We had the good fortune of connecting with Cynthia Rowley and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Cynthia, what’s the most important lesson your business/career has taught you?
The most important lesson I’ve learned is follow your heart, values and your beliefs. I ran a successful decorative painting business for 25 years prior to owning my own store front. I found Annie Sloan Chalk Paint almost 12 years ago, when asked to become an independent retailer I knew I could help others become successful with their painting projects. Her paint was outstanding and different from any other paint I had tried. I also dreamed of owning my own store, her paint allowed me to make that dream come true. I started out in an industrial area with a small decorative painting studio, but I wanted to evolve into my own store. When customers came to learn how to transform furniture pieces I wanted to have other items to help them decorate as well. Having worked with many top designers and been in many homes over my painting career I knew what kind of store I wanted to own, design came very easy for me. I was complimented all the time on how my little industrial space was decorated.  Six years ago Refined Vintage Boutique opened for business. I get to create amazing decorative spaces to inspire and show others how to decorate their homes. I had a customer just the other day say “I just want to go grab a cup of coffee and stay here awhile to take it all in,” that is why I do what I do. I bring in unique vintage items that you won’t find in many other places. We now have evolved into a full home decor, furniture and gift store as well as our painting line. I feel blessed to be able to meet so many wonderful customers and encourage them as well.  

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
When I chose to stay at home to raise my family I was able to tap into my creative side. Being creative or painting always came easy for me, don’t get me wrong I’m not the kind of artist to draw figures on the walls. My specialty became wall finishes, venetian plaster etc. My husband was a firefighter so it allowed me to work on days when he was home. I always took various lessons or worked with other artisans to learn my trade. I was involved with a group back in 1994 and worked on a ceiling in downtown Los Angeles applying real 24K gold leaf to the ceiling. I have worked in many homes and businesses over my career. I had a customer ask me once why I did most of the work myself, he said if I added a crew I could really grow my business. That’s not what I wanted though, I am a perfectionist and am very particular on each and every job I do. I wanted to oversee every detail and how the finish looks without losing that in a larger company.  That’s why customers hire me. I have worked on various big projects, for example making concrete look like limestone, but applying Venetian Plaster became my love.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love living in Los Angeles and being able to go to the city and the beach all in one day.  I love walking on the beach, collecting sand dollars and enjoying sunsets.  I would take a friend to the ocean, grab some local food and enjoy.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My shoutout to my story would be Annie Sloan Interiors. They are based in Oxford, England and are now celebrating 30 years of business. Annie Sloan is a wonderful person, her paint is unmatched in the world, she has “Stockists” (an english term for people who carry and stock her paint) all over the world. A little over 10 years ago I attended my first workshop using her paint. I realized the value of the paint, being able to stick to almost any surface with very little paint and prep.  I knew I could use it in my painting business and save so much time as well as producing a wonderful finish mostly for furniture. I was then asked to become a Stockist and sell her paint. I have watched our brand grow into an amazing wonderful “Family” business. She takes pride putting her paint into independent stores which are all a little different. She encourages us to inspire others constantly. I wouldn’t be where I am today with my beautiful store if I hadn’t become a Stockist.

Website: https://www.refinedvintageboutique.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/refinedvintageboutique/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CindiRowley
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CindiRowleyDesigns
Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/refined-vintage-boutique-valencia
Other: https://www.pinterest.com/cindirowleydes/_created/

Image Credits
Most were taken at Refined Vintage Boutique, some actual workshops being held. Chair before and after was done in Oxford England at Annie Sloan Interiors in 2018.

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