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Scrub a Dub, Dub, Goats Milk in the Tub!

Welcome, Flat Branch Soap Co. to The Perfect Pair!
Flat Branch Soap Co. began as Flat Branch Farm when we decided our place needed some livestock.  We already had a small flock of laying hens and a nice assortment of fruit trees, so goats seemed like a good fit.  In June of 2012, we brought home three American Alpine goats—two adult does named Vivian and ZaZu, and a cute little buckling named Fearless.  They took to their new home remarkably well and everyone became quite attached to them right away.  Never having raised goats or any other type of dairy animal, I was amazed at how much milk these little creatures could produce!  I was freezing some in case we needed to bottle feed goat kids later on, but we still had so much milk!

I began researching uses
for goat milk and the most popular suggestion was soap.  With a basic soap
recipe in-hand, I made a quick trip to the store and mixed up my first batch of goat milk soap.  After a few days, I chunked it into little bars and let it cure for four weeks…well, maybe just three and a half weeks (patience is not one of my strong points).  The result—it was wonderful!  I gave several bars to a few of my friends and family members and they liked it too. A business was born!

Since then, we have expanded our product line from that signature Plain Jane goat milk soap to include several different lines:  unscented, scented, essential oil, as well as lotions and salves, laundry soap, and 100% vegan soap made without goat milk.  As the soap side of our farm grew, we decided to separate the soap business from the rest of the farm in the fall of 2015.

My products were added to The Perfect Pair around the middle of December.  I was there shopping with a friend and as Wanda was wrapping up our purchases the three of us began chatting. My friend mentioned that I made goat milk soap and other similar-type products.   I told Wanda I would be interested in learning more about the shop if she ever had any openings for more vendors.  Turns out, she did have space for another vendor, and I brought up the display and some products to start off with a few days later!

Even though this whole “soap thing” happened by accident, I feel like it is a perfect fit for me.  My family has been so incredibly supportive and I have had so much fun experimenting with different ingredients and learning the science behind the soap making process.  I enjoy discovering how certain oils and additives change the soap recipe and it is great being able to create exactly what we need, or what someone else is looking for.  I love having someone tell me that one of the products I made helps them with a problem they are having.  Hearing those stories never gets old.  But my absolute favorite part of this little business is all of the amazing people we have met – both customers and other crafters/artists.  I have such an appreciation for things that are handmade, handcrafted, etc. now, more than I did before starting this gig, and I hope you do too.

– Lori Parks


My husband and I live in rural Taylorville, Illinois with our four sons and a crazy pup. Our home site sits just a few miles from the former Flat Branch Ranch (hence the business name!), where my parents still live and farm.

Find the Flat Branch Soap Co.
at The Perfect Pair or visit their website HERE.

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Life With Zoey

My name is Alexis Geggie and my husband and I started Life With Zoey after we had our first daughter, Zoey, in February 2014. We had been thinking about opening up a shop on Etsy while I was pregnant with her, but it wasn’t until The Perfect Pair provided the opportunity to have your own little “store” within a store that I knew this would be something we would love doing!

My husband and I make or DIY almost every aspect of our home. We enjoy working on projects for ourselves and thought, “Why not share what we love doing with other people’s homes too?”  I am very passionate about interior design and as a stay at home mom, creating for our booth gives me a way to keep my focus and passions thriving.  If I had my way, this would be my job, but right now I am lucky that I get to be a stay at home mom and design too!


My husband, Matthew, is very much the labor behind a lot of my ideas. He is so handy that I swear there is nothing he can’t do! Any crazy idea I come to him with, he executes perfectly.  We love our name, Life With Zoey, because this is very much our life. We are parents first and sometimes our date nights just consist of working on projects together after she’s asleep!  What I love most about what we sell is that almost every single item is something we have in our home. You won’t ever see us sell something we don’t love, use, or want in our own house!

Matthew and I couldn’t be more pleased with our decision to share our items with the great customers who are so loyal to supporting small businesses at The Perfect Pair!  Everyone is so helpful and encouraging and we have been very happy here!

Visit The Warehouse soon to see all of that
Life With Zoey has to offer!

