Nestled just off of Fort Riley Boulevard is a place called Eclectic Charm, a marketplace that sells a variety of vintage items. Customers can find handmade items, repurposed furniture, artwork, home decor and accessories that will fit perfectly in any home.
“It is a good outlet for people to sell [things], as many are super crafty and like to repurpose furniture,” Carmen Thompson, owner of Eclectic Charm, said. “Many vendors don’t have the time to have a full-time store, so this allows them to sell their stuff as we do not require them to be here during our store hours.”
With works from over 25 vendors currently featured in the store, Thompson is always looking for more vendors to display their work and be a part of the Eclectic Charm family. Opening just four years ago and starting with only 12 vendors, Eclectic Charm has doubled in size in a short period of time.
All vendors are local members of the Manhattan community. Depending on the month, Eclectic Charm has anywhere from 25 to 30 vendors displaying repurposed items for sale.
A unique service that Eclectic Charm provides for the Manhattan community is affordable prices for trinkets and decor. The many items available are trendy while also allowing college-aged buyers to stay within a budget.
On the second weekend of every month, Eclectic Charm features a parking lot sale where the vendors feature more items. Thompson said these parking lot sales are when they draw in the biggest crowds, but overall Eclectic Charm sees a steady flow of people in and out of the store.
“We get all sorts of people that come into our shop,” Thompson said. “I like getting to meet people within the community, whether they have lived here their whole life or are new in town. It is a joy … when I get to hear their story of how they found us.”
Thompson said she updates his store’s commercial spaces every week to keep the market looking fresh with new items.
Eclectic Charm offers booth spaces ranging from $75 to $400 per month, plus 10 percent commission. At the end of a six-month contract, each vendor will transition to a monthly term, providing both parties are in agreement.
“I have been here since the beginning,” Karen McKeeman, vendor at Eclectic Charm, said. “I first started out doing sewing items, and over time that has evolved into repurposed furniture and basically anything and everything that I can get my hands on.”
McKeeman has been in Manhattan all her life, and she enjoys the happy atmosphere it offers. She helps in Eclectic Charm when she can, and customers will likely run into her on any Saturday when the store is open.
“I enjoy what I do and being around the store to help out,” McKeeman said. “It is fun meeting all the people that have been shopping with us over the years and [seeing] how the friendships have developed.”
Thompson said she is optimistic about Eclectic Charm’s future as a unique marketplace in Manhattan.
“As we look towards the future, I think we will stay the same size as we currently are as it is manageable,” Thompson said. “We own the lot that Eclectic Charm sits on currently, and although there is a small space to expand, I think we will continue to use what we have.”
Eclectic Charm offers many other items such as plants, craft items and jewelry. The store is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Note: A previous version of this article mistakenly referred to Carmen Thompson by the pronoun “he.” The article has been updated to reflect the proper pronoun “she.”