LIBERTY — Commerce Street in downtown Liberty has yet another addition with opening of The Rusty Cupboard, a shop that carries a little bit of everything and something for everybody.
The business is the latest venture for Dan Parsons, who previously owned Mason’s Used Furniture that resided in the location for 40 years.
“We liked Mason’s, but when they (the city) started working on the street — and it took them two years to do it — we closed,” said Parsons. “Well, they finally finished (Commerce Street) and we decided to open back up as The Rusty Cupboard. My granddaughter picked the name.”
Parsons said he decided to get out of the furniture business because the large deliveries were becoming too difficult.
“We had a lot of Clemson kids shop here, and when you’re trying to move those big pieces up three stories to their apartment or dorm or wherever, it’s a lot of work,” he said. “And I’m retired after all. Kind of.”
The Rusty Cupboard was a chance to bring his family into the business and teach the younger generation a thing or two about running a shop.
“That corner over there is my granddaughter Mallory’s, she went through all her toys to decide what to sell and set up the shelves and the prices and everything,” said Parsons with a smile. “We’ll make a businesswoman out of her yet.”
The shop buys and sells antiques and carries everything from a carved whale tooth to a giant moose head.
“You just never know what you’re going to find in here,” he said.
But for those who just want to take a load off, Parsons is just as happy to sit and chat with shoppers in the big wing-back armchairs.
“People don’t talk to each other anymore, we need to bring that back,” he said. “Downtown should be a place where people meet up and eat and shop or just come out to be with other people. Put your phones down and have a conversation.”
Besides fostering a new business, Parsons has thrown his hat into another arena as well: Politics — only don’t call him a politician, he says.
Parsons is running for mayor.
“Well, I heard Brian (Peterson) was running and I kept waiting for someone else to sign up,” said Parsons. “It was on the last day of filing so I thought, well, I’ll do it myself.”
Parsons said his decision to run wasn’t out of any animosity towards Peterson, he just thought the city should have a choice.
“I don’t like it when only one person runs and then they just walk into office,” he said. “Voting is all about having a choice of candidates. I’m not a politician, I’m a businessman, but I’ll tell you one thing: I can balance a budget. I think that’s what this city needs.”
Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.