Find them on Facebook HERE!

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We’re Opening The Closet!

by Jody Bobbitt

When I first started working at   The Perfect Pair, I told Wanda that someday we need to offer clothing, knowing it would be a great addition to the store!  Several months later, I proposed the idea again with the plan to focus on upscale and vintage clothing consignment.  Wanda, always ready for a new project, responded, “Let’s do it and call it The Closet!”  

The hallway between The Warehouse and The Showroom has always been a “catch all” and never had a defined purpose.  A high traffic avenue through the store, this muddled walkway seemed to be the PERFECT spot for our venture into fashion! 

The original thought was to paint just one wall, but one wall morphed into three and soon we were using wall paper to create a faux tin ceiling and rolling out some new carpet too.

Staying true to The Perfect Pair philosophy to reuse and repurpose, the “new” fixtures for The Closet came right from the store and salvage area; including doors, ladders, chairs, headboards and even a baby crib! 

The Perfect Pair Crew had so much fun working together to transform the space and we are PERFECTLY excited to open The Closet to you!


The Closet will offer upscale, vintage clothing and accessories. Keep us in mind for prom and homecoming season.  If you are interested in consigning at The Closet, please contact the store!

 

 

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The Warehouse Reveal!

After months of painting, building and arranging, The Warehouse is finally shaping up into the inspiring display we envisioned!  With clever names such as Vintage Rust, Tomorrow’s Treasures and Gathering Dust, many of our consigners are now settled into their new booths and adding interesting finds all of the time. 

We are very excited about the opportunity to help build these businesses within our business, while encouraging everyone to reuse, repurpose and cherish the rusty and dusty!

The Warehouse has truly become a showcase of interesting items just waiting to be transformed into a one-of-a-kind project piece or to sit “as is” in the perfect spot in your home. 

 

Stop by soon to claim your Warehouse treasure!

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up with all of the new inventory!

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Furniture Flipping is a Family Affair

Hi, I’m Ann Podbelsek.  When I first walked into The Perfect Pair about a year ago I had no idea it would lead to a new family hobby and business.  Having driven past many times, I kept wondering what that shop was.  I finally stopped one day and fell in LOVE!  When I asked Wanda where all of the items came from and she told me some were her creations, but many were from vendors, I thought, ‘I think I could do this.’

When I have time, I like to go to second hand stores.  This past summer I found myself looking at older, tired looking pieces of furniture thinking they were still good, but needed some new life.  So, I bought four chairs, painted them, recovered the seats and loved the results!  Then, my husband had some kitchen cabinet doors left over from a kitchen remodel.  I decided to paint the doors into colorful chalk boards and add some knobs to spruce them up and make them functional. 

One weekend, our daughter Amanda came home from St. Louis and loved what I had done.  She said she wanted to work on a few projects too.  And, so it began!  From then on, Amanda and I, as well as my husband, always have our eyes out for any “old” pieces that we think we can repurpose or redo to make them appealing again.  As time progressed, the pieces we were finding needed a little more than just paint and fabric.  Lucky for us, there is a master craftsman in the house! My husband Dan soon started helping us take pieces apart and put them back together again or totally build something new! 

As the projects started stacking up, my husband began asking, “What are you going to do with all of this?”  I then remembered The Perfect Pair and decided to give Wanda a call.  She explained the process and I took my first van load over last September.

Many of the projects I took at first were the result of Amanda’s and my hard work.  However, we have had to invoke the help of my husband on more and more projects and found that he enjoys it as much as we do.

We have been repurposing for about a year now.  Amanda works on projects at her home in St. Louis and at our home in Lincoln, IL when she comes back to visit.  Dan and I work on projects anytime we can and find we enjoy spending our time together creating/recreating furniture.  Our daughter Paige has also joined in the fun, refinishing some chairs, a dresser and kitchen table and chairs for her new place.  She more recently has enjoyed making pallet signs for herself and others.
Whether it is a creation we do for family, a client, or The Perfect Pair, we enjoy seeing what we can create!
This daybed swing was custom made for a client referred by The Perfect Pair.

