A little bit of paint goes a long way REO Town’s The Nook evolves one coat of paint at a time


Perhaps you’re on a journey; digging deep within yourself to hurdle the obstacles that stand between you and your biggest dreams. Did you ever stop to take a breath, only to realize that it might not be as hard as you’d imagined? Ask Lindsay Leonard, owner of REO Town’s The Nook for advice and she’ll tell you that, “all it takes is a coat of paint.”

“I have my mom to thank for that idea! For a little while growing up we didn’t have much money, so my mom would take hand-me-downs or garage sale items and give them a fresh coat of paint or new hardware,” reminisced Leonard. “[My mom] could make anything look good. A little paint and imagination goes a long way! Now following in her footsteps, I think she’s reliving those times. She was trying to give us the best life she could and in the meantime taught me something I would soon turn into a business.”

The Nook specializes in repurposing used furniture and home goods to create visually extraordinary pieces. From custom orders to antique flips, these handcrafted items are a treasure to behold. For Leonard, this venture is more than just a source of income, it’s a culmination of her passion, creativity and ability to turn the obscure into something extraordinary.

“I love anything quirky and artsy, something you look at and think ‘I’ve never seen that before’ that’s my favorite and I’m learning that a lot of others are like that too,” explained Leonard.

While creativity has played the biggest role in this local business’s rise to success, its location is nothing to dismiss. This cozy boutique is nestled within REO Town. This dark horse wasn’t always the vibrant neighborhood it is today, and as it continues to define itself, it has become the destination for the many emerging businesses.

“When I was looking for a place to open shop and REO Town came up, I had no idea where or what it was,” said Leonard. “But when I made the short commute out here I was shocked that this little stretch of the cutest town has yet to be discovered! I knew from the second I saw my store front it was a done deal.”

The look and feel of The Nook is essential to its business model. The shop is designed to feel like a relaxing, laid-back place to shop — and a visit just isn’t the same without a greeting from the resident doorman, Henry the toy poodle.

As the shop continues to carve out its space within the community, it hasn’t restricted its ambitions to the immediate area. Leonard explains she’d love to expand by opening additional locations in coastal towns in Michigan. She is also exploring options to bring menswear and plus-size clothing options to the existing women’s section that currently takes up a portion of the sales floor.

While the goals and ambitions of this local business are plentiful, there remains a constant reminder within this venture — dare to make your dreams a reality. Sometimes taking that leap of faith can be the core of your life’s accomplishments. You’ll never know until you try.

“My number one success is having the faith to even open my shop,” remarked an enthusiastic Leonard. “I have to thank my friends and family for the strength they gave me to pursue my dreams and help make it what it is, and the good Lord for helping it grow.”

To learn more about the Nook, visit thenookshop.com and stay tuned to their Instagram page (shopthenook) for updates on hours, new items, sales and much more.

Adam Lansdell

Adam Lansdell

Adam Lansdell is an Alumni of Grand Valley State University, and currently a Communication Specialist with M3 Group of Lansing. With a passionate for all things creative it comes as no surprise that he’s also a musician, movie buff and graphic designer. Adam spends his down time biking, and spending too much of his personal income on concert tickets or vinyl records

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