Wednesday Nov 20 2019
What happens when it’s time to finally accept that your “collecting” is out of hand? When your wife tells you to clean out the house, garage, and yard and get rid of the warehouse you rent to house the rest? If you ask Matt Binyon, the answer is simple…
You open a store!
“Looks like I won that argument,” Matt laughed, as he recalled that moment when his wife finally put her foot down and his store dreams were put into motion.
You know who else won? Gardner Village did! The American Rust Company is the newest shop at The Village, and it’s where much of his collection now resides. Stop in, and you’ll find what Matt describes as “mantiques, antiques, repurposed art, and girl stuff.” In other words, something for everybody!
Of course, one can’t blame Matt’s wife for eventually reaching her breaking point. After all, Matt has been collecting since he was just 13 years old.
“Nobody can figure out where my love antiques came from,” Matt recalled. “I’m the only one in my family who’s into it. I remember circling yard sale ads in the newspaper as a kid. I’d grab my backpack, hop on my bike, and ride as far as I could to find new treasures.”
Today, Matt has traded his bike for a truck and neighborhood yard sales for more professional picking tactics throughout the western United States, but his desire to find those special diamonds in the rough remains.
“I just picked the old jail in Blackfoot, Idaho,” Matt said with a smile. “I don’t know what I’m going to do with it all yet, but I know it’s going to be good. The stuff is so heavy that I actually had to build special dollies just to get it out of the truck.”
Matt clearly isn’t one to back down from a challenge. In addition to being a collector, he’s also a creator, and where many see junk, he sees potential.
“I make a lot of stuff,” Matt said. “Lights… tables and furniture… other fixtures… It’s fun finding ways to repurpose found items into things that we can use today.”
You’ll find many of Matt’s creations on display in the store. And, if you’re really paying attention, you’ll also see them on your TV screen. Matt has made many pieces for Hollywood sets, including a Mark Walburg film and a Kevin Costner TV show.
“It was pretty cool watching TV and seeing Kevin Costner sitting there, next to a lamp I built,” Matt beamed.
That IS cool! You know what else is cool? Mr. Costner isn’t the only one who can enjoy such handcrafted luxury. Matt loves coming up with custom designs for customers. Whether you have an item(s) and a vision or not, he can help you come up with something unique and wonderful. Talk about a special Christmas gift idea! Does someone on your gift list have an item of signifigance that has “lamp” potential? Maybe there’s a piece in the garage gathering dust that would make an awesome table. You never know what kind of gold mine could be sitting right in front of you, waiting for Matt’s special touch. He’d be more than happy to discuss such things with you further.
Matt’s right hand at the store is Dawn, the shop’s manager. Like Matt, she has a lifelong passion for antiques. It’s something that was passed on to her by her beloved grandma.
“My grandmother lived in a mother-in-law apartment in the basement of her home so that the full upstairs could be her storefront,” Dawn recalls. “Every other day, she’d open up her front door, take a sandwich board out to the busy street that ran in front of her Oregon home, and Grandma’s House Antiques would open for business.”
A look at Dawn's grandmother's handkerchief collection. So pretty!
Like Matt, Dawn has great respect for the value that remains in older things. Even if you don’t want to remodel an item, she gets a thrill out of finding new uses for outdated pieces.
“An item’s name doesn’t have to define what it is for you,” Dawn said. “Instead, ask yourself what you need it to be. We’re often only limited by a lack of imagination. Take old flat irons, for example. Sure, you won’t heat those on a stove to iron clothes, but they sure do make neat bookends or doorstops!”
Talking with Matt and Dawn is such a joy. Even if you have little to no interest in antiques, you can’t help but get swept up in their passion for all of it. Of course, even if shopping without conversation is more your thing, a visit to American Rust Company is one to make. It’s like a fun trip back in time. You'll even find numerous collectibles unique to Utah. Neat!
Welcome to The Village, The American Rust Company! We’re so happy you’re here.