Folsom business owner turned to furniture restoration after corporate careerBy: Margaret Snider, Telegraph Correspondent
Industrial shabby chic with a French flair is how owner Lisa Wolf describes her new store, Burlap and Bees, on Riley just off of Sutter Street. It features vintage European furniture, décor, and gifts.
“The burlap kind of goes to the industrial chic side,” Wolf said. “The bees represent France . . . and my mother’s name is Bea. She’s kind of our mascot.”
Wolf was adopted as an infant, and grew up in the Bay Area. Bea, her adoptive mother, comes to Wolf’s shows and occasionally comes up with interesting finds from San Francisco for Wolf’s collections.
Since coming to Folsom, Wolf has discovered her biological parents. Her biological father, a Folsom resident, referred to her as “a salmon swimming upstream,” because she ended up near where her life began.
As well, her great-grandfather used to have a gas station in the location of her shop, and her biological great-aunt lived in the apartment above.
“Genetically, I’m attached to the Historic District,” Wolf said.
At one time, Wolf worked in Silicon Valley with Adobe and Oracle and led “a corporate life.” She and her husband, Terryn, have three sons: Tyler, 11, and twins Ryan and Dylan, 7.
Starting out in her current business interests, Wolf had a space at Melange, and another at Room with a Past in Walnut Creek.
“That got me started going to events and buying things, and fixing them up,” Wolf said. “Then I just hooked up with friends who did the same thing. There’s a whole world out there of people who do restoration, and vintage and shabby chic.”
For a while she had another shop, Sunshine on Sutter, which focused more on antiques. She participates in shows around the area, where she’s more recently been helped by her friend Heather Gardner of Folsom.
“It’s a good outlet for me to be creative and do displays and stuff,” Gardner said. “She just has wonderful stuff . . . She has done these wonderful steam punk jewelry classes.”
Wolf uncovers her finds at estate sales, or just when she is out browsing. She can picture the possibilities for an item; she knows it when she sees it. Sandy Brian, who puts on vintage shows, such as Mes Amis in Roseville and Noel, in Sacramento, says Wolf just has the eye for it.
“I saw (Wolf’s) shop two weeks ago,” said Bryan. “She’s got a good mixture of new and old . . . really cool things. I really like the mix of it.”
Wolf has a lot of ideas for her shop. On the weekends she plans to have tea available, especially iced tea on hot days. She also has different types of teas available for sale. She wants to open up the shop a bit and make it like a tea room.
“I remember in the summertime I’d be working and people would just be dying, there’s nowhere to get a drink,” Wolf said. “First you’ll taste them, and then I’ll have teas and scones.”
She’ll have something special for Folsom’s Second Saturdays, which start up again 5-9 p.m., April 13.
“We’ll bring in extra stuff from home that maybe doesn’t fit in the shop, or is a different style,” Wolf said. “Or we’ll pull out stuff and put it on sale, and do a flea market on the sidewalk.”
She’ll also present workshops: paint workshops maybe three times a month and also jewelry-making. The next Maison Blanche paint workshops are scheduled for April 13 and April 27. The best thing, Wolf said, is for people to check her website, http://www.burlapandbees.com, or drop by the shop at 306 Riley St. and get on her e-mail list so she can let them know what is happening next.