By Kady Cramer
The Waldo Area Business Association will host the inaugural Waldo Spring Fling on April 30 from 10am-5pm. Located on the corner of Gregory and Wornall, the outdoor event will partner with The Strawberry Swing to feature vendor pop-ups alongside Waldo business booths.
“Our fall [fling] was such a success. It was a great way to bring together local artists and makers who don’t necessarily have a brick and mortar [business] but do live and work in the Waldo area,” says Kathryn Snellen, marketing manager for the Waldo Area Business Association. “I think it will be a really fun event and we’re excited to continue to offer it in the spring.”
The event will host approximately 40 vendors including a handful of local food trucks.
A replacement might be, Participants will include local pop up and Waldo retail businesses as well as individual artisans selling jewelry, ceramics, and clothing. Vendors will be located off the Trolley Trail.
One participating vendor in particular, Eclectics Gallery, has been a Waldo favorite for over 30 years. Located at 7015 Oak Street, original member/owners Jenny Isenberg and Diane Foster (since deceased) launched the art co-op in the summer of 1991 – occupying the same gallery it does today.
Isenberg met Foster while working for The Learning Exchange, a nonprofit focused on writing educational material.
“I had hired her as my illustrator and she had always wanted to open a little shop because she was very artistic,” says Isenberg. “Diane lived in the area, she found this place, and the rent was right, but she said she just couldn’t afford it.”
On the verge of having her third child, Isenberg was not able to focus on her full-time career at The Learning Exchange. Having graduated with an art minor, Isenberg thought that the two could supplement their investment by gathering member artists for the space and having them pay annual and/or consignment fees.
“We gathered together 24 artists, becoming the original members, and we each chipped in,” says Isenberg.
As times changed, the gallery started replacing lost members with consignment artists. Today the shop houses 10-12 invested members with over 50 additional consigners, 95 percent from the local Kansas City area.
“The items and art that we currently carry is much broader and more varied,” said Isenberg. “We’re always looking for new consigners. It helps us diversify the kind of things we can carry in the store.”
The shop plans on bringing a variety of one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted items to their booth at the Spring Fling including whimsical cashmere pillows, glass garden stakes, handmade scarves, rug-hooked art, jewelry, ceramics, and more.
“The nice thing about us is we’re located just down the street from the Spring Fling so we can decide to bring whatever it is we want to bring when we want to bring it [throughout the event],” said Isenberg.
The shop has just started to get back to their full-time hours of 10am-6pm, Monday through Saturday.
“The corner of our neighborhood on Oak and Gregory has really blossomed into a lovely place to visit Eclectics for art, you can head to Front Range Coffee and grab something to eat, and we would really encourage everyone to, after Spring Fling, walk up the street and visit all of us.”