First Posted: 2/17/2013
Duryea designer Sue Guzik has conquered the common impression that artists work in cluttered, unorganized spaces.
In her new studio, all of her supplies, the silverware, the china cups and bits of colored glass fit neatly in boxes along the warmly-lit wall.
Guzik, of Duryea, is now open for business selling her own upcycled interior decor designs in her shop, Fly Me Home - Handmade and Upcycled Decor, at the corner of Parsonage and New Streets in Hughestown.
Guzik said the new buzzword, upcycle, is a byproduct of the green movement and means taking unwanted items, freshening them up with some artistic flair and re-purposing them to be useful.
Most of her merchandise serves a purpose never imagined by the items' original creators. Spoons flattened into bookmarks, dirt rakes cleaned up and mounted as wine-glass hangers, old glass cable insulators fitted as candle holders fill the display half of her shop while he other half serves as a studio. A large work counter in the middle of the room will soon host students' projects for decorating and design classes Guzik hopes to hold in the coming months.
Guzik studied public relations at Marywood University. She worked for 14 years as a graphic designer but found she was much happier working with her hands.
The shop name, Fly Me Home, comes from a fascination with birds. She said she wanted to pique the imagination with images of flight and the warmth of home.
A self-proclaimed junker, Guzik finds most of the materials she uses at estate sales and yard sales. She looks for the bargains and, in turn, tries to price her items fairly.
I don't think people should have to pay a lot of money to decorate their houses, she said.
So far, business has been good.
Guzik officially opened the doors of her business on Jan. 26 and is encouraged by the response.
Today, I actually did really well. A couple people came in and I made a couple hundred bucks, she said.
Although days pass with no sales at all, Guzik admits that such days are expected in this kind of niche business. With a limited marketing budget, she uses social media and word of mouth to build her client base.
Fly Me Home is a one-woman operation and Guzik was warned on the outset that she might have to put in 60 or 70 hours a week to make it on her own. However, because she is chasing a dream, what she is doing does not feel like work.
I'm not doing this to get rich, she said. I'm doing this because I have a passion. If I can make a living at it, then that's a bonus.
What: Grand opening at Fly Me Home - Handmade and Upcycled Decor
Where: 299 Parsonage St., Hughestown
When: Saturday, Feb. 23
Time: 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.