russThe Russell Johnson with whom I am most familiar is the American character actor best known for playing The Professor on the iconic sitcom “Gilligan’s Island .” I was always amazed by what that guy could do with a coconut shell or two.

Well, I was delighted to discover another Russell Johnson, he of Russell Johnson Imports. Russell Johnson Imports was started by, surprise, a guy named Russell Johnson who was inspired by a visit to Buenos Aires – just like I have been. Mr. Johnson fell in love the San Telmo street market, the same way I did but was inspired to create an import business around the great items he found there.

I totally love the whole back story…

About Russell Johnson Imports: “Russell Johnson Imports was created because of a visit to the Sunday Flea Market in San Telmo, one of the city’s historic neighborhoods. There Russell Johnson, our founder, came across a family selling a collection of beautiful vintage seltzer bottles from the 30s. Russell not only bought as many as he could carry, he also bonded with the family and promised to keep in touch. Back in the States, Russel Johnson showed the bottles to a few of his interior design colleagues. They fell in love and immediately bought him out. Soon he was contacting the family about getting more and, on his next visit, met another family at the San Telmo Sunday Flea Market, they had vintage phones! Then came another family with apothecary bottles and, before he knew it, Russell Johnson had created Russell Johnson Imports.”

Mr. Johnson is an inspiration for a number of reasons. First and foremost to experience something and want to share it with others is cool, but also to be able to have a vision – and the fortitude – to build a business around it is just great.

In addition, the products Mr. Johnson finds and restores are great. Who doesn’t love the seltzer bottles (a trademark of the San Telmo market), but the telephones are awesome.

Check out Russell Johnson Imports and I am sure you will be inspired too.