THE Market crosses the river to LeClaire

Those who enjoy the boutique shopping experience offered by multiple vendors at THE Market: A Journey to Joy in downtown Moline can now get the same inspiration at the new Market II in LeClaire, but with a few twists.

Katie Thompson

Owner Katie Thompson, who celebrates the grand opening of the Market II on Saturday, March 19, in the historic Rambo House at 430 N. Cody Road, said wares from about 40 vendors in the Iowa location are curated and grouped into rooms.

“You can almost get a vibe of how your room will be displayed,” she said. “You’ll see the jewelry that matches the clothes; the scents that go with every room in your house.”

Ms. Thompson, who describes herself on THE Market’s Facebook page as “owner, curator, dreamer” was greeted by a steady stream of customers during the LeClaire store’s soft opening on Wednesday, March 16.

In Moline, where The Market is located at the spacious Spotlight Theatre and Events Center (formerly the Scottish Rite Cathedral), each of the 40 or so vendors has a distinct space. In LeClaire, the layout of the two-story, 167-year-old house takes shoppers on a tour of each nook and cranny, filled with bath and body products, home décor items, clothing, items for children, kitchen wares, furniