BEECH GROVE, Ind. — As a kid, Tim Showalter worked in a wood shop with his dad. He then did IT education for 25 years and decided he wanted to try something else. He started watching “American Restoration” on the History Channel and realized he could make a new career for himself by restoring things.
“I always enjoyed picking up bikes and taking them apart and painting them, putting back together and then selling them out of the front yard as a kid with a friend of mine,” said Tim, who now owns Hoosier Boy Restoration.
“My tag line is sort of like restoring your memories.”
The business opened a few years ago in Beech Grove.
“We restore basically anything from the early to mid-20th Century and we get into the 19th Century too. Most of it is metal, we do some wood and fiberglass, we don’t really do plastic, most of our stuff comes from the 60s and earlier. A lot of it is toys and memorabilia that people have grown up with who are in our age group or a little older and they want to relive that memory or pass it on to their grandchildren,” she said.
“We’ve done gas pumps, the old gas pumps with the globes on them from the 40s and 50s, we do dozens of wagons, people have fond memories with their wagons and we also do pedal cars. We do tricycles, bicycles and we do coke machines. If it’s metal, we can usually sandblast it and prep it and paint it and make it look nice.”
Tim says 95% of his customers find him online and they will ship him items to restore from all over the world.
“I’m on about 28 projects right now and working seven days a week with my guys. We have a toy horse, it was made in the 40s in England, and it’s highly collectible. We’re also working on a 1929 Turner Lincoln sedan car; it’s a toy car that was probably $13 to $15 new back in the 20s, which was a lot back then. Today it’s probably worth in a raw state $1,500 to $2,000, restored it could go for $5,000. That’s not to say everything I restore is going to automatically go up in price. A lot of times it’s just restoring that memory because that’s what they’re looking for.”
You’ll also find Rustic Root in Beech Grove. Owner Tammy Hanna opened the antique shop in September.
“We are an antique vintage repurpose shop so we take old rusty things and make them new. We like to tell customers that we want you to feel warm and fuzzy when you walk in, smell nice, come in as a customer and leave as a friend,” she said.
“If we come to us, we greet you, we pay special attention to you and if you’re looking for something in particular we do our best to get exactly what you’re looking for even if we have to modify it a little bit.”
You’ll find a lot of little treasures both big and small!
“Some of the little things that are gift items are these hand towels that a local Beech Grove gal made her for the shop and we also have candles and we have gift cards that are made from a local Beech Grover. We also have tea from Teapots N Treasures. I’m a tea drinker so we provide that and it’s a special blend of teas from Donna and she made one especially for us,” said Tammy.
Some of the bigger pieces include furniture and chandeliers.
“The teacup chandelier is a complete tea cup set with the saucers and the teapot and it’s a complete chandelier that’s repurposed and we also have a Mason jar lantern or chandelier. I would also say that my countertop is my most dear, my most favorite. It’s a 52 Chevy pickup truck and it was repurposed, it’s a complete pickup truck bed, repurposed into a countertop in memory of my father,” said Tammy.
If you are remodeling an entire house or just a room–or you need a few small things–you will definitely find something at Rustic Root.
“We have a mixture of clientele. We have very reasonable items that are priced lower and also things that we repurpose and put time and effort it. Of course those will be higher and then anything that’s unique it’s going to be on the higher end as well,” said Tammy.
Rustic Root has become so popular, in less than a year of being open, Tammy is moving just down the street to a bigger location in a few weeks that is nearby a few other vintage antique shops.
“You’ve got to shop local, you’ve got to support your little businesses and this is family owned and operated and of course I’m going to say shop local!”