KIRBY’S CREATIONS

This week’s featured business spotlight is Kirby’s Creations—a furniture restoration business ran by two of the sweetest people you’ll ever meet. I got to sit down with them and learn a little more about what goes on in the quaint, little shop in their lovely backyard. They were also gracious enough to host my little sidekick, and provide him with enough snacks and toys to keep him occupied during the interview. 🙂

Kevin and Jan Kirby, a creator and a creative, have joined forces to build a business that does everything from building original pieces to bringing new life to furniture once considered old-and-gone. Their original pieces are beautiful, of course, but I must say, their revival of old furniture is an incredible process to observe. Their unique ability to take a sentimental piece of furniture and bridge the gap between then and now is truly spectacular.

They both have a deep passion for people, and it undoubtedly shines through in their work. I can only imagine that it takes an immense amount of trust to hand over a piece of furniture that is near and dear to one’s heart and have someone else take a brush to it. Rest assured, any piece entrusted to Kevin and Jan will be treated with the utmost care and respect, and will be something that people and families can enjoy for many years to come.

They love hearing the stories behind each piece, and those stories are what fuel them to preserve the memories while simultaneously giving these pieces a heartbeat once again. Giving new life to old furniture allows the fond memories and stories to live on through future generations, and is precisely what Kevin and Jan are doing in their quaint, little backyard shop. To quote Jan: “If only furniture could talk!” 🙂

Below, you will see some of the before-and-after snapshots of their work. Pictures don’t do their work justice–their pieces are even more beautiful in person! (Additional pictures are posted below the interview transcript.)

I have posted the transcript of our interview below—it’s a mix of fun and personal questions to help everyone get to know the faces behind the Kirby’s Creations logo.  Enjoy!

Tell us a little about yourself:

Kevin: Well, I grew up in Littlefield. Lived there for 61 years and had never lived anywhere else until we moved to Wolfforth to get closer to our kids and grandkids. In high school, I really liked woodshop. I always wanted a shop—I didn’t care if it was just for tinkering or what, but I just always wanted one. Moving here, we had the opportunity to put one in, so that’s where that began.

Jan: Kevin and I have been married for 6 years, and in those 6 years, we lived in Littlefield until last May when we both retired. I’m from Muleshoe. I’ve lived in Lubbock, Dallas, in the Baltimore area, but I am so happy to be back in the Lubbock area, living here in Wolfforth. I remember when I was young, and my mom and grandmother were always doing crafts, ceramics, refinishing furniture, painting, etc. And I just always loved it. I loved that they were always doing something creative. Since we have retired, it’s just been a busy-happy time, and we’ve loved it. It’s been fun! We both have really been surprised. Kevin wanted a shop in the backyard, but we never knew we’d both wake up in the morning and want to jump out there and get started on a project.

Kevin: It’s been crazy!

Jan: It’s been fun!

Kevin: It’s just crazy to be as busy as we are with some of the things we’ve been doing. Things like chalk painting and building rustic furniture, it just kind of fell into more of a little business than just a hobby. I don’t think we have any furniture in our house that hasn’t been painted (haha)

Jan: That’s not quite true, ok, well almost! Haha, it’s fun to have a hobby. Kevin is just so good at the woodworking. I enjoy the painting aspect. He can build and refinish and make pieces sturdier. He has a creative side that I just really enjoy watching. I think what’s most fun is, I can do my thing independently, he can do his thing independently, and then we can work together on a project. There’s just a lot of versatility, it’s very flexible.

How long have y’all been doing Kirby’s Creations?

Kevin: 6 months

Jan: When we retired, we started doing this more as a hobby but realized it came to be more than a hobby, so we started this small business—Kirby’s creations.

What inspired you to start this business?

Kevin: I just always wanted a shop. It’s not that I intended it to become this or that. I have just always enjoyed building little things, and I used to do that a lot when I was younger, I just never had the place. And now that I have a little place, it’s just a lot of fun.

Jan: For me, after I retired, I told the family: “y’all just have to keep me busy!” I don’t sit well; I’ve got to be busy! A dear friend of ours, just down the street, showed me some pieces of her furniture she had refurbished, and I just loved them. She inspired me to update a few pieces of ours. It just brought back memories of my mother and grandmother. I never knew I would enjoy it so much. I especially enjoy the antiquing and distressing of furniture, and making custom signs for people, whether it’s a favorite song, verse, or saying.

What’s your favorite part about coming out here and working on your project?

Kevin: To be honest, we’re not perfect at what we do, but we try our best to make a good product. We learn something new every day. It’s not like we’re professionals, but we are professionals in some aspects. We are more perfectionists than professionals. Sometimes we’ll redo something 3, 4, or 5 times before we’re satisfied.

Jan: Sometimes, the joke is, that we step back and see if it gave the piece some “character” we don’t want to have pieces like what you’d find in a store, but, on the other hand, we want it to be something that somebody would be proud of in their home. I love the people that we’re meeting. Everybody has a story, and if you just have a little time, and talk to them, possibly about a piece of furniture, or just about their day, it just opens up the chance for some wonderful friendships. Some people, we may never see again, and several people, we have started a sweet friendship—through furniture. We have Ilene Hobgood’s mom and dad’s chairs right over here. She doesn’t want the seats redone. She just wanted her favorite color on them, so it’s a little of her and a little of them. She remembers her mom and dad sitting in those chairs and talking and visiting, and she wants those to be part of what she passes down to her grandkids.

We also have a dresser in the shop right now that’s finished for a dear friend Nancy Davis who lives in Sudan. Her late husband’s grandmother gave them this dresser long ago with a bed and a chest, and they used it for 35 out of their 42 years of marriage. They never bought bedroom furniture; they were still using it when he [Robin] passed away, and now she sees it as new beginnings. It’s a piece of furniture with lots of memories. She’s going to use it in the house that her granddad built, that she’s now moving into. It was the house she grew up in. It just brings joy when you see people smile and they’re so pleased. There are some things you never want to paint, but the things that you do, it kinda gives it a little “lift,” yet you can still have those family memories attached.

Kevin: At times we buy items online to redo, but I’d rather redo somebody’s piece that they want us to do. It is more personable.

Jan: When I was in kindergarten, my house burned down. The fireman salvaged a few things, but not much. One of the things they did get was my mom’s jewelry box. Mother and grandmother refurbished the piece using a color similar to one of my favorites I use today (cobblestone). That jewelry box brings back special memories.

Do y’all have any hidden talents?

Kevin: I like to play golf, but I wouldn’t call it a talent. I like to sing too. I grew up with my family singing.

Jan: I just like to play and be fun and goofy with the grandkids, perform with them and just have fun! It’s not a talent, it’s a joy! I love to do crafts, but I can’t say that’s a talent.

What’s your favorite restaurant in Lubbock?

Kevin: Taco Villa haha (kidding).

Jan: Any place that serves Mexican food.

Kevin: I would actually say Abuelo’s.

If you had a free weekend and $2000 to spend, what would you do?

Kevin: I would like to go back to Santa Fe.

Jan: I would love a little bit of the beach or a little bit of the mountains, I really don’t care, we just have fun together.

What’s your favorite college sports team?

Kevin & Jan: Simultaneously, Texas Tech!!

 

Here are some additional pictures of their work. It’s phenomenal!

Frames come in 5″x7″, 8″x10″, or 11″x14″. Natural wood or white-washed, with or without embellishments.