WHEELING - In the Centre Market area of Wheeling is a small little shop where the owner is doing things her own way. Nancy Bonnesen is the owner of the unique little shop nestled among the many antique stores called Shabby2Chic.
"Shabby chic is basically what you want it to be. I define shabby chic as just giving new life or new look to something really old, that's how I define it. I love just old pieces to re-do and give them a new life."
After working many years working in the medical field as a X-ray technician, Bonnesen had enough. With that and a push from her husband, Larry, who serves as her head cashier, she opened Shabby2Chic six weeks ago.
SHABBY2CHIC, opened recently in the Centre Market area of Wheeling, offers an assortment of creations.
"I've always loved doing something like this. My mother had a gift shop, my sister had a gift shop and I always helped them out. I just never had the support to do it on my own until Larry," said Bonnesen. "With all the pressures of the medical and everything got to me and since this is like a therapy to me, he decided that I should open my own shop."
Bonnesen claims she has always done her own style whether it is in her shop or house, she claims to never follow the book, combining unique pieces together such as a Chinese table and Queen Anne chairs.
When wondering through the shop, one can see a variety of items ranging tea pots to pillows to some of Bonnesen own creations. Each item carefully selected for her clientele, which ranges from the young to old. Many of the items her shops are vintage or refurbished picked up at auctions and sales.
Before Bonnesen set up shop, she would decorate for weddings and parties, which is something that she is still continuing, along with doing floral center pieces.
"That's when I started to get the gumption to do it on my own, because everything I was doing was flying out the door."
Among the many projects and pieces Bonnesen creates, some include floral arrangements, with an entire back wall of this quaint little shop covered with flowers, wreaths and re-dos and revamps to center pieces and old pieces of furniture, giving them new life.
"I've just always done it, plus my sister, she's an artist," said Bonnesen. "She's the first one that suggested I wall paper a piece of furniture ... I still have it in my house today."
In the future, Bonnesen will be working more with silk flowers for rentable center pieces for weddings and table dressings. This will help brides to have the wedding she wants at a price she can afford. Another idea Bonnesen has eyed is the possibility of hosting tea parties for little girls and tea parties for adults as well.
"What I offer is a gift shop. I want people to be able to run if they need a card. Just something to offer if they need a gift right way," said Bonnesen. "It lacks that down here ... There's nothing that is really just a gift shop."
But upon closer inspection, it is easy to see that Shabby2Chic is more then just a gift shop, but a carefully thought out and put together little store with an artsy and eccentric twist.
Van Dyne may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org