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Dealer Spotlight: Atomic Rust

Spring is here and that means we are gearing up for our Three Speckled Hens Antiques and Old Stuff Show on May 5 & 6! As we plan for the upcoming show, it’s time to start clucking about our Dealer Spotlight series.

To kick off this popular series, we are getting to know Shelly Fletcher with Atomic Rust. Shelly’s love for repurposed automobiles and rustic gems are what fuel her love for antiquing. Read below to hear about her passion for this particular style of antiquing and visit her during the show at Booth 105.

How did you begin your journey as an antique dealer?

I have been selling antiques in one form or another for about 20 years. In 2010, my son, Jeremy and I started our brand, Atomic Rust. Jeremy's antique style focused on Mid-Century Modern treasures and I love anything rusty, so Atomic Rust was born. After a few years, my son had a family and moved on to another venture, but I loved our antiquing adventures so much that I just couldn’t let them go. Now, Atomic Rust is just me.

What makes your antiquing style unique?

My style and interests have evolved over the years, and I have always had the need for a creative release, so Atomic Rust has been a natural marriage of the two. Slowly, we have moved away from the more traditional "antiques." At first, we added a few repurposed lights to the mix. Then, about six years ago I went all in with all things automotive. Repurposed 1900-1960 era automobiles are now my passion.

What is your favorite aspect of collecting these treasures?

I find great beauty walking through a junkyard full of discarded automobiles, but also great sadness as I see all this beauty and history rusting in the ground. I really don't know how or why I gravitate toward the rusty, crusty and discarded in life. I do know I love the history and the story each item brings to the table. It is so fulfilling to bring this once forgotten part of our history back to life with a new purpose!

What will we expect to see at your booth during the Antiques and Old Stuff Show?

Our booth will be filled with items anywhere from spring lights, flathead engine flaming lamps and a 1920's grill complete with working headlights, to a full front clip of a vintage car or truck turned into a walk-in bar! Think 1950's garage complete with gas pumps.

Has anyone else in your family caught the antiquing bug?

My husband, Tim has always been very supportive of any and all of my endeavors (no matter how crazy). I finally won him over and Tim is now not just my roadie, but my 50-50 partner!

With Tim's support and all his know-how, we've worked out a great system. We find the materials and let inspiration take its course. I clean, sand and design the pieces, while Tim handles all the welding and electrical. We've figured out a system and it seems to work out pretty well!

Aside from the Antiques and Old Stuff Show, where can antiquing enthusiasts find you?

Life keeps us very busy with a booth at Déjà vu antiques at the Loading Dock in Old Town Orcutt and the shows we do. Of course, Three Speckled Hens is our very favorite show! We love the opportunity to see old friends and meet new ones. Tim says I do all this just so I can talk to everyone…he might be right! You will find us anywhere we can be knee deep in mud and/or weeds, snakes (NO!) and bugs. Pulling, pushing or digging up "Rusty Gold". Ain't life grand!

To learn more about Shelly and her antiquing business, head to her Facebook page. Be sure to stop by the Atomic Rust booth at the spring Three Speckled Hens Antiques and Old Stuff Show to meet Shelly and Tim. Tickets go on sale Friday, April 6, so mark your calendars! Join our email list to receive insider tips and special deals as you prepare for the spring show on May 5 & 6.


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