Modus operandi: "I'm really good at modifying things. Kind of like a re-designer. I like to take an old piece but tweak it with what's new and modern." If she spies a piece while shopping but doesn't immediately have an idea on how to change it, she doesn't buy.
Got started: Her first sale was in her workshop. "In the beginning, I was doing more with the power of display; that sold the stuff." When a velvet lamp she bought for 15 cents sold for $15, she was on her way.
How she works now: Kumpula is a guest dealer at various occasional sales so she doesn't need a space of her own. "I start about a week and a half before the sale and just start cranking it out. I am fast. I do a couple, maybe three or four big pieces, like an island or dresser set. I do about 20 midsize pieces and I accessorize with the small stuff: lamps, vases. I sell 75 to 85 percent of my stock at each sale; the rest usually goes at the next sale, after I change it. Maybe my gut was to change it in the first place and I didn't, so it didn't sell. So I do, and it does."
Background: Raised in the Wayzata/Plymouth area. No formal design education, "but I won a contest in high school to design a logo for the city [Plymouth] recycling program."
Family: Husband Craig; 11 children, ages 18 to 2: Robyn, Tyler, Torrin, Brady, Kelsey, Tessa, Carter, Callie, Cami, Elise and Lily. Kittens Oreo and Simba; golden retriever Copper.
How does she do it?: "I have a lot of help!" Craig helps with building, glass-cutting; the kids help with each other. She pays them to help with some tasks. "How many loads of laundry do I do a week? I pretty much never stop doing laundry, every day."
Then again: "Everybody's got something they like to do ... and they find the time to do it."
Signature pieces: Large standing mirrors framed with salvaged architectural pieces, adding unusual knob pulls; birds are a recurring theme.
Aesthetic: "I like to do something a little bit neutral, but then give it a little bit of pop."
Most indispensable tool: The cordless drill.
Best hunting: "Estate sales. I like going to the ones in old Minneapolis. They are the best."
The one that got away: "A French mirror. We were loading it after it sold and saw this French man's name on the bottom. And I thought, 'Oh, I shouldn't have sold it for that.'"
Occupational hazard: Bruises, cuts. Needed three stitches near her eye after "a crowbar incident" while prying apart a desk.
She's so over: Shabby chic.
Doesn't know: How to sew.
Current passion: "Right now I'm kind of liking this watery blue color."
Advice for beginners: "It's more than meets the eye. If you don't like to get uncomfortable, don't even try. You get cuts, you get dirty, you get stitches. You get a tetanus shot!"
Where to find her stuff: Second Hand Rose, 609 Soo Lane, Buffalo, Minn.; 763-684-0124. Also at the Rockford Laestadian Lutheran Church in St. Michael, Minn., 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Nov. 8, where Kumpula helps direct and stage the annual Saturday Market sale. Details available closer to sale date at www.rllchurch.org.