The Times West Virginian

September 29, 2013

Unique offerings focus at Rustic Woods of WV

By Jessica Borders
Times West Virginian

WHITE HALL — Rustic Woods of WV isn’t just a normal primitive country store.

Brandy Bland, born and raised in Fairmont, runs this new family-owned business in White Hall. The shop is focused on offering unique furniture and handcrafted items that can’t be found anywhere else.

Customers can find the store a quarter of a mile down Middletown Road, on the left near MPE Rentals and The Village at White Hall apartments. The business held a soft opening on Sept. 10, and a grand-opening celebration is tentatively scheduled for this Saturday.

“We’re really trying to support West Virginia as much as we can and only bring in stuff made in West Virginia,” Bland said.

She said the shop sells the works of talented crafts people from across the state and is trying to keep bringing in new vendors. Bland and her family have known some of the vendors for years, and have met others along the journey of opening the business.

The main feature is furniture, including rocking chairs, tables, lamps, benches and other pieces, made by a local woodbutcher. The space is also filled with handmade baskets, signs, scroll saw woodworking, candles, home decor and various items. In the near future, the creations of a broommaker and a blacksmith will be placed in the shop.

In addition, the store carries different “things from days gone by.” Bland’s goal is to offer an array of items that make people want to stop by regularly and to keep bringing in new pieces.

“We want to have something for everyone,” she said.

Items of all prices, from $2 to a few thousand dollars, are for sale. She described everything is the store as “plain ol’ hillbilly art,” which is the business’ catch phrase.

“We’re trying to reach a wide variety of people, but still have our hillbilly roots,” Bland said.

Rustic Woods of WV will do custom orders for any of the handmade products. If someone has an idea for something they want, the shop will work them to figure out a plan. The customer just has to put down a deposit, and there is a three-month time-frame for the completion of the piece.

Bland is currently studying business administration at Fairmont State University and expects to graduate in the summer of 2015. She is part of a family of lifelong entrepreneurs, and wanted to start Rustic Woods of WV in order to gain some fun, hands-on learning experiences.

“I’m very gung-ho, and I don’t like to not be challenged,” she said.

Bland and her family spent about six to eight months making plans for the store and carrying out all the necessary steps. They are starting small with Rustic Woods of WV, but they own the property and have a lot of room for possible expansion in the future.

Bland said business is going very well so far. She has especially been enjoying meeting the vendors and customers who visit and listening to their stories. She loves the relaxing atmosphere and the always pleasant aroma of the shop.

“We’re getting some really great feedback from customers,” she said.

Rustic Woods of WV’s Facebook page has been a great tool for getting the word out about the business, posting photos of available items and sharing news, Bland said.

The store is open at 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Bland said the business stays loyal to those hours.

For more information, call 304-612-6124 or 304-612-3961 (alternate number).

Email Jessica Borders at jborders@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @JBordersTWV.