By Rebekah Hurst, editor
Fiddlestyx, owned by Chloe Leet, opened its doors across from the Manchester Arts Center in January of this year. It had originally opened as Patch Manor & Friends across from Audrey’s team Room on Ramsey Street, but after two years closed for business when the tea room stopped serving daily lunches. Later, the business moved to Spring Street before finding a permanent home at 121 East Main Street. “Fiddlestyx welcomes browsers and strives to be the destination of visitors and locals who wish to wander through rooms full of fascinating and useful collectibles and décor items,” said Leet. “We are die-hard antique and collectible seekers. We love to provide other collectors with unusual and beautiful collectibles and items that can brighten their décor. I get immense pleasure seeing someone find an item that excites them. I love seeing faces light up on their first visit.”
Leet says that customers are often surprised at the variety and amount of items for them to browse.
“I receive lots of good comments on the shop and love that I’ve been able to provide this little nitch in Manchester where visitors and locals can get their antique and art fix,” she said. “We have hand-made jewelry from Earth Lily (Kathryn Sherrill); Reta Cord offers her exquisitely made soft goods such as childrens’ clothing, personalized beach towels, kitchen gift items, glass art and so on. We also represent a dozen or so local artists who sell in our art gallery.”
Fiddlestyx offers collectibles and crafts that appeal to men, women and children. It’s “Guy Cave” is filled with old tools, records, bottles, western and military memorabilia as well as other items that will interest men. The “Gal Cave” has vintage clothing, crafts, jewelry, and books while the “Kid Cave” is filled with vintage books and toys. Children are also allowed to play in the Kid Cave while their parents browse the rest of the store.
Leet also takes items to sell on consignment. With limited space, however, she is very careful which consignments she puts into the shop.
“If there is something I don’t have available and I feel will be interesting to our customers, I’ll take it in on consignment,” said Leet. “The shop will determine how long to keep items (from three months up) and take a percentage of the sale. Right now, we have a fainting couch and parlour couch on consignment, along with cranberry glass, barn doors, windows, and more.”
Leet offers art classes from ages four through adults as well.
“It never fails to thrill me to see someone who says they can’t draw a stick walk out with a drawing or painting they are proud of,” she said. “Yes-U-Can Draw & Paint” classes are held continually in our little art studio. Classes for four to eight year olds are held Tuesday and Friday at 1pm. I teach them to recognize shapes in objects and draw and paint them. The art theme changes on a monthly basis. We’ll play with clay all of August and our hours will change to 3:30 p.m. once school starts. Classes are $10 per session. Older youth come on Wednesday afternoon at 1p.m. to draw and paint. The rest of the time is open to adults who just wish to paint or sit with an instructor for one-on-one instruction in drawing or painting with oils, pastels, acrylics or water color.”
For those interested in upcoming classes or wanting more information about the shop, please call Leet at 931-841-0811 or drop by 121 East Main St. Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for a visit.
“I hope more shops will come to downtown Manchester, so that Manchester becomes a destination instead of an accidental drive-by,” said Leet. “With the newly-renovated downtown, folks can enjoy one of our many restaurants and shops, or just sit on a bench and take in the flavor of Manchester. Fiddlestyx welcomes you.”