Before & After: Christine's DIY Boutique Renovation

I recently posted about my friend Christine's DIY chops with images of her painted faux-kilim rug. Now I feel like I should have given full disclosure: she is kind of a DIY rockstar! Case in point? This boutique that she renovated from top to bottom--herself!

One year ago she found herself a victim of the downturn in the economy. She had been working for local high-end jewelry designers for a few years, but found herself in the panic-inducing situation of being laid off. Instead of seeking another job with another jewelry designer, she decided to figure out how to make it on her own. She began with her own line of jewelry, and shortly after launching decided to open a boutique in the emerging and eclectic South Austin offering handmade items from many different designers.

She found a space, but that space began as an incredibly funky, run-down head shop! From top to bottom, and with a boundless imagination, she single-handedly transformed this space. Schatzelein, her new boutique, emerged from very humble beginnings to become a beautiful stylish space.

Here’s a little taste of what Christine did:


  • Tore down a run-down shed that was attached to the building

  • Replaced the front door

  • Painted the exterior and built a sign

  • Re-drywalled and repainted inside

  • Built tiered display shelves

  • Repaired a hole in the wall and painted over a rather interesting mural

  • Put down all new floors

  • Built a cash wrap for the back of the shop

  • Built two exterior decks

  • Created beautiful branch "chandeliers" for the ceiling

Christine had some help from a couple of friends with painting the exterior and building some furniture, but she orchestrated and implemented all of the other DIY projects herself. She even reupholstered the white leather chair! She is currently working on the studio space in the back where she creates fail, her own line of jewelry. Combined with remodeling her own home in East Austin, Christine has achieved a humbling number of very impressive projects.

Personally, I choose to be inspired by Christine rather than feel inferior...but it's not always easy!

Images: before photos by Christine Fail, after photos by Jessica Tata