Amy Forell was growing more and more restless. Back surgery last March had severely limited the usually active Benton Township paramedic.

“Being off for a few months, I was starting to lose my mind,” Forell said. “Having free time drives me crazy.”

Before reaching that point, she found a useful outlet for all of her energy. She began repurposing furniture and creating unique pieces for her own home. Having grown up in a family of builders, she’s always been comfortable working with her hands.

“At first I was doing it just to stay busy,” she said.

Some friends, however, caught a glimpse of her work and the requests started rolling in. With so many requests, she decided it was time to start a business of her own — Vintage Soul. Her rustic farmhouse style quickly caught on, which meant she had to find time to work on projects while returning to full-time work with Benton Township and raising her children.

“Any time I’m home, I’m working on projects,” she said.

This past Christmas, business reached its peak. Forell said she worked crazy hours to finish all of the projects she had going for local customers — finishing seven projects in just seven days of actual work by Christmas Eve.

She takes on everything from farmhouse dining room tables to planter boxes. She describes her style as rustic or antique, but says she’s completely open to giving customers what they want.

She is comfortable creating new pieces for customers or working with an existing piece a customer wants refinished. She said she thrift shops for new items to transform all the time and often looks for pieces with customers in mind.

Customers can view her work by finding Vintage Soul on Facebook. She currently works from home, and is happy with where her business has ended up over the course of the last year. She said she knows she won’t be able to be a paramedic forever, and may want to transition Vintage Soul into a full-time business.

“Right now, I’m good with where it’s at,” she said.

For more information, call (517) 749-6403.