When life gives you a contractor who steals all your cash . . . renovate a hand-me-down dresser for your newborn, impress your friends, and make a successful business out of it! That’s basically the story of Meg and Joe Piercy of MegMade, a five-year-old furniture shop that has recently relocated to Bucktown.
“We were broke and pregnant,” says Meg. “Now my husband and I work full-time together for MegMade and are definitely out of the rough patch”—she’s even carrying a third child. In a way the handy couple still continue in the renovation business, selling their refinished furniture on an almost industrial scale: they currently employ 15 people (many of whom come from the ailing automotive industry) and ship their items across the country to more than 36 states.
Besides restoring vintage wood pieces including dressers, tallboys, wardrobes, and dining tables, the Piercys both reupholster and offer their own line of sofas, sectionals, and occasional chairs and ottomans. MegMade also carries rugs (by Loloi, Jaipur, and Dash + Albert, among others), fabrics (by Schumacher, Fabricut, and Perennials), lighting (by Arteriors and Noir), window treatments, and art, and they are starting to make their own case goods and hardware such as handles and knobs. For renovations, customers can choose from a wide selection of vintage pieces, or bring in their own furniture. “You can customize just about anything here,” says Meg.
The pricing for vintage pieces includes a basic refinishing and any further customization. “A typical dresser for us would range between $900 to $2,000, depending on size,” Meg says. “We try to make our furniture affordable while still proving the highest quality around. . . . We look for small details like dovetailing, unique wood grain, cool hardware, and of course, that the piece is made well; solid construction makes a world of difference.” MegMade’s work is sustainable as well. Not only are the Piercys restoring and reusing furnishings that might otherwise end up in a landfill, they use an environmentally friendly water-borne paint.
Every product is stored and refinished in the new location, where they’ve installed state-of-the-art machinery to perform the work they used to do by hand. Work on the store is still in progress but is expected to wrap up in less than a month. For now they’re making do with the unfinished place.
“We’re open during construction,” Meg says. “The second floor is the main showroom, and it’s pretty much finished, so just close your eyes as you come through the entrance.”
MegMade 2728 N. Elston, 312-636-3583, megmade.com.