Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Local Featured Seller: Rustic Furnishings

We are Lee and Bev Pennington. Our shop is Rustic Furnishings. Lee is the more talented of the two of us. I do more of the behind the scenes stuff (managing the website, shipping orders, painting when needed). Lee creates our items. I honestly think we can describe him as a "Master Woodworker". He has an amazing gift to see a picture of an item and create it from scratch with a little twist of his own added. We opened our shop on etsy about 11 months ago. We've had a blast communicating with folks from across the country (and even Canada). We have our online business in addition to full-time jobs. Lee is a Medical Laboratory Technologist and I'm an Assistant Principal.

We are located about 45 mins east of Charlotte in Albemarle, NC. Albemarle is known for two things. We have a history of state championships in 1A football and we are the home of Kellie Pickler!
red wooden distressed replica of antique candle box by rustic furnishings on etsy
We create rustic home decor items. Our smaller items include replicas of antique candle boxes and our larger items include a distressed two-shelf cabinet with doors. Our most popular item is a three-step, step stool that comes in a variety of colors. We have shipped these from coast to coast.

Our favorite place to visit in the triad (this is a stretch of the triad's boundaries but still close) is Greenville, NC. We have two sons attending ECU. One is a Chemistry major and the other is majoring in Exercise Science while working as a student coach for the Football Team (this opportunity came about after he was injured as a red-shirt freshman on the football team). We also have a daughter in college who decided to stay close to home for the first two years. She attends Rowan-Cabarrus Community College where she is studying Dental Assisting. You can probably see why we needed to supplement the income with three in college!

Lee started creating hand-crafted wood items while still in high school. This early love of wood has only increased over time. He seemed to have a natural talent for creating beautiful items. Some of his early work is just as gorgeous and functional now as it was 35 years ago!
Rustic Furnishings' Side table distressed in white paint

Lee gets his inspiration from a variety of sources. He loves antiques and loves to make new creations looks old. His favorite finish is anything distressed! He will see an antique in a store, at a festival, in a magazine, wherever and be able to create something similiar. Our motivation for doing what we do is for our children. We are working hard to provide for their education.

Lee creates our items in a shop in the backyard. When we moved to Albemarle 9 years ago, the top priority on the house hunting list was an existing shop. We really lucked up to find such a nice area for him to work. I bring the smaller items inside to paint on the dining room table and package for shipping in the living room. There's not a room in the house that isn't somehow associated with the business!
Step stool black wooden by Rustic Furnishings on etsy
The name "Rustic Furnishings" was the end result of several days of going back and forth between other options when we set up our shop. We thought long and hard about our name depicting what we create. We didn't want it to be our name. We've been there, done that. We had an antique and refinishing shop years ago that had the Pennington name in it. We considered our product and thought that Rustic Furnishings best suited our creations. We don't have fine, upper end furniture. Our furniture items fit the cottage, comfortable feel of a room. We wanted to keep our love of the older pieces that inspire us at the forefront of our mission. Rustic Furnishings seems to best depict what we do!

Our goal is to provide a quality wooden furniture product with friendly customer service. Online shopping can be scary to some folks. You don't know who you're dealing with nor what the finished product will look like. We try to address these concerns through informative descriptions, quality pictures and friendly online interactions. I think our feedback comments are a testament to us reaching these goals in our previous sales. I know this may seem silly but I told my daughter when we opened our shop that it was our goal to have one of her dad's step stools in every home in America! We've got a way to go but each sale gets us that much closer! They're such versatile, functional items, everyone should have one (or in the case of a customer in Florida...three)!

The only place you'll find us on the web is in our etsy shop. My goal is to start blogging and tweeting but I haven't had time to work on these yet. I have a Facebook page started but not ready to roll it out quite yet.

~ Bev Pennington

NCTriangle Team members who would like to be featured on the blog, please contact ShoreDebris.

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