Ruthie Lindsey- Beauty in Brokenness
In her senior year of high school, St. Francisville, La. native Ruthie Lindsey pulled out in front of an ambulance which hit her driver side at 65 miles-per-hour. She suffered three broken ribs, a punctured lung, ruptured spleen, and broke the top two vertebrae in her neck. Her survival rate was at five percent with a one percent chance she’d ever walk again. After several years and seemingly making a full recovery, she began to have severe pain again. She then had to have a one-of-a-kind surgery to remove a wire in her spinal cord which had pierced through her brain stem. After five years of bed rest, surgery, and recovery she was still in pain, but now very active and feeling fully alive. She took the stress of her situation and chose to take on an outlook of gratitude and celebrate it through creative home design and styling.
She discovered her talent of decorating during the time of her second spinal cord surgery. With the surgery came paralysis risks, and if that was the case, Ruthie would be spending a lot of time in her home. Hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst, Ruthie took a look at her home, room by room, and began to play with style, color, and texture.
“I lived in my bed for four to five years before my second surgery. My house was my respite. I wanted it to reflect my style, to feel warm and welcoming. In fact, I watched American Pickers a lot when I was on bed rest. I love treasure hunting. Mike and Frank’s energy is so sweet and kind! As much as they care and love the people that they pick with on the show, I want people to feel the same way about me.”
You can see her home here in this most recent photo session she did for an upcoming collaboration with Warfield Supply at her home in East Nashville, TN.
Each piece in Ruthie’s East Nashville home has a story, and she brings that same concept when designing for a client making sure each detail reflects happiness, warmth, and loveliness. “Honestly, I want my home to feel like a great big hug when they walk through my front door.” Ruthie says. “Personalization is a great way to do that. When I host a dinner party, I may put a quote on the back of each name card that reflects the person. If a client or guest is named after someone like their Grandma and she collected milk glass, let’s reflect that. Everything means something. Decorate with intent and meaning and precious detail.”
Her business began in 2013 a ten year relationship ended and she needed to figure out how to pay her bills. People took notice of Ruthie’s charming style, including Taylor Swift, and immediately began hiring her to host parties and style their homes and events. At this point, Ruthie had zero training, schooling, or noteworthy experience but her business continued to grow quickly.
Ruthie attributes her quick rise of success to collaboration and community. “My friends make me better, and they believed in me when I didn’t, and I want to do that for others. My creative strength is connecting people’s gifts and talents with each other. Nashville has the most collaborative spirit. I’ve worked on both coasts and neither can compare with Nashville. It’s everything to me.” Instagram (follow @ruthielindsey) has also been a great platform for Ruthie. She is able to work with lots of brands and companies, showing how she would wear and style their product and documenting life style brands.
Here you can see a sample of Ruthie’s unique eye for creating a comfortable and beautiful event atmosphere.
Her words of encouragement to all creative hopefuls? “Say ‘yes’ to projects that scare you! They are the most rewarding and most life giving. Be someone that people wanna be around. I want people to feel cared for, loved, and seen. Surround yourself with encouraging friends with like-minded passions. Every job is a gift. Always stay in that state of mind.”
Her kind spirit and humble yet passionate nature make you want to welcome her into your life. Her amazing eye for style will have you calling her to design your home, and every party you will ever have.
For more on Ruthie’s home and style, follow her on Instagram and Twitter. For contact information visit her website here.
Thank you to Ashtin Paige shooting for Warfield Supply for the photos of Ruthie’s home.
Other photos by Beth Kirby of Local Milk, Reid Rolls, Sionne, and Tiffany Mitchell.
15 thoughts on “Ruthie Lindsey: Beauty in Brokenness”
Great story.Rutherford you are a very courageous n stong young woman.To go thru what you have n still come out a success is wonderful. Your home looks beautiful. Best wishes in you business. Keep on pickin with Mike n Frank.Love this show.
Mike, On a recent issue to had an antique archaeology signature bicycle. Will this item be for sale in the future? Howard Wanhoff.
I recently sent you information about an antique 1932 Desoto porcelain stove for sale. Is this item something that you would be interested in? Or can you lead me to someone who can give it’s appropriate worth ? Thanks, Vera Moore in Baltimore, MD..
Sorry, no information about the bike. I had a question about a different item. Thanks.
Love Ruthie’s personal style and her vintage beauty especially in her garden party and front porch pics. I live in a late 1800’s former one-room schoolhouse (brick) in n.w. Ohio. I decorate with many of the antiques my mother-in-law collected over her 80 some years … both family treasures and items she picked from flea markets etc. She had a wonderful eye for things that were interesting and that would be the antiques of tomorrow. I also garden … Love Ruthie’s tips on entertaining. It is so much about making people feel welcome and special… the joy of being together, not necessarily that you live in a million dollar mansion. Keep up the great work my friend! You and your story are inspiring others. Love, Teresa.
How can I buy direct from you instead of going through the History Channel do not see how to do that can you please show me or send me a link thanks tell that gorgeous Daniela to keep up the good job
All the picks are sold in both the Iowa and the Nashville stores! 🙂
On my last road trip from Omaha, I stopped at your place of business, you purchased a metal sign that I had for paint products. I am so so happy that you wanted it and made a very far price for it. I am just happy that the sign will live on and not go to a land fill, or just sit around collecting dust, I also visited the Tenn store on this same trip. Of course I had to buy some items from your stores and hope to make another trip to Iowa since it is only a day trip from Omaha, to Frank and Mike I wish you safe travels.
Miss White 🙂
What a beautiful story. I think serious illness often turns up the gratitude in people. That’s a long road and I’m glad to hear that Ruthie created something so beautiful. I REALLY love her front porch……the turquoise door. Best of luck for continued great health and happiness!
Yes that door is fantastic!
My girlfriend sent me this today saying that she thought of me when she read it. I have been collecting and selling for 40 years. I look for things that “hit me.” Things that make me feel good and comfortable, or remind me of something good that happened in my life. Like the smell of funnel cakes at the county fair. I want to take it home with me. The things I buy and put around me are like being with an old friend, especially art. I love art, but I don’t want to have to look too hard, or maybe even imagine what I am trying to interpret. I want to get the meaning instantly or in a relatively short period of time. I tried telling my girlfriend that my black Harley Road King was a work of art….she never saw what I meant or the beauty in the bike, but I did and I understand.
And when it comes to antiques I want to use them, not stare at them. I may or may not have coined the term “functional antiques,” but I use it often when buying or selling a “collectable” and encourage my friends to do the same.
At age 59 I still wear jeans, t-shirts, flannel and Clark Wallabies. Comfortable stuff! And when my friends visit I want them to be comfortable in my home. Yes, have a suit or two.
Lastly, I came up with the term “geezerology” because of all the unfinished projects around my home. Passing them everyday and saying “I’m gonna get to that” and that was 10 plus years ago. So I am attempting to sell any project older than 5 years and let someone else enjoy them and finish them. Freeing up mental and physical space in my life. Multiple projects can consume too much of this gift of life. Be comfortable where ever you are and enjoy every experience.
“Get your Geezer on!”
Great inspirational study. Awesome us of color in Ruthie’s home. She found a new purpose through a tough situation and her clients are so lucky!
Mike are you coming to Clare Michigan?…or Cadilac, Michigan??
The Clare Bakery, Cops and Doughnuts of Clare have things from the 100 year old bakery that they would sell to you.
Whoops – the link to Ruthie’s website is misspelled (as ruthielyndsey, should be lindsey.) It leads to a domain that isn’t taken.
Thanks! We’ll get that fixed.