Restorative Power

Miami native Yasha Williams moved to Newton County with no family, no assistance and no real grasp on what the future held. Roughly eight years later, she hopes to someday turn her passion for refurbishing furniture into a full-time business she can pass down to her three children.

by Michelle Floyd

A Miami native chased her dreams all the way to Covington, undaunted by the nearly 650 miles that separate the two cities.

Yasha Williams, a 40-something who moved to Newton County with her children in 2015, currently works for a personal injury law firm but one day hopes to branch out on her own to put more of her God-given creativity to use.

 “I moved up here with no family and no help,” she said. Williams found a home and took a job with the Witherite Law Group in Atlanta. “I just came here with the hopes of settling and moving forward,” she said. Williams now wants to pursue what she believes to be her true calling. About 15 years ago, she started refurbishing and refinishing furniture and other items for those closest to her. More recently, she expanded her clientele, publicly and professionally. 

“Originally, I would do it to help family and friends and people I knew, but it became a passion to look at how someone fell in love with their pieces,” Williams said. “I was encountering a lot of people who inherit furniture or pieces from generations of family, so instead of getting rid of them or losing memories, I would bring them back to life and make them look new but keep their history.”

“I’ve always been interested in decorating in general, and I wanted to broaden my horizons.”

Yasha Williams

Williams works with furniture like bedroom sets, armoires and barstools. She revealed that her most difficult project involved cabinets and dealing with paint to ensure the customer’s wishes were met. Even so, Williams enjoyed the challenge and the outcome. While she has completed many projects, she points to a friend’s bedroom suit as her favorite. It carried deeper meaning.

“It was the reason behind it,” Williams said. “She had moved from a bad domestic situation and her children needed a bedroom set, but she couldn’t afford it.” The friend discovered a worthy piece at Goodwill and enlisted Williams’ talents. “After I repainted it, I added the finishing touches,” Williams said. “They still love it to this day.” 

Decatur resident Michelle Denson was referred to Williams for a chest of drawers project. “I had gotten it from a thrift store,” Denson said, “and I wanted it to look brand new, like you would see at Rooms to Go.” She sent Williams photos of some of her ideas and walked away delighted with the final product—a “glamorized” revival of the original piece. “She painted it and replaced knobs; she made it look brand new,” Denson said. “I really appreciated the service she gave me. I know where to go now.” 

Williams had no real history with furniture restoration, which makes her something of a self-taught artist.

“It’s just been testing the waters,” she said. “I’ve always been interested in decorating in general, and I wanted to broaden my horizons. I started YouTubing and doing research. I saw cabinets being redone, and I thought of what else I could do.” 

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Williams has uncovered specialty items at some thrift stores and refinished them to suit a more modern style. Others, she simply refurbishes to the customer’s preferred specifications. “I do what they want because I don’t want to force my style on them,” Williams said. “It’s their product.” Eventually, she hopes to expand her business—Dream Refurbishments—into a full-time business. Remarkable for a pursuit that started out just as a hobby. “I’m aiming to make this my sole business, so I can make it my only income,” said Williams, who wants to teach her three children so she can pass it down to them. For now, they watch and learn. “They want to help, but I’m such a perfectionist,” she said. “They love it when they see me do it.” 

Click here to read more stories by Michelle Floyd.

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