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Up-cycling brings new life to old furniture

Published: Monday, June 30, 2014 9:12 p.m. CST

GENEVA – Bernadette Kemper started a home-based business, Avenue 122, where she up-cycles furniture.

That is, she takes a piece of furniture that is worn out or needs a facelift and paints it. Kemper also teaches classes so that furniture owners can do the work themselves.

"You want to keep it, so you paint it, refinish it, up-cycle it in a real show-stopper," Kemper said.

Kemper, 54, of Geneva, said she has been up-cycling furniture for a few years, and her work is selling in four consignment shops, including Scentimental Gardens Too, 116 Cedar Ave., St. Charles; and at What's Your Consignment, 12 E. State St., Geneva.

"I have always been a crafter, quilter, knitter and full-time mom for a while," Kemper said. "I'm always trying to find an outlet for my creative side. I took a couple classes two years ago, and once I started doing it, I never looked back."

She has a studio in her house and teaches classes in a cleared out space at the Geneva consignment shop, Kemper said.

More information is available online at or by emailing

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