BACKYARD BEGINNINGS, ENDLESS ADVENTURES.
Passion for our craft is what drives us, and sometimes it's hard to believe it all began in our little red barn.
“I would rather be sitting here 5 years from now saying, ‘we tried and it didn't work,' than sitting here saying, ‘you know we should have.’”
It’s hard to believe that five (nearly six) years have passed since Steve said those words to me as we sat around the bonfire in our backyard. The funny thing is, I loved my job back then. I was never one of those nine-to-¬fivers stuck at work daydreaming about what might be.
I was a store manager at Ann Taylor Loft for eight years, learning the ins-and-outs of retail and loving the people I worked with. But I would come home, the house would be empty because Steve was still on duty as a police officer, and I just had a restless desire to decorate (and re-decorate) constantly. I knew that as happy as I was, there was something more waiting for me.
It all started coming together about two years before we officially opened our doors at the Rustic Barn. I was finding home improvement projects to take on every day, my mother-in-law, Luba, was my go-to for a creative eye around the house, and Steve had started taking custom furniture orders on the side. Ideas were swirling, but the timing never seemed right to open a retail store.
Eventually, Steve convinced me to take the leap. I quit my job, learned the art of candle making, put my retail skills to the test, and the rest is history. The Rustic Barn as our loyal customers know it today is everything and more to me. I get to work alongside my family, create meaningful relationships with my clients, pour amazingly fragrant candles, and - my personal favorite - decorate to my heart’s every desire.
There aren’t enough words to express the gratitude I feel or the blessings that I enjoy every day. I get to wake up every morning doing what I love, and every day I meet someone new as they welcome me, and my curated collection of unique finds, into their home. I’m no longer wondering if there’s more for me in the future - I know that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.
“And now here we are, five years later, working like crazy and loving every minute of it.”
Man, has it really been five years already? Lisa would tell me it’s closer to six
now, but I’ve honestly lost count. When we first opened the Rustic Barn, I
was still working on the police force and building furniture on the side. The
days were long, but I loved every minute I spent in the workshop.
I’ve lived a lot of lives: from trade school to my carpentry business, working as a canine handler, and eventually as an officer before retiring to build furniture full time. It’s all been fantastic, but nothing has felt quite as right as my time running the Rustic Barn. This is more than a business to me; my team is my family, and my craft allows me to create beautiful pieces for my clients every day. I mean, I get to walk out of my house into my workshop fifteen feet away every morning and get to work. My mother and my wife work together in the store, and make a fantastic team. My clients wait months to have furniture built, and are excited to join me in the process.
How cool is that?
While I’m a contractor by trade, I’m an artist at heart. One day I’ll scale back some of the custom work, and walk into my workshop in the morning thinking, “What do I feel like creating today?” My dream is to have a showroom full of unique, hand crafted, one-of-a-kind creations waiting to find their homes.
They say if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. I don’t think I believe that. I think if you love what you do, you’ll spend every day working to improve your craft and every night working on new ideas you want to put into action. And most of all, you’ll work to make the people who matter - clients, wives, mothers, and team members - really proud.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to do work that doesn’t really feel like work, and do it to every day.
What began as a little redbarn-turned-workshop is now a
one-of-a-kind retail experience.
Steve originally built a barn in our backyard as a place to work on his
handmade furniture. We’ve grown a lot since then, but the barn is still the
symbol of the way we run our business. We act small, but we think big. We
invite people in. We take in unfinished things - animals, barnwood, even
people - and leave them better than when they arrived.
In this barn, we build, we welcome, we create, we inspire, we invite, we give life to, we appreciate.
We hope you will, too.
MEET OUR TEAM MEMBERS
Because to us, a family business means being in the business of treating our team like they’re family.
Oscar has been through a lot with us. He was our
landscaper, our friend, and eventually a guy that said “si” to
showing up and joining our team. It really was as simple as
that, and he’s said “si” to every learning opportunity,
challenge, and creative endeavor ever since. Oscar is
Steve’s right-hand-man in the workshop, and has been with
the Rustic Barn for four years now. Whether he’s sanding,
staining, or working machinery, we always love Oscar’s “si”
LUBA (ALSO KNOWN AS "MOM")
Luba’s is Steve’s mother, and is affectionately known as “mom” to everyone that visits our store. Her eye for design and creative
flair make her the perfect person to bring a room to life, and to fill a space with just the right pieces. When she’s not helping
customers decide what to buy, she’s pulling together one of our beautiful floral arrangements.
We don’t often hear regular customers say, “What flowers do you have today?” - they usually ask, “Is mom in?” We think that says it all. Luba has been with us since day one, and is always up to the challenge of whatever needs to be done. Whether it‘s handling day-to-day retail operations, going “live” online every Thursday night for virtual shopping, or crafting a centerpiece that’ll be a conversation piece, Mom puts her whole heart into the Rustic Barn, and we know you‘ll love her (almost) as much as we do.
Meet Tina! Six years ago Tina worked at The Rustic Barn when the store first opened at its current location. Eventually, Tina had to leave to spend more time on the non-profit she is involved in! In October, she randomly reached back out to Lisa to see if she needed help during the Christmas season and she hasn’t left since! Tina said it was like coming back to family ♥️ Tina loves working with customers and helping arrange floral arrangements. In her spare time she’s also a seamstress, loves to garden, and is President of a non-profit called Bare Necessities, which helps provide diapers and wipes to those in need. Next time you’re in the store, make sure to say hi to Tina!
SELIMARI (AKA "BOSS")
Seli is called the “Boss” for a reason! She’s originally from Puerto Rico, and when she walked into the Rustic Barn for the first time almost two years ago, she had never made a candle in her life. Now, she’s a seasoned chandler and is the soul behind the candle making operations at the barn. In Seli’s words, “I love cooking in the kitchen.” (That means cooking up candles, now you know!)