After 20 years of marriage, Melissa and Tony Reynolds finally went after their life-long dream: opening an antique shop.
The two, of Burtchville Township, were married when they were 19-years-old and their personal antique collection has continued to grow since then.
A little over a month ago their ideal store location became available along Lakeshore Road in Fort Gratiot.
“We’re right along Lakeshore Road and near the water, which is what we were looking for,” said Melissa Reynolds, Rusty Bucket Antiques co-owner. “Now you can go from Marine City up to Lexington with no break in the antique trail.”
Their grand opening was during the Yard Sale Trail weekend. They got the keys to the 2,000-square-foot store 5985 Lakeshore Road just a month before the event. No work on the building was required before opening, so the duo quickly stocked the store to ready it for the busy weekend. Previously the store was a photography studio and before that, a salon.
Reynolds said having a winding trail of antique shops is a great way to pull tourists through each little town.
The shop has a variety of reasonably-priced items from large furniture pieces such as tables and desks to smaller décor items such as vintage typewriters and kitchen items.
A few highlighted items include a library table made in Detroit between the 1900 and 1950. The table at one time was home to an old library card catalog.
Another local item hails from a Detroit church – a large wall-sized cabinet built in the 1900s.
“I had a vintage vanity growing up and always decorated with vintage items,” Melissa Reynolds, 39, said.
Melissa’s love for antiques began as a child when she would follow her mom on antique-hunting adventures.
“I just remember waking up early, planning out our day and circling garage sale in the newspaper,” she said. “Everywhere we went, on vacation, visiting family, anywhere, if my mom saw an antique store along the way, we would go.”
Tony Reynolds has always loved classic cars and vintage tin toys, but his love for antiques escalated when he met Melissa.
“She falls in love with everything,” he said. “And I love everything too, but really I like to look at the mechanics of how things were built compared to now.”
Tony Reynolds and their son, Kyle, 18, love spending time in the garage working on their classic 1947 Jeep Willys and 1964 Buick Skylark.
Recently Tony and Melissa took a trip up Route M-1 along the east coast of the country, stopping at all the small, old towns and peeking into every little antique shop they found.
Every week, Rusty Bucket Antiques will fill with new items they have found through their 20 years of antique adventures and collecting.
“We want our shop to be a fun spot for families who camp, have cottages and vacation in the area to stop back in every year,” Melissa Reynolds said. “We will be getting general store candies (soon).”
And if customers stop in on the weekend they will be treated to free coffee and donuts to enjoy while they browse.
Rusty Bucket Antiques will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. For more information go to www.facebook.com/rustybucketantiquesfortgratiot.
Contact Nicole Hayden at (810) 989-6279 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @nicoleandpig.