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Florida business owner finds new homes for old belongings

By Robert Boyd

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    NEW PORT RICHEY, Florida (WFTS) — When she opened her dream business in 2019, Cathy Lenhardt thought nothing could stop her. Then the pandemic happened.

But despite all the challenges, this entrepreneur was just named Alignable’s New Port Richey Local Business Person of the Year for the third straight year.

You’ll often find Lenhardt right outside her business, Design Savvy Unique Finds, refurbishing an old piece of furniture found in someone’s attic into a brand-new treasure that a family can’t wait to take home.

“I have a little bit of everything in here: new, used, gently used, antique, vintage,” said Lenhardt.

Since Lenhardt comes from a family of collectors, she thought, “Why not carry on the tradition in New Port Richey?”

“I get a lot of calls; at my age, a lot of my friends’ parents are passing,” said Lenhardt. “I’m getting ready to load in the truck, and I go in and I sit and talk with them, and I listen to all their stories about their pieces. If the walls could talk, they are part of many families and generations.”

Lenhardt said in many cases, the antique furniture would have just been thrown out.

She feels a sense of responsibility to make sure these belongings live on.

“It’s such a warm feeling cause Cathy has touched it. Cathy put her heart into it, so it’s come to you as almost a hug,” said Kate Brusik of New Port Richey.

One of Lenhardt’s favorite parts of the business is the opportunity to give back. She regularly donates pieces of furniture to charities and families in need.

“I was a single mom for a long time and held two jobs, and I know what it’s like to try and acquire a bed,” said Lenhardt.

“She absolutely is able to refurbish things, offers them to organizations, gives them an opportunity to do what they can do,” said Brusik.

It’s the compassion combined with hard work that has earned Lenhardt recognition as New Port Richey Local Business Person of the Year.

“I’m extremely blessed, I’m just honored, I love the community, everybody, I just love that everyone is supporting small business,” said Lenhardt.

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