New store in historic schoolhouse

Pictured is Cynthia Hill in her newly opened store A Fresh Look! by Cynthia, located at 114 W. Liberty Street in Columbia. 

St. Paul Lutheran Church in Columbia’s historic schoolhouse is now home to A Fresh Look! by Cynthia, a custom cabinet and countertop and resale store. 

The building, which opened to the public last year along with the neighboring historic church, first opened in 1870. It has been largely unused for the last 70 years. 

“It’s very charming,” Cynthia Hill, owner and operator of the establishment, said of the location. “It just has something that welcomes people.” 

Hill, who lives in south St. Louis County, moved into the building in November after operating a store in St. Louis for a few years. 

The Red Bud native, who has been designing kitchens for almost 19 years, decided to move her business because she liked the idea of it being both in Columbia and in the historic schoolhouse. 

Hill was already familiar with the building because she is a member of the church. 

Since it was so newly renovated, including with a kitchen Hill designed, the only work she needed to do to get the business ready was to move in her inventory. 

Many of the things for sale are ones she has owned over the years, as she has two storage areas full of items. She also buys some items for the store. 

Hill’s selection includes various decor items, kitchenware, furniture and more. 

“I am an eclectic designer and kind of a hodgepodge designer, so that’s how I decorated my store,” Hill said. “It’s something for everybody.”

The resale part of A Fresh Look! by Cynthia is open 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Thursday-Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. 

The design portion of the business is open Monday-Wednesday by appointment only, so Hill can go into the field to perform measurements and offer free quotes. 

Hill specializes in designing cabinetry for kitchens and bathrooms, though she said she can do anything. She works mainly with residential customers but can also work with contractors and commercial clients. 

She said she aims to give every customer specialized attention – including taking them to a stone yard to hand-select their material. 

“I just do a lot of one-on-one with the client,” Hill explained. “It’s all about the client. It’s not about turning over to the next sale. It’s very personal to me because I know it’s very personal to them.” 

To learn more about the store, visit A Fresh Look by Cynthia LLC on Facebook or call 618-719-2330 to schedule an appointment. 

Those who visit the store before Dec. 21 can also enter to win a 10-piece set of cookware, as Hill is holding drawings for such prizes each month of her first year in Columbia.

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