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Local Fortville Shop Offers Unique Antiques & Eclectic Items

Photographer / Belinda Russell

Keri Whitaker, owner of Rustology, 36 A South Main Street, Fortville, says she loves the excitement of “the hunt,” when she is looking for unique antiques for her shop.

“I have spent many Wednesdays at Christie’s of Indiana in Southport, and the Shipshewana Auction & Flea Market in Shipshewana, Indiana,” Whitaker says. “A lot of treasures can be found at the smaller auctions and estate sales too.”

Whitaker claims that everything with Rustology started with her shopping addiction. 

“To prevent from ever becoming a hoarder, I chose to shop for everyone else and sell (the items),” she says. “So, I rented my first booth at the Carmel Antique Mall. That blossomed into an additional booth at the Westfield and Southport Malls. After moving to Summerville, South Carolina, I had booths at Summerville Antique Gallery, Main Street Antiques, and Antiques and Artisans Village.”

Moving to South Carolina also gave Whitaker an opportunity to open her first shop: Carolina Cottage.

“It was a chance to learn and meet so many other shop owners with the same passion,” Whitaker says. “Then came Rustology in Shipshewana (Indiana). After a short time there, I came back to the north side of Indianapolis. After some searching, I opened Rustology in Fortville on August 1, 2018.”

Whitaker says it was the right choice.

“Fortville has the small-town feel that I am really attracted to,” Whitaker says. “Fortville has a great selection of restaurants, which is a great complement to retail shops, too. Before opening, I talked with several of the current shop owners to get a feel for their experiences. Fortville has a great opportunity to grow and still maintain a small-town feel in the downtown area. It is also very accessible to residents of Fishers, McCordsville, Pendleton and Geist.”

Rustology carries a wide variety of eclectic items, new and old.

“In selecting them, it has to be something I personally like,” Whitaker says. “I enjoy finding items and then staging them in the shop. My weakest component is selling. So in order to sell, I must like it. I want my customers to go home happy with their purchases.”

Whitaker believes the word “antique” sometimes conjures up visions of grandma or great-grandma’s house.

“That does not need to be the case,” she says. “Decorating with new items, and incorporating your special antique pieces, will bring out the personality of the people that live there. Use antiques as focal points. I do think that more people are currently using a lot of vintage pieces. Growing up in the vintage era, I’m really excited for that trend.”

Whitaker adds that Rustology is unique due to the one-of-a-kind pieces, along with new items.

“I hope to help customers add their personality to their homes,” Whitaker says. “Rustology also has gifts such as candles and soaps that many people buy for others and come back to buy for themselves. I like to think of Rustology as a vintage, eclectic gift shop.”

She says that antique lovers will also not be disappointed.

“Antiques by definition must be 100-plus years old,” Whitaker says. “Antique furniture is built better. Heavy, strong and meant to last. Many antiques have been cared for and should probably be kept in its original state. But, when you come across items that are ready for the trash, it’s time to think repurpose, paint or whatever it takes to make them beautiful again.”

Overall, Whitaker loves Fortville.

“Fortville is Fortville because of the people,” she says. “Many of the residents put in hours and hours of volunteer time because they love it here. The retail owners work hard to bring you ‘Girls Night Out’ and other promotional activities and events. ‘Fortville Action’ has a very enjoyable Summer Concert Series, Winterfest and more. The town is small enough to walk with your spouse, friends and kiddos. I encourage you to explore what Fortville has to offer.”

Whitaker encourages people to stop by Rustology when they visit Fortville, too.

“It’s the blue building by the railroad tracks across from Taxman Brewing,” Whitaker says. “Also, I’d appreciate it if people followed my shop on Facebook at Rustology in Fortville to keep up with sales and town events.”

Rustology is located at 36 A South Main Street in Fortville. You can give them a call at 843-830-5755 for more information.

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