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Eclectic offers unique mix of modern and vintage – The Union |

Eclectic offers unique mix of modern and vintage – The Union

When first walking inside Eclectic, the small North Wayne Street shop known for its unique style of gifts, jewelry and home accessories, it’s easy to be a little overwhelmed. 

Upon setting foot inside the small and carefully arranged shop, the first sight that greets new customers is an enormous array of clothing, art and vintage-style items piled high from floor to ceiling. In less than the time it takes for the eye to examine a single piece of the visual puzzle, visitors are often greeted by Karen Barrett, the store’s personable owner and vintage item collector-in-chief. In a recent visit to Barrett’s counter behind the seas of colorful decor, the Eclectic owner shared how she came by her wares. 


“I opened in October of 2014, so we’re fixing to celebrate our fourth year, and this will be our fifth Deep Roots,” said Barrett from behind her desk near the rear of the shop. “I’ve done retail for a long time. I had another store but was out of it for a while, and I tried other little things, but I just missed the social part of it. I missed the creative outlet that it gives me to be able to put stuff in here.”

For much of the past four years, Barrett has provided clothing, home decor, and gifts to a huge array of different customers. Between Milledgeville locals, college students, lake house owners looking to furnish their summer getaways, and travelers seeking to pass the time on their way through town, Barrett offers a collection of items for customers of any style or age group. Rather than specializing in one specific good or area, Barrett makes sure to carry items for anyone that might walk in the door.

“We have signs that look vintage, but are really new and are able to be personalized,” she said, calling attention to a 1950s-style pin-up girl looking down from a nearby wall. “It’s artwork from some of the locals, or it’s jewelry that’s trendy and fun, or it’s things like candles that are made by a local friend of mine, [along with] apparel and accessories.”

In providing a source for wall hangings, in-home glassware and decorations, Barrett has indirectly left her mark on countless homes in the Milledgeville/Lake Country area. Although much of her business comes from hanging prints and jewelry from a variety of different vendors, Eclectic also offers a selection of gifts for weddings and other special events.

“I like everything I sell in the store, and any time something goes and there’s a space on the wall or on a shelf, I get excited because I can put some of my other merchandise there,” she said. “Our top sellers are the lake maps, signs, and trendy jewelry, and it turns over pretty fast … We have gifts for men, we have gifts for graduation, for a birthday, wedding gifts, baby gifts; for just about any occasion, we have a gift for that.”

While many of Eclectic’s items can complete a room with their vintage style or colorful imagery, one of the shop’s most interesting set of products is its customizable prints. Aside from customizing prints with a family name or special message, the shop also offers customizable glasses for wine, tea, beer, liquor, martinis, and the like. Much of the shop’s artwork, books, jewelry, and chocolate are made by local vendors, and Barrett is careful to stock a variety of items that appeal to customers of all ages. Amid the multitude of modern and vintage-style items that occupy her shelves from head to toe, Barrett said she wants to provide a place to make people’s homes feel like home.

“Eclectic is about having a diverse range of different styles,” she said. “Not everything is modern or vintage or frou-frou or not, it’s just a bunch of stuff put together that’s not from one single style.”

Eclectic Unique Gifts, Jewelry, and Home Accessories next door to Kirk’s Jerk Kitchen. The business is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.

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