A love of all things vintage makes Shaker the perfect choice for Tracey Hilbert.
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