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Alliance SBDC News

Refurbished Treasures by Lori Fornero Designs

There are just some people who have a great eye for how to make something new again. Lori Fornero not only sees “the new” in old furniture, her creative eye sees the line and the design and the craftsmanship and adds in new colors and trends and what comes through is the possibility for what it could be Refurbished Treasure! And oh! The Artistry!

“My journey with Furniture Artistry started four years ago.” Lori shares. “I love to be creative and put the time into repairing and designing a beautiful renewed piece that owners will love for years to come.”

When Urban Soak Shoppe in Streator, Illinois, opened in 2018, they approached Lori about becoming her primary retail outlet and becoming a cornerstone vendor within their 306 Main Street space. This opportunity excited Lori, but she did not know what steps to take to actually become a business.

“I luckily found Amy Lambert from the Illinois Small Business Development Center at the Starved Rock Country Alliance.” Lori shared. “Amy helped me navigate how to turn my artistic passion into a business. We worked on ideas for logos, business names, legal paperwork and without her help I wouldn’t be where I am now. I cannot thank Amy and the SBDC enough.”

Today, Refurbished Treasures by Lori Fornero Designs has a great deal of activity to keep it growing. “Since being in the boutique, I have begun offering beginners paint classes both at Urban Soak Shoppe and online. I am now retailing Dixie Bell Chalk Paint and also a fun company called ReDesign with Prima. I get a great deal of activity from audiences on Facebook and YouTube and it has been fun to watch my Instagram grow!”

Lori's smiling face can be seen all over her livestreams and tutorial videos. Facebook and Instagram are big driver for her business, as her followers can watch (and buy) pieces transform from "old and overlooked" to "absolute artistry!"

[Shown above, Thunderstorm - Refurbished Treasures by Lori Fornero Designs]

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