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West Grand shop shares 10 years of eclectic treasures

Posted February 18th, 2015

  • John Curtis at Eclectica on Grand

Since she was a young girl, Sarah Curtis has been collecting antiques and treasures.  “I used to shop all the neighbor’s thrift sales and then set up a curbside lemonade stand where I sold antiques.”

Now as her shop, Eclectica on Grand, celebrates its tenth anniversary on West Grand Avenue, she has had a place to showcase and share her passion.  She said it’s a place that’s filled with jewelry, antiques, and whatever strikes their fancy that week.  “You can find a Brasilia credenza with a blow mold penguin perched next to a belly dance hip scarf... or vintage clothing, krumkake irons, things with a pinch of Narnia, and lots of sparkly things!”

Curtis started the business with her father John Curtis, and while they wrestled with different ideas like a tea house with antiques, or a bed and breakfast where the furnishings were for sale, all came back to her interest in antiques.  And Eclectica was created.

 “When my dad and I first set up the shop, we looked around and tried to figure out a name for what we were doing.  We came up with the word Eclectica - because that was the best description for our space: a place with combinations of different styles, cultures, and selecting what seems to be the best.  We like to make up words!”

As the store was brimming with their precious items, they branched over the alley, to her dad’s shop, River Trader Antiques, which specializes in local memorabilia and ‘man’tiques, as they like to call them.

Curtis said she loves the downtown atmosphere with the “ma and pa businesses.”  She notes that in the West Grand Business District, it’s more of a “pa and daughter” feel, pointing out that there are fathers and daughters involved in running their businesses at the Court ‘n House, 4 Seasons Floral, and Eclectica. 

Curtis says Grand Avenue has ‘come into its own.’  “It’s beautiful down here.  There are friendly neighbors, and things are really starting to merge with the rest of downtown’s activities.  Now, we are a real destination.” 

With Gus, the springer spaniel, greeting people as they come in the door, Curtis says they’re looking forward to how downtown is growing, along with some growth themselves. 

“Currently we’re just working on expanding our vintage clothing, Eau Claire history, and vinyl records departments.  But we’ve always got a trick up our sleeves!”

To learn more anout Eclectica on Grand, visit their Facebook page.