“I like to change ugly ducks into swans”. -Rocky Leedy
Rocky has been turning others’ trash into beautiful, one of a kind, shabby chic treasures for almost 25 years. From humble beginnings as a self-described “Garage Seller” in the ’90s, Rocky combined his natural gift for design with his passion for treasure hunting and built a successful resale business right out of his Austin,TX garage.
Currently his work is on display at The Stanley Antiques & Collectibles mall in Luling, TX. “I love it here,” Rocky tells me and I can see why. The Stanley is an old theater that has been repurposed as an antique mall and it’s very cool (as well as air-conditioned). From the James Dean cutout in the lobby with a very old movie projector on display, to the red drapes in the ‘theater’, this place screams 1950s movie house.
From his workshop, also in Luling, he tells us his story while he works on his latest piece, one of a set of dining room chairs he has painted and is distressing. I notice the great attention he pays to the details. When he is finished with the distressing process, he will go on to re upholster the seat.
“I don’t do refinishing, I paint my pieces and then use a variety of methods to distress the look.” If the finish is still in good shape, Rocky will work his magic to restore the piece to its original beauty.
“Its not just about the furniture though”, he continues, “I also love the little pieces that help create my [display] looks”.
I must say, he does have a lovely collection of bric-a-brac, lamps, baskets & containers. His creative displays are mini exhibits of pure Americana, I sometimes felt like I was peeking into someone’s living room. I really enjoyed browsing through each display area.
So next time you decide to take a day trip out of Austin or San Antonio, head off to Luling, TX (click here for map) for some City Market BBQ and a very cool and interesting sidestop at The Stanley Antiques & Collectibles mall to see Rocky’s latest collection. While you’re at it, pop across the street to the Farmer’s Market (especially during Watermelon season).
Tell ’em Totally Texas Gifts says HOWDY!