Friday Favorites with Rusty Nails

Friday Favorites with Rusty Nails 1

Happy Friday friends! If you’ve followed our mad Instagram stories and Facebook live video a couple weeks ago you saw some of the fun decor, all from Minnesota business, which we used to stage our latest project, the basement finish.

We wanted to introduce you to one of these Minnesota grown businesses, Jenny from Rusty Nails Designs. She made these drop dead gorgeous clocks we hung in the space that are to die for. And best part, they are a steal of a deal. All of her products are so make sure to check out her work and support this fabulous lady, all the links to where to find her at the bottom of this post.




She is one that has inspired us in more ways than one. Besides running her own business, she is also one of the creatives behind Paper Riot designs, which we’ll chat more about at another time.


I have always had a love for junk markets and making old things new. My mom and my aunts are all best friends, and they are crazy junk market people. So when Jamie gets mad at me for always bringing more junk home, I blame them. Except now, I’ve gotten to the point where I just like to buy the pretty junk, not actually make it pretty anymore.


So today we wanted to introduce Jenny to you all and share with you why she is such an inspiration. Everyone say hello to the creative behind Rusty Nails…

Tell us a little bit about Rusty Nails. How and when did you get started?

I guess I would say the first time the “upcycling bug” hit me was back in 2011 when I bought a severely dinged up ugly little side table at a garage sale for $5. My husband thought I was completely nuts. I began collecting all sorts of pieces of furniture in our garage and let them accumulate. Fast forward to 2013, which was a huge year for us. We bought a new home in March, planned to get married in July, and right in the midst of it all I was told I would be laid off from my full-time job in August. It was at that time that I took the (eek! Scary!!) leap making Rusty Nails a full-time gig. I went back to the corporate world about six months later, just because I didn’t have the proper setup to make this biz profitable, but chipped away at it as a very part-time gig. 

Wow, that was a crazy year! I hate the saying but am a firm believer that when one door closes another one opens and look at you now and where that has led you to. So cool.

Do you have any background in carpentry? How did you get into this? What inspired you to start?

My Dad is a woodworking nut. His father built beautiful grandfather clocks, and I guess my Dad caught the bug from him. Dad started building cabinets out of his parents’ garage when he was young, and eventually started a thriving cabinet shop that is still in business today, nearly 40 years later. He no longer owns the company, but he turned it into a rockstar business before selling it to downsize when my sister and I grew up and left home. I find that a lot of the interests I find myself pursuing were ones that I watched my Dad pursue when I was younger.



I absoloutely love that. My grandfather and my dad were incredible carpenters as well so I know the feeling. Loved growing up within the smell of sawdust. Tell me about Rusty Nails Style?

Although I’ve focused mostly on rustic and distressed styles in my pieces, the recent upswing to a beautifully modernized farmhouse style has allowed me to bring in more modern twists with some pieces. I love adding splashes of gold into pieces where it’s unexpected, and I also love tossing in an unexpected pop of color like orange or green. I’m also a Pinterest freak (who isn’t?!), so when I see a funky new style, I’m not afraid to give it a try. It doesn’t always turn out, but that’s okay!


Who or where do you go for design inspiration? 

As noted earlier, I’m obsessed with clean, simple style that brings farmhouse together with modern and even more Scandanavian influence. Honestly, I love to cruise all over Pinterest in search of painted furniture inspiration and don’t often focus on just one person, company, or style to follow.

I also visit Home Goods stores on a slightly stalker-esque basis. I just cruise up and down the aisles looking at stuff for inspiration. I love that place!


What has been your biggest failure and what did you learn from it?

My biggest failure has come from times when I’ve put myself in a situation where I haven’t left myself enough time to finish a piece properly. I know now to build enough time (and then some!) into my timelines to avoid this problem.


How much time do you spend marketing your products? How much time in your business vs. on your business?

I really don’t spend tons of time marketing my products, except to share before, during, and after pics of pieces and my booth on social channels. Because of the fact that I now work full-time in addition to running this biz, I spend the majority of my evenings and weekends working on finishing projects versus marketing. I’d love to do more marketing, perhaps one day when I’m doing this as my sole gig.


I hear ya! Marketing is a full time job in itself, as you know.

Do you blog as a business? If not, why not? If so, how important is it to you?

I do not. Although I’d love to, I feel that the other social channels that I’m posting my before/during/after photos on are serving my biz well for the time being. Down the road when I’m doing this full time, maybe…


Where are your three favorite places to get materials to create your projects?

Garage sales, thrift stores, and Menards!


Top 3 favorite Instagram or Pinterest accounts you love, and we need to follow.

Ferpie and Fray:


Miss Mustard Seed:


Where can we find you and your products? Link to all URL’s.




In my booth at Modern Barnyard:


SO cool! Well, I hope you guys learned a thing or two about junk inspiration and how to rock your own DIY business. Make sure to follow Jenny and check out all of her amazing designs. She is a rockstar and a true inspiration!

Photo Credit | Chelsie Lopez Photography


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