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Father and daughter enjoy creating new from old at FarmGirls Fun Findings in rural HL
Monday, May 13, 2013

By Jennifer Kotila
Staff Writer

HOWARD LAKE, MN – A new occasional store featuring shabby chic, rustic, vintage, and one-of-a-kind furniture and home decor opened its doors last November.

FarmGirls Fun Findings features refinished, repurposed, and furniture custom-made from old barn wood.

Kimberly Birkholz Wiegert and her father, Wayne Birkholz, work together to find the old pieces, fix them up, or create new items for the home.

“It’s something we can do together,” Birkholz said.

Wiegert started off working on old furniture piece by piece for her own home, which she shares with her husband, Dana; and daughter, Jenna, 8, and two of her “bonus children” (stepchildren) – Colton, 13, and Payton, 11.

Her other two “bonus children” – Jordynn, 22, and Garrett, 18, no longer live at home.

She had been working full time at Wagner Spray Tech in Plymouth, but eventually decided to start refinishing and creating pieces to sell.

Soon, she decided her life was taking a new direction, so she quit her job and continued to work on furniture to keep herself occupied.

Her father became involved when she needed help fixing some of the furniture – he has all the tools.

Not only do Wiegert and her father refinish and repurpose old furniture, but they also custom-make new items using old barn wood.

Wiegert noted her father’s skill at looking at a piece and knowing what can be done with it.

The two find old, real wood furniture at local garage sales, thrift stores, auctions, and by word-of-mouth.

“We can’t decide if its more fun finding the old stuff, or fixing it up and selling it,” Wiegert said.

One of the goals at FarmGirls Fun Findings is to keep prices reasonable so the average working person can afford to have unique pieces in their home, Wiegert noted.

For instance, a refinished or repainted dresser, made out of solid wood, is typically priced between $40 and $60.

Customers can also have Wiegert and Birkholz custom-make a piece of furniture for their home out of old barn wood.

“I like to see something old turned into something new again,” Wiegert commented.

One of the ways in which FarmGirls Fun Findings repurposes old furniture is turning head- and footboards from old beds into benches with storage under the seat.

Indoor/outdoor cloth is typically used for the seat so people can use the bench in both settings.

“They’re cute at the end of the bed or in an entryway,” Wiegert noted.

Another custom-made piece in the store at this time is a children’s craft table, made from an old sewing machine cabinet with chalkboard paint on the inside ofthe lid.

An old, wheeled chicken coop has been turned into a unique coffee table; and a drawer, door, and screen window have been used to build a decorative storage piece.

The store also features frames and hand-painted signs made from old barn wood, and there are a number of small decorative items the owners have picked up along the way at auctions and garage sales.

Wiegert and Birkholz are always looking for old furniture, barn wood, and hardware pieces (doorknobs, hinges, hooks, etc.) to use for their creations.

FarmGirls Fun Findings is open occasionally, and sales information can be found on its Facebook page.

The store, located southwest of Howard Lake on 100th Street, is scheduled to be open one weekend per month through next fall – May 23-25, June 27-29, July 25-27, Aug. 29-31, Sept. 26-28, and Oct. 24-26.

However, people can also call Wiegert at (763) 300-1771 to set up an appointment, or message her on Facebook.

A link to FarmGirls Fun Findings Facebook page can be found under featured links at www.heraldjournal.com.

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