It started in March of 2013, when my Dad gave me $100 for my birthday. I took that $100 and my passion for antiques and opened my first ever booth at a local antique mall. In less than two months, I was selling at multiple locations and knew this calling could be more than a side gig. I went all in. In May of 2013, I quit my corporate job in Local Television to pursue the dream. I put a solid year of hard work into building Rusted Roots, the brand, the store, and our social media following.
In November of 2014, Bill and I opened our first brick and mortar shop in Hillsborough, NC. We were overwhelmed by the people that supported our small business. So much so, that we couldn’t keep up with the demand for our finds. We had to figure out a different way.
In 2015, after just two months of being open, we adopted our ‘once a month business model’. With Bill still working full-time in the corporate world, the once a month model would allow the two of us the time needed to find more inventory for the shop. The plan was, we would open one weekend a month, try it for six months, if it worked… great! If not, we would go back to the drawing board. Our first monthly sale was a hit! People lined up the first day and we made more in those three days than we did the entire two months prior. We knew we were onto something!
It wasn’t long before people noticed Rusted Roots and what we were doing and people wanted to be a part of it! We had requests from lots of folks wanting to consign in the Rusted Roots shop or rent a booth. With limited space, we opted to expand yet again. And in 2016, we hosted three outdoor Junk Markets, where we welcomed dozens of vintage and antiques dealers from all over the state. We had live music, food trucks, even farm animals and pony rides. It was the first market of its type in the area.
In 2017, business was good and we knew it was time to further expand. With that in mind, Bill quit his corporate job and we took the leap, both working full time for Rusted Roots. With our monthly business model in mind, and a dream for a small farm life, we hunted for a farm where we could host a monthly barn sale on our own property. We had all but given up, when the perfect property presented itself in Mebane, NC. A small five acre farm right across the street from a beautiful cattle farm. It was the picturesque view we wanted with an old barn that would be just perfect for Rusted Roots. The Rusted Roots barn shop opened in April of 2017.
Since opening in 2014, shipping has always been the number one request from folks on social media. We spent months, years even, brainstorming a way to effectively do that. We began market testing for an online shop late 2017 to prepare for a 2018 launch.
Our online shop launched on February 15, 2018. In the months following the launch, we were ranked in the top 2% of online shops that launched that day, with steady sales coming in from 44 different states. In June of 2018, we were featured in a local newspaper which further propelled the success of the online shop. All while continuing to participate in some of the largest Antique Markets on the east coast, including the Country Living Fair. We were on track for our biggest year yet and the questions started pouring in... 'How did we do it?'
I had long been answering questions relating to the success of our business from others who were dreaming of following the same path. I decided it was time for me to share what I had learned over the last five years with the world. On October 1st, 2018, we launched the personal brand, Candace Herrero. The remainder of 2018 will be spent market testing ideas for a full fledged coaching business, where I will share, teach, inspire and encourage women (and men) to chase their dreams of building a better business and life. The coaching business is being built as we speak and is set to launch early 2019. Visit CandaceHerrero.com for updates on our new venture.
And THANK YOU for being a part of our story! This is only the beginning.