WATERFORD — It’s been forty years of building, collecting and repurposing, and now Joshua Friedman and his daughter, Margot Friedman, are ready to go retail.
The two have opened Friedman Found, a store full of “finds” ranging from antique to modern secondhand furniture, vintage clothing, antique tools, rugs, decorative pieces, as well as salvaged wood and architectural elements.
“A lot of places you go into, it’s really jam packed full of stuff and we kind of want to curate it and change things and have things show off themselves and have room to be looked at,” said Joshua.
The sprawling new space is located at 33 Boston Post Road in Waterford, where the grand opening party is scheduled on Saturday, Dec. 10, from 3 to 7 p.m..
The new store will be a division of Joshua’s longtime custom cabinetry, furniture design and restoration shop in New London, and will also offer design services, custom-built furniture, decorative furniture painting, and DIY project consultations.
For Margot, a painter who grew up in New London and Waterford and recently relocated from New York City, the store is an opportunity to make more art, create personalized pieces, and collaborate with other artists.
“I do custom painting for people – like monograms, decorative painting on furniture, commissioned pieces,” she said. “I really enjoy making crafts and things like that, so when I thought of coming here to join this, that’s really what I thought about — it’s a place where I can grow and show my work, change different things, put them out and sell them.”
Many projects come together using leftover materials, or repurposing parts of one piece of furniture with another – like the base of one table combined with the top of another.
“A lot of things have come out of different projects. Maybe a client wanted a table and there was leftover materials, and so they made something out of those. We make a couple of things while we’re making something else,” said Margot.
Joshua said he likes to help people execute their ideas.
“I can basically engineer it or figure out how to make it work,structurally and what kind of materials they need. So that’s kind of service I want to offer here – if someone has an idea and they can’t figure out how to do it, I can help them figure it out,” he said.
He said that if someone is looking for something different, he can upcycle materials or build a structure to meet the customer’s vision.
“To me, it’s like an ever-changing collage… You kind of mix it around and make it feel good,” he said. “I enjoy the interaction with people and fixing things and making things and creating things from different products. It’s like when you cook – I like to cook – what’s in the refrigerator? Let’s pull it all out and see what we can come up with. That’s a more artistic endeavor than reading a cookbook.”
Margot said the idea is to sell the items that Joshua has collected for decades and then look for new second hand pieces.
“It matters to me, using old things and minimizing trash and keeping value from stuff that’s already made and that we can find – I think that’s a good step toward the future,” she said.