The Nokomis business community welcomed a new member, Taylor Trading Co., on Thursday, Nov. 5. Patrons donned their masks to attend the grand opening of the home and furniture store and there was more than enough room for socially distanced shopping in the spacious building located at 316 East State Street in Nokomis.
While the store is new to Nokomis, Taylor Trading Co., has been in operation for the past nine years in Pana. After owner Kim Taylor and her husband George moved to Nokomis they decided to relocate the store to their new home.
“We moved to Nokomis in July and everything just kind of fell into place when this building became available,” Taylor explained. “We are really excited about our new location. It’s a larger space than our former store in Pana, which will give us room to grow.”
Taylor Trading Co. is a second career for Taylor who first took up refinishing furniture as a way to relax from her stress-filled job as a mortgage banker. After retiring from her 35 year career in banking, Taylor’s second act really took off.
“I started painting furniture as a way to relieve work-related stress and my hobby exploded,” Taylor said with a smile. “I started teaching myself how to refurbish by watching YouTube and other online painting tutorials. I also attend annual painting conferences. It’s still work but it’s something that I really love and it is a lot more fun than banking.”
Taylor Trading Co., has a wide variety of refinished furniture and home decor items. Everything but the furniture is new, with the exception of a few antique items. While customers have a large selection of inventory to choose from on the storeroom floor, Taylor also takes commissions to customize items to the buyers’ specifications - either unfinished pieces purchased on site or already owned pieces. She was quick to point out that she strictly paints items, she does not strip them. In addition to a large storeroom, Taylor Trading Co. houses the studio where Taylor refurbishes the furniture pieces that she sells as well as a room for classes.
“Taylor Trading Co. is a Dixie Belle Paint retailer and one of the top 100 retailers in the country selling these products,” Taylor explained with pride. “We offer several different types of painting classes monthly and we hold private parties as well. They are really popular Girls Night Out events. The private parties are open to groups of up to eight people and they can bring in appetizers and drinks. At the end of the night everyone has a newly refurbished piece of furniture or a craft to take home. The classes are really a lot of fun.”
Taylor offers regular classes teaching others painting techniques using the Dixie Belle Paint products she sells in her store. She also offers participants a store-wide discount on the night of the class. All the products needed to refurbish or take on craft projects at home can be purchased from the Nokomis-based store. Class lengths and costs vary depending on the type of lesson. Taylor is offering several different classes in November including a furniture painting class on Wednesday, Nov. 18, a gnome painting class on Friday, Nov. 20 and a Grinch face and Christmas tree craft painting class on Monday, Nov. 23.
In addition to revamping old furniture, Taylor refinishes kitchen cabinets on commission. An in-demand service, Taylor has completed 22 sets of kitchens this year alone and stated that she usually takes on a new kitchen every ten days.
“The customer picks out the color and we redo the cabinets for about ten percent of the cost of buying new cabinets. The doors are all done in my personal studio and then I generally spend around six to eight hours inside the customer’s home painting the faces,” Taylor explained. “It’s a great way to give your kitchen a facelift without the expense of a complete remodel.”
Taylor Trading Co. is also home to Wildflower Boutique, a retail shop offering clothing for women and children, as well as accessories, shoes and custom-made jewelry. Until recently Taylor’s daughter (Devon Thomas) owned and operated Wildflower Boutique out of Taylor Trading, Co.’s store in Pana, as well as a location in Blue Mound. However a recent out-of-state move led Taylor to absorb both locations into her much larger space in Nokomis. Taylor is open to taking on consignments in her new shop and hopes to expand into offering items made by local artists.
Taylor Trading Co., is open Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesdays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Many of her items are viewable online at her page on Facebook. She is currently offering curbside pickup for customers that are leery to shop in-person.