Historic building renovated under Brasher Group’s leadership

By Judith Roberts

More and more businesses continue to move into downtown Ruston, and the Brasher Group is just one of the newest owners of one of the historic buildings in the area. 

What was formerly Martha’s Boutique, the Brasher realty group has moved into the 212 North Trenton space, which was constructed in 1940, and has renovated the building. 

“Hopefully, we can be an asset by bringing people downtown,” said Kim Brasher. “I think it’s exciting because I talk to other people on the street and they’re like, ‘When you get done, I want to do this. Will you help me pick my awning?’ And it’s kind of like your neighbors — when you work in the flower bed, you know, they want to work in their flower beds. So, it’s very exciting to see that.” 

The historic building was part of the first movie theatre in Ruston, Kim Brasher said, and the mural that decorates one entire side of the interior of the business was once advertisements on the outside. 

“We tried to save as much as possible and add some modern touches,” she said. “We wanted to preserve the history.” 

Realtor Briley Brasher Cotton said she was already enjoying hearing out-of-town friends remark on how the downtown area continues to grow. 

“I think for me it’s been fun to improve what we have and make things better, but also keeping the historical part of it,” Cotton said. “It’s quaint but grown so much.” 

Much of the building had been devoted to space for the former boutique is now space for offices and includes a much more open floor plan. The Brashers took out the drop ceiling from the boutique took down part of the sheetrock and found a well-preserved wooden ceiling and the art mural from more than 60 years ago. 

“We are historical building, so we have to follow all the historical guidelines,” Kim Brasher said. “You take a building and revitalize it. You take it back to the history of the building but give some things a bit of a facelift. It’s nice to see.” 

While the new location for the Brasher Group has been open just a little over two weeks, Kim Brasher said she already has a new appreciation for the downtown area. 

“I see downtown differently now that I’m down here and I’m walking the streets more,” she said. “Before, I would shop downtown and go into stores, but I’d get out of my car and go into the store. And now, I’m actually walking from here to the Children’s Shoppe, or walking from here to The Fashion. I see things. I see buildings differently. I don’t know why, but I’m just noticing things I never noticed before. And it’s so cool. And it’s like I just appreciate it, I think, more than I did before.” 

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