*** Editor’s Note: Rustic Touch closed it’s retail store in August 2015. They are still doing custom orders ***
Today we meet with Lisa Becker and Tracy Lehmann of Rustic Touch based out of Wauconda. Rustic Touch’s motto is “Rescue and Reuse.” Rustic Touch’s goals are to keep used items out of landfills and fix them up to make them usable again.
Rustic Touch also utilizes the amazing creativity of Lisa and Tracy to use their artistic vision to create an entirely new way of using a used piece of furniture. I was able to see one of the ladies works in progress while I was on a visit to Rustic Touch. The project Lisa and Tracy were working on when I went to visit Rustic Touch was taking three chairs and turning those chairs into a bench.
Lisa is the mom of 12 year old Chase and Tracy is the mom of 12 year old Jake and 11 year old Jess. Tracy and Lisa became friends after being involved together in their kid’s sports. As their friendship evolved they both found a common interest in crafting and began to work on worn down furniture they would discover at garage sales, flea markets, Craig’s List, Goodwill, and other unique resources. They humorously admit that they are the epitome of “one persons trash is another persons treasure” because they have restored pieces of furniture left on the curbside for garbage day. Lisa and Tracy have also come to work to find pieces of furniture that strangers have generously left on the front porch of the business with a note explaining that they were going to get rid of the item but decided Lisa and Tracy might find it useful to restore.
Lisa and Tracy are also involved with the non for profit agency, Love Inc. Love Inc. is a Lake County agency based out of Zion, IL, that gives used furniture to families in need. Lisa and Tracy have a goal to give back to Love Inc. with a restored item they find at Love Inc., restore the piece of furniture, and give it back to Love Inc. to donate to a family that is down on their luck.
Lisa and Tracy also work with custom pieces that customers bring to them for restoration. Lisa and Tracy work with the customer’s vision of what the customer would like their piece of furniture to look like and be used for in their home. Rustic Touch works on custom furniture, custom lighting, repair services of furniture (with a FREE estimate!), and custom signs.
Rustic Touch opened the doors to the public on December 15, 2012. Lisa and Tracy decided to open the restoration business after restoring a dining room table set that Tracy found at a Goodwill store. Lisa and Tracy used their artistic vision to bring the dining room table set back to life. As they worked on the table together, Lisa and Tracy, began to talk about the possibility of opening their own business were they could take their talents and passion to an entirely different level. Tracy owned her own faux finishing business and was familiar in working with different pieces and Lisa was involved in corporate America. After Lisa’s time with the corporate world came to an end, the idea of actually taking the leap of faith to start her own business became a reality. Neither of these ladies have looked in the rear view mirror since.
“If you do what you love you will never work another day in your life.” An old quote that is found to be true in speaking with Lisa and Tracy. Their passion for their work is prominently on display throughout their store. Their hard work goes beyond the inside of the store. Take a walk outside to the backyard that is a work in progress. Rustic Touch has a beautiful Koi Pond and waterfall. Several different pieces of their work are also on display through out the backyard. Lisa and Tracy have a vision of eventually hosting events at Rustic Touch.
Lisa and Tracy also display their love of restoration with teaching classes at the business. They offer “Paint Made Easy” an all day class that takes the students through each step of painting with chalk based paint. Rustic touch also provides group sessions (maybe a next girls day ladies?) with at least 3 people upon request. See the Rustic Touch Calendar for further information.
Has it been challenging to start your own business and balance your family life?
Of course it has been a challenge but we are lucky to run our own business in a location that is close to home and our kids schools. The kids can walk to Rustic Touch after school and both of us can cover for one another when we have to shuttle the kids to sports practice or games. Our husbands are very supportive and have been a huge help in building the business. Our families have worked together as a team to make this business possible.
What is the best thing about this job?
Being able to express our creativity! We both are amazed and excited when we create a piece and a customer wants to purchase that piece to be a part of their home! With each item we sell a little piece of us leaves with it.
How did you choose the location of your business?
We never looked anywhere else or wanted to open our business anywhere other than Wauconda! We love how the small businesses come together and support each others success! We all meet once a month to get to know one another better and find ways to utilize our businesses together. As an example, Whipletree Antiques passes on to us the items they can’t use in case there is a way Rustic Touch can restore the piece. The Village of Wauconda was very encouraging to work with as well. We are also close to home which is always a bonus for our families.
What do you do to recharge?
Rustic Touch Wauconda Backyard
We have been working hard on the landscaping of the backyard at Rustic Touch. Our families are so close that we enjoy spending time together. It’s not unusual to find our families enjoying the backyard of the business after closing time. We barbeque, use the firepit, and enjoy a hard earned glass of wine.
What is an important characteristic of your business that you would like new customers to know?
Our motto is rescue and reuse. We are use environmentally safe products when we refurbish our furniture so it is safe not only to the environment but safe to your family as well. We love that we are saving waste in landfills and giving new life to items that would have otherwise been thrown away. Our passion is working on new pieces and teaching others how to refurbish old items so people can enjoy a cozy look to their home on a modest price range.
The ladies at Rustic Touch want to give you a taste of their store with a giveaway! Enter the rafflecopter below for a chance to win a hanging wine bottle votive light and a Rustic Touch tee shirt. Giveaway ends August 25.
Connect with Rustic Touch!