Women owners and vendors bring eclectic mix to Marblehead Mercantile

Mar 26, 2024 | Business | 0 comments

Carleen Balduf’s beach glass art is a big seller at Marblehead Mercantile. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

BY SHERI TRUSTY

For the first time since it opened, Marblehead Mercantile is completely run by women. The shop’s owners, Kim Johnson and Pat Lukac, are joined by nine female vendors who bring unique talents and merchandise to the shop, which features vintage, antique and new products.

“This is the first time we’ve had all female vendors. It’s wonderful,” Johnson said. “We’re friends outside the shop, too. We all know each other’s families. We’re all close.”

The Marblehead Mercantile women work well together despite their diversity.

“We have all ages, from 30s to 70s. It’s a big variety of people from all walks of life,” Johnson said. “One is a scientist. One is a nurse. One is a banker.”

Co-owner Kim Johnson has the only booth at Marblehead Mercantile that focuses heavily, but not exclusively, on new items for customers who aren’t interested in antiques. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

They are diverse but share a mutual love of vintage.

“We all have this common interest. That’s part of what makes us get along so well,” Johnson said. “All of us love shopping. I’ll go to a garage sale or a flea market, and there will be five of us there.”

Johnson calls vendor Susan Cairns the shop’s “Fiesta lady,” and she said vendor Jane McDavid’s stall is eclectic.

“Jane likes everything old,” Johson said. “(Vendor) Cathy Whitt is a retired teacher who likes to repurpose things. She makes new things from old things.”

Johnson describes vendor Dina Rodgers as “a wonderful artist.”

“Dina has been a great addition to the shop,” Johnson said.

Marblehead Mercantile offers antique, vintage and new merchandise. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

Vendor Carleen Balduf’s beach glass art is a big seller at the shop, and vendor Shirley Green sells nautical items and furniture she repurposes with her husband.

Vendor Debbie Hawthorne sells antiques, including vintage linens.

“She does phenomenal linens. There’s not a spot on them, and she irons them like a sheet of paper,” Johnson said. “(Vendor) Martha Snyder owns an old Victorian home in Port Clinton. She’s downsizing and sells her things here.”

Vendor Stacey Mackey, the shop’s youngest vendor, sells hand-painted furniture and other unique home décor.

“She’s our girl who knows what’s in. My daughter is Stacey’s age, and she always makes a beeline for Stacey’s booth because she has things the young girls love,” Johnson said.

Lisa Alexander of Zanesville, left, stopped by Marblehead Mercantile specifically to buy the lantern she is holding. With her is the shop’s co-owner, Kim Johnson. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

Lukac’s booth is filled with a little new, a little old and a lot of Pyrex. Johnson started as an antique seller, but she now gravitates to new merchandise.

“I started noticing that a group of women would come in, and one of them wouldn’t be interested in antiques, so I started selling new merchandise in the shop,” she said. “But most people want to look at it all, the old and the new.”

Each woman at Marblehead Mercantile brings a bit of her personality to the shop.

“We bring in what we like. Most of us started as collectors, and our collections outgrew our homes,” Johnson said. “It’s rewarding knowing people like the stuff we picked out.”

Marblehead Mercantile is located at 215 W. Main St. in Marblehead. For more information, call 419-702-7374.

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