The 30-something duo of Morgan Chambers and Nick Poulakidas, the two have been avid collectors for years, have decided to take that next step and open a downtown Olympia business called Capitol Eclectic Merchants.
Like the name suggests, the business, which co-owner Chambers describes as a thrift store, but that is geared toward a younger demographic, sells a little bit of everything.
It sells coins, first-generation Transformers, comic books, video games, including Super Nintendo and Nintendo 64 games, CDs, records, and DVDs, filling a 1,400-square-foot space on Franklin Street that was once home to Mills and Mills Funeral Home, but that had been vacant for about 18 months, Chambers said.
Poulakidas is the principal buyer for the store, while Chambers works at the store, meeting customers and dealing with inventory.
The business opened earlier this month and the response has so far been good, he said.
“Word of mouth is on fire,” Chambers said.
Chambers said he has collected many things over the years, including rocks and shells beginning when he was five years old, then advanced to other items. Poulakidas, Chambers said, likes to collects miniature vintage cars, many of which are on display and for sale at the store.
The store also sells board games, the odd piece of furniture, belt buckles, caps, boots, computer bags, cameras, jewelry and bottle cap art.
Board games, in particular, have been very popular. The Cranium series of board games always sell, and the store has a “Star Wars” Monopoly game with pewter figures, Chambers said.
“ ‘Star Wars’ is really hot,” he said.
Prices vary. Mad Magazines cost $2, for example, but they also are selling an antique, hand-cranked, record player that plays 78s for $1,200.
Customer Michelle Playter of Olympia stopped by the store recently, browsing and hoping to form some ideas for Christmas gifts. George Hough of Olympia came looking for a birthday gift, he said. Hough saw the business sign and had to check it out.
“How can you not stop in a place that is eclectic?” he asked.
He praised the store’s collection, including the vintage cars.
“I’m impressed,” Hough said about the store. After seeing the video games for sale, he said he’ll probably return with his boys, and then “my wallet will be empty.”Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403 email@example.com