The Rusty Chair | Northwest Arkansas Commercial Photography
Almost directly across the street from the studio is The Rusty Chair, an eclectic store filled with cool vintage finds, unique decor and…well…to be quite honest, stuff you never thought you’d see. Take for example the large, solid steel metal doors that are painted bright yellow (scroll down for the picture and take note that they’re already sold). These are just the sorts of things that attract the eyes of the store’s owner, Julie Loose. I’ve been a longtime customer of the store and a friend of Julie’s so it is only fitting that I restart this blog series featuring her. So without further adieu, meet Julie & The Rusty Chair…
What is your name and your business name?
1. Julie Loose, The Rusty Chair
Describe your business.
The Rusty Chair offers unique vintage and antique items, specializing in eclectic hard to find items. Odds are that you'll find at least one thing in the store that will have you scratching your head wondering what it is. Items date from Victorian to the 1970's, with a huge range of styles and categories.
When, how and why did you start your business?
I opened the store in July, 2011 after moving to NWA a couple years before. I had worked in the corporate world but felt I needed a change of direction. Antiquing was not always in blood, but as a child my aunt and I often visited a neighboring cute historic downtown for lunch, shopping and antiquing. I was completely bored, because she was drawn to pretty porcelain teacups and delicate glassware. And then came the collector plates. Oh, the plates. Years later, I inherited that very large collection and started selling them on ebay. My aunt and uncles were born during the Depression, lived through WWII and were part of a generation where things were used, reused and never thrown away; a time when pieces were meant to last. The move to Arkansas and a smaller house required me to liquidate furniture from my Victorian home to fit a smaller house. I opened a booth at a local antique mall, and as they say, the rest is history. The collecting bug had bitten.
What do you love about Downtown Rogers?
I had lived in NWA for four years before I opened the store. It wasn't until I opened the store in downtown, that I finally met my people and felt like NWA was home. My fellow merchants have become my friends (and in some cases my best friends). There is a small town community feel to downtown Rogers. One of the things I love about being downtown is my fellow business owners; they're independent, smart, compassionate people. So many merchants selflessly volunteer their time to help promote and improve downtown. They work much more than 40 hours a week - not because they're getting rich, not because someone is telling them to - because they simply love what they do. These people give so much time to making downtown a better place; promoting downtown as a whole while sacrificing time that could be spent on their business. I hope the next time you see them, you take a minute to simply say thanks or recommend them to a friend or pull out your credit card and buy that awesome thing they offer in their store/bar/business. It may not mean much to you, but trust me, it means the world to them. Never would I have imagined this was the place I would call home. Rogers is nine hours away from family, but I've found a new family.