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New Beginnings @ The Rusty Gate

Moving is one of the most stressful events a person can undergo, and when it's your shop, your 'baby', the one where you started out, it's not only physically hard, but emotionally hard too. Lake Geneva will always be 'home' to the Rusty Gate in a way, and i can only say the most heartfelt 'THANK YOU' to Patty and Samantha for allowing the shop to be in your lovely home for the 4 years we were there. We had a HUGE sale and nearly SOLD OUT, so another huge THANK YOU to all our clients and friends who took part in that - you got some great steals, and beautiful things to boot.

So after our moving sale in September, we packed up the shop and headed out to Burlington, WI, only 15 minutes east down HWY 50 (or 36 on the north side) from Lake Geneva.

rusty gate lake geneva wi
The last day packing up the Lake Geneva shop

Now, we knew we had out work cut out for us in getting the new shop opened up and ready for a Sept 20 (soft) opening. Yikes! we had not even finished the floors!

The new space in Burlington, destined to become our shop AND studio space, was a big blank slate, with lots of windows and natural light, but also with a floor that I really envisioned as barnwood. After all - those white brick walls!! SWOON! And after weighing whether or not to pay over $8,000 to have wood floors installed, Tom, my brother, and I decided we'd do it ourselves. (Yeah, great idea, but in hindsight, I would have enlisted a small army to help us get it done).

After all the carpet was pulled up we were faced with an uneven mess of old glue. We tested out some colors and decided to go with a warm weathered brow with grey undertones and black weathered grainmarks. Subtle, but weathered - just the look I was going for.

WHAT A PROCESS! Tom ripped the planks into 3 different lengths with all having an 8" width. Each board was hand distressed, sanded, and weathered with an aged oak stain. Layered on top of that was a light brown, then a grain enhancer was hand rubbed into each board's natural and distressed areas to highlight the beautiful woodgrain. Afterwards, each plank was sanded lightly and an enhanced woodgrain pattern was added on some boards, randomly.

Ok, it took FOREVER to hand make these boards. The picture above shows jut the final stack. Half the floor had already been laid down. In all, hundreds of planks were hand finished to achieve the rustic barnwood look we were going for.

Here is Tom installing the final wood plank onto the floor. I wrote Psalm 46:10 on the back of the last piece before he nailed it down because through all of this, faith sure was playing a pretty big role (and it still is)!

We finished the floor just in the nick of time. We were getting set to open the shop and furniture was starting to pile in! we had pushed it all to one half and worked on the other half while applying the finish sealant to the new floor. 6 layers! (8 on some parts!!) with all this work we want this floor to last!

The hard work paid off! The beautiful new floor really exudes the rustic vibe I wanted and after placing the area rugs, it is really home-y and charming! So, we opened up on Sept 20, to a very 'under the radar' test opening. I still had to make sure all the electronics worked! Needless to say, it did, and we were off and running. The hardest part about this transformation has been the late nights and the speed with which it all had to happen, but it did, and i couldn't have done it without the help of Tom, Jason (my husband), all my great friends and customers who gave so much support and of course, the Lord, who really helped me through this initial phase of the shop's transition. Now, on to setting up classes!

We are still working out our 'open' dates, and our 'class' dates. So stay tuned for that, but we are planning a fun Vendor fair for black friday and small business Sunday - and also of course our Christmas open house for Dec 1!

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