For Anna and Norman Bannister, every piece of furniture tells a story. The creative process that results in their line of custom-built, hand-painted furniture is often an adventure. It means plodding through the weeds at area farms and scouring vintage markets for unique pieces to reimagine in a fresh light for their reclaimed furniture line, ReNue Home Studio.
“It’s a romantic vision that we’re making legacy pieces of furniture,” Anna Bannister says. “I love taking something that might have been used and then forgotten, infusing it with new life and turning it into something beautiful.”
Anna has been refinishing furniture ever since she can remember, but the rise in popularity of chalklike paint made it easier than ever for her to refresh vintage pieces and contribute extra income to her family. She began to pursue her hobby in earnest as her husband, Norman, considered taking early retirement from Hallmark.
Then, together, they took a huge leap of faith and stared ReNue Home Studio as their full-time business. Norman, a creative artisan, would retire and build furniture full-time. Anna would refinish vintage pieces and finish Norman’s custom work. And they would share their passion, encouraging others to ignite their inner creativity. The couple began showcasing their work locally at Very Violet Boutique and also with several vendors in the West Bottoms.
But as their business gained momentum, they were met with the unexpected.
Norman was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, and their plans were derailed. As Norman battled cancer and recovered from surgery, Anna says they walked by faith.
“You show me the path, and I’ll take the step. That’s not how it works,” she says, describing their faith. “When you walk through a hard time, not knowing the next steps but believing in what you’re doing, there’s an amazing testimony on the other side of that.”
With Norman’s cancer now in remission, the Bannisters have emerged on the other side and are continuing to grow their furniture line with even greater faith. While their personal style is best characterized as vintage reclaimed, they also specialize in industrial-inspired styles and can cater to whatever clients have in mind, from rustic to midcentury modern and contemporary. Of course, they take into consideration popular trends and the styles that are most popular at a given location. For example, in Lee’s Summit at Very Violet Boutique, customers are into lots of vintage in neutrals: whites, blacks and grays.
For now, ReNue pieces are available exclusively through custom order and sold in store at Very Violet, but the Bannisters are exploring expanding into the wholesale market. Anna is also focusing on another passion: inspiring others’ creativity through workshops that both instruct and motivate. She teaches how to make signs, instructs on painting techniques and helps clients envision their goals through the creation of vision boards.
“This is a calling on our life,” Anna says. “I know that this is what we’re supposed to be doing, so we’re just trying to be faithful to the journey.”
For more information, tutorials and workshop availability, visit ReNueHomeStudio.com.