In 1991, our family of three (Darryl, Stephanie and son Barry) moved to the North Georgia mountains and started a business from scratch. We quickly realized we would need to expand our business beyond our small town to include other products and services, making them available to additional customers. Combined with our creativity and industriousness, we took on new training and education, and have expanded to include the products and custom restoration projects we are proud to offer.
Darryl’s background in woodworking and metalworking as an apprentice pattern maker for the foundry industry inspired the direction our family business would take. We began locally with small jobs of buffing and polishing metals, such as old cash registers and other antiques, restoring them to their original beauty. At least one day each week we went knocking on the doors of antique shops in search of additional business opportunities, which eventually led us to the Atlanta area. As we established a weekly route to pick-up and deliver our clients’ projects, people would ask us, “Do you do this or that…?” 99.9% of the time our answer was “yes”. How could we turn down work? We would take the job, gain the training and knowledge we needed to do it, and learn along the way. This led us to sandblasting iron furniture and iron pieces in need of restoration. We then added to this experience and knowledge and began offering gold, silver and nickel plating. Next, we added sign making and 3D carving to our range of services.
You can see samples of the services we offer in “Our Custom Designs”.
When a customer asked, “Can you make a wood base and turn these old spindles into lamps for me?” our answer, of course, was yes! Our services and knowledge were continuing to expand, and we were thrilled to be supporting our family!
Once, we did a small porcelain repair for one of our lamp clients. They were so happy with our work that they suggested we look into porcelain restoration on antiques. Starting the quest to again learn something new, we went for further education and out-of-state training, and then had yet another service to offer. Porcelain restoration was requested more than we ever anticipated, and for the next several years that was our focus. Eventually we reached the point where we were having trouble keeping up with the demand, sometimes having a backlog of a year. Around this time, we were asked again about getting back into making lamp bases and wiring. This was the type of work we knew we really loved and wanted to do. What we didn’t realize during our time in porcelain restoration was that the knowledge and experience Stephanie had gained as an artist would enhance our work in many ways going forward.
Our work in porcelain restoration enables us to offer custom colors, mixed in our studio, on the custom lamps bases and caps. We next focused on gaining more education about leafing and applying other finishes onto a variety of materials such as wood and metal. We can now even make wood and resin look like metal! Over the years, we’ve added fabricating and molding missing parts to our skill set, allowing us to make our clients’ pieces look as if they are original. Antiquing of new mirror to an aged appearance has been another skill we’ve added. Because of our willingness to work on whatever is asked of us, we have had the privilege of working with some of the most talented and wonderful people over the years. They continue to offer suggestions as to what they feel the market is looking for today. It was because of one client making just such a suggestion that we got into making acrylic bases, vase caps, and most recently, acrylic tables. Currently our clientele is mainly in the Buckhead area of Atlanta. Since the launching of our website, we have also been working with more creative, artistic people from all over the country who are a pleasure with which to collaborate. Our story, over the years, is one of accepting challenges that have led to our being more knowledgeable, skilled, and adaptable to what designers, antique shops, and lighting stores are looking for in designs and restoration. We owe a “thank you” to them for helping us to become the business we currently are, and we’re proud of the reputation we’ve earned along the way.
Darryl & Stephanie Zadai