Photography by Angelo Merendino
Interview by Jennifer Proe
Who: Tracey Hilbert
Where: Fernway Neighborhood
Business: Eclectic Eccentric, a vintage clothing boutique with new and used household items,
located on Larchmere Boulevard between Shaker shops Metheny Weir and Loganberry Books.
Mission: To provide perfectly good vintage resale items in a sustainable way along with new
products that are practical and fun.
What I Love About My Work: I like to find a diamond in the rough and give it a makeover
with a new coat of paint or finish, to turn the ugly duckling into a swan. I have a small
collective of other small local business owners in the front of the store, including Barr’s Bars
(soap) and Two Crows for Joy (children’s clothes). I kind of became a landing pad for them,
and in return they help me out with technology. And my neighbors at Loganberry Books and
Metheny Weir are the best!
Personal Background: I grew up in Elyria, and started working at my dad’s drugstore,
Southside Pharmacy, when I was nine years old. He let me order the perfume and Timex
watches. I learned all about running a small business and how important retail spaces are
to creating a community. ¶ In high school, I used to hang out a lot on Coventry Road. I had
friends who lived in Shaker and we used to walk around the neighborhoods. I was so taken by
the houses and trees and Shaker Lakes that I decided I was going to live here someday. I got
into vintage fashion when I did some work as a local model. Vintage let me express myself and
was more affordable than the designer clothing I was modeling. ¶ I met my husband, Paul (a
digital media producer) at a club in the Flats. He had just moved here from Erie, Pennsylvania.
When we were first married, we lived in an apartment on Van Aken Boulevard that had amazing
built-ins and vaulted ceilings. There was not a lot of money to decorate, so on the weekends
I would put the baby in the car and just take off to go thrifting or to house sales, to see what
I could find. ¶ When we moved to the Fernway neighborhood, I felt instantly at home. The
neighbors on our street are the best. The schools were also a big draw for us; all three of our kids
(Lauren, 12, William, 17, and Paul, 24) have done so well there. I love the housing stock here.
Our house was born in 1928 and has built-in bookcases that are perfect for someone who likes
to collect things – though I’ve done a lot of editing over the years.
On Working and Living in Shaker Heights: We were drawn to Shaker Heights because of
its diversity, but also because it is so cultured and so friendly. I love J. Pistone’s for great Italian
wine, food, and snacks. I am also a fan of Juma Gallery. I love that it’s a beautiful space where
you can get both coffee and wine. ¶ Shaker Hardware and Heinen’s are both walkable for me.
I’m also looking forward to the new Van Aken District, which will be in easy walking distance.
I love that when you walk into Shaker Hardware, they ask you what you need. I can bring in a
period piece of furniture and ask them “How can I fix this?” and they’ll have great ideas.
13005 Larchmere Blvd.
Hours: W. & Th. 12-5 pm, Fri. & Sat. 12-6 pm, Sun. 12-5 pm, closed M & T
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