Today, a new store is opening in downtown Seymour, and it’s a little bit quirky.
But in a good way.
When friends Tracy Hackman and Lyn Najar started talking about the idea of owning a business, they knew it had to be eclectic, unique and fun, reflecting their own personalities.
Story continues below gallery
That’s how Quirky Living was born.
Located at 113 W. Second St. in the former A Hearing Service office, the store is hard to classify in one genre.
Quirky Living is a gift shop for any occasion — birthday parties, baby showers, bridal showers and graduations. The store sells cards, and gift wrapping is available.
It also offers a limited selection of boutique clothing, selected for all ages and sizes. Tops and sweaters can be worn by a teen or a trendy grandma, Najar said.
The store sells antiques and vintage merchandise and is a place to find one-of-a-kind handmade creations from local artisans.
“We’re trying to keep our prices reasonable,” Najar said. “There’s no point in having such a markup that no one is going to buy it.”
Hackman, who lives in Clearspring, worked as a manager for about three years at Goody’s in Seymour, so she had a background in retail sales.
Najar, who moved to the area from Florida in 1992, was ending her career at Schneck Medical Center and was ready to do something different.
“I started thinking about what I wanted to do,” Najar said. “I just always wanted to have my own store. I thought it would be fun.”
The two have been friends for about 10 years and even worked together at Schneck. They started talking about their shared interest in opening a business.
“She’s kind of the only person that got what I was talking about,” Najar said of Hackman.
Both agreed there was a need in Seymour for more clothing options. But they also knew they wanted to offer variety to customers to keep them coming in the door to see what’s new.
“We didn’t want to be just a clothing store,” Najar said.
“We had other interests,” Hackman added.
They decided their store should be a place people seek out for the offbeat.
“We wanted to have things you can’t really find anywhere else,” Najar said. “We do have some vintage things that you might find at some of the antique shops, but then we’ve got a lot of new stuff that we found. We kind of call it off-beat gifts, retro apparel and vintage collectibles.”
Quirky Living sums it up, she added.
“A lot of the stuff we have, you can’t find in Seymour,” Najar said.
The name of the store also plays off popular publications like Southern Living, Midwest Living and Coastal Living, Hackman said.
“We didn’t want to narrow it down to where we were just one thing because we have things for kids, babies, men, women,” Najar said. “We have things really for everybody. We’re not really trying to appeal to one market.”
Hackman said she hopes customers will provide feedback and input on what they would like to see at Quirky Living.
The friends chose downtown Seymour for the location of their store because there are plenty of empty buildings.
“When I started thinking about having a store, I just saw that there were a lot of places down here for rent,” Najar said.
She saw a sign in the window with real estate developer Mike Kopp’s phone number and decided to call him to inquire about the building.
“I just wanted to see what was available and how much it would be,” Najar said.
She already had looked into renting a booth at Traderbaker Flea Market in Seymour and wanted to compare the prices.
“What really got us excited about the whole thing was when Mike Kopp took us on a tour of not only this building, but he took us around to the other buildings he owns,” Najar said. “It really got us excited about what downtown is going to be doing.”
Hackman said anyone who grew up in or spent time in Seymour loved the downtown.
“People loved the Murphy’s store and Hooks, the Beehive and the Golden Key. Our kids have no idea,” she said. “That’s what really got me because I remember running these streets. When my mom was at work, we’d be all over the place. We need to figure out how to tap into that with the younger generation.”
But being downtown is more than just for nostalgia’s sake because Seymour needs more retail businesses to get people to stay here to shop instead of going to Columbus, Greenwood or Clarksville, Hackman said.
She said she hopes Quirky Living is the start.
Inside, the store is divided into several different rooms, including a kitchen area featuring aprons, kitchen towels, cloth calendars, magnets, farm-themed and pet-lovers items and more.
Another room features gift ideas for adults, including beer- and wine-related items for men and women and humorous soaps, lotions and candles.
“If something kind of makes us laugh, then that’s what we like,” Najar said.
There also is a wide variety of prints available for framing and handmade items. They are working with Dicksons in Seymour to print T-shirts to sell in the store, too.
With the grand opening today, Hackman and Najar are hoping to see a lot of familiar faces and meet new people coming in to check out the store.
A ribbon-cutting will be at 2 p.m.
“And then we’ll be open on Saturday, too,” Najar said.
Hours for Quirky Living will be from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. It will be closed Sundays and Mondays.
“We’re trying to stay open longer, hoping that maybe we can draw people to come down here longer,” Najar said.
Hackman said the late afternoons actually are a busy time downtown because of parents taking their kids to music lessons at This Old Guitar Music Store or dance lessons at STEPS Dance Center. There also are people who work downtown leaving for the day that will pass by, she added.
They also hope to tap into the traffic that Rails Craft Brew and Eatery continues to bring downtown.
“No one else stays open that long,” Hackman said. “I think our hours will depend on whatever the demand is. We’ll adjust to that.”
Address: 113 W. Second St. in downtown Seymour
Owners: Tracy Hackman and Lyn Najar
Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m Saturday