Eclectic Treasure opened its door Saturday November 27th to a waiting crowd of people who soon expressed their enthusiastic approval of St. Marys newest store.
The fact that owner Bruce Barnes was unable to get all areas set up and ready for the first day didn't deter customers and browsers alike from declaring that St. Marys has another winning store.
Barnes hopes that he will have parts of all the planned areas of the store open by this coming Saturday, even if only a small proportion of his total stock is out. Barnes pays great tribute to the many friends, new and old, who spent many hours helping him get ready. One good friend stayed all Friday night with no sleep, preparing for opening day.
When asked on opening day what items attracted the most attention, Barnes pointed to the most expensive item in the store, a large antique English chiffener with beautiful inlay. The craftsmanship on this is amazing as it is held solidly together with only 4 brass screws; the rest of its construction depends on dowels which allow it to be easily disassembled. As one customer declared about its opening day cost, "This would be a bargain at twice the price."
Something else which gained great interest was a set of 3 square nesting wooden buckets which surprised most customers when they were told that these are actually new rather than antique. When asked why she like them so much, one customer declared, "They're so funky!" One of the first sales was mistakenly sold for cost but Barnes said, "Oh well, a bargain gives customers a good reason to return."
From the gorgeous silver and inlay meena (bride's) chest, the brass covered multi-drawer cabinet, the elephant table base with drawers, the marble tables, the carved swans seat to the regular bedroom and dining furniture, this store has much to offer shoppers even though it is only partially open.
An informal survey of Saturday's customers found that they especially appreciated the design and layout of the store. As one young mother stated, "I can even take my bulky stroller through the aisles."
Barnes himself is especially happy to have what he feels to be the most attractive tin ceiling in St. Marys. He has further enhanced its appeal by removing the florescent lights which had been installed in the original portion of the store with ones much more in keeping with the building's appeal.
Barnes was pleased with sales the first day. "Most people don't plan to buy furnishings everyday; so if this is an indication of how sales will go when the rest of my stock is out, then things will be booming."
Regular store hours are Monday to Saturday 10 - 5 but Barnes plans to adopt the downtown merchants' Christmas hours of a 9:30 a.m. opening, at 6 p.m. closing (9 p.m. on Thursday and Friday) but he will not be open on Sunday. "That's going to be kept as a family day; even if I do lose a number of sales."
With such interesting stock for the opening day, customers are eagerly waiting for the expanded version of the store to open.