Metamorphosis Design: All-women refurbishing company provides opportunity, inspiration for moms

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Meaghan Wolf, founder of Metamorphosis Design, paints furniture in her Carmel home. (Photo by Ann Marie Shambaugh)

Meaghan Wolf, founder of Metamorphosis Design, paints furniture in her Carmel home. (Photo by Ann Marie Shambaugh)

By Ann Marie Shambaugh

Meaghan Wolf never planned to own a business. It just sort of happened.

The Carmel mother of three is the founder of Metamorphosis Design, a company that updates furniture, cabinets and more. She employs approximately 15 other local women who enjoy the flexibility of working on projects when they can.

“It turned out to be great,” Wolf said. “I never knew that there really isn’t any home improvement (company) or anyone who comes in to your home like that who are all women.”

A lot of their business comes from stay-at-home moms, she said, who feel more comfortable allowing in women than men. And, she said, many of the male contractors working alongside them in homes are often surprised to see them there.

“It’s such a new concept that men are just like, ‘What are they doing?’” Wolf said.

A second career

Wolf, 42, has a background as an art teacher, but it wasn’t until she started using Facebook sites to buy and sell used items for the home that she got the idea for her second career. Some of her for sale posts were pieces of furniture that she refinished, and saw that there was a market for it.

“A lot of people want to go back and be reusing the antiques that are out there,” she said. “Older furniture was made really well. Everything was solid wood back then.”

Wolf also was inspired to make a career change when her youngest son, now 10, was born with cerebral palsy. With frequent doctor visits, she knew she needed a job with flexible hours. He is now a big fan of the business – and his wheelchair ramp into the house and large wheelchair accessible van have ended up being “perfect for furniture,” she said.

Wolf said her children weren’t supporters of the business at first, as the dining room is now a work room and furniture often crowds the house, but they’re all on board now. Her oldest son is taking a business class at Carmel High School and has started helping with deliveries to earn some extra money.

Meaghan Wolf rests on a piece of furniture she refinished in her Carmel home. (Photo by Ann Marie Shambaugh)

Meaghan Wolf rests on a piece of furniture she refinished in her Carmel home. (Photo by Ann Marie Shambaugh)

Growing the business

Once she realized she was onto something, Wolf reached out to see if other creative moms would be interested in helping. The answer was a resounding yes.

Carrie Suhy, a Carmel mother of two, was the first to join the team about two-and-a-half years ago. She said she was attracted to scheduling that allowed her to work when her kids were in school.

“Having that flexibility is vital to our family life,” she said. “Both of my kids are really involved with school activities and sports. Once they get home we’re usually leaving for one of their activities between hockey or horseback riding.”

Suhy’s area of expertise is spray painting. Each Metamorphosis Design employee brings a unique set of skills, but all of them enjoy putting them to good use.

“You just get in this rut where it’s a daily routine: go to the grocery store, do the dishes, do laundry. So it’s nice even if it is painting a dresser and getting paid a little bit,” Wolf said. “It feels good to be able to make some money on the side and be able to do it part-time and be there for your family as well.”

The women of Metamorphosis Design describe themselves more like sisters than coworkers, but it’s a group Wolf doesn’t expect will be growing anytime soon.

“I really don’t want to be any larger than the 12 to 15 ladies. When you get too big, you lose sight of what your business is about,” she said. “We’ve become a close-knit kind of family because we have been working together for so long.”

Learn more about Metamorphosis Design at Facebook.com/metamorphosiscarmel.

Meagan Wolf, front row left, with her family, including back row from left, brother Scott Shoemaker, mother Lissa Shanahan and, front right, brother Ryan Shoemaker. (Submitted photo)

Meagan Wolf, front row left, with her family, including back row from left, brother Scott Shoemaker, mother Lissa Shanahan and, front right, brother Ryan Shoemaker. (Submitted photo)

Operation Babylift

Wolf grew up in Southport, but she was born in Vietnam during the Vietnam War. She was part of “Operation Babylift,” which led to thousands of orphaned Vietnamese children being flown to the U.S. and other nations for adoption at the end of the war.

Wolf and her husband are hoping to adopt a child from Vietnam, but they have been waiting for years because the nation is closed for adoptions.

“It’s not always easy growing up as an adoptive child, because you always get questions,” Wolf said. “I thought it would be neat to be able to relate to another child that was adopted.”

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