Two stores, only about a mile apart in Waldo, that many people would lump into the same category. Yet they’re different.

Eclectics, located north of Gregory on Oak in Kansas City, is an artists cooperative. Eclectics signs Waldo KC Oct 2009The day I was there, Susan Speck told me about some of the artists whose works fill the store. Susan, as a member, works at the store; other artists are “consigners.” You can find her “handbuilt, funk-tional porcelain” at the link above.

One of the first things I noticed in the store (besides the guard puppy) were these repurposed Barbies, dubbed the “Spice Girls,” Eclectics Spice Girls Waldo KC Oct 2009and created by Beverly Mangham. It would be fun to decorate your kitchen with them.

At the back I found these “soft sculpture fantasy” angels by Susanne, a.k.a. Susi F. Coatta. Eclectics stuffed dolls Waldo KC Oct 2009But my favorite was this group of creatures made from gourds by Jennifer Throne.Eclectics gourds Waldo KC Oct 2009

Fabú also has a small but affectionate guard dog, as well as a formerly feral guard cat named Blinkers, who rubbed my calves and looked up at me with his glass-green eyes and then stretched out his claws and applied them to the flesh above my knees. So I petted him.

I spent a while listening to the owner talk about the difficulties of running a store in this recession, now that her husband has retired and her partner bought the Waldo Bar and Grill. She’s planning on selling off the merchandise beginning in February and closing the store sometime after that. So get on over to Fabú now for cute baby clothesFabu onesie KC Oct 2009 and these jean jackets with knitted sleevesFabu denim jackets KC Oct 2009 and silver charms the owners collected over the years. I bought my sister a set of Lucite salt-and-pepper shakers from the vintage collection in the store.

The owner’s daughter, Elle, made the necklace and bracelets shown here.Fabu Elle achieve necklace KC Oct 2009

I could have stayed and talked for hours. Apparently people are always coming by and saying, “I used to live in this house,” Fabu exterior KC Oct 2009among them Kate Spade, who grew up in Kansas City.

On the owner’s recommendation, I went to Waldo Pizza for lunch. I’ll talk about that in a later post.

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