Startup Stories: Ave Home and Unfolded

Lisa-Rickert-Headshot

What does Ave Home and Unfolded do? Tell us about your entrepreneurial product or service.

I actually have two companies. Unfolded, which is the exclusive distributor for Annie Sloan products and Ave Home, a specialty furniture company. Both are based in New Orleans.

Unfolded exclusively distributes Chalk Paint decorate paint by Annie Sloan in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Chalk Paint® has unmatched ease of use and versatility when it comes to painting furniture and interiors. It achieves a beautiful velvety finish with no priming and sanding. It is really the perfect project for a DIY project or a beautiful custom artisan finish.

Ave Home draws inspiration from a number of design periods and produces well-curated collections of both raw wood and finished furniture. AVE Collections offers a variety of timeless styles, including French Louis XV, Swedish Gustavian, Hollywood Regency, and Mid Century Modern. AVE Raw also focuses on a range of styles that speak to the DIYer or Designer who wants high quality furniture for their own hand applied finishes at an affordable price.

What inspired you to launch Ave Home and Unfolded?

I started UNFOLDED 6 years ago as the first American distributor for Annie Sloan products, including the now famous Chalk Paint® decorative paint. I came into the decorative paint industry by chance after I fell in love with a European product while designing and building a new home. I saw an opportunity to share this passion with others.

I was inspired to launch Ave Home when I found myself continuously disappointed with the antique reproductions I was finding on the market so I decided to create a brand whose mission is to provide a resource for designers and boutiques that are looking for classically designed furniture that uses only high quality finishes and materials.

What problem does Ave Home and Unfolded solve?

Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan is a truly unique product and offers unparalleled texture, ease of use, and versatility. What sets our distribution company apart is our commitment to supporting the small businesses we have relationships with through an extensive training program, local marketing funds, and annual meetings.

With Ave Home, we've provided classically inspired designs that are not only affordable, but are also meticulously designed to emulate the original antique style – this is a unique combination that I wasn't able to find anywhere else. We also offer AVE RAW, which allows our customers to customize our designs using any finish they choose.

What has been your biggest challenge starting Ave Home and Unfolded and how are you working to overcome it?

I tend to be so driven that it can be difficult to stop thinking about work all of the time. My husband also runs the actual distribution operations of both companies so even date-nights turn into a conversation about work. My primary personal goal in the upcoming year is to feel comfortable with a bit more creative and personal time for myself. I am currently working with my internal teams to be more autonomous and we will begin a training period where I am not in the office, but available, to force them to be more decisive within their allocated responsibilities. We will see how it goes. There is nothing more important then building a successful team!

Give us one word that people might use to describe you.

Driven

What milestone do you hope Ave Home and Unfolded will have surpassed one year from now?

I am eager for Unfolded to launch a successful new line of wall paint by Annie Sloan, which will give our customers greater options for their interiors. It is a matte finished, but highly durable wall paint that is perfect for high traffic areas. This product will really give us an edge in the world of architectural coatings.

In terms of AVE Home, we have not yet completed our first year of our products being available. So this coming year needs to be HUGE. My goal is to build enough accounts to turn our inventory a minimum of three times in the next 12 months.

How has Project Eve helped you and orAve Home and Unfolded?

Project Eve has helped me discover other female entrepreneurs who are leaders in their industries and whose stories inspire me and my team.

Give us an insider tip that relates to your industry or the startup story for Ave Home and Unfolded

Home trends change so quickly so when making large purchases, stick with a timeless classic design or buy something that you don’t mind painting in a few years when you get tired of it!

The 411 on Ave Home and Unfolded:

Company Name: Ave Home and Unfolded
Website: https://www.avehome.com/
Ave Home and Unfolded was founded in:

Ave Home and Unfolded is located in:
New Orleans, LA
Follow Ave Home and Unfolded on social media here:

https://www.facebook.com/avehomellc
https://www.instagram.com/ave_home/

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