CONCORD, N.H. — For the average 10-year-old, summer is the perfect time to kick back, relax and not have to do any work. There’s no homework (unless you go to summer school) and responsibilities are likely few and far between.
Owen Simoes is not your average 10-year-old.
Owen is the proud owner of a store in Concord called SquidFlip, a business that “flips” furniture by taking old pieces and fixing them up.
Unlike most other kids his age, he’s spending his summer afternoons tending his shop and working on new creations to put up for sale.
He’s been pretty successful, too, bringing in a fairly steady stream of customers despite not having been open for very long.
Owen’s inspiration for the business? A television show he’s been watching for a few years.
“I like to watch this TV show called Flea Market Flip where they redesign furniture from flea markets,” said Owen, a Concord native. “I really, really enjoy that show, so I wanted to make it a store.”
That was around January, and in just a few months he’s turned that idea into a thriving business.
With the grand opening of SquidFlip at 31 Warren St. in late June, Owen became one of the youngest shop owners in all of Concord. But don’t let his age fool you – he’s putting together some of the best-looking flipped furniture you’ll see anywhere.
On display in his shop is a colorful assortment of chairs, tables and various other pieces of functional furniture, such as a finely crafted wine rack. Some of his works are sets, making it easy to furnish a whole room, while some are stand-alone pieces.
For Owen, a typical flip starts the same way it does on the show – at a flea market. As soon as he spots a piece that inspires him, the creative juices really start to flow.
“I think I usually get my ideas when I see a piece and we see if it’s really worth flipping,” Owen said. “Sometimes it might be super hard to flip or we don’t have the right materials for it.”
Occasionally he’s inspired by what he sees on Flea Market Flip, like an item he’s currently working on.
“There’s a chicken coop that they flipped on the show, and we actually bought a chicken coop from the same place they did and I’m redoing it in a similar way,” Owen said.
Other ideas he comes up with out of the blue, like a travel trunk that he converted into a cool coffee table.
Like any great entrepreneur, Owen already has some big ideas for down the road.
“I think for the future I maybe want to work on getting a bigger space,” Owen said, “and trying to have people come in with a piece of furniture and we redo it for them.”
Although he admits that he does sometimes need help from his parents with the business aspect of his company, he handles his own finances for the most part.
“He sets the prices on the furniture,” said Laura Simoes, Owen’s mother, “and he’s paying his father for rent with the profits.”
Some of the money goes right back into the business, and the rest he’s holding onto for the moment.
He’ll be taking a break once summer ends and school starts back up, so customers will want to swing by before SquidFlip’s doors close. But don’t worry – Owen said he’ll “probably be open again next summer.”
“Hopefully everything will sell and then he can start fresh with new ideas,” Simoes said.
And who knows, maybe by next summer he’ll have his own TV show.
SquidFlip is typically open toward the middle of the week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 to 5:30 p.m. (after summer camp gets out for Owen). Visit the store’s Facebook page for updates on when it will be open next, pictures of items for sale and to make an offer on furniture.
Information from: Concord Monitor, http://www.concordmonitor.com