Katie Schindler loves flipping through pages of home magazines. Touching on the seasonal trends of interior design is something something she admires, but she has found herself in pursuit of a more timeless look. Perhaps this is why her specialty finishing shop, Fine Grit, is quickly becoming a Charlotte household name rather than a fleeting thought.
Schindler was raised in Eastern Tennessee and has lived in Charlotte for the past five years. While she studied interior design briefly in college and has years of experience in painting furniture, she did not find her current career path until she got a job in the finishing industry.
“I knew that custom finishing was one of the things I was meant to do when it came so naturally to me,” she explains. The opportunity presented itself, and I couldn’t help but to roll with it. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made.” Two and a half years after moving to Charlotte, she was sold a spray booth and the other necessary finishing tools, and her business began.
Fine Grit has created finishes for many Charlotte homes and commercial projects. The work is bold, yet simple. Every cabinet and countertop has a look that is so clean and stylish that you want to step back and admire but also reach forward to run your finger across it. Each piece is a statement of material and elegance.
I like the feel and look of a clean and simple space. Statement, yes, but a statement can be made in the most simplistic way if done in a well-executed manner.
Looking at the clean finishes of her work is when the meaning behind “Fine Grit” comes into focus. The mixture between woodworking and stone finishes bring an elevated look, one that not only calls to mind the mastery of the material, but the time and care that is put into every inch of surface. “Grit” is not only an homage to the work itself, but the determination of the artisan to create the perfect piece.
Just like the contrast of the nomer Fine Grit, owning a business is also a delicate balance. Like many artisans, Schindler had to learn how to navigate being a business owner and a creator. She found her stride by bringing in a strong staff to support her. Woodworker Devin Forbes has been working with Schindler since before Fine Grit and head finisher Jordan Black, whose name you may also recognize through his photography exhibited city-wide, is also a part of the team.
Looking forward, Schindler sees the city of Charlotte as a constant reminder of her current and growing success.
“I feel really lucky to have started my business in Charlotte. I think one of the reasons Fine Grit has had success is because there has been so much growth in Charlotte, residential and commercial-wise. And there is a good sense of ‘local support’ for trades such as mine, where people really love seeing someone from the community succeed in a small, yet growing business.”
You can experience some of the team’s work at places like The Waterman and Hyde Brewing. From the finished surfaces at some of our best bars to beloved private residences, Fine Grit will continue to make the Charlotte community proud with spaces everyone can enjoy.