By Graham Sturgeon, co-editor
Jim and Rosie Rust started Carts R Us in 2009 with the idea that it would be a nice way to spend retirement. Six years later, the business has expanded into a full-time operation that employs seven people and supplies carts across Shiawassee County and into neighboring Genesee County.
This year the Rusts have expanded their business outside the state, as they recently won a contract to customize a cart for Dollywood Theme Park in Pigeon Forge, TN. They used a stock Club Car cart and customized the paint job, windshield, light kit, seats, mirrors and even the horn. Jim delivered the unique cart all the way to Tennessee on Feb. 11, which is a normal part of the services they offer.
“I am proud to have been chosen for the job and I am proud of the finished product,” Jim said Monday. “There are two other Club Car dealers within a 20-mile radius of Dollywood, so it was a surprise to get the contract. We took the cart from stock and customized it to their liking, all right here in Owosso. And they liked it so much that we have already received additional orders for more customized seats.”
Carts R Us is a family-operated business, with Rosie sewing the seats, their daughter, Angela, creating graphics, and their son, Jim, handling the paint. They sell new and used carts, both gas and electric; they are a certified Yamaha and Club Car distributor; they can provide custom paint colors, graphics, light kits, lift kits, stretch kits, and plow packages; and they also service every brand of cart on the market. They have also been renting carts since 2014.
Jim says the key to his business’ success has been their focus on selling quality products and standing behind their work. He also pointed out that carts are roughly half the price of the popular side-by-side vehicles, with many of the same qualities.