The Time Machine On Main Street
In a row of storefronts on the western side of Chardon Square, there stands a little shop nestled cozily between a coffee house and another antique dealer. This is Circa, a corner of the world existing as an amalgam of art studio, antique shop and time machine. True to form, it also feels bigger on the inside.
Heather Means is proprietor and artist-in-residence at Circa, which she runs with a partner. Means is primarily responsible for acquiring and displaying antiques that run the gamut from early 20th century, to mid-century modern and as recent as the ‘60s and ‘70s. Old records, antique typewriters, turntable consoles and a slew of other odds, ends and thingamabobs are lovingly displayed throughout the shop. The interior beauty doesn’t stop there though, not by a long shot.
Catching Afternoon Sunfire
Stained glass art in the windows spins the light into myriad of reflected and refracted colors, and the afternoon sun fills the shop’s interior with a surreal glow. These various stained-glass artworks are Means’ creations, many of them sourcing material from stained-glass recovered from old buildings and homes, or from various stained-glass antiques that are not salvageable as complete pieces.
Currently, Means is working with Beans Coffee Shop & Bistro (also located in Chardon Square) to design windows that incorporates their rooster mascot.
Time Travelling And Connecting With Memories
As you pay Circa visit, one thing must be clearly understood: neither their inventory nor their shop is like any other antique store in town. Not only is Means’ art sprinkled among the various antiques and other objects d’art, but every piece is selected for their collection with the utmost care. Means makes it clear that extensive thought and hard work go into the picking and purchasing decisions regarding what will be stocked and what will be used for artwork.
“We want customers to see our inventory and say ‘I remember having that,’ or “my mom or grandmother had that.’” says Means. “We hear that conversation or some flavor of it quite often, and that’s why we do what we do and choose our items very carefully.” We enjoy the ability to give a forgotten item a second life and rekindle a forgotten memory for our customers.
It is a focus of ours to continually meet new friends as well as see our “Regulars” who come by to see what’s new or if a favored item is still available. “We want to create a welcoming environment where visitors can feel at home and comfortable… It’s all about that memory connection.”
There are days you will stroll through the Circa doors, and be greeted by vinyl music crackling through the shop. The generation of music is continually changing and the joy that comes with these memories are priceless.
The Challenges of Managing A Time Machine And An Art Studio
Circa is part of a growing movement in downtown Chardon to revitalize local small businesses in the 21st century world of online retail and next day shipping. Their local presence allows for the physical interaction and joy of the search, friendships and stories that come along with finding treasures and the simplicity of the day. This is an experience that has been lost in the digital age. Their small town focus is to keep experiences remembered and to take customers back to the best times in their lives.
Circa is open five days a week so that more friends are able to stop by to browse and chat. Circa opens earlier and stays open longer to allow foot traffic to Chardon Square throughout the week, meeting the needs of their neighborhood visitors.
Come On In And Stay A While
With its location in the heart of Chardon and unique offerings, Circa is rapidly becoming a cornerstone of the small business community. Means invites everyone to drop by, have a look around and chat up the staff. Take your time and browse what they have to offer, and let yourself connect with those future treasured items on display. Connect with the many memories around you, and know that you are welcome to come back and browse as often as you want. That’s why Circa exists. Definitely pay Heather Means a visit next time you are on the square. Even if you just spend some time browsing and chatting, you will find it is time well spent.
115 Main Street, Chardon, Ohio
Monday – Tuesday • Closed
Wednesday – Thursday • Noon – 5 PM
Friday – Saturday • 10 AM – 5 PM
Sunday • Noon – 5 PM
Connect with Circa
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