WHO ARE WE ?
What do you get when you mix a mom with a passion for painting with a daughter with an eye for revitalizing vintage furniture?
You get Ruth and Sam, a talented duo who create unique, functional, and beautiful furniture pieces that make people enjoy their homes and offices again.
The Rusted Arrow Story
Our story has a bit of the whole “chicken or the egg” element to it. Technically, the idea of launching a business involving revitalizing and painting furniture came from Sam (daughter). However, Sam learned her passion for painting, vintage furniture, and choosing eclectic décor from her mother, Ruth who had always done this as a hobby with her daughters. See what I mean? Chicken and Egg!
Let’s say it all started with Ruth
My father (Sam’s grandfather) was an electrician who also remodeled homes. When I was a kid, he would take me to work, give me a paint brush, and let me paint the inside of closets. I loved it! That’s how I first learned to paint and it’s what kicked off my creative explorations.
As an adult, I worked as a Buyer and Merchandiser for Jeri’s Hallmark for 17 years and later worked as a Merchandiser and Assistant Manager for Home Depot. I love the pace and environment of busy retail store, still I kept my creative life active. I moved on from closet walls and started painting furniture, fabric, and hand-crafting décor pieces. I always kept our home up-to-date and helped my daughters decorate their room. It was always a beloved hobby.
When Sam started working with vintage furniture as a profession and asked me if I wanted to join her, the answer was easy! It was the perfect opportunity for me to apply my background in retail and also make my hobby a more central part of my life. I love what we have created with Rusted Arrow Mercantile. Being able to create unique pieces while extending a wonderful customer experience is incredibly fulfilling!
The Egg, I mean Sam
You know how people say they had a great childhood? I really did. My mom, Ruth, filled our lives with art. Every year my sister and I had a blast taking turns picking the theme for our updated room décor. We learned to pick out vintage furniture, how to properly paint all sorts of materials, and how to make unique decorative pieces. We were upcycling before the word “upcycling” even existed!
I’m thankful that my adult life has also been fun and adventurous. I spent six years rescuing and rehabbing marine mammals. First at the Gulf Marine Park in Panama City, FL and later at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta.
Shortly after getting married, my husband and I took time off to travel. We settled in Florida with our beautiful baby girl and I started buying and painting vintage furniture for our home. I enjoyed it so much that I started to buy extra furniture to paint and sell.
A few months later when my parents moved to Florida, it all went into overdrive! Mom and I filled a house with furniture that we reinvented and painted into beautiful and functional works of art. We then sold our pieces at a local vintage fair. Eventually, we began getting requests for custom pieces. Customers either already had furniture they wanted us to reinvent or they had something specific in mind for us to source and create for them.
We became so popular that I sat down with Mom and had the talk – should we launch this as a full-time business? Turns out that we are both adventurous risk takers, so we took the plunge! Rusted Arrow has expanded to include Rusted Arrow Mercantile, our very own store in downtown Pensacola. We sell vintage furniture that we have creatively painted, home décor items, and we also do custom work on client pieces. It’s all exciting and we love what we get to do.
Want to see our work?
Rusted Arrow Mercantile offers a broad variety of coastal farmhouse furniture and vintage home décor items. Browse our portfolio to see a selection of pieces we have completed, both as our own inventory and as custom projects for clients.
We’d love to hear from you!
Feel free to send us a message with questions or to ask about a custom piece we can make happen for you. If you’re on Facebook, “LIKE” the Rusted Arrow Mercantile page and stay up to date on events and workshops.