Woman realizes dream of owning shop

A Seymour woman’s dream of owning her own business finally came true.

Best of all, the business is right in her own front yard.

Lisa Terry, 68, is the owner of Rusty Charm antique shop, which she describes as ole primitive, modern country and shabby chic.

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The shop is located in the Reddington area at 10962 E. County Road 1025N, where Terry lives with her husband, James “Rusty” Terry.

“Coming up with a name for the shop, I was thinking of something like rusty or rustic,” she said. “I tried to think of what would go with that, and I asked my husband what he thought about Rusty Charm.”

Terry said her husband wasn’t all cracked up about the Rusty Charm name, but she told him he was the rusty and she was the charm.

The Terrys have been married for 51 years and have two daughters, Shamra Terry of Seymour and Jeannette Terry of Florida.

Terry grew up in Seymour, and her husband graduated from North Vernon High School. They met at the sewing factory in Seymour, she said.

“He had graduated and was working there, and then I started there because they were hiring school kids part time,” she said. “I was working there, and he’d wink at me and everything, and he bugged me all the time.”

One evening, Rusty called, and her mother thought it was a boy named Grover that Terry had been seeing.

“I got on the phone and he asked if I’d go out to eat with him and go to the show, and I said OK,” she said. “He said he about had a heart attack that I’d said OK.”

When date night arrived and the boy’s car pulled in the driveway, her mom said, “Well, he’s got him a new car, Lisa.”

“I looked out the window and said, ‘Oh, mom, that’s that Terry boy. What am I going to do?’ and I went in the bedroom and said, ‘I am not here,’” Terry said. “Mom came into the bedroom and said, ‘You told that boy you’d go out with him, so you’re going to go,’ so I went.”

Rusty had been out of school two years and was really polite, and by that time, he was working at Cummins.

“I went out with him and he was real grown up and nice, nothing like the school kids I was around, because I was still in school,” she said. “So that started it, and I just fell in love with him that night.”

Terry said Rusty hated the confinement of factory work, so he got into construction. He worked for Abraham and Sons for 32 years and a couple of other construction companies before that.

“I worked at Rock-Tenn for 24 years and was a machine operator there for 11 years. Then they sent me to Ivy Tech to learn computers, and I became a coordinator,” she said. “I thought it would be a great job where I wouldn’t be on my feet all day at a machine.”

Terry said she did that for 13 years before Rock-Tenn closed the doors.

“I was so close to the age of retirement, and I just cried and was so upset,” she said. “I thought I’d be there for a long time until I retired, and that was during the recession, which closed a lot of things.”

Terry is now retired from Seymour Community School Corp., where she was employed as a custodian at the high school for about five or six years.

“I had always wanted my own business, but renting a space in a building was too expensive,” Terry said.

At first, she thought about doing a flea market and having a consignment store where people could rent booths, but then her husband had a heart attack and has had five more since then. Rusty has had 18 stents put in and bypass heart surgery, so the flea market didn’t happen.

“When I was retired and we were doing OK, I asked him if I could still have a shop and maybe build something on our property,” she said. “That would give me something to do, and I’d get to visit with people and learn what they like.”

Rusty Charm opened its doors for business in March 2018 and carries shabby chic and modern country items that are popular. It also sells antiques.

Rusty is now retired and built a couple of rooms onto his home workshop to make room for the antique store.

“He did all of the work to build my shop, and he has made a lot of items for the Rusty Charm shop,” Terry said. “We’ve been doing this kind of stuff all our lives.”

Her husband was a carpenter for years and still does some carpentry outside the shop.

Terry said she enjoys painting, especially with acrylics. She has sold saws with her artwork on them, paintings and also signs for the holidays.

“I love antiques, and my house is all 1700s and 1800s, and I’ve taken a lot of pieces and stripped them and restored them to their natural look,” she said. “I don’t like anything painted because that ruins the antiques when they do that.”

Terry is a big history buff and loves finding the history of things, how old they are and where they came from.

“We take off on the weekends and go junking or go to auctions and even go to other states to look for sales,” she said. “It’s just something that I’ve always loved to do and that we love to do.”

Terry said Shamra has helped her out a lot with the shop, too.

“Shamra does all of my accounting with her three college degrees, and she does my taxes, too,” Terry said. “She built me a database on my computer to help me keep track of my inventory.”

When Terry has a big event, like Christmas open house, Shamra comes and helps her out because it would be hard to handle all of those people alone, Terry said.

Besides helping her mother at Rusty Charm, Shamra said her mom is her best friend.

“Every year for the past 11 years, we normally do the Highway 127 yard sale,” Shamra said. “We drive to the bottom of Tennessee and then work our way back home doing yard sales, but with COVID-19, we decided it was best to not go.”

Instead, they went to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and rented a cabin for four days. Every trip is different and memorable because she gets to spend it with her mom.

Jeannette hasn’t gone on any of those trips, but once, they all took a trip to the Renaissance Fair in Ohio and had a blast, Shamra said.

“My dad is my hero, and there is nothing he can’t do. I love his woodworking, and I have a buffet and china cabinet he built 30 years ago for Mom,” Shamra said. “I love that my mom has the opportunity to do something she loves.”

Last Christmas, Rusty Charm was packed with people, and Terry’s name was getting out there, and things were starting to go pretty good. Then COVID-19 hit.

“I had to shut the doors for three months, and now, the flow of people is not like it was, and I’m not making much,” she said. “On the plus side, I own this and don’t have to pay rent.”

Shamra said her mother isn’t trying to get rich. She’s just hoping to make some side money to help them through the tough times.

Terry said she has had several people come through from Kentucky, Ohio and Illinois and people who are traveling who get on their phones and search for antiques.

“This is a dream I’ve been trying to do for years, and I finally got it and I really enjoy it,” Terry said. “I have some steady people that like to come in see if there’s anything new.”

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Rusty Charm ole primitive, modern country and shabby chic home decor shop is at 10962 E. County Road 1025N, Seymour.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays or call 812-498-1665 for an appointment.

Christmas open house is Dec. 5 with cookies, hot cocoa and more.

For information, visit facebook.com/rustycharm18.