Designing Woman: Taking What's Old and Making it New Again
Melanie Baker-Telford's Beautiful Boutique on Brilliant features furniture, home decor, jewelry and other gifts, plus one adorable bulldog.
photos courtesy of beautiful boutique on brilliant
Melanie Baker-Telford’s fascination with furniture design began early on.
While she was growing up in Greensburg, she says her parents made the most of their money by finding creative ways to repurpose secondhand furniture in their home.
“My parents taught me to paint and to reupholster,” she says. “They taught me to apply nail heads and everything else you could do to make pieces look brand new.”
Throughout the years, Baker-Telford — a former makeup artist and hair stylist — continued to refinish furniture in her spare time. She and her husband, Jeffery Telford, sold those pieces through their design company, BeCubed Designs, and at art shows and boutiques in the Wexford area.
Then, after spinal surgery, Baker-Telford says she found it difficult to stand behind a salon chair. Instead, she decided to open a shop selling her pieces, as well as other items she considered to be lovely.
On Feb. 7, she opened Beautiful Boutique on Brilliant in the former PNC Bank on Brilliant Avenue in Aspinwall. She describes the retail shop as a “lifestyle” boutique selling furniture, lighting and other décor, plus jewelry, handbags and gifts.
A travel lover, the Seven Fields resident often discovers the work of new vendors during trips with her family. She currently carries Savannah Bee, a line of body-care products she encountered on a trip to Georgia.
Family remains a large part of her business. Baker-Telford’s husband and father — who refinish all the furniture’s hardware and metal components — built the boutique’s front desk, while she custom-created the ceiling using hand-painted wood boards. Her bulldog, Butters, often accompanies her to work, to the delight of customers.
“Everybody loves Butters,” she says. “He’s my baby, and he keeps me company. I never anticipated [he would] bring in as much business as he does!”
Beautiful Boutique on Brilliant
101 Brilliant Ave., Aspinwall