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Omaha Magazine

From Boardroom to Workshop: Jodi Krymuza Trades Corporate America for Authenticity

Dec 27, 2022 08:15AM ● By Stacy Ashley Murphy

Photo by Bill Sitzmann.

When Jodi Krymuza left her job as a corporate vice president, many of her family and friends thought she was crazy. After 20 years in human resources, Krymuza hastily quit out of frustration one day. Newly married, her husband Dave was supportive and said, “We will figure this out.”

Jodi suggested her side business—then, a creative outlet—become a full-time gig, and he was on board. Less than a year later, Dave, who had always worked with his hands, left his full-time job as well. The two haven’t looked back since.

Authentically Yours Design, the couple’s business and now storefront in Waterloo, reinvents furniture, giving new life to older pieces through repair, refinishing, and repurposing. Jodi is the painter, and Dave is the expert with staining. They revitalize a lot of kitchen tables—modernizing grandma’s old oak pedestal—as well as hutches, side tables, chairs, and much more. 

The couple sources their projects from several places, but furniture often finds them. “People drop things off. We get messages about items people want to sell or donate,” Jodi said. They ‘buy it right’ so they can offer the furniture affordably, and their workshop is now packed with future projects. “I’ve grounded Dave from Marketplace,” she said, jokingly, speaking about Facebook’s resale platform. 

Jodi said the business is successful because the older furniture they repurpose is better quality than what is offered in stores today. “Especially if people go to a big box store, they are going to pay an arm and a leg,” she said. “We’ll have a better quality piece that we’ve given a fresh look.” 
The process to renovate a piece of furniture takes about two weeks from start to finish with repair, sanding, painting, staining, and curing. They almost always switch out the hardware and sometimes alter the function of furniture to create something new—an armoire is converted to a coffee bar, or an old door becomes an entryway table. Their focus, however, is typically paint—sticking mainly to neutral colors, using silk and mineral paint in whites, grays, blacks, and the occasional navy, to match people’s existing décor. They sell Dixie Bell’s Silk Paint in their shop, but Jodi said people generally just want them to do the work. 

The Krymuzas have also found a niche with custom orders for those wanting to make over their dated furniture or family heirlooms. People have emotional attachments to this furniture and want to be able to use it, Jodi said. “When you bring a finished piece to a person and they cry, that’s awesome.”  

 Dave also creates new pieces, such as floating shelves, custom mantels, and dog/baby gates. “Basically if you see it on Pinterest, most likely we can make it,” Jodi said. “Dave can build about anything.”

Ann Blaya-Arena has had Authentically Yours Design revive several pieces of her furniture and had Dave make her a custom mantel. “Their creative talent has literally saved me thousands of dollars by upcycling instead of buying new,” she said. She first enlisted the Krymuzas to remake her side table. “She basically brought it back to life,” she said. That transformation led Blaya-Arena to see the potential in her outdated orange-ish oak dining set, so she asked them to update that as well. They sanded it down, gave it a darker stain, and painted the table and chair bases a light sage green. “She did miracles with it,” Blaya-Arena said. 

Jodi admitted, with this job change, she’s never worked harder. She joked, “Dave said he married this professional woman who wore skirts and always had her nails done, and now his wife forgets to shower for two days because she’s been painting.” 

But that's who Jodi is now, and the reason for the business name, Authentically Yours. “We’re being true to who we are,” she said. “We’ve been doing everything we’re not supposed to do, and we’re doing ok.” 

Many would argue they're doing great.  

Visit authenticallyyoursdesign.com to learn more.

This article originally appeared in the January/February 2023 issue of Omaha Home magazine. To receive the magazine, 
click here to subscribe.

Photo by Bill Sitzmann.

 

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