2012-05-31 / 52

Rusty Gold has hard-to-find items

By Brian Keely

Owner Mark Webster and customer Cheryl Munsey of Biddeford. (Brian Keely photo) Owner Mark Webster and customer Cheryl Munsey of Biddeford. (Brian Keely photo) Are you searching for that one-of-a-kind antique store? Come and see what one person called “the most interesting store in the area.” Rusty Gold Antiques located 137 Main St., in the center of downtown Biddeford, is that store.

Rusty Gold specializes in antiques and collectibles. You can find items such as furniture, high-end art, original prints, collectible signs, books, bottles and more that range from $3 to $10,000. Owner Mark Webster opened his business several weeks ago and is excited from what he has experienced so far. Mark is very knowledgeable and is always looking for new products.

What makes something an antique or a collectible?

Whether something is collectible or not depends on its rarity, condition, age and what someone is willing to pay for it. An antique is determined by its age, era, style and how it was made. Every antique has a story. Every item in here has a story to tell.

How did you get into antiques?

My grandmother was really into antiques and it grew on me. I remember as a kid digging up old bottles on Peaks Island. I used to love going sea glass hunting, still do.

Why should people be into antiques?

I think people should be interested in how things used to be made. How good the quality, materials and workmanship of things were made, especially in the 1800s and early 1900s. Things like furniture were really made to last. Like I said earlier, people should really know the story of each item. Everything has an interesting story if you want to hear it.

Why did you open your business in downtown Biddeford?

I bought a house in Biddeford with the mind set that I was going to open my business here. I like the downtown, the people here are great. The rent was reasonable and I saw great potential for the area.

What aspects of the downtown do you like?

You have an amazing mix of good people combined with an eclectic mix of businesses. I like the architecture and all the nice little parks and green spaces.

Is there anything the city can do to attract more business?

They could offer more outlets for artists to show off their work. There are a lot of different cultures in the area. It would be nice if the city had more ways to feature different cultures and their pride.

What is the most unique item in your store?

I have a piece of George Washington’s hair.

How was the process of opening your business?

It was very easy. It took about a week to get all my permits and everything from the city. The historical society even had a special meeting to discuss different ideas for my sign.

What types of businesses would you like to see open in the downtown?

I would like to see more antiques stores open. It would be nice to see people antiquing and shopping throughout the downtown. I would like to see more art galleries open and some nice boutiques.

You are new to the area, but do you have a favorite downtown memory?

I do. It came when I was talking to local people and businesses in the area. It was the moment I realized other people share my vision.

52 is written by Biddeford Downtown Development Commission Chairman Brian Keely (husband of Editor Molly Lovell-Keely). The DDC’s mission is to promote, market, improve and revitalize downtown Biddeford. For more information, contact Keely at ddcbiddeford@yahoo.com.

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