What a Difference 5 Weeks Can Make!

Pic 1 Blog 170807

It took 5 weeks from the day I signed my Lease until I opened my door.

Pic2 Blog 170807

This 5 week whirlwind took 22 gallons of paint, a gross of building supplies, 2 barn doors, 129 crystal strands, tears, hours of labor donated by cherished friends, a very patient family, blood, sweat and smiles!

Pic3 Blog 170807

In the end I got more than just a beautiful little business that I am so proud of! I now have a collage of the sweetest memories all wrapped inside these 4 walls. I see the result of all the hard work, I look around and can still hear the laughter over the construction noise. I can picture my Mom and Dad working right along side me to help make my dream come true. This store is filled with a lot of love and memories.

I am thrilled to see what the future holds for Rusty Romance Antique Boutique. If you are in my neck of the woods stop by for some Sweet Tea, Snickerdoodles and a chat!

Have a Great Week!



I Have the Key in Hand!


The papers are all signed and the key is in my hand! I am about to unlock the door to a lifelong dream.

What the picture doesn’t communicate is my giggling like a school girl and the silly happy dance I am doing at that moment.

I am one starry eyed girl right now. Dreaming about Demo, Design and Colors. I want the feel to be right, I want the look to be inviting and I want the atmosphere to be so welcoming to my guests that they spend real time in my shop.

I have visions of embracing my Missouri roots by serving Sweet Tea and cookies to shoppers who want to relax in a cozy chair while leafing thru 100 year old books.

My goal is to get back to what retail used to be, a true experience. That small town family feel where you create real bonds with your clients.

But before that can happen there is a lot to be done! Time to roll up my sleeves and get to work!


Coming Soon…The Rusty Romance Antique Boutique!


For Rent

“For Rent” in lovely Downtown Enumclaw, WA.

Well, NOT anymore! This is the new home of Rusty Romance Antique Boutique! Isn’t it charming?!

I am so thrilled to be branching out and Enumclaw is the perfect place for RR to nest and call its FOREVER Home.

I am itching for DEMO day and the renovations to come! Plenty of pictures coming your way soon……


Rusty Romance Heads to Monroe!

It’s a very exciting week in the short history of Rusty Romance – I’m headed to my very first Antique Show! Well, maybe not my first, but my first one as a seller instead of a buyer!

The Monroe Antique Show and Sale is this weekend, April 1 and 2, at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds in Monroe, WA, and Rusty Romance will be there in Space 49!

Here’s a sneak preview at just a few of the items I’ll have on display and available for purchase…

Monroe A

This amazing vanity was anything but amazing when it came out of an abandoned storage unit. I’ve  had it for awhile, because it was sooooo BAD that I wasn’t sure I could save it, or what I could do with it. But more than a little TLC later, and look at it shine!

Monroe B

Spring has arrived, and here are just a few pieces for inspiration! Bring on the sun!

Monroe C

Finally, I got to plant some flowers today! In an antique bird bath! This one comes with everything you see, and I’m sure it will find a good home quickly!

If you’re in an antiquing mood this weekend, swing by the show and come say hi at Space 49. Click here for all the details, and I hope to see you in Monroe!



2017….Off like a ROCKET!

When I started Rusty Romance in the middle of 2015 it was the first step to a dream realized. I knew I was embarking on a journey with a steep learning curve but I was ready for the challenge!

My end game was to have my own retail space. My past career left me prepared for what having my own brick and mortar location would be like, so off I went in search of the perfect location. I toured many empty buildings and tried to visualize the beauty that each unpolished gem held but something was missing. I then came across an alternative plan…maybe I could join a Co-Op. Sharing space with like-minded people who share my same interests would be exciting! Not only would I be surrounded by creative people and years of combined expertise but some friendly competition too!

My thought process…1) Approach a Co-Op owner. 2) Ask nicely. 3) Pay your rent. 4) Become an overnight success…EASY right?! WRONG! I don’t know what it’s like in your neck of the woods but in mine….it’s HARD. I was shocked when I was told time and time again that there were very long waiting lists for a space of my own. It could be up to 2 years just to get my foot in the door! Surely, that couldn’t be right? So, I put my name on the lists, MANY lists and waited (not very patiently).

Tick…Tick…Tick… fast forward 16 months! I had all but given up and was ready to throw in the towel when I hit the LOTTERY! I had clawed my way to the top of a list, I got a space. I could see it all so clearly, it would be spacious and lovely. Do you know what I got? I got a CASE and a promise that if it went well I could get a space. UGGHHHH!!! Dejected but determined I decided to make it the prettiest display case in the history of display cases. I got it ready for Valentines Day and I crossed my fingers.

