Music filtered out of her workshop as she worked, faintly covering the sound of a large fan that ticked close by.
As U.S. Representative Jason Smith pulled up to her workshop, Conlon slid off her welding gloves and sneaked a quick bite of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that sat close by.
“Hello!” she sang. “Hello! I’m meeting the senator or whatever with peanut butter breath, ha. Mmmm.”
As Smith exited his vehicle, they exchanged greetings.
“I have been reading about what you are doing, the things you are selling in your shop called Rust,” Smith said. “It is very interesting.”
Smith traveled to visit with business owners such as Conlon last week to celebrate National Small Business Week.
Conlon owns both Rust and Only Child Originals, a jewelry store located at 176 N. Main St.
“I have had the jewelry store for 15 years,” Conlon said. “Rust is the second store I opened, a year ago, because I made the lighting for my store and people kept trying to buy it. I started making more and more, and my little jewelry store starting filling up with all of this tin.”
Conlon explained that after she purchased the building that houses Rust, she began a major renovation that has resulted in two other businesses — Cafe Rust on weekends and an apartment upstairs she rents as VRBO (vacation rental by owner).