Perhaps you know Anne-Marie Eddy as the woman who brought Annie Sloan Chalk Paint to Martha’s Vineyard and founded Re-Fabulous Décor. Or maybe you’ve taken one of her workshops, or visited her renamed shop, Coastal Supply Co., at the corner of Main street and Union street in Vineyard Haven. But you may not know that Anne-Marie has added a new – but related – business to her portfolio: home staging.

Q. Start at the beginning. Where did you grow up?

A. I was an army brat and kind of grew up all over – in Europe, in the South, and then in Acton, Massachusetts, for high school. I went to Suffolk University, lived in Boston in my twenties, met my husband there, and we decided to marry in 1998. My idea was to get married on the Vineyard.

Q. Just like that? With no connection to the Island?

A. Well, I spent my summers as a kid in Falmouth Heights. So we used to come to the Vineyard all the time, mostly to Oak Bluffs. We’d sail in or take the Island Queen. As I got older, I would come for weekends. So it wasn’t a sudden, “Oh, let’s get married on the Vineyard," thing.

Q. How did getting 
married here turn into 
living here?

Now Anne-Marie has added a home-staging business to the mix. Maria Thibodeau

A. I did most of the planning for the wedding – the trips over, the meeting with vendors for a tent, food, etc. And I just saw a need for another tent and party rental business. So I went home and said to my husband, "You don’t really like being a lawyer and I’m already sick of the corporate thing, so why don’t we move to the Vineyard, buy a place and start that business?" He thought I was crazy.

Q. But you persuaded him?

A. Yes! We went to some conventions and learned a lot about the industry. We moved and he started Big Sky Tents.

Q. How did you decide to create Re-Fabulous Décor?

A. It was the paint! I discovered Annie Sloan Chalk Paint on a visit to a friend in California and fell in love with it. I was always against painting furniture. I was just too lazy, I guess. I thought you had to strip, prep, prime and then paint. But that’s the beauty of this chalk paint. It self-primes. You just put it on and it looks fabulous! It became my mission to share it with everyone. So Annie Sloan trained me and I started selling and doing workshops in 2013. Last year, I did 64 workshops.

Q. And now, Coastal 
Supply Co.

A. I needed to diversify because paint sales started to slow. It was gangbusters for a few years; people were so excited to learn about it. Then I got the chance and moved to a bigger space and added more products. I buy what I like and what makes me happy, and I hope it makes other people happy too. So I’ve added home décor, jewelry and personal care items. I want the store to be a kind of sanctuary when people go in, and I want it filled with unique items.

Q. So that’s a business that works?

A. Yes. I now have a great team, the store makes money, I am able to pay my employees and all my bills. I love the size the store is now and don’t intend to expand it. But I felt personally that I needed to learn something new.

Q. So how did the next step happen?

A. The home staging idea was in the works for a few years. At my husband’s business, people were asking if he knew any stagers. I'd also gotten a few calls from realtors asking if we were doing it, and if not, why not? I began to learn more about it. And last February, I went to Tennessee and took a class called Expert Psychological Stagers from a woman named Kristie Barnett. It’s a certification program. She trained us and gave us everything we needed to run our own business.

Q. But then the lockdown!

A. Yes, I started Martha's Vineyard Home Staging at the worst possible time, but I think we’ve done pretty well. So far, I’ve had a total of eight stagings. I spent a lot of time after Tennessee marketing to real estate agents and acquiring more furniture and décor to use in staging. There are others doing this – some real estate agents, some designers – but I am pretty confident that we have the largest amount of inventory. I probably have enough now to fill four houses.

Q. How does it work?

A. There are different ways we can approach a job. The first is a written consultation for homeowners who just want advice on how to get their house ready to go on the market. I visit, go room by room, take photos and create a report with suggestions of what they should do. Secondly, they can hire us if they want us to do the whole thing for them.

Q. Why would real estate agents bring you in?

A. A lot of them like having me come in to talk to the homeowners. I can say things the agent is often not comfortable saying. It’s a tricky thing since homeowners are often emotional about their homes. So you need to learn techniques that will persuade them to make changes.

Q. Why should 
homeowners consider this?

A. Staged houses sell more quickly and usually for higher prices than most un-staged ones. We make changes that will appeal to the widest possible audience. And that is good for everyone.

Q. Give me a sense of the common changes you 

A. With home staging, you are trying to appeal to a wide audience. You have to set goals with the homeowner such as, “We want these rooms to look larger and brighter. How? We’ll have to take the drapes down and remove the heavy rugs. We will remove a third of the furniture, too, and put it in storage.” We often recommend paint changes too, and of course removing personal items to create a marketable product.

Q. Where do you get the most satisfaction out of all you do?

A. Well, the store is my social life. I am very social and love the store because of all the people I see and get to talk to. I also love satisfied customers and getting great feedback on what we sell.

With the staging, I have to be super organized, especially the day before when I am packing everything up according to the plan we’ve put in place. But the day we actually do it and see it all come together, it is so exciting. It really is a great feeling. It’s a coat that fits me. I love it! I am so fortunate that I get to do both of them.

For more information on Anne- Marie’s home staging business, visit

Paula Lyons is a former television consumer journalist. She lives in Vineyard Haven.