Hi there painting friends, we hope your creativity is flowing and you’re feeling inspired. We were lucky enough to have the chance to sit down with our CEO, Suzanne Fulford, and dive into her background as well as Dixie Belle’s background. Let’s jump right in!

“I think a piece of furniture would be a lot happier painted…”

Suzanne Fulford CEO of Dixie Belle Chalk Mineral Paint

What inspired you to create this specific product?

“Well, I’ll start from the beginning. I was going through a really hard time in my life. And it led to me finding out that I like to be creative. Around the same time, my niece was getting married, and she was doing it on the cheap. She told me about this thing on the Internet called Pinterest, it was back in the day when you had to be invited to join. So, I went on and I was looking at different sewing things and all of that.  Then I stumbled on people painting furniture, and these were some beautiful pieces of furniture. I fell in love with it.”

“When I painted before – I would strip, sand, and do all that hard stuff. But with this paint, you didn’t have to do that. That intrigued me. I looked and I found that you can buy it in Tampa, and so I went to buy it and it was too much for me to afford at that time and I didn’t need that much. But what it did was, it opened my mind to the knowledge that there was a product out there that you could actually do that with. So I dabbled, did a lot of research and experimenting, and tried all these different things using it on my own furniture. I got a formula that was not super expensive, and I could make it myself in any color I wanted. And so, I just started painting things in my house.”

“That really helped me, it was a lot like therapy, in a way that it took me away to a place in my mind. It took all of my, I’ll say, troubles and thoughts away and I was just painting. I’d always loved to paint walls and rooms and different things like that, because it was transformational, immediate, and didn’t have to take a long time, like sewing which takes a long time, which I did love the creative part. But when you painted, it was immediate, you put it on, and wow, there it was.   I really love that about painting furniture, too.”


How did the idea of Dixie Belle Paint come about?

“When I ran out of things to paint my house, I started thrifting and painting things that way and decided to open a store on Etsy, which had just started.  So, I started posting things on Etsy, and people were buying things across the country, which was surprising to me. I was like, ‘Oh, well, people like what I do, okay, this is great’. So, I started shipping things to anywhere in the country. But, after a while that got old, and it takes a lot of work. I looked for a local place to sell my pieces, I was still using my own paint that I had mixed. Shortly after, I got a spot in a neat little store with vendor spaces around the corner from me. As rental payment, I worked a couple days a month in the shop. I really didn’t mind because a lot of people came in and told me what kind of furniture or different things they were looking for. Which meant I knew what was popular to paint. So, I started finding pieces and flipping them more because I knew what people were looking for. But we also had a lot of people coming in looking for this particular type of “chalk” paint where you could easily paint furniture, and we were sending them down to Tampa to buy it. I don’t know how many went, but there were enough people asking that it made an impact on me. Then it dawned on me, I said to the owner, ‘You should look into a paint line to carry some here because everybody’s coming to look for it.”

“So, she called around, there were only about three companies at the time producing chalk paint. And it turned out it was going to be too much money – close to $10,000 just to sign up and get started with a minimum order. She was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I can’t afford to do that’. And when she told me, I couldn’t believe it. I was like are you kidding me? It’s not that expensive to make paint, there has to be a better way. I don’t understand why it’s so much. And the companies only had one big size. So I realized that there was an opportunity for smaller sizes, a better price point, and different colors. Unfortunately, I was unable to work out an agreement with the booth I was originally in. But the girl across from me in the booth was moving. She had found a place down the street. It was small – 800 square feet, but she could paint there. She could have a little showroom there and all of that and it was only $600. She asked me if I wanted to go in on it with her. While she was paying $300, I was paying $300 for 100 square foot booth. So I was like heck yeah, I’ll do that. I’ll make my paint. I’ll start doing that. And, you know, let’s just see where it kind of goes from there. So I hope that answers the question?”


Can you share your vision for Dixie Belle Paint when you first started the company? How has that vision evolved over time?

“What I really wanted when I started was to share what I found. Because painting was very therapeutic for me. I was never much of an art person, and in school I was never encouraged to get involved in art. But when I painted furniture, I could be creative and I could go and sell my “art” so to speak – and I realized I was creative in my own way. And that brought me a lot of peace. A peace that I didn’t know before. I always thought I wasn’t creative because I wasn’t artistic. And it took me a long time to realize those two things are not necessarily the same. I’m still not artistic, I can’t draw for diddly,but I’m creative.  You can be creative as an accountant, and you can be creative as an IT person, there are a lot of ways to be creative. And I learned that as I got older, so I wanted other people to be able to experience that. That feeling of just getting away from it all, like finding your Zen or being in your own bubble, or in the zone so to speak.

“So there’s that part. As far as the stores. I really appreciate business, I appreciate small businesses, and I especially appreciate mom and pops. But it’s hard to make work. Especially when you’re flipping furniture, painting furniture and you’re making that part of your shop, it takes even that much more time to make money. So, to be able to open something up and put it on your shelf and say, ‘Hey, yeah, here’s the paint for sale’, and be able to put money in your pocket right away. Doing that helps keep the lights on and helps pay the rent. I had a lot of retailers, and I still do have a lot of retailers tell me, that our paint is what keeps things going. So, you know, that was my initial goal.”