Find more of the Podbelsek Family’s pieces at The Perfect Pair or visit them on Facebook.

Dan and Ann Podbelsek have been married for 30 years and live in Lincoln, IL where she is a special education teacher and he is a private contractor.
They have three children, Paige an English teacher living in Oswego, IL, Amanda a Project engineer living in St. Louis, MO, and Will a college student completing his second year at Monmouth College.

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On The Road to Roanoke

What happens when a bunch of crafty ladies pile into a vehicle and head east? Moments. Moments of fun, laughter and inspiration that will become the cornerstones for a new stage at The Perfect Pair!

When Teressa Rogers and I first met back in May 2012, an instant connection was formed from our very first conversation.  Since then, Teressa has been one of my biggest supporters, encouraging me from day one to go on a research road trip and to give the warehouse a facelift with a fresh coat of paint.  With the daily demands of managing the shop, there just wasn’t a good moment…until now! Only 2.5 years later…

When I knew the long awaited trip to
Black Dog Salvage in Roanoke, Virginia
was finally going to happen, Donna Hayden
was the first person I asked to ride along.
Donna and I have been working together on
and off for over five years.  Always there to
help me finish a big project or work in the warehouse, Donna is true friend and loyal coworker, AKA: the perfect sidekick for a trip such as this!

After much planning, mapping a route, booking rooms and coordinating schedules, we hit the road in search of clever ideas that would inspire the upcoming Warehouse Redo.   A few wrong turns and eleven hours later, we arrived at our primary destination, Black Dog Salvage!


Morning couldn’t come soon enough and the excitement and anticipation made it easy to get an early start on an amazing day! The thrill of meeting the owners and combing through their store left me overwhelmed with joy and filled with inspiration to bring back home.  Black Dog Salvage is the real deal with fun, genuine people who proved true to the personalities they portray on the show.

Although our primary destination was Black Dog Salvage, the journey brought a bunch of other interesting shops across our path as well.  Each enhanced the experience in its own way and brought different elements to the growing pile of possibilities.
Find more about these shops HERE.

All in all, this trip was truly a “moment” I needed to take.  Every mission was accomplished and we collected an excellent list of wants and ideas for the future of The Perfect Pair.   But more than that, it was a moment to collect memories with ones who have helped me along the way.  I am so thankful for all of the great people who contribute to the success of The Perfect Pair.  Each moment of their time is a building block for my vision and I could not ask for more.

Wanda

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Shiny in The Showroom

                            
Have you seen this BEAUTFUL jewelry from Molly Macklin, our Featured Vendor? 
The Showroom is all a twinkle with these pieces and more!

Hi, I am Molly Macklin, a vintage jewelry lover, fashion fanatic, and re-purposing addict.  Five years ago, I needed a necklace for a New Year’s Eve outfit. Anxiously rummaging through my mom’s collection of vintage costume jewelry, I quickly became inspired to connect several rhinestone brooches together. Little did I know that, that one repurposed necklace would ignite a passion for creating unique, one-of-a-kind, statement necklaces!
Having grown up around my parents’ antique store in Findley, IL, I’ve always had a love for old treasures. I moved to Chicago briefly to experience the lifestyle of a big city, which is where I think a lot of my over the top inspiration and style was fostered.  I now live in Argenta, IL with my husband (baby on the way!) and love the adventure of hunting for amazing vintage jewelry to re-purpose. Most of the vintage pieces I find come from antique stores, thrift stores, online or from my grandma-in-law (she also loves hunting for pieces!).  In addition to the statement necklaces, I also redesign brooches, earrings, bracelets, hair pins and headbands.  The flowers on the headbands are taken from an old wedding dress and embellished with vintage rhinestone jewelry.  My newest creations are long layering necklaces, which are comprised of a brooch and a prism from antique chandeliers.  I’ve always been extremely creative and I really enjoy taking something someone has discarded and remaking it into an amazing statement piece that someone else can wear again.
Molly’s jewelry can be found in
The Perfect Pair Showroom.
You can also “view it before you buy it” on Instagram (Mol10004) or
visit her blog www.ameliorez.com.