West Seattle artist shares DIY tips for transforming furniture

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Amanda Whitworth shares furniture makeovers and her cancer journey with over 27,000 Instagram followers on her Sawdust and Soul account. #k5evening

SEATTLE — What’s old is new again, thanks to the growing trend of “furniture flipping” and people like Amanda Whitworth.

She runs a small business from her home in West Seattle, turning unwanted furniture into stylish, usable pieces.

“I just like to take the most run-down piece of furniture you can find and completely transform it into something you’d never recognize,” she said.

She showcases and markets her abilities through fun videos posting “before and after” projects on Instagram. Over 27,000 people follow his Sawdust and Soul account.

But Whitworth’s stream isn’t all about the pretty stuff. She also posts openly about her most important DIY project: herself.

For more than 20 years, she has followed a winding and unpredictable journey against cancer.

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It all started in 1999 when her mother called with devastating news: she had endometrial cancer.

“I remember my whole world was slowing down and my first thought was, ‘Oh my god, my mom is going to die,'” she said.

His mother survived, but three years later Whitworth’s brother was diagnosed with stage 2 colon cancer.

Eventually, the whole family was tested and the doctors discovered that they carried a genetic mutation.

“We have something called Lynch Syndrome,” Whitworth said. “It increases our lifetime risk of various forms of cancer. I was diagnosed in 2017 with metastatic cancer from an unknown primary source.”

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At the time, she had just started working with wood and this hobby became a lifeline.

“It was like my therapy,” she said. “It saved me mentally and emotionally, and it gave me something to plan for.”

After undergoing surgery and radiation therapy, Whitworth beat cancer. But the potential for another battle remains.

“I still have a chance of getting other cancers, and it’s pretty terrifying to go through,” she said. “But at the same time, it motivates me to live a life that feels most real to me, in the most authentic way I possibly have.”

She said that means doing what enlightens her and listening to her instincts. In September 2021, his intuition told him to start flipping furniture for a living.

“We only get one chance in life, and if there’s something you want to do and try, you might as well try it, and even if you fail, that’s okay,” said Whitworth. “There’s nothing wrong with failing because eventually you’re going to succeed.”

She hopes her followers and clients will be inspired to follow their own callings, whether or not they involve woodworking.

“We can change lives by being more honest and transparent with our own,” she said.

Whitworth is also a wood artist specializing in landscapes. Her work is available on her website and she now takes commissions for furniture and art. She also vlogs on YouTube.

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