My Sleuth Upcycles For A Living

Why did I choose upcycling as my sleuth’s small business?

upcycling wine bottles
Upcycled Wine bottles image courtesy of

Every Cozy Mystery, well almost all of them, have the element of a small business owner being the sleuth. I chose to have my sleuth own an upcycling business. Why use someone who upcycles? Well, quite honestly, I had not seen it done before. Having read hundreds of the cozy little mysteries, what is normally found are owners of:

  • book stores
  • antique shops
  • hobby shops like crochet, knitting and quilting
  • coffee shops
  • bakeries

My brain has a pretty good working knowledge of all of the above. So, how could I make my series of mysteries different? With upcycling or repurposing being quite the trend in decor for the home and office, it seemed a good choice for my sleuth to have a business in. Using my knowledge of antiques and recycling, I already had a good beginning for her business. Besides, I love that sort of thing.

Growing up, my family was pretty poor. Grandma taught me how to recycle before that was ever really a word in the dictionary. One just found ways to re-use items instead of throwing them away. It would be decades before I understood that what I was doing was re-purposing or upcycling items.

Cool factoid: Earth day was created on my birthday!

It only seemed natural for my sleuth, Roni Rainer, to have a business in the fictional small town of Beaver Falls that specializes in upcycling found items. Finding items to repurpose in her shop are easily found in her community through estate and garage sales, auctions and donations. I could visualize a shop with this sort of merchandise in my mind; so, I ran with it.

Where do I find repurposing ideas for her shop?

Oh goodness, there are a slew of places that I can search for ideas! Some are just in my own head but others can be found easily. I watch a lot of HGTV which often gives me inspiration. There are also upcycle  projects on their website that appeal to me.

Other places to look, if you want some ideas are Pinterest boards, Martha Stewart and Better Homes and Gardens to name just a few. Seriously, just google the words upcycling or repurposing and you will find all sorts of places to travel to. It is what I do when I need some inspiration for something that Roni or Charlotte will make in the shop known in the series as, Revived.

My idea for her business seems to be appreciated by my readers. There was even a review that expressly mentioned an upcycled item. The gal said she wanted one of those ladder tables that the gals created. It made me chuckle just a bit because I want my hubby to make me one too.

Are you curious about what Roni and Charlotte create? By the way, the upcycled ladder table is described in the first book of the series. Perhaps now would be a good time to read Book One.

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