Cindy Bayer is an antiques enthusiast and the founder of Rustic Romance.
Hi there, and welcome to Rustic Romance. Come on in and make yourself feel right at home! Whether you’re a long-time patron or a newcomer, I’d like to take a moment to introduce myself.
Although I have a knack for bringing new life to vintage items, nothing can quite compare to the joy I feel when a customer lights up after seeing a one-of-a-kind piece.
Before starting Rustic Romance, I served as a kindergarten teacher and childcare provider. My over-30-year career taught me the true value of patience, careful planning, and attention to detail. In hindsight, I can say with certainty that these life lessons helped me build Rustic Romance into the success it is today.
Although I originally came upon barn sales by happenstance, my life is full of newfound inspiration and meaning as I seek out fresh barn picks, speak with antique dealers, and keep my ear to the ground for local finds. When it comes to antiques, there’s always excitement in the air
I am the proud mother of three wonderful men who I raised in Greenfield, Massachusetts. I am also an avid picker myself and am always on the hunt for diamonds in the rough. Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of working with Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, and HGTV.
Whether you’re a Massachusetts native or from out of town, I invite you to come on by and explore Our Store in Millers Falls! There’s no telling what you might find.
I am also available for any questions that you may have; after all, there’s no shortage of history in these rustic treasures.
As an aside, I would like to extend a special thanks to you, my valued patrons and fellow antique enthusiasts. Your support not only helps me bring new life to vintage pieces, but also allows me to continue pursuing my passion. I also have a great deal of appreciation for my husband Hugh and my lifelong friends, who have been with me every step of the way. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
What do you get when you combine a few good friends with a locked barn, pair of bolt cutters, and bottle of wine?
The answer is a barn-load of memories and Rustic Romance.
Yes, Rustic Romance was truly started by happenstance and a bit of luck. As a matter of fact, Cindy Bayer hadn’t been inside her barn for over half a decade before reopening it and had no idea what was inside. She could have never guessed that what she was about to find would change her life.
As she and her girlfriends swung open the barn doors at Bayer Farm, a barrage of old items and knick-knacks came falling down.
A picker’s dream! Right?
Not at the time. Although Cindy had a passion for antiques, her original intention after inheriting the farm was to clean everything up and move home to Chicago to look after her parents.
Instead, she now had a barn filled to the brim with old furniture, window frames, buckets, and more. At that moment, Cindy and her friends shared a good cry and a bottle of wine, remembering that the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.
That’s when she began incrementally putting items out by the street. Each day, neighbors, locals, and passers-by would pick up the items and go about their business. After seeing the freshly picked items appear on Facebook Marketplace, she knew there was more to these barn items than met the eye.
Not long after, Cindy helped a close friend sell antiques, collectibles, and old relics from her mother’s house. As the items sold like hotcakes, Cindy recognized that she had discovered more than just a phenomenal business idea: she had found her new passion.
Although Cindy was still working as a daycare provider at the time, her barn sales were quickly becoming more and more popular. Now, she found herself hosting a barn sale every other weekend. That’s when she made the difficult decision to retire from her beloved career and start the next chapter of her life.
With employees, pickers, and a fleet of trucks searching through neighboring states for new picks, Rustic Romance had grown into a full-fledged business. Patrons from around the country had even caught wind of the barn sales, traveling for hours to partake!
The barn sales had grown beyond her wildest expectations and Cindy soon realized that she needed a new space to support her growing business. That’s when Cindy and her husband Hugh decided to sell the farm, relocate to a beautiful storefront in Millers Falls, and continue doing what they do best: finding one-of-a-kind pieces.
Although Cindy originally began her search looking for a larger farm, she recognized that parking and accessibility conflicts would continue to be an issue. Relocating into a store just made sense. Fortunately, the Millers Falls location came on the market at the exact right time.
Throughout the transition process, Cindy has maintained the barn-inspired aura of Rustic Romance, staying true to her roots while offering uncompromising authenticity by encompassing barn picks and farm finds.
Interested in visiting Rustic Romance and meeting Cindy Bayer for yourself? If so, you are invited to stop by Rustic Romance, at 26 East Main Street, Millers Falls, MA 01349.
Before Bayer Farm became a Northeast favorite for barn sales, it was actually a dairy farm that dated back to 1850. For more room to raise her boys, Cindy’s family purchased the farm in 1997. The additional space was perfect for their favorite hobbies: hunting, fishing, and all things outdoors.
There’s so much available at Rustic Romance and the selection is always changing. Whether you come to Millers Falls just for the day or plan to make a weekend of it, we’ll be excited to see you – every time you come back to Rustic Romance.