Sarah Dyer, The Urban Farm Girl




The Urban Farm Girl in her own words


I grew up in Buena Vista, Virginia. After living away from the area for over 30 years, my husband John and I have returned. (John grew up in BV as well.) At first, I would say, we joked about leaving our jobs and home in Ashland, Virginia and starting a business and new life in Buena Vista. After noticing the Coiner Building for sale on Magnolia Avenue, we decided to just “take a look.” Well, I was all in after looking around. The downstairs of the building was move-in ready for a business but the upstairs needed a full renovation. This was okay in my mind because John has been in the construction business for almost the entire 30 years we lived away from Buena Vista.  I am a person who has always seen the cup as half full. I see what things can be rather than the state they are currently in. This was true of the upstairs of the building; so John and I decided to purchase the Coiner Building and start a new adventure!

From the time I was very young, I have loved going to flea markets, estate sales and auctions. I loved the stories that might go along with older items that were for sale….who they had belonged to, how they got from one location to another, and stories of the families who owned and collected items. I continued going to sales after we were married. Having three young boys, I could not always afford a piece of furniture in perfect condition, but with my “vision” and John’s carpentry skills, we could bring items that others may say are not able to be salvaged back to life. I always felt so good about saving things that otherwise may have ended up being discarded.

Because I usually did not pay a lot for items I purchased and they had seen their better days, I never hesitated to experiment with different ways of refinishing or repurposing things. Lately, I have been using Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint to revive old pieces of furniture. I started using the paint in my own home before owning a business, where I would use the paint pretty much on a daily basis. I love the unpredictability of Milk Paint.  It allows pieces to give themselves a personality again. Milk paint will cover raw wood but furniture with some type of a finish on them in a previous life will many times chip and peel in the most wonderful way. It gives the look of time having gently worn a dresser or side table to perfection for today.


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What Makes an Urban Farm Girl?  You may not know until you meet Sarah Dyer.

Come to Lexington and meet the Urban Farm Girl. She has a real talent for displaying a wonderful collection of classic objects from our collective past—perfect for today. "I am comfortable around “old” things that many people may consider having seen their better days. I love to find ways to reuse things from the past in the present."

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