The Rusty Pick – Waite Park
Waite Park, MN
The Rusty Pick Downtown
St. Cloud, MN
Juli Scott, a second grade teacher in Sauk Rapids, MN, likes to joke that in 2007 when she married her husband Todd, a nurse at the VA Medical Center in St. Cloud, MN, "he didn’t know an antique from a schmantique!" Juli had always liked antiques and vintage decor but she never had any interest in selling it. It didn’t take long before Todd developed a growing interest in going to antique shops, garage sales, and of course, auctions! Their storage space, garage, and basement soon were filling up with purchases he just couldn’t pass up!
Todd had a tenacious hunger to learn everything he could about the history of pottery, postcards, furniture, and most antiques. When Juli asked what was to become of all the items that had filled her shelves - Todd admitted he had been researching which shows would be the most convenient for them to do and he had been looking into purchasing an enclosed trailer to haul merchandise.
They started doing one or two shows and within two years were doing up to seven shows a year. Then, under their original business name, “Dog Years Antiques”, the couple ventured into renting space at shops in Albany, Hutchinson, Rogers, and Royalton. It soon became clear to them that selling from antique stores, with all the travel and maintenance and upkeep it required, was not nearly as lucrative as doing shows. But they decided to take one last ditch attempt at being in a store, and they rented a space at Bumbledee’s in downtown St. Cloud. The store was “in their own back yard”, and the ability to get there often, change product and update their space regularly, and to be in a store that was open to many different aesthetics, became very productive for them.
Then, less than a year after locating in Bumbledee’s, the store next door closed and the space went up for rent. Todd and Juli discussed opening “their own shop”, but at first the thought just seemed absurd. Why and how? – for two people who already had full time careers. And then Dee, the owner of Bumbledee’s, suggested they open a wall to connect the two spaces, and she offered to have her business handle both stores’ checkouts. Her idea was to create an antiques and vintage shopping destination in downtown St. Cloud. After some discussion Todd and Juli decided that this was something they could take a shot at and within weeks, and under a new name, “The Rusty Pick” was open!
What made The Rusty Pick different from many other shops was Todd and Juli’s efforts to provide a little something for everyone. They wanted to cater not only to people who wanted to shop for repurposed items, but also to those who wanted to do the repurposing themselves. They decided it was essential that their inventory include architectural salvage and project pieces, as well as traditional antiques, repurposed items, and things that appealed to men, such as gas and oil items, signs, comics, toys, and records.
They handpicked vendors for The Rusty Pick based on them having merchandise different than their own. Their goal was to create the most well rounded vintage shop possible.
After being open for a year they were able to arrange their schedules and hire enough help to run their own checkout and be totally "their own shop!"
Destination shopping was always in the back of their minds because that’s what they look for when they travel and want to antique. They noticed that more and more shops of the same style as The Rusty Pick were opening on the west side of St. Cloud, and in nearby Waite Park and St. Joseph. Todd and Juli started casually looking into buildings with an eye to possibly opening another business in this area, again building on the concept of a destination shopping area.
In early 2017 they found a great building that had been a factory for making prescription eye glass lenses. During discussions their contractor told them the building had endless possibilities for what they envisioned. The time from discovery of the building to opening The Rusty Pick - Waite Park was just a few short months.
The new store, The Rusty Pick - Waite Park, opened on July 21, 2017 and since then Todd and Juli have been gratified with the response to both the Waite Park and Downtown St. Cloud locations. Juli notes that, “The comments and customer following have been tremendous!” People are shocked when Juli jokingly tells them she’s a teacher and her husband’s a nurse and, “This is just a hobby that has gotten really out of control”. “But”, she says, “having a business as a hobby, that’s not our means of making a living, makes it the most fun to do! We buy smart so we can sell smart and make it a win/win for everyone!”
Both Todd and Juli invite you to, “Stop in and visit The Rusty Pick at either or both locations, and thank you all for your support!”