Hey everyone, it is my pleasure to personally welcome you to our shop, one of the most unique boutiques in Bradenton. We have a little of everything and something for everyone. Whether you are shopping for a gift or an item for yourself, I’m sure you’ll find something that you’ll absolutely love.
We’re a woman and veteran owned business that focuses on showcasing items from artisanal small makers and socially responsible companies. There’s a story behind many of our products, and several support local businesses and/or charitable causes. There’s so many interesting and unusual products in our boutique, that you’ll want to take your time to browse around and soak it all in.
We feature one-of-a-kind gifts, clothing, children’s products and vintage-style décor. All of our items include free gift wrapping. It’s just one of many novel touches that set us apart from other stores.
Of course, the most unique item at The Rusty Crickett has to be… well, me! Where else can you find a Chief Executive Mascot that will welcome you to the shop and allow you the privilege of scratching my ears? It’s all in a day’s work for the hardest working shop cat in the retail business, but somebody has to do it!
Young or not so young, we really do have something for everyone. With dedicated parking behind our shop, you’ll have no problem finding a spot! Looking for something specific? Just ask Colleen or Pam. They love to help our wonderful guests find exactly what they want and can often special-order items not in stock. Try that with the big box stores. Actually don’t. You’ll just get aggravated and your time’s better spent coming into The Rusty Crickett and scratching my ears. I’m told it’s very therapeutic for humans.
Chief Executive Mascot
I’m Rusty, everyone’s favorite animal here at The Rusty Crickett (sorry Crickett, no offense). I like to think that I help everything run smoothly here. Of course, it wasn’t always like that.
Many years ago, I was a down-on-his-luck stray cat, living on the rough and tumble streets of Bradenton, FL. Big city life is even bigger when you’re a cat. I was a small fish in a big pond (mmmm… fish, but I digress).
My life took a sudden turn for the better when I found a warm, comfortable spot on an unoccupied porch. It just so happened to be in front of a quaint little shop. With no junkyard dogs nearby to harass me, this little slice of paradise became mine. Soon, the owners of the shop saw me hanging out. Instead of shooing me away, they cleaned me up, fed me and allowed me to share their wonderful space.
Following the move to our new location, I was promoted to Chief Executive Mascot. I may greet you when you come into the shop (hint: I like my ears scratched) or I may be taking a nap, (naps can never be overrated enough) but I’m always around. Keep a sharp eye out for me, and you just might spot me or my friend, the Crickett.
Our Shop’s Spirit Animal
They say that a cricket is known to bring good fortune to all whom embrace its spirit. When one unexpectedly hops into your life, you can be sure joy, happiness and success are right around the corner.
Crickett is my best friend and he certainly has brought happiness into my life. He may be harder to spot at our shop, but he’s always there… if you know where to look. However, if you are torn between the decision to scratch his ears or mine, always choose mine. Heck, I’m not even sure where his ears are.
It’s my goal, and everyone else's that works at The Rusty Crickett, that every gift from our shop funnels the spirit of the cricket into the lives of your loved one, brightening their day and enhancing their wellbeing!
Colleen has a degree in Textiles, Apparel and Merchandising from Northern Illinois University. Ever since childhood, she has dreamed about owning a boutique full of unique goods and inspired gifts. After college, Colleen never lost sight of her dream. She accumulated a wide range of retail experience, including managing and buying for a family-run boutique in Washington, DC to planning and purchasing for a well known national retailer.
At The Rusty Crickett, Colleen puts her experience to good use. She enjoys filling the shop with distinctive gifts and one-of-a-kind treasures, full of heart and soul. She loves the hunt for high quality items from artisans around the corner, and around the globe.
As I roam around the shop with my friend, Crickett, I marvel at the mix of popular brands and unique handmade items – all at price points to meet the diverse needs of our guests. After all, a happy clientele means more people willing to scratch my ears. It’s a win-win for all.
I would say Colleen is a very creative person and is always looking to add a pop of color to your day. You can even find some of her own creations in the shop! Colleen is at her happiest when our guests get excited about the causes we support. She's also a good listener and likes to hear about your passions as well. After all, you help shape the future direction here at The Rusty Crickett!
Chief of Customer Experience
Pam is a proud United States Marine and Vietnam-era veteran (Crickett and I are really proud of her as well). She has a degree in Hospitality and Tourism from Western Illinois University, so Pam really knows how to take care of our guests! Her passion is cultivating a welcoming atmosphere here at The Rusty Crickett (she also welcomes me each morning by putting out my breakfast dish). She has a knack for channeling the old-time charm of our historic building into a unique experience for locals and tourists alike.
I can see it in Pam’s face every time she helps a guest find that perfect something. When they smile, she smiles too. This is what she lives for (in addition to scratching my ears, pretty sure she lives for that too).
When Pam is away from the Rusty Crickett, she enjoys spending time with her grandchildren and family. She also loves mornings on the beach, watching the waves roll in, as well as dolphin watching at sunset.
Did I mention she’s the purr-fect ear scratcher?
Chief of Brand and Marketing
Jim has a real passion for social enterprise and building our brand into a platform of good that brings together the community. His focus is on elevating the human story behind the artisanal small makers and cooperatives that support local economies and important social causes. (Also, his laptop is so comfortable. I love curling up on the keyboard and feeling the heat on my belly.) Sometimes he gives me funny looks though. Not sure what that’s all about.
His plan is for the shop to offer an alternative to the big box store experiences that permeate the typical retail landscape. No thank you! Besides, would an extremely love-able feline dressed in a black and white tuxedo ever personally greet you at a big box store? I think not.
Jim’s goal is for The Rusty Crickett to become a downtown destination that attracts more people to the business district by infusing a new creative vibe and sense of purpose to the area.
Also, and I know he’s gonna blush, but his ear scratches are to die for. Just sayin’.