Six business partners look to empower entrepreneurs while building a community through their new store, Eclective
What is the best part about an antique mall? A consignment business? A flea market? An outside marketplace?
Six local entrepreneurs with a background in these businesses, along with marketing, put their ideas together and came up with Eclective. The new store at 2915 S. Meridian St., Indianapolis, sells handmade and repurposed items from local vendors and artisans.
Eclective is owned by Melinda Hess of The Southside Vintage Marketplace, an open air market, and Piper Voge, Sarah Hendrix, Raphael Hendrix, Gina Rambow and Jessica Bupp of The Bindy Agency.
“We tinkered with the idea for a long time,” Voge said. The idea never worked out, until their current building location opened up just before Thanksgiving. By Christmas, they were painting walls. The shop opened Jan. 1 with hours of operation Tuesday to Friday, 11a.m. – 7 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
“We did a holiday pop-up just before Christmas as a teaser for this,” Voge said. “We filled the space up. That got people excited, jazzed and saying they see this potential.”
Hess had a list of vendors from The Southside Vintage Marketplace. With that as a starting point, the business partners began scouring the internet in search for other artisans from Indianapolis whose work fit their vision for the shop.
“We went across outlets to find the best mix of things,” Voge said. “We didn’t want to duplicate stuff. If we have multiple bath and body products, we want there to be something different about each line of them. We want to offer the best of products. We have a paneled screening for vendors.”
The shop has filled up quickly. In eight weeks, they are near full with 64 vendors. Operating with a mix of consignment and booth rentals, vendors can fill an entire booth, or simply rent one shelf.
“We have a very advanced POS, point of sales, system so our vendors can go online at any time and see how much they’ve sold this month,” Sarah said. “We’re very vendor-first oriented.”
In addition to offering a place for local artisans to sell their merchandise, the owners of Eclective aim to support vendors with classes such as how to promote their business via social media, and are looking into wholesale purchasing to help the artisans keep their costs down.
“We always try to be on the edge of what’s next and what people need,” Sarah said. “We realize in today’s society, people are missing the home touch. They’re missing relationships where they come in and we’re here to talk to them. I think we are filling that need. We listened to what our vendors and our community told us that they needed. We will meet those needs the best we can.”
The store is organized by item type: a room for children’s items, a room for all things geek related, a section for bath and body items, furniture, home decor and more. For those who want to give that perfect gift, but aren’t quite sure what to purchase, Eclective offers a gift basket service and helps customize the baskets for the recipient.
“Watching people’s faces when they come in and find the perfect thing,” Sarah said. “I have seen people say ‘oh my gosh, I can’t wait to give this to someone.’ I love to give gifts, so watching other people come in an say ‘yes, I finally found it,’ is so cool.”
Voge said Eclective will also give back to its community through various means, such as a gift basket that will be raffled off each month with proceeds donated to a different cause.
Eclective is also home to community classes such as painting workshops, card making classes around each holiday, string art classes, open mic nights, a series on home decor and even yoga classes each Thursday night. They will continue to update their calendar at facebook.com/ShopEclective or shopeclective.com.
“Our goal is if they can see it on Pinterest, if they see a DIY of it somewhere in the world, we want to bring in that,” Voge said.
The space which holds these classes is also available for rent, and Sarah said they are looking at adding ‘drop-in crafting’ also. Beginning this year, The Southside Vintage Marketplace will alternate its location, one time at the Southport Antique Mall and the next at Eclective.
“We want to build more than a business, but build a community,” Voge said. “We wanted to differentiate ourselves from other area stores by not only offering a way to shop, but a way to create as well.”
2915 S. Meridian St.
Indianapolis, IN 46225