By Michelle Caceres

A succession of deaths in Cari Major’s family forever changed her outlook on life and spawned a business that gives new life to old wood furniture.

In 2007, as a pallbearer at her mother’s funeral (she died of cancer), her father broke his collarbone. At the doctor’s office, after an X-ray and other tests, he is given the news. He had cancer too.

He battled valiantly but eventually succumbed to the disease, leaving an estate that included a home full of his belongings, including many pieces of old furniture. Looking for a way to bring new life to her father’s old furniture, she started painting the pieces using chalk paint, paint made specifically for furniture.

Her hobby, which was very therapeutic, began taking up more and more of her time. “I told my husband that my job was getting in the way of my hobby,” joked Majors, who was a computer engineer for a corporation in St. Petersburg.

Majors, with a new perspective about what is truly important and to be able to spend more time with her young family, took a leap of faith, quit her job, and took her hobby full-time.

Located at 4357 Lynx Paw Trail in River Hills Plaza, Distressed Nest boutique sells her painted pieces, a complete line of American Paint Company chalk paint, and a variety of other merchandise from local vendors, including jewelry created from antique silverware, vinyl lettering, wreathes and handmade baby items.

Classes are also offered for those wanting to learn how to use chalk paint. November’s classes include a chalk paint introductory class, “Wine and Design” holiday ornament making and monogram door hanging. Private classes can also be arranged. Lakeland resident Kim Dodd learned about Distressed Nest on Facebook.

“She’s so wonderful because she took the time to let me know what I needed to start painting pieces of my own,” said Dodd, who purchased and refinished a vanity for her bathroom. She has purchased quite a few unique pieces from Majors. Distressed Nest is open Tuesday–Friday 10:30 a.m.–5 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m.–2 p.m.

For more information about Distressed Nest call 602-1362 or visit its Website at


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MIchelle Caceres has been writing for the Osprey Observer for seventeen years. She enjoys writing human interest pieces about inspiring members of the community who are working to better our community. She lives in FishHawk Ranch with her husband and recently became an empty-nester. When not writing, Michelle is serving her church community, reading and enjoying Florida's weather.