A desire for a challenge and a creative outlet motivated a Hilliard resident to open a new business, The Not Just Shabby Shop, at 3872 Lattimer St. in Hilliard.

A desire for a challenge and a creative outlet motivated a Hilliard resident to open a new business, The Not Just Shabby Shop, at 3872 Lattimer St. in Hilliard.

Laura Buoni chose the shop's name, after a lengthy back-and-forth battle among several contenders, to illustrate what a customer might find at the store.

Some of the furniture is repurposed and some items are made to intentionally look, well, shabby.

"It's another take on a retro look," Buoni said.

While some bookshelves and cabinets are freshly refurbished and repainted, some items are made to appear used, and they bear purposeful, but artful, scuff marks.

One such item recently sold shortly after it was placed on the floor. A photographer bought it to use as her work desk at a studio.

"I think she wanted something that blended with the artwork and other props in the studio," Buoni said.

Some of the items in the store are on consignment, but an equal number are those she has purchased at estate sales, auctions, garage sales or even rescued from salvage.

"It feels good for me to be able to save something, make a different use out of it and see that it gets a new home," she said. "I'm always looking for things for the store.

Likewise, Buoni occasionally has no use for something and will put it on the curb for another to take and repurpose.

Buoni's artistic flair began when she and her mother handmade cloth outfits for Cabbage Patch Kids dolls.

"Then I began making my own dolls," she said, which developed into an interest in woodworking.

Buoni first explored the retail side of her interests at Peddler's Village, in Upper Arlington, where she sold her handiwork, but also bought items.

"Some of the antique woodwork there intrigued me," said Buoni, who bought a scroll saw and began making her own decorations and repurposing items, such as converting the frame of a cabinet door into a chalkboard.

Prior to opening her store in June, she worked as an on-call bartender for three upscale hotels for banquets and other special events.

"But I wanted something that was more of a challenge (and) this was something I always wanted to do," Buoni said.

Buoni said she sometimes does not know how a piece will look until it's finished.

"When I'm working, sometimes the piece speaks to me and I wind up with something different than what I'd envisioned when I began," she said.

As an example, she converted a damaged set of drawers into a curio cabinet.

"I enjoy working with old wood pieces, keeping them out of a landfill and finding a way to make it attractive again," she said.

She also has ideas for expanding her shop's inventory.

"I'd like to start adding more seasonal things," she said.

The Not Just Shabby Shop is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays.