On top of that, the auction proceeds support Habitat for Humanity’s initiative, one that I have supported monetarily.  I look forward to helping out in a more creative, active way.  It is also exciting to be able to share the experience along side of my daughter, Meghan (also a contestant), who last year introduced me to the DIY Contest.”

Mary Ann Kedron, MBA PhD

Tell us about yourself:

Mary Ann recently retired from the University at Buffalo.  Now she has a little more time to pursue her passions of textile art, interior design, photography, and repurposing.  “Working with fabrics and colors allows the creative side of my brain to have fun!”

Why do you want to participate in the DIY Contest?

“ReStore is awesome, this creative exercise is worth the effort and generally it’s fun!”

Margo Davis                                                                                        Margo-Davis

Tell us about yourself:

Margo Davis has been rejuvenating and often donating orphan furniture for fund raising events as a relaxing escape for years.  No two pieces are alike and they often have whimsical titles or themes.

With a background in visual art and theater, she is a voice actor, an actor, and an arts educator. Dedicated to Buffalo’s culture, and social well being, she is also an Arts in Healthcare artist in residence with UB Center for the Arts at Children’s Hospital.

Why do you want to participate in the DIY Contest?

Margo has been volunteering with Habitat for Humanity nationally and internationally for nearly a decade and this adventure is a wonderful way of combining 2 loves for a great cause!

Last year both chair entries brought bidding wars.   One will “grace” Mercy Hospital’s Grace Guest House and the other is now part of a well-known Buffalo art collector’s collection.   Generating such philanthropy toward Buffalo’s Habitat for Humanity is every reason to give it another shot!

Crystal Still                                                                                           crystalstill

Tell us about yourself:

My name is Crystal Still, I am a Designer/Artist/Mother with a passion for furniture!  I have a slight obsession with chairs, I love to reimagine them.  My family and I are new to  Western New York currently living on Grand Island and enjoying the beauty of the area.  I am just getting back into selling my furniture and offering Design & Redesign/Staging  Services in WNY.

Why do you want to participate in the DIY Contest?

Being new to WNY I have been looking for a way to give back and be more involved in the  community.  When I learned of this event I was so excited to have a way to share my  passion for design and restoring furniture and contributing to such a wonderful program  (Habitat for Humanity).  I am honored to have been selected to participate in this event.

Barbara Payne & Ann Jordan 

Tell us about yourself:

Ann Jordan and I have been friends since sixth grade. We both enjoy recreating old furniture to give it new life. Last year, we attended the Restore event where participants flipped Restore finds and decided that we wanted to participate in the 2016 competition. We are looking forward to the competition!
This is our story, just friends, having fun!
Jim and Betty Bender
Tell us about yourself:
Jim is retired and keeps himself busy restoring and repurposing furniture. He resells it through Niagara Emporium at Eastern Hills Mall.  His niece is the one that actually got him interested in doing the furniture and she and his sister are also part of the contest.  His artistic talent is definitely expressed in all of his work and enjoys getting feed back from other artisans.
Why do you want to participate in the DIY Contest?
Habitat for Humanity is a worthy cause and a great way to give back.  It’s also nice to be able to see other contestants interpretations and ideas.  We are so looking forward to the auction.
Kendra Ochal                                                                                   0e817b9
Tell us about yourself:
I am a repurposer, wood burner, & recycler of  things. I can almost always find a reason to keep something considered trash and turn it into treasure some way, some how. My main work is pyrography, however I mix and match combining that process with an upcycle. More of my work can be seen on Facebook or Etsy, www.etsy.com/shop/KengCreations & www.facebook.com/KengCreations
Why do you want to participate in the DIY Contest?
There are a few reason I believe it is important to support the Restore event in Buffalo. 1. It gives a chance for the community to see what can blossom out of local Buffalo artists. 2. It promotes recycling instead of dumping in landfills. & 3. It supports a community member in serious need. The question is…why wouldn’t you support this effort?
Erica Gregoire & Jennifer Hatfield 
Tell us about yourself:
Erica and Jennifer are participating in their 2nd DIY Contest.  As local educators by day they work to inspire youth as a School Psychologist and HS Art Teacher.  In their free time they love sharing design ideas for anything involving decor, home improvement projects, and graphic design projects for their children.
Why do you want to participate in the DIY Contest?
We are excited to combine our creativity to support the community.  We also enjoy the opportunity to carve out some time away from home and work to spend together furthering our passion of creating.
Jason Stabler & Lisa Michels
Tell us about yourself:

My name is Jason Stabler. My fiancee, Lisa and I, own J & L Estate Liquidators and run a  shop called Second Chance Treasures out of Antique World in Clarence. We specialize in  one of a kind, funky, unique upcycled furniture and lighting. We see treasure in what  others may think is trash.

Why do you want to participate in the DIY Contest?

We love to see how happy our pieces make the “right” person. We love the challenge of creating new and different pieces and want to help whenever we can.

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