Cindy Lucich loves what she does. Her recently-opened shop, Cindy’s Gifts and Home Décor, is scattered with furnishings she proudly calls refreshed and “upcycled,” items that were once well-loved, worn-out, and headed for junkyard heaven.
There’s the chair Lucich discovered in a Los Angeles dumpster, now reupholstered and painted. The free couch she found on Highway 41 in Coarsegold now sports fabric painted electric blue with a white-toned wood frame. A coffee table with a popular distressed look has glass inlays covered with animal-print fabric. An outdated oak entertainment center now has beading, and doors embellished with glass leading.
“This is what I truly enjoy doing,” Lucich explained. “I would love for customers to bring in their old sentimental, outdated items ... ones they just can’t part with, so I can upcycle them with a fresh look.”
Along with the refreshed, transformed furniture, her small shop, located in the Yosemite Lakes Park Business Center, offers jewelry, wind chimes, kitchen glassware, and home décor items like art, pictures, vases, and lamps. There’s a small childrens section with wall hangings, and a pet section is planned for the future.
“We just don’t have anything like this around here,” Lucich said. “If you want to buy a nice gift for someone, you now have to drive to Oakhurst or Fresno. Hopefully, I’ll carry enough variety that there will be something for everyone ... whether age 18 or 80.”
Lucich, an interior decorator since 2009, also plans to offer upholstery and interior design consultations. Using a 3-D computer program, she can redesign a home interior to maximize the space so that customers can get a good idea of what the home will look like before a stick of furniture has been moved.
Not new to the world of self-employment, Luchich worked out of her home a few years back doing business as Custom Glass Painting.
She depended on word-of-mouth, attended craft shows, had a booth at the Farmers Market in Riverpark, sold her art at area wineries during the Madera Wine Trails, participated in the Christmas Boutique in Yosemite Lakes Park, and the Sierra Art Trails in 2008.
Still, out of financial necessity, she closed that business in 2010, and began working for a design and flooring center in Fresno. After several years, she’s now ready to return to being her own boss, and doing something she is passionate about.
“I’m an artist through and through, and need my creative outlet,” she explained. “This is something I’ve always wanted to do ... to work for myself and to create my art ... painting on glass using liquid lead to create patterns, and then painting to make a stained-glass look. I paint wine bottles, refinish furniture ... anything I can paint, I paint. I get a vision of what something could be. I see the potential in outdated, beat-up furniture and enjoy the transformation process ... I want to make everything pretty.”
Lucich has created her artwork, off and on, for 20 years, and was employed as an interior designer for two years in Fresno. She has designed for family and friends over the years, and in 2007, built and designed the home she shares with husband Paul.
While she hopes her latest business venture will cover the bills, what she’s most excited about is seeing the joy on customer faces following a furnishing transformation.
“My prices are reasonable for convenience sake,” she added. “I want people to be able to afford to shop here.”
Cindy’s Gifts and Home Décor is located at 30950 Corral Drive, Suite C, in the Yosemite Lakes Park Business Center. Hours are 11 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., Saturday.