This husband and wife duo are seriously darling. This God-designed collaboration with their furniture restoration company – Restoration Generation USA – blessed us immensely during our week of renovations. Their big smiles and even bigger hearts are reflected beautifully in their restored pieces. Come shop their restored pieces for sale at Darling!
Read more about these local artisans in the adorable Q&A below.
Jimmy & Mary Howell
Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? If not the Charlottesville area, what brought you here?
Jimmy and Mary are college-sweethearts whom’s paths crossed the Spring of 2nd year at the University of Virginia. Jimmy is a good-ole southern boy originally from Florence, SC and Mary grew up in Latin America with her family. They now happily call Cville their home and are excited to begin their careers as nurses together at UVA Hospital in August. Charlottesville is where J&M fell in love, got engaged, married, and where they hope to raise lots of babies one day.
As a local artisan, describe what you do in town.
J&M have a love and appreciation for unique items and solid pieces of furniture that need love. They practice the art of restoration and enjoy giving pieces new life so they can be cherished for many years to come. They are especially fond of vintage trunks, Coca-Cola crates, Ball mason jars, unique coffee tables, Singer sewing tables, and farm tables. All of the furniture in their home was restored by them and has a one-of-a-kind flair that’s sure to start conversations.
It’s story time. Talk about your collaboration with Darling Boutique.
Darling Boutique has been one of Mary’s favorite stores in Cville for a long time. One sunny afternoon in March, Mary dragged Jimmy into the store to look at some clothes and they met Megan. It was an instant friendship! Before J&M left the store, Megan invited them to her church (Cornerstone Community Church) and now they are part of the same church family, along with Linnea. After finding out about our restoration business and seeing some of their pieces, Megan & Linnea invited J&M to be a part of their one-of-a-kind store and the rest is history!
Describe Restoration Generation in 10 words or less.
One-of-a-kind pieces for one-of-a-kind people
Where do you go to be creative?
J&M do most of their work on the patio of their teeny-tiny townhome in Cville. They enjoy the smallness of their space, as they get to be side-by-side doing what they love. They usually jam out to artists like Ed Sheeran, Matt Kearney, or Third Day and find themselves expressing their vocal talents (or lack thereof) while they work.
What aspects of life excite you, stir your affections, fuel your passions, inspire your art?
J&M are inspired by the resilience, laughter, and spirits of children. They have both done work stateside and abroad working with children, and both hope to use their nursing degrees to serve this special population. You will also notice that they have a lot of restored children’s furniture (desks, rocking chairs, etc.) that boast bright & fun colors. One of J&M’s long term goals is to open up an orphanage where they can provide children with a safe and loving place to thrive, sprinkled with lots of fun restored furniture to brighten their days.
When and why did you become an artisan? / How did you get into this business?
J&M believe that all things deserve a second (and third or fourth) chance… like Christ has done for us. They began restoring furniture shortly after they fell in love and have restored lots of family pieces, as well as for friends. Several people started asking about where they purchased their unique furniture, and asked if they could do some pieces for them, so they started it as a business. It is a therapeutic process for them and they enjoy the time they get to spend together doing it, when they have time off from their work in the hospital.
What are you working on right now?
Jimmy is building a farm table from the bottom up (stay tuned!). Mary is restoring a vintage steamer trunk as well as a early-1900’s Singer sewing table. They are also going to auctions, estate sales, etc. looking for their next restoration projects and make sure to post all their unique finds on their Facebook page.
Where can someone find your products?
On Facebook or at Darling!
The series Our Darlings will spotlight our local and global collaborations, featuring artisans and brands that we are bringing into the shop!