Tucked away on Mulberry Street near Old Cloverdale is a little house with a brightly, multicolored painted awning. It’s not your typical storefront- which is fitting- because Johnny Marvin’s Paint and Furniture is a truly unique place. Besides being Montgomery’s only stockist of the much-sought-after Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® and supplies, it is the home away from home for a small group of artisans who unabashedly refer to Johnny Marvin’s as their “happy place.”
It is there that owner Yancey Hutcheson and wife Jennifer, along with their talented team, create beautiful custom furniture for their clients. However, there are other reasons that Yancey’s customers refer to the store as “the best kept secret in Montgomery,” and it’s easy to see from the time you first step through the door of the screened-in porch filled with unique pieces of architectural salvage. The atmosphere inside the house is relaxing and inviting. Unpainted vintage furniture pieces are nestled side by side with completed pieces in captivating and distinctive finishes. A wide variety of décor and accessories adorn the walls and accentuate details of the furniture. Customers are warmly greeted by either Yancey himself or Shauna Montgomery, one of his principal artisans, who encourages them to wander through the house and take in all the treasures within.
One of the rooms is reserved for the display of the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® products and supplies along with waxes, stains, stencils, milk paint and other items that would appeal to any aspiring painter. An assortment of brushes, decorative vintage stamps and stencils, décor moulds and transfers are some of the easy-to-use, professional-quality products available. Samples of various finishes and color combinations are at customers’ fingertips. It’s the starting point for anyone interested in beginning his or her own project or placing a custom order.
Yancey and Shauna pride themselves on providing hands-on customer service. Many clients say that another room- the store’s work area and classroom, where they are treated to one-on-one assistance in choosing colors and finishes and even are
encouraged to practice painting techniques before making a purchase- is what makes Johnny Marvin’s a standout among otherstores of its kind. Shauna knows that she and Yancey are making a difference in their customers’ lives. “ We get to know people on a first-name basis when they come in,” she explains. “We know what project they just finished, we want to see pictures of what they have done or want to do. We are just as inspired by their work and creativity as they are by us.”
In that same room, Shauna and fellow artisan Rachel Loflin regularly host both beginner and advanced paint classes. Classes are kept small to allow for one-on-one attention. Techniques such as proper waxing, creating and applying decorative mouldings, creating aged crackled finishes and other specialty faux finishes are taught. Students leave with a newfound confidence in their ability to complete their own projects. “We’re told that you can’t make a mistake with chalk paint,” laughs Elisabeth Gardner, “ and after taking the Basic 101 class, I’m convinced!”
Johnny Marvin’s Paint and Furniture recently joined the local Chamber of Commerce, and more big things are in store for the shop. Look for their new location in Pike Road, opening in early 2018, and a possible third location in the River Region by the end of next year. Yancey and his team are looking forward to serving alarger client base as the business grows.
In the meantime, make a visit to the little house at 1914 Mulberry Street, take in the beauty and magic there, and allow yourself to be inspired.