Over 75 Years of ServiceOUR HISTORY

The Rust & Martin History

Rust & Martin began as a small re-upholstery shop during the height of the depression in 1933. Wayne Rust and Bud Martin began business in a garage. Martin was killed in an accident five years later. Rust purchased his interest and continued the business under its original name. The business expanded to include draperies and curtains and was located at 615 Broadway.

On Christmas Day, 1950, the store burned to the ground. Wayne Rust rebuilt the store at the same location, opening in May 1951. Harry Rust, the oldest son, joined the firm full-time in 1956. He was a graduate of SEMO with a degree in Business Administration. He also has a degree from the New York School of Interior Design and has been a member of the American Institute of Designers ever since. Gary Rust joined the firm in 1957. In 1970, he resigned from the firm to go into politics and subsequently into the newspaper business. James Rust, the youngest son, joined the firm in 1967. He left in 1974 to establish R & M Enterprises, a wholesale distributor for drapery fabrics and the manufacturer of custom draperies.

In 1958, Rust & Martin added furniture and accessories for a total decorating service, opening a furniture store at 420 Broadway. In 1966, the business continued to expand. The furniture store moved into a 45,000 sq. ft. store at 760 South Kingshighway. The 615 Broadway store was now a fashion store with bridal gowns and dress materials operated by the senior Rusts, Wayne and Eva. In 1966, Rust & Martin received the “Chicago Market Daily Award” for the highest honors in furniture merchandising for cities under 100,000 population. At the time, Cape Girardeau had a population of 26,000. In 1970, House Beautiful magazine chose Rust & Martin as one of its Pace Setter Stores. They were one of 79 furniture stores in the U.S. to be so honored.

Today and the Future

Grandson, owner and ASID member Mike Rust insists on carrying forth his grandfather’s dedication to superb craftsmanship and customer service. His keen eye and extensive expertise are evident in every project the company executes. For those who seek luxury and the luxury of having professionals who guide every detail, Rust & Martin offers it all.