“And I really want to say not much has changed since then. I mean, that still is my goal. But I also didn’t start with a business plan. I would have never started with a business plan. If somebody said ‘You need to start this with a business plan.’ I never would have started.  I didn’t have any money to put into it. Hence, the fact I didn’t need a business plan. Plus, nobody was asking me for one. But, I just did the next thing. I thought okay, what do I want, I want to sell paint. I know have a good formula, and I know I can sell things. Let’s see how this works. And I just literally just went to the next step, what do I need to do next? Instead of getting overwhelmed by the whole process, or overwhelmed by the future and wondering how I am ever going to get there? I never thought about it. I didn’t think about it. Otherwise, I would have been too overwhelmed. I just did the very next thing and didn’t think about anything else.”  I always said I just wanted to see where the river would take me.

What challenges did you face in the early days of Dixie Belle, and how did you overcome them?

“Well, in the very beginning, I didn’t know anything. I knew I had a good product, and I knew I could sell it.  But I didn’t know how I was going to package it, didn’t know how I was going to ship it and I didn’t know how I was going to produce it on a larger scale. I didn’t know anything about websites or anything like that. Basically, I knew nothing. My life had been in sales. So, I knew how to sell, I knew I had a good product, I knew I could paint, and I knew nothing else after that. So, I had to figure all of that stuff out.”

“You think, Oh, well just go out there and sell paint. Well, how are you going to do that? How are people going to find you? Now, how are you going to ship it? Then, how are you going to charge for that ship?  So, when I say I literally next stepped myself, that’s what I did. For example, my first website was not much, I had pictures of the colors, but you couldn’t order anything on it. All you could do was see the paint. Then you would have to call or fax in your order. And then it was ‘Okay, next, I have to invoice people. How do I do that?’ It was all manual, people were calling in. We were calling people. So, now you’re growing. I mean, it was constant growth, constant change, constant, small issues. Constant.”


Dixie Belle has become a thriving brand. How do you foster innovation in product development, ensuring the paints remain relevant and desirable?

“I think that’s where creativity comes in. Also not being afraid of change. A lot of people in general are afraid of change. Because change can be scary, you’re used to having everything in place. So, you want to just keep it like this because this is comfortable. But you can’t go anywhere unless you’re okay with being uncomfortable. When I was younger, I don’t think I could have understood that. A lot of things come with age and maturity. When you’re younger, you want to raise your family, you have kids, and all of that – you don’t really want a lot of change or discomfort because you worry about your kids. Then when you get older and you lived that life, you don’t quite have that responsibility of children. You can be okay with being uncomfortable. Unfortunately, the older you get a lot of people get stuck in their ways. And then they don’t want to be uncomfortable because they’ve been this way their whole life. So, it’s also being able to grow, being able to see things, move towards them, and just have the courage to do it. Stick with being creative, being flexible, and being okay with being uncomfortable.”


Dixie Belle Paint has contributed to sustainability by giving old furniture a new life. Was this environmental impact part of your initial vision, or did it develop over time?

“I always feel like keeping things out of the landfill is a positive. I think we’re too much of a throwaway society. And I don’t think that that’s the answer to things. I also appreciate older furniture – the character of it, the history of it, it just feels different in a home, even if it’s painted it. It grounds a space and I really feel like that helps make a house a home.  I also don’t think that this stuff needs to be thrown out – there’s really no need for it. So, you know, yes, I do think there’s a lot of things that can be reused and repurposed.”

“There are some pushbacks from natural wood enthusiasts. However, it’s interesting, because people think it’s old, it’s an antique. It’s not the same, it’s vintage, but it’s not an antique. But if it’s not used, if an antique is dusty in a corner and unappreciated, it’s sad, the furniture is sad, it’s not being used, it’s like it’s not even there. It’s not used for what it was intended for, I think a piece of furniture would be a lot happier painted, and used in your home, loved, it should be opened and closed and admired, even if it was painted.”


What do you envision for the future of Dixie Belle Paint? Are there new goals or projects on the horizon?

‘We are always looking at new things. And we really keep our eye on the market and trends.  Our goal is to not remain stagnant but keep offering high-quality products for the creative DIYers. And, you know, listening to our audience and to what our customers want. Because that’s where we get our guidance from.”


Suzanne Fulford’s journey from personal solace to business success with Dixie Belle Paint is a story of grit and passion. From finding therapy in furniture painting to building a thriving brand, Suzanne’s vision has always been about more than just painting—it’s about community and creativity. Dixie Belle Paint keeps pushing boundaries, staying true to its roots while embracing innovation. Here’s to Suzanne and the entire Dixie Belle family, inspiring DIY enthusiasts everywhere to unleash their creativity and make their mark!



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Dixie Belle Paint Company

Dixie Belle Paint Company provides a line of chalk mineral paint that is high quality, easy to use, and most importantly priced so every DIYer can create and discover the joy of painting.

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