Former bartender opens furniture shop as second career – The Daily Tribune




Antique treasures abound inside Pam Crowe’s store. She picks from sales all throughout metro Detroit in order to find pieces, such as this vintage phone.

Antique treasures abound inside Pam Crowe’s store. She picks from sales all throughout metro Detroit in order to find pieces, such as this vintage phone.
Debra Kaszubski – For Vitality











One person’s trash is Pam Crowe’s treasure.


Crowe, owner of Let’s Play Furniture, is a picker who scavenges flea markets, estate sales, antique shops, old barns and other locations looking for items she can fix up and sell in her Shelby Township shop.


Nearly every morning she searches for items with potential. Afternoons are spent in her shop, either working on a project in the backroom or arranging the showroom.


With a little elbow grease, some products, and creativity, Crowe transformed a hardware store storage unit into a unique dresser. Another distinct piece is a sizable wine rack she recently refurbished.



“I believe this was from the late 1800s. It was probably used on a coal farm as a way to organize mail,” she said.


Her store, on Van Dyke near 23 Mile Road, is filled with similar trash-to-treasures that she’s refurbished since opening five years ago.


“I enjoy bringing things back to their near original condition or turning them into something completely new,” she said.


Her work recently caught the eye of HGTV producers, who filmed a segment of the show “House Hunters” in her store. Although they spent hours in the shop in September, just a few seconds aired. The episode premiered on March 29.


The crew was interested in several pieces in the store, although the only item that made the cut was a shot of an entertainment center that Crowe’s husband, Anthony Salterelli, built.


This is Crowe’s second career. Crowe served as a bartender for 30 years, having worked at Filippa’s for nearly half of the time. She also worked as a cook. When she retired she started dabbling in decorating, she said.


Crowe’s second career started with a simple interest in interior decorating. She gave tips to her friends and experimented with stains and paint. Her hobby became a business when she answered an online ad.


“The previous owner put an ad on Craig’s List looking for a partner,” she said. “I decided to go for it because I had so much stuff of my own.”


Eventually, Crowe took over the business. She named the store Let’s Play Furniture after a saying she had with her friends.


Although primarily self-taught, Crowe is well versed on the techniques needed to refurbish a piece. She offers private lessons and also sponsors ongoing Girls’ Night Out events in which she offers training. The next Girls’ Night Out is set for 6 to 9 p.m. May 18. Register by calling Crowe at 586-942-2340.


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