Who They Are:
Dawn Nay, owner of Rule forty-two, paints neglected wooden furniture and transforms it into practical art. Rule forty-two also carries furniture accessories like untraditional lamps, fabulous scented candles, hand-dyed table linens, and other vintage items, plus paper; knobs, drawer pulls, and hardware to customize furniture pieces; and books and other resources. Dawn is a DIY-er with over ten years of experience in painting and finishing furniture, and she appreciates what others create. She moved to Staunton in the summer of 2010 along with her husband Michael and children Victoria and Tenor. They left the dry, hot desert summers of Las Vegas for “four seasons, countless outdoor activities, and old houses.” She and her family love to hike and explore in the Shenandoah Valley. She says, “Picking fruit and visiting fun little shops and eateries are great family times for us. We love Staunton and the area surrounding it!”
Dawn enjoys rescuing furniture that someone else has given up because of its worn appearance. In her view, “Just about any furniture piece can be redeemed, and that is why I love painting, refinishing, and redesigning furniture and want to inspire others to tackle their own furniture redesign project.” Dawn believes that people should feel welcome and comfortable when they visit a shop, and she strives to make Rule forty-two provide that type of atmosphereâ€¦and make people feel like they need to bring a little piece of that feeling home with them. She has worked hard to establish strong, lasting relationships with customers. In addition to doing individual jobs for clients since coming to Staunton, she has conducted focus groups with Mary Baldwin College students and even run a successful Kickstarter fundraising campaign, in which she raised $3,500 towards opening her business.
How did you get here?
Dawn comes from a family of creative and do-it-yourself ladies. Her grandmother was known to knock down a wall or two while her husband was working during the day. “I guess she did not want to wait until he got home from work,” Dawn says. Her mother ran her own dressmaking and alterations business for many years in the Vegas valley and taught her daughter to sew. The first dresser Dawn refinished was fourteen years ago for her daughter. It was not solid wood, so it did not last long, but it gave her a channel for creativity that she pursues to this day.
12 Byers Street
Staunton, VA 24401