Our Story – The Team
Natalie and Greg Randall opened RT Facts in the old Town Hall of Kent, CT in 1992. Since then we’ve been a hidden secret for designers and decorators alike, crowned the boldest antique shop in Litchfield County. There’s a dynamic group of designer and artists creating our pieces, and keeping our playful and eccentric demeanor alive…
What makes the offerings of our business unique?
“That word can be so over-used but we have clients all over the country that tell us there is no other business like this anywhere. “I really mean it,” they say, “Not in this country, not in Europe, nowhere, and we shop everywhere!”. I don’t think most people in Kent, CT realize what we are doing here. Half of our pieces are antique but not your grandmother’s antiques. Our “Finds” have unusual form, texture, surface and preferably what we call “the quirk-factor” or some whimsey. We mix these aged pieces with very sleek, contemporary artisanal furniture “Designs” we design and make right here in Litchfield County. We have a talented team of twenty individuals here and we send our tables, mirrors and lighting with the RT FACTS, KENT, CT label all over the country.”
Greg, Owner, Buyer, Designer
You walk in the door at 10am and and hear whistling and shuffling. It’s Greg. Ripped jeans, stained shirt. He’s arranging the shop with the new finds of the day. Greg never stops. Day after day the truck door rolls up and there are delicious new finds spilling out. When he’s finished he’ll retreat to the workshop to work on new tables being made for retail stores, restaurants and private residences. Seven days a week he is on the go. Many nights After work he finds himself making a house call . A glass of wine and consult with an individual known for his aesthetic or a powwow and installation in the garden of a celebrated designer.
What’s on his bedside table? Sketchbooks full of design ideas, stacks of classical art and architecture books, dog-eared shelter magazines, 5 pairs of cobbled-together broken reading glasses and a Jeff Jacobson lamp.
Greg spent his childhood living and working in fine English Antique shops in Washington D.C. and Madison Avenue. Proportion and scale are part of his fiber. His formal education was in architecture, sculpture and art history at Syracuse University. He and Natalie started their business in their 20’s in Manhattan at t he 26th St flea market. They had a following but the elements were cruel and the rents were high. They made a brazen move and purchased the old town hall in Kent, CT to make a shop. If they built it, would they come? They did. And they still do.
The merchandise is more refined and the display more sophisticated than it was on 26th St but Greg is still wearing the same clothes. And whistling while he works.
Natalie, Owner, Buyer, Designer
Meet Natalie. She is sitting by the phone, writing viciously in handwriting that is a gorgeous mix of traditional cursive and modern capital letters. She is answering consecutive calls from separate clients who want her to be a part of their private think tanks. And she’s good at it.
Before R.T. Facts, she studied Fashion Design at Syracuse University and Saint Martins School of Art in London, which paved the way to becoming a designer and product manager for 6 years in New York City. Now, just outside of the city in rural Connecticut, she has extended this expertise. Being the ultimate brainstormer and constant creator she is, Natalie stands in her newly renovated studio and envisions the light fixture she is yet to make. Her arms dance through the air, describing how it will skate across the table in a way that will allow for practicality as well as beauty.
A lifetime colorist, she is passionate about design and quality. You may see Natalie pulling great bronze details from a shelf to use as finials or fragments from an industrial building to construct a series of tables for a restaurant. Her index finger goes into the air and she races to the basement with Willa, her shadow-dog, trotting behind her and shortly emerges with an amazingly weathered marble baluster. There are twenty-two and these will be the perfect supports for the counter of a clothing store she is outfitting. She will draw up the plan. Even better, she’ll do it in between phone calls and throwing the ball for the dog now sleeping under her desk.
Brendan, Carpenter and Finishing Touch Master
Brendan has been influenced by furniture and early American design since he first began creating, and if you’ve stopped in our shop you’ve probably heard him share a sentiment on Shaker aesthetic. A graduate of Alfred University’s School of Art and Design, he has shown work in the Museum of Arts and Design in Manhattan, and New York State Museum in Albany, NY among others. Since Brendan joined us in 2011, he has had a hand at doing a bit of everything, from building our Axe tables with locally recollected wood to adding the finishing touches to our mirrors and one of a kind finds. When he’s not working at our shop you’ll still find him sketching tables and chairs, or crafting one of a kind goblets.
