Riding by The Rusty Belle one day recently, I knew I needed to stop. I had been in the store a couple of times before, but only to look around. This time I stopped and met Jenny Barber, Kay Ballance and Vickie Robertson. These ladies are the nicest, and just fun people to talk to.
I found out that Kay was born and raised in Goldsboro, Jenny is from Wilmington but has lived in Goldsboro for about 18 years and Vickie is from Northern California but has lived here for about 20 years. Kay and Vickie (friends for many years) opened The Rusty Belle together in April of 2015. They got their start through a paint class after Kay’s son and daughter-in-law requested she paint chairs for them. After learning their skillsets and selling refinished pieces from home, Kay and Vickie realized they were building a business and needed a storefront. The old country store they are currently in was vacant; it fit their rustic style, and was a great location to market so they moved in. Jenny wondered into the store one day in June 2015 asking about marketing opportunities. She was already selling upcycled pieces from her house as well and realized she needed a different outlet. She officially started with The Rusty Belle in January 2016.
All three ladies told me that they work well as a team but they are individuals too. Jenny said as partners they act like a co-op. They each are involved in the day-to-day business, but they put items in the store based on their individual tastes and preferences; like a hodgepodge of ideas. Vickie said she loves distressing vanities and old dinette sets; Kay is into buffets, milk paint and experimenting with glazes; while Jenny favors midcentury, modern pieces and stencils/graphics. They have a collective brand and a certain vibe they want to accomplish, but say it's hard to put into words. However, if you look at the back of their business card, it seems they nailed it with words such as vintage, revived, rusty, unique, farmhouse, boho style, custom, and shabby chic.
Not only do they create masterpieces out of old furniture and home décor, but they also offer so much in customer service. Check out the great items they have in store at 137 Farm Club Road in Goldsboro. If you’re driving by during the week you might see them outside painting and refinishing items, but store hours are Fridays from 10am-6pm, and Saturdays from 10am-4pm. They do offer by appointment services and sometimes even travel to your house to help you paint if necessary. Their Facebook page is great to keep you updated on events and items for sale (such as the homemade candles from Seagrove, NC). They sell the brand of paint (General Finishes) they use in their store and even have paint classes every Monday night. For more information, you can reach them at (919) 947-5236, by email at email@example.com, or on their Facebook page www.facebook.com/MyRustyBelle. These ladies are very friendly, so ask them about custom pieces, décor advice, and how they can help you find and redo that special piece you’re looking for.