Friday, December 28, 2012

Feature Friday: Valerie of 2nd Essence

Welcome to our first ever Feature Friday. In my six short months of blogging I have been overwhelmed with the wonderful people I have met from all walks of life. These amazing individuals have found their passion and are sharing it with the world, often asking nothing in return. They are some of the most talented and inspirational people I have ever met and I can't wait to feature them and their stories here on Team Ibrahim. 

This week's feature is Valerie of 2nd Essence. I've been a fan of hers and an admirer of her work for a couple of years. She is local to the Kansas City area and is well known for her ability to literally turn trash to treasure.

Once a month in KC there is a huge event that showcases local artist's repurposed and vintage finds. At one time, Valerie was a vendor and had one of my favorite booths at one of my favorite stores. I knew that I loved her work when I came upon a piece that she had done that matched nothing in my home, wasn't my particular design style, and was bigger than I needed for the spot I was looking to fill. I stood in front of the piece, a beautifully redone buffet, and seriously considered changing everything about my home decor to make it work. Yes, it was that beautiful. I loved the detail, the paint color, the richness of the colors, and the pulls that she had selected--it was absolutely stunning. Wanna see it? Of course you do. 

Ultimately, I didn't purchase it. But, I knew that at that very moment I became one of Valerie's biggest stalkers fans. I'm also in LOVE with these gorgeous clocks that she makes from weathered pallets. They're big in size and have enormous amounts of style and character. This one is my favorite:

I most admire her eye for what 'can be' and her talent for transforming castoffs into true works of art. Here's a great example of a before and after:

Gorgeous. Yes? What's even more amazing is she took the time to sit down with me this fall and chat about her business and her techniques. I was so grateful for her taking the time to let me be in her space. And, she's seriously one of the nicest people on the planet. We hit it off like two old friends and I left with a renewed spirit and massive amounts of inspiration. 

So, let's meet Valerie. She's a wife, mother and former art teacher. She's completely self-taught (wowza) and typically rehabs abandoned pieces or items that her customers bring to her. If you live in Kansas City, or the surrounding area, she loves doing custom work and is now working full time from her home on custom orders and design. Do yourself a favor and check out her website 2nd Essence, follow her on Facebook, and Pinterest. If you're not in Kansas City I'd still recommend following her as she is a wealth of inspiration and talent. Looking back on my notes from our meeting I really wish that I would have taken more instead of what I'm sure was me sitting across from her with my mouth wide open and trying to take it all in. 

Thank you for sharing your time and your talent, Valerie! 


  1. Gorgeous furniture! I am in love repurposed and redesigned items. These are beautiful. Love the clock too! I have picked up a few pieces of old furniture with the intention of repurposing. I already have the idea of what to do with it. I just haven't started yet! This is inspiring. Will start following her on Pinterest!

  2. Hi Haley. I just liked Valerie's FB page. Gorgeous pieces! :)


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