All things ‘Rusty’

Brandi and Ronnie Edelman enjoy transforming antique items into something new. They are the creators behind The Rusty Dog Crafts and Collectibles.

A beloved chocolate Labrador Retriever running down Main Street in Sabetha is what first brought Brandi and Ronnie Edelman together. Thus, it only seemed fitting that “Rusty” fit into the name of their business — The Rusty Dog Crafts and Collectibles.

“Rusty is the reason my husband and I had our first date,” Brandi said. “I caught Rusty as he was running down Main Street and tracked down his owner — Ronnie Edelman.”

Rusty is a great dog that makes her smile and is truly her best friend, Brandi said.

The name Rusty fits their business perfectly as the Edelmans buy “rusty” antique items and create new decor from those items.

“So, when Ronnie and I were trying to come up with a name, we laughed because we both love RUSTY things, including our RUSTY dog, so that is how it came to be!” she said.

Making Old New

Over the last eight years, Brandi and Ronnie found they both loved antiques and made a hobby of going to flea markets. It has become a great way to spend time with one another, look at old things and dream of ways to repurpose them. The Edelmans enjoy buying and selling antiques and meeting all kinds of different people.

For the past three years, Brandi and Ronnie have been taking old items they find at flea markets and repurposing them into new decor items.

“Ronnie and I love to make things!” Brandi said on her Facebook page. “I have the vision and he has the talent to make it come true! We love going to flea markets, antique malls and auctions where we find treasures!”

“At the flea markets, people are more interested in buying the antiques, and not so much the craft items,” he said.

Ronnie said he is mostly the “handyman,” doing the woodworking end of things.

“I enjoy building things,” he said.

Last year, they participated in their first craft show in Sabetha.

“Some might consider some of the things we find ‘old and outdated,’” Brandi said. “But I love the history of what those items were and the potential of what they can become.”

Some of her favorite pieces to work with include old screens, windows and chairs. She loves to paint designs on them. Her most challenging project was a “crazy ornament wreath” she made for Christmas.

When you work with things you love  — like old doors and windows for her — it is easy to make it beautiful and useful, she said.

“God has blessed me with a great family and community to do what I love!” she said.

But her absolute favorite thing to create is those items that are completely original.

“I want people to have one of a kind items for their homes, to really give it character, so I rarely make two of anything the same,” Brandi said.

Finding Inspiration

Inspiration is everywhere, Brandi said.

“Take this old cheese grater for instance,” Brandi said, pointing to it. “It was too rusty to actually use for its original purpose, but will it make a good ‘flower holder?’ Yes!”

Brandi feels most creative when she is walking through a flea market or antique mall.

“I see things and my mind just gets to spinning with ideas!” she said.

The Edelmans’ home at 1753 Main Street — where the business is based — is inspiration in and of itself. Brandi and Ronnie live in Ronnie’s aunt’s rustic home.

Brandi loves decorating her home and incorporates many of her finds into her decor.

“We are definitely rustic in our decor,” she said.

Barn boards line one wall of their dining room with chicken waterer light fixtures. Old farm primitives also are spread throughout their home.

Brandi gleans some inspiration for her pieces from Pinterest, but then tries to make the idea her own. Some ideas come from the neat pieces she finds at garage sales or flea markets.

“Typically, I come to Ronnie with a crazy idea and ask him if he can put it together and then I do the finishing work. Sometimes he just laughs at me!” Brandi said. “I am so lucky to have a handy husband who has skills!”

Her biggest lesson has been to not be afraid to try new things.

“Sometimes the best projects come from mistakes,” she said.

“I want things to be unique and have a purpose,” Brandi said. “This year for my window opening, I tried to do more things that can be used year round instead of just seasonal.”

About the Edelmans

Brandi was born in Birmingham, Ala., and was raised in Peoria, Ariz. She attended college in Beatrice, Neb. An internship at the Bern-Sabetha Veterinary Clinic brought her to Kansas. She has lived here for 16 years and loves it. Brandi now works part-time at Simpson Chiropractic.

Ronnie is a Sabetha native. His parents are JoAnn and the late Fred Edelman. Ronnie has three children — Baylen and wife Ashley (Schmelzle); Laeny and husband Taylor Bauman; and Larke, who is a senior at Sabetha High School.

Along with Rusty, the Edelmans’ other “fur” children are two horses, Cactus and Rocky, and a fun mini donkey named Josie.

Upcoming Events

The Edelmans hope to do more sales online in the future and would like to add a few craft shows to their schedule in the upcoming year.

This spring, The Rusty Dog Crafts and Collectibles will host a spring show at the Edelmans’ horse barn and will have a booth at Fanning Flea Market.

For more information about The Rusty Dog Crafts and Collectibles, contact Brandi at To stay up-to-date on The Rusty Dog Crafts and Collectibles, follow them on Facebook, where all shows and projects are posted.


Krista Wasinger66 Posts

Krista Wasinger is Co-Editor of The Sabetha Herald, where she has been on staff since 2011. She specializes in city reporting and feature stories, as well as photography and page and advertising design. Krista is a 2004 Fort Hays State University graduate with a degree in communications studies with an emphasis in journalism. She lives in Sabetha with her husband and four children.


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