Charlotte, Logistics Coordinator
Strong, positive, funny, smart, and more organized than your average logistics coordinator, Charlotte approaches every project with a clear-headed manner and a devilish twinkle in her eye. Whenever things get overwhelming with the multitude of projects, Charlotte says, “just lean more on me, I’ve got your back.” She has tamed the trucking, parts-ordering, and glass- and stone-cutting operations.
Charlotte graduated summa cum laude from Edinboro University with a Bachelor of Arts in World Languages and Cultures. Having grown up with Natalie and Greg and been around R.T. Facts as a kid, it was only too perfect for Charlotte to join the team. With a keen mind for details and an elephant-like memory, she brings the kind of organizational expertise that is very much needed in a group full of creative minds.
Charlotte is a passionate foodie and spends her free time (and her family and friends’ free time) playing chemist in the kitchen. Culinary wizardry occurs in the shadow of Charlotte’s windowsill garden where a tangle of seedlings and avocado trees (nurtured from pits) reach for the sun.
John, Metal Craftsman
Close your eyes and think of our shop in summer…. you will probably envision a monumental armillary sphere out front. As you walk out back, you will see another one in the garden, sitting gracefully atop a stone column. These are the creations of John, one of our makers from the inception. You may have seen him around our shop, discussing the dimensions for a metal table base and new design ideas with Greg. John is our metal fabricator with the soul of a sculptor and he brings more to the shop than just his pieces. He brings enthusiasm, optimism and commitment to detail. “Classic” RT Facts designs have been fabricated by John for years, and every new project with John is one that will last for years.
Katie, Project Manager
Katie works behind the scenes making sure the RTFacts Design projects run smoothly. From making design sheets to planning logistics , She’s our air traffic controller making sure all projects move from the forge to the carpentry table, to the finishing booth and finally delivered on time. With a whip in each hand, she keeps the craftsmen and truckers on their toes and does it with a smile and a twinkle in those chartreuse green eyes. When your beautiful custom mirrors and tables arrive on schedule, she’s the one to thank.
Magen, Marketing, PR and Administrative Assistant
Magen is one of the newest members of our RT Facts Team. She is that exuberant voice welcoming you when you call or visit the shop. No, you haven’t known her for years but she sure makes you feel that way. One part Willy Wonka, one part Dora the Explorer, she’s the problem-solver extraordinaire that makes the mundane into a thrilling adventure. She keeps all of us explosive, creative types zipped up and organized in a way we never dreamed possible. Magen comes to us from the beaches of Southern California with a degree in Interior Design. She found her soulmate here on the east coast so hopefully she is here to stay. When we can convince her to go home (we have to kick her out of here most nights), she loves outdoor activities and cooking with her family.
That quantum streak you see in the workshop, that’s Paul. Whatever he’s listening to on those earbuds… we want some of that. Born and Raised in Kent, Paul is a carpenter by trade & a skilled and detail-oriented handyman by choice. His natural maker’s tendencies & sense of adventure have lead him to work for design teams on both coast. He worked at RT Facts in his youth before deciding he wanted to go west. After 7 years of working & living in Los Angeles, he returned to Kent and asked to come back into the fold. We rolled out the red carpet. We are thrilled to have him back. Though he looks like a surfer, he’s a New Englander at heart. Paul is an avid boulder & rock wall climber (which comes in handy when it’s time to take down a chandelier). He prefers to row instead of run; hike instead of swim….though you will be hard pressed to get him out of the river if the sun is shining.
The finds we bring in daily need refreshening before they are gallery-ready. Thank goodness we have talented Richard, who always rolls in with a smile and hugs for everyone. He has nicknames for all of us and is a ray of sunshine on our busy days! If you see him in the gallery touching up a piece, you can ask what he’s up to, but his secret potions and lotions are concoctions he’s come up with from his 45+ years of experience and he won’t tell you whats in those crazy looking bottles!