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Dirt Road Designs Gets Rolling

By Jennifer Hall
St. Joseph News-Press, Mo.

Gwendolyn Lack had to pass all her school’s woodworking classes before she could “play” in her father’s shop. It was just one of his rules.

It wasn’t long until she began creating her own pieces. They were different than her father’s clean lines and by-the-book craftsmanship. Ms. Lack had her own style and customers took notice. They quickly began asking for her work instead of her father’s.

“My stuff was different,” she said. “Not like his.”

The St. Joseph woman can’t pinpoint her style and says she is inspired by almost every genre of design from shabby chic and classic to eclectic and urban. It’s a talent that caught the attention of Brenda Hines.

The two women have collaborated and recently opened Dirt Road Designs, 3001 Lafayette St. The shop showcases Ms. Lack’s creativity and Ms. Hines’ eye for design in pieces she’s collected over the decades. The space is full of ideas that most of us have pinned on our Pinterest boards.

There’s the ever-popular shabby chic furniture redo of beautiful sage greens and mustards. Even a grand bed frame, made of old doors, sits on display near the front door. The doors, aged to perfection, complement the custom pillows, knickknacks and wall art that surround the store — particularly the birds.

The women are having fun with the featured creatures. They can be found in paintings and accent pieces.

“We wanted the birds to have a story,” Ms. Lack said.

She finds inspiration from a lot of places yet is never in love 100 percent.

“I like to make it my own,” she said.

The business has gotten a lot of attention since opening just four months ago. And Ms. Lack has been busy with projects. She takes requests. If a customer sees something he or she wants, chances are Ms. Lack can make it.

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