The Worth of Her Work (Interview & Giveaway)

Renee Ann Smith —  June 17, 2013 — 22 Comments
UPDATE: The winner of the Fleur-de-lis wall decor is Peggy! Congrats! Sarah will be contacting you.

God has blessed me with wonderful friends to inspire me along the journey of life. Today I’m featuring a gal I’ve known since she was 19, my sweet friend Sarah Trop. Sarah knows no strangers—she’s one of those folks who brings joy and laughter when she enters the room and makes everyone around her feel special. She loves God, her family, her friends, her church—and interior design. I’ve watched Sarah become a bride, a mother, and now an entrepreneur. I’m excited to share her story & a giveaway today!

fun cycled 8

John & Sarah and the kiddos

How did you get started as a small business owner?
We started our furniture design business, FunCycled, about a year and a half ago because I wanted to be home with my kids—they’re growing up too fast! First, I thought about making jewelry and crafts. Then it came to me: my husband John enjoys building furniture, and I melt over interior design.

Plus, I’ve been painting since I was twelve. Mom and dad paid for us to have art classes. Since we were homeschooled, they figured this would give us more “culture.” (lol.) FunCycled actually started as a blog to show people how we redid furniture pieces in need of new life.

After I ran out ofroom in my house, we began selling what we made. Then people started calling to ask if I could find furniture to custom paint for them or paint furniture they already owned. We’re all about adding the fun in upcycling!

How do you accomplish what you need to while raising the kiddos?
Now THAT’s a good question. More days than not, I start out overwhelmed. Then I ask God for help. He shows me what He has planned for my day and enables me to accomplish all that I have planned.

First thing in the

I always remember that I started all this to spend time with my little ones. So most days I work while they nap. (And, yes, I have 3 and 5 year-olds that still nap!) My hubby is not a night owl so he’s in bed by 8pm, as well as the kids. That leaves me from 8pm to 12am to create. This schedule generally works. But I must admit, my kids know more about paint colors, fabric designs, and the best places to find furniture than most. They’ve even been known to help their Mommy with a paint brush!

What are some benefits you love most about the work?
My favorite thing about what I do is being able to meet new people and create something that brings joy to their home. There’s something special about helping a customer re-imagine a piece of furniture. It’s amazing how a new design, color, or knob can bring a piece to life. Creating a pretty piece of furniture just makes me happy!

How do you decide on projects and where do you sell your pieces?
I really just go with my gut. If I see something that I can picture redone in a certain way, I buy it. If it’s free, I take it and hope the idea comes to me in time.

I sell my pieces on our website primarily but am hoping to have more time to dive into other areas once the kiddos are in school in September.

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The most popular question I get asked is, where do you get all of your pieces? People don’t usually like my reply because it’s not a quick, easy way for them to go get the same thing. I’m always on the lookout for furniture with potential anywhere I go—yard sales, Craigslist, even garbage day. (Yes, I’ve been known to dumpster dive !)

Secondly, people ask me if I can paint furniture they already own or help them find a piece that would work for their home. The answer is YES! We can paint what you have or find what you’re looking for. I have much more access to finding pieces than most people do.

Where are we located?
We are based out of Troy, NY. We don’t have a retail shop—yet. Right now, we do everything in our home and either deliver or hold the piece for pick-up. We have shipped our furniture throughout the country—to North Carolina, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Massachusetts—and we’ll ship to you!

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What’s next for you?
FunCycled has grown so much that it’s more than one person can handle. We’ve been praying about my husband quitting his job and joining me in the business. And we finally have complete peace about this next step. So our exciting news is that my husband will be joining FunCycled full-time! We’ll now have time to custom build furniture and expand into interior painting and color consults.

flur de lis 2GIVEAWAY: To celebrate this new phase of FunCycled, Sarah’s giving away this beautiful wall piece: Fleur-de-lis Cast Iron Hangers with Burlap on Reclaimed Wood. It’s a $25 item that she’ll send to you for FREE! (Also, free S&H, US only.) The giveaway will run until Friday, June 28th.

All you have to do is leave a comment on this post. In that one comment, you can list any bonus entries you’ve completed. You don’t need to leave separate comments. (Since I do have to moderate some comments—especially if you’re new to the blog—don’t worry if your comment doesn’t show up right away.)

**Also, I believe you have to enter your email address in order to comment. Though you can’t see your email address here, I can view it from my blog dashboard. So don’t feel you need to write your email address again in your comment

Bonus Entries:

Thanks for reading Sarah’s story. Have a great day, friends!

This week I’m linking up with Inspire Me Monday, Miscellany Monday, Monday Musings, Hear It on Sunday, Soli Deo Gloria, Unite @Rich Faith Rising, The Better Mom, Covered in Grace, Modest Mondays, GraceLaced Mondays, Raising Arrows, A Mama’s Story, Teach Me Tuesdays, Gratituesdays, Just Write, Titus 2 Tuesdays, Teaching What Is Good, Mom’s Library, Tuesday Tips, What I Learned This Week, Heart and Home, God-Sized Dreams, Domestically Divine Tuesday, Raising Homemakers, Deep Roots at Home, Wise Woman Builds Her House, Tell His Story, Wholehearted Home Wednesdays, Winsome Wednesday, Wise Woman Wednesday, Works for Me Wednesday, Thursday Favorite Things, Thriving Thursday, Hearts for Home, Thoughtful Thursday, Raising Mighty Arrows, Share the Joy Thursday, Time Travel Thursday, Thumping Thursday Blog Hop, Favorite Things, Faith-filled Friday, Bloglovin Bog Hop, Fellowship Friday, Friendship Friday, Freedom Friday, Aloha Friday Blog Hop, Sunday Collective, Heart Reflected, and Weekend Whatever.

Renee Ann Smith

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I teach literature in a Christian high school by day and write inspirational fiction by night. I love to share heart-touching quotes and stories here on my blog. So glad you stopped by!

22 responses to The Worth of Her Work (Interview & Giveaway)

  1. Jackie Wagaman June 17, 2013 at 10:28 am


  2. Love her work!!

  3. I love Sarah’s work! I follow her on Facebook and love seeing each of the new projects she posts.

  4. I have been following Sarah since December, I finally met her last week and she is creating a wonderful dresser for my daughter. She is truly a genuine person with a beautiful gift.

  5. You are right – Sarah adds joy and love to any room she enters by the smile on her face and the way she involves anyone and everyone in the conversation. In this same way she enlivens a room by the furniture she re-imagines and the colors that she chooses. I loved this blog and I wish her and her husband much success as they continue to grow Funcyled. I am sure God has great things in store for them.

  6. Beautiful refurbishing 🙂

  7. What a fun, fun post today, Renee! I had fun following all the links — liking the FB page, following the Pinterest boards, signing up for email, & visiting the blog. I love the coffee table with the tree branch!!

  8. Thank you so much for this beautiful post. What you said in the beginning brought tears to my eyes. I’m so blessed to call you friend. 😉

  9. what beautiful pieces, sarah. thanks for sharing 🙂

  10. Wow, what lovely pieces! Made me miss our little shop we had in NW Missouri before we went overseas in missions work. Now in no way am I comparing our work to yours!! We made Pottery Barn style cubby shelves for entry ways. But I digress…I am in love with the grey and cream hutch! I sold most of my favorite pieces when I went to Latvia including my beloved refurbished Hoosier cabinet 🙁 It was a gorgeous piece in perfect condition inside and out.

    Anyway, I followed you on email, Pinterest, facebook and the blog. Blessings!

  11. lovely! Thank you for sharing at the hop xo

  12. What beautiful items! I’m particularly fond of fleur de lis anything!

  13. Love this piece, it would look great in my apartment, thanks for the giveaway.

  14. How does one pick a favorite?!? I think it’s great that they can do this as a family!
    I have also liked them on facebook…
    am following them on pinterest…
    and if I *must* pick a favorite, I chose the grey dresser with black glazing… but I really like several of the pieces! 🙂

  15. I love her work! Everything looks super great!

    I followed her facebook page (Shannon Faith).
    My favorite item is the Pale Grey Hutch! Its gorgeous!
    Pinterest follower (Shannon Faith).
    Email follower (same one I used to comment).

  16. What a neat giveaway!! I loved learning about her business. I also love seeing projects like this done.

    •+1: Follow FunCycled‘s Facebook page here. (done)
    •+1: Visit the FunCycled Blog and tell us your favorite item. (done)
    •+1: Follow one of the FunCycled boards on Pinterest. (done)
    •+1: Sign up to receive email updates from FunCycled. (done)


  17. I like the FunCycled FB page
    Crafty N.

  18. My favorite item is the 1930′s Sideboard Buffet – Tuesday’s Treasures

  19. I am following the Helpful Ideas board.

  20. I signed up for the newsletter

  21. I love your work, Sarah! I especially like the chair. It’s exquisite! I love to paint and refinish furniture too, but have put most of my creative skills into blogging in the past few years. But bravo for you making this into a business that not only can support/employ you but your husband as well! Thanks to Renee Ann for sharing this and linking it up at Wedded Wed. I enjoyed it immensely and will share about it on FB.

  22. (1) I think these pieces look so cute!

    (2) I liked FunCycled’s page on facebook.

    (3) On the home page I saw a picture of a dresser with a little monster painted on the very front. That would be my favorite!

    (4) I followed FunCycled’s pinterest boards (my pinterest is

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