Eclectic items offered for sale at The Shops at Kessler’s

Three afternoons a week, plus every fourth Saturday, local and visiting shoppers can explore the diverse merchandise for sale at The Shops at Kessler’s in Hills­boro.

“The Shops at Kessler’s has an eclectic mix of vintage, home decor, antiques, books, farm and garden, as well as Watkins products and more,” said Joni Calam, who manages the consignment booths at 112 S. Main.

Shops at Kessler’s has 12 spaces with one to four people supplying inventory per shop, Calam said.

“We like that our shop vendors represent a variety of areas, including Hillsboro, Tampa, Lehigh, Goessel, Elyria, Derby, Conway Springs and Wichita and Tulsa (vicinities),” she said.

Unique names identify the different shops such as Cottage Ivy and Stars, owned by Calam and sister Sheryl Richert. Their shop features a variety of vintage and antique items that are reasonably priced, she said.

At Rhubarb Market, Alissa and Tim Unruh sell antique furniture, dishes, linens, wall decor and other one-of-a-kind items.

“On the fourth Saturday when the shop are open I sell baked goods,” Tim Unruh said. “This includes zwiebach baked with turkey red winter wheat, honey stone ground wheat bread, French bread, cinnamon rolls and numerous other goods per baker’s choice.”

Cheryl Bartel and Danielle and Eric Bartel describe the style of their Flatland Finds shop “as “rustic and vintage Americana.”

“We carry items that can be used ‘as is’ or repurposed for project pieces,” Cheryl said. “Many of the things we like to collect are versatile and suitable for both indoor or outdoor-yard/garden decor use.

“Eric creates industrial style furnishings made of unique farm finds such as pipe and barn wood.”

At Flatland Finds, custom orders are available.

“We see the shop continuing to evolve as we search for unusual offerings and with customer response,” Cheryl said.

Calam said shops are encouraged to have a Facebook page to connect to their customers and display their inventory.

“It’s nice to browse the shop through Facebook, but many of our customers are surprised and sometimes disappointed when they find how quickly items sell,” she said. “So if you see something on Facebook, it’s good to get in soon.”

Calam said she’s pleased that vendors are good about bringing in new items on a regular basis to keep fresh as they replenish their shops.

Calam’s concept for Shops at Kessler’s has expanded Marie Kessler’s idea to rent booth space in the building to provide additional shopping for customers following the opening of Kessler Kreations in 2011 for quilting and to sell fabric and sewing supplies.

After Kessler closed her retail business in March 2017 to focus on machine quilting, Calam said customers missed coming to shop at the booths. So she asked about renting the north side of the building if she would manage the consignment shops, and Shops for Kessler’s became a reality.

“We opened June 1 and have had a very good month,” she said.

The customer base includes a local following, but also other clientele.

“Marie has many out-of-town clients who come for quilting and then shop the store,” Calam said. “We have customers who come to town to have a vehicle fixed or for medical appointments and are looking for something to do.

“Several from out-of-town are just driving through and see the window or sidewalk display and stop by,” she added.

Shops at Kessler’s is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, as well as the fourth Saturday of every month when Unruh’s baked goods are for sale and several of the shop vendors are on site, Calam said.