Mar Blog 1

My Valentine Case

It did well right away and was well received by all the vendors. Within 2 weeks a space came open and it was mine, ALL MINE! I was over the moon and moved into my Vintage Themed space right away.

Mar Blog 2

With my new space doing incredibly well I was hooked! Can’t I have just one more space…pleeaassse??? I began to stalk my fellow vendors like a jungle cat watching for signs of moving boxes. I think I scared my neighbor, he fled in the night and in the middle of February I got my 2nd space!

Mar Blog 3

My Primitive-Themed space

Mar Blog 4

Now I was really making some progress! Enough so that I was starting to see my garage floor again, inventory was moving out rather than in for a change!

Be careful what you wish for….if you are patient enough you just might get it. I made it to the top of the list at another Co-Op in a neighboring town. This one needed a little love so with some paint, a chair rail and a fairly awful stenciling job, it was ready to go!

Mar Blog 5

Mar Blog 6

The end result… my Elegant Antique Space!

2017 truly took off like a ROCKET for Rusty Romance and I am anxious to see what the rest of the year holds. I am so blessed to be able to realize a lifelong dream and for my family and friends who support me every step of the way!

Happy March to you all!


A Story Indeed!

So, here is what this plucky little secretary taught me, but first I have to go back in time a bit.

I had the opportunity to work with a “Seasoned Vet” of the antique hunting profession. Together we came across a small home hosting a few large antiques that were up for dibs. I was extremely excited and felt fortunate to have stumbled across such good luck! She shook her head and said “Pass”. Being shocked and confused by her rejection, she explained, “These pieces have been trapped in a house for years filled with cigarette smoke, that is more than just patina on those pieces. You could never resell them.” I sadly and slowly followed her lead and we walked away.

Now fast forward…I come across this Vintage Heritage Henredon Secretary. She is a lovely piece, sturdy with great classic lines and charming wire front doors. The price is great and I happily load it up thinking all it needs is a good dusting… until I get home. By the time I get home my vehicle smells like the inside of an ashtray and I know I have my hands full now!

I am an eternal optimist. Surely all it is going to take is a good cleaning. There isn’t anything soap and hot water can’t fix, right? WRONG!


The light color is the writing desk that had been safely pushed in over the years. The dark portion is the damage that years of layers and layers AND LAYERS of nicotine can do.


I tried Windex…. It barely made a dent in the layers!


Very hot water and soap, LOTS of Soap! What did I get, a slightly softer sludge type consistency that now releases the smell of cigarette smoke like a demented diffuser!


So lucky they haven’t created Smell-o-vision yet. Trust me!

Now fully understanding why my “Seasoned” friend passed on the earlier opportunity of great antiques at a “Too good to be true rate,” I seriously contemplated just walking away from this project.

That just isn’t who I am though. Oh no, I refuse to give up on something. Go big or GO HOME! Bring me my orbital sander! I am taking this piece down to the bare wood!


Are you kidding me? Look at the sanding disc! They just kept getting gummed up and I had to keep throwing them away…went through 15 Discs but I can see the light at the end of this very long tunnel.


At this point I have stopped counting the number of hours I have into this and look at it simply as a well learned lesson for the future…sniff all future purchases no matter how crazy you look doing it!

Smell is all but gone now. Just to make sure it doesn’t come back, a thick coat of KILZ primer followed by 2 coats of homemade Dove Grey chalk paint. This old girl has been through the wringer. She deserves a treat so I add charcoal grey accents and a hand painted scroll pattern on the pull out writing table.


I refurbished a matching chair and recovered the seat with a fluffy charcoal fabric to finish the look.





Project complete and I feel very accomplished! I learned a lot, will never regret the countless hours invested and have new-found wisdom.

Good News! This piece sold right away to a lovely older lady who said she had been looking for a piece “Just like this one for a long time”.

She was just waiting for me to find it, rescue it and bring it back to life!

Happy Hunting!





The Good, The Bad and …the UGLY!

I took a moment to brush off a very thick layer of saw dust to tease you with this picture!




Normally I like to post the before and after pictures but this one has such a story to it that I knew a “During” picture would be fun!

Take in the untapped potential, give me a week to complete and I will fill you all in on what this Mid Century Secretary Desk taught me.  There is definitely a story here.

Have a Wonderful Weekend!