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Meet Melanie and Brian O’Neil of Rustic Marlin

Today we’d like to introduce you to Melanie and Brian O’Neil.

Founded out of love in 2012 when Melanie and Brian O’Neil tied the knot. After searching tirelessly for the perfect gifts, the couple decided to craft their own rustic signs. They were a hit and fulfilling personalized sign requests quickly became more than just a weekend project.

Fast forward 5 years later, what began as a dynamic duo has grown into a talented team of over 50 craftsmen, designers, and artists who remain true to the brands’ roots. We exceed customer expectations with unique designs and quality American made products.

Each piece is carefully handcrafted, painted, and packed at our headquarters located in Hanover, Massachusetts. Our team is always developing fun and innovative products to represent your style, including officially licensed NFL, NHL + NCAA items. We enjoy creating original pieces that express what you love most.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Our business grew so quickly we sold $1M out of our home in one year! Scaling our business, especially our manufacturing production, was challenging as we were not able to meet customer demand.

As a response to this hurdle, we used Yankee ingenuity to develop a proprietary technique which we now like to call the Secret Sauce!

We also moved from our home where so much of our business was in our yard and we constantly had to pray for good weather to a 50,000 sq ft headquarters with state of the art equipment and room for growth.

Also, as with any small business, cash flow is a constant struggle. It is key to always keep your eye on that ball.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Rustic Marlin story. Tell us more about the business.
Our mission is to inspire creativity, uniqueness, and style by delivering quality, handcrafted, American made products from coast to coast.

At Rustic Marlin, we handcraft premium wooden décor. We strive to put a little charm and personal touch into everything we do. Our designs are inspired by the people we connect with and the beautiful places we explore.

On a personal level, we are extremely proud of how we turned a hobby into a thriving business. We never intended to start a business together and our little labor of love quickly has turned into a multi-million dollar business that is becoming an iconic New England brand.

Our work ethic and success has allowed us to serve as role models and mentors to many students as well as our nieces and nephews. This brings both professional and personal accomplishments that are invaluable.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?

First and foremost – our talented team deserves so much credit. Their skills, dedication, and creativity have turned us into a rapidly growing business with premium and personalized designs for consumers at all levels.

Our parents and siblings have been advocates since our wedding day! We are sure they were cringing at our risk of going full time and building a business from the ground up. Regardless, they have always supported us and were our first employees! Melanie’s parents still call their home Rustic Marlin Annex as they continue to do many projects out of their home.

John Warren has been our financial advisor for the past few years. His financial knowledge, introductions to the sports leagues, mentorship, and extreme patience have helped us to grow more than we could have imagined.

Do you feel like our city is a good place for businesses like yours? If someone was just starting out, would you recommend them starting out here? If not, what can our city do to improve?
We love being so close to Boston. The resources and talent help to make us who we are today.

Contact Info:

  • Website:
  • Phone: 508.376.1004
  • Email:
  • Instagram: @rusticmarlin
  • Facebook: @rusticmarlin
  • Twitter: @rusticmarlin

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