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Veteran finds new career turning secondhand items into stylish furniture

<i></i><br/>Latoyia Smith owns Lavish Furniture Flips and Interior Design in Towson

Latoyia Smith owns Lavish Furniture Flips and Interior Design in Towson

By Breana Ross

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    TOWSON, Maryland (WBAL) — A Maryland veteran has found her passion taking people’s old furniture and transforming them into new creations.

Latoyia Smith owns Lavish Furniture Flips and Interior Design in Towson, a store filled with decades-old items, but people would never know it just by looking at them. Smith uses her special touch to make every secondhand item look like something brand new.

“I see beauty in all things,” Smith said. “What people just discard and throw away, I love to bring it to me and make it special again.”

Smith spruces up old dressers, desks, mirrors and more with beautiful paintings. She turns old coolers into boombox speakers. She’s willing to bring new life to anything for anyone.

“You can bring me your things, so if you have your grandmother’s favorite rocking chair that’s in your basement, or you even inherited, like, a dresser from your grandfather that he built, you can bring that to me and I can make it whatever you envision it to be,” Smith said.

Smith’s business is a new beginning for her. She served in the Army through the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and then worked for the government for 20 years, but her lupus diagnosis and the COVID-19 pandemic inspired her to start fresh.

“When (COVID-19) hit and I was home for the first time and realizing how many other people didn’t enjoy their homes as much as I enjoy my home, it made me see that there was a need for the community to repurpose their things and create a space that they love,” Smith said.

She started by repurposing desks for children taking part in virtual learning. Now, she has her own store in Dulaney Plaza on a strip filled with other businesses owned by women.

“It’s so good to be around women that are trying to better one another and also the community and show that we can get along,” Smith said. “We can grow. We can help the community by being representation of women in business.”

Smith does not just get her pieces from people in the community. She also picks up pieces from estate sales, thrift stores and yard sales. She paints them and decorates them to perfection before she sells them.

She also sells work from Maryland artists in her store, but it’s not just about doing business. Making old things into new creations has given Smith a new purpose.

“I am 42, and I never thought that I would be finding out new things about myself,” Smith said. “This is truly who I am, what I love.”

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