Restoring Business

“Oh wow.”

It’s a common phrase heard in Exeter’s newest retail shop, Rose Petals & Rust. One step inside and you’ll know why. From vintage collectables to refurbished furniture, gifts to seasonal decor, Rose Petals & Rust looks like it stepped out of a lovely magazine and opened shop in Exeter.

Co-owners Stefanie Harden and Jodi Giefer are actually familiar faces to the downtown retail scene. You might remember some of their beautiful items at a booth in Pine Street Relics. While the two had talked about more space and their own shop, it didn’t become a reality until they saw the empty storefront at 158 East Pine Street.

“It’s always been our dream to expand since we started,” Giefer said. “We talked about it and started looking at the ‘what ifs’.”

The ‘what ifs’ soon became real. The two occupied the space, painted some of the inside, added a few new items like an inside arbor and setup a workspace in the back. They opened the doors the first weekend of October and locals have been buzzing ever since.

“Everyone has been really positive,” Harden said. “They are glad to see a new retail shop open downtown.”

What makes Rose Petals & Rust so unique is that many of the items are the owners own creations. Furniture in the store is made up of refurbished antiques; made lovely again with the help of Annie Sloan chalk or Miss Mustard paint. Harden and Giefer prefer to use these types of paint because of their look and ease of use. For those who’d love to revamp a piece with chalk or milk paint, Harden and Giefer offer their services.

“If you have a piece of furniture to update and don’t want to buy a new piece, you can come pick out a color and we’ll custom paint and wax it for you,” said Harden.

Rose Petals & Rust is located at 158 East Pine Street in downtown Exeter. They are open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. For more information call 592-3960, visit or find Rose Petals & Rust on Facebook.

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