In The Spotlight
Welcome to In The Spotlight
Do you have an amazing business to showcase, or an incredible story to tell?
This month emmaheaven.com is shining the spotlight on...
I first met Rhiannon Haynes-Gibbs when she was a member of the audience at the filming of The LWA at The Hyst. We got to talking about life in general and the conversation turned to work and hobbies. Rhiannon told me she was into ‘Shabby Chic’ and upscaling furniture.
So was I!
Here’s Rhiannon’s incredible story of how she upscaled her job and her life...
“My husband and I started the business about three years ago, recycling furniture from home as we were in a bit of a tight spot financially. We used to do a lot of car boot sales on a regular basis for extra income when a friend recommended we try upcycling.
I’d never been very good with a paintbrush but I decided to give it a go and to my amazement - my first piece sold within an hour. I realised I was onto something good and so the business developed from there.
I started upscaling pieces for friends and family and word started to spread that we were making pieces from home.
We were both in full time jobs, then unfortunately my husband was made redundant, and I was offered voluntary redundancy from my job as a debt collector for Welsh Water; so it was full steam ahead as we both had nothing to lose.
We started to look for premises and we couldn’t believe our luck when we found some literally a 30 seconds walk from our home. It was very small but a foot on the ladder.
We invited local crafters to come and display their items in the shop which was a great platform for them to show off their creativity, and we were able to earn commission from their sales.
We soon outgrew our little shop, so we moved across the road to a bigger building and have seen our business go from strength to strength.
We are constantly busy with commissions - this is generated by word of mouth and our Facebook page and we also stock and sell the paint which we ourselves use when upcycling.
There are workshops available for people who want to upcycle where we teach them how to do it and give them lots of tips and advice.
I’m all about re-loving furniture rather than buying new, I love old furniture - it’s usually well made and will stand the test of time and also we’re saving landfill which is a plus!
People spend so much money on new furniture and get bored of it very easily, so instead of wasting more money and re-placing it with new - bring it to us and we will upcycle it for you, so it looks and feels brand new again.
When people bring us their old furniture, first it is thoroughly cleaned and prepped, then it is sanded down and painted and sealed with either a clear finishing coat or a wax to make sure it’s durable.
There are many different styles of shabby chic - you can have the clean look, where it is just painted, slightly distressed mostly around the edges, or heavily distressed where it looks like it’s been dragged through a hedge backwards.
We also use decoupage and glitter for those who like a bit of bling, which I’m a massive fan of - I love everything that sparkles - I’m like a magpie!
We offer a bespoke service so the customer gets what they want - even if it’s not to our taste - but then if everybody liked the same thing - what a boring world it would be!
The shop is called Uniquely Yours by Rhi and so no two pieces are ever the same. Even if you’ve seen a piece that we’ve done and you want the same, it will be slightly different as we won’t do it exactly the same - otherwise it wouldn’t be unique! Your furniture will always be unique to you.
Sometimes we are asked to source certain pieces of furniture for people and then upscale them. And we have items in the shop that we have sourced and upscaled ourselves and then sold on.
We would love to open more shops over south west Wales, where we can bring our own touch of magic to people’s furniture.”
Rhiannon certainly has the magic touch when it comes to upcycling old and unwanted furniture - her pieces are beautiful, and most definitely unique.
See for yourselves at
Uniquely Yours by Rhi, The Old Petrol Station, Pentrechwyth Road, Pentrechwyth, Swansea SA1 7AN