Retail roundup: Modern Handmade goes year-round, cheesy food truck gets rolling, vintage 'mantique'

Modern Handmade Memphis is putting down permanent roots in Overton Square.

The business is open seven days a week at 2092 Trimble Pl., but its path to brick and mortar was anything but conventional.

Modern Handmade started as a group of makers connecting through Etsy.com. The team began hosting shows in 2010 under the Indie Style Market brand. It expanded beyond shows to stock pop-up shops in the Broad Avenue Arts District and Overton Square.

"We've acquired a POS system, store fixtures, and learned a lot about running a retail store," the shop's website states. "For 2015 we will remain in Overton Square and work to build the best handmade gift shop on the planet--debt free!"

Modern Handmade sells locally produced bath and body products, jewelry, accessories, vintage fashion, specialty food items, home décor, art and more. It also offers classes: a candle-making class and a jewelry-making class are among the sessions on its February calendar.

The business, with plans to remain open indefinitely, also seeks artists, designers and makers who want to join the Modern Handmade team, which currently has more than 200 members from all over the Mid-South including sewers, painters, knitters, photographers, graphic designers, milliners, furniture-makers and jewelers.

"We started with a belief that the Mid-South is full of creative, talented people making cool things and they should have a place to sell, to network, and to learn from each other how to grow their businesses."

While Modern Handmade plants its feet on the ground, another local operation is just getting rolling. Say Cheese!--the town's newest food truck--will host its launch party Feb. 13 at High Cotton Brewing Co.

Say Cheese! is the brainchild of Germantown residents Terry and Allison LaRue. The truck's menu currently counts six different grilled cheese options, from the savory Triple Decker (with garlic aioli, pepperjack, colby and provolone) to the sweet Elvis Italiano (cookie butter, banana and marscapone cheese).

Homemade tomato soup also is on the menu, as well as drinks and chips. The sandwiches range in price from $5 to $7. Say Cheese! also is available for rentals.

And a shop geared toward "the Southern gentleman" will expand its local footprint, opening a second location this summer.
Dixie Pickers has signed an 8,400-square-foot lease to occupy the former Tommy Bronson Sporting Goods space at 964 June Rd., near Poplar Avenue and Yates in East Memphis.

The store--which refers to itself as a 'mantique'--sells a variety of goods, from quality clothing and specialty items for men to vintage vinyl, comics and sports memorabilia. It also carries an extensive selection of outdoor goods including hunting supplies, guns and sporting goods.

Husband and wife team Damon and Dawn Waxler own and operate Dixie Pickers. The original location is on the Collierville Town Square at 99 N. Center St., and the new location offers a larger footprint for its second shop.

"The larger format allows for expansion with our inventory and new collections," Dawn Waxler said. "The vintage line of our business, an important competitive differentiator, will have adequate display area."

Read more articles by Jane A. Donahoe.

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