Hi Everyone, I'm Tarnya, the creator, founder and Jack of all trades behind Carts & Millie.
For as long as I can remember I have always been interested in home décor, decorating and painting furniture. I remember my mum was always making her own home décor and always painting vases, plant pots and ornaments to update them for the seasons. My mum always kept a beautiful, clean, extremely tidy home. As a kid it would get annoying. We were not allowed to sit on our beds because it would mess them up, we had to be mindful to make sure our shoes were off before we came back inside the house and our feet were wiped, the list is endless with the house rules we had! I just look back on them and laugh now because I know that we were loved, well looked after and given a life with much more than what my mum had as a child. One thing that was the same with my mums and my childhood is that we came from loving families.
At the age of 15 my maternal grandmother - my nan - gave me a little old pot cupboard made from old apple boxes. It was covered in about ten different layers of different coloured paint. I got to work on it with paint stripper taking all the colours off it. I remember the paint stripper being so overpowering with fumes and just such awful stuff. When I managed to get all the layers of paint off it the grain in the timber was so beautiful. I stained it with New Maple and I loved it. It became my bedside table and I took so much pride in it. That was the beginning of my fascination with revamping old furniture, and even giving new furniture a new look.
Over the years I have updated old bedroom furniture for myself and my kids, and even friends. The problem I had was this: I have always been a chronic asthmatic and have many allergies. The paint used would always give me headaches and nausea and trigger my asthma. I then discovered chalk style paints which were a lot better. I did however, encounter a new problem. A few of these style paints were too thick for my liking to get the desired finish I wanted. I loved the matte and chalky finish but didn’t like the application of the paint. I started to research how to make my own paints. I found a good acrylic base to work with which is asthma and allergy friendly and very low volatile organic compound (VOC). Whilst the base is acrylic, I have added natural minerals and my own colours creating a hybrid mineral and chalk style paint. I started to use this paint for personal use and I was doing so for quite some time. I had again painted furniture for myself and family and even a few pieces I had flipped. After a while, Patrick, my husband and the other part of Carts & Millie, finally convinced me to release these paints to the public. These paints then became the Boutique Furniture Paint.
So, how did Carts & Millie come about? As many of you may already know, Carts & Millie is a play on my two youngest kid’s names. These little cuties are Carter and Amelia. Carter was simply shortened to Carts and Amelia is always called Millie and rarely does she get called Amelia. What some of you may not know is Carts & Millie was originally handmade and sewn items. I would make kids clothing, rag dolls, memory bears and teddy bears, bags and clutches and baby toys. I had to give up sewing though as I developed bad osteoarthritis in my hands and sewing became too painful. I couldn’t give up my creativity and having just developed my paint, I figured why not just channel my creativity into the paint and painting and carry over the Carts & Millie name to the paint business.
Carts & Millie Boutique Furniture Paint was launched on 8 December 2018 in 19 different colours, we now have expanded to 41 different colours in this particular range plus a whole host of other products. Our paints are all named after people, places and memories which mean a lot to me and I've shared some of these stories on Facebook about the colours. I will go into more detail with the stories in additional chapters of my blogs.
I hope you enjoy this introduction and stay tuned for following stories.