Melissa Ann Bell-Yates

“The journey for Rustic Roots began with the building. The building itself began in the early 1900’s and has housed many small businesses, including a car dealership and a well-established construction company. I grew up in the small town of Wood River, Illinois and spent many days at what is now “Rustic Roots” with my grandfather, as he worked tirelessly to build his construction company. In 2012 when my grandfather passed away, everything changed for me. We had to face that his building, that had been full of so many memories, was going to be sold. My husband and I couldn’t imagine letting such a meaningful building leave our family. We decided to buy the building, and figure out a plan for it later.

It began as a space for my husband’s work equipment and a storage facility for anything and everything. I knew this building had so much more potential. I started refinishing furniture and making some unique home décor. With the help of some friends, Rustic Roots was born. We started selling our crafts and furniture in what space we had available in the shop. The shop started to grow, and it grew fast. My husband and I eventually had to move his stuff out of the building, so that the shop could expand.

Rustic Roots is now a platform for many local artists and crafters to sell their products and creations. We retail a number of companies that support charities, recycle, repurpose and give back! We provide a shopping experience that many other shops don’t have. Our goal is to continue to build our platform and give back to our community. We recently expanded into the back of the building, and created a banquet space that we refer to as the “Rally Room.” This room has a warm, rustic feel that mimics that of the shop. We offer to rent the room out for different events. We hope to offer more services in the future as we continue to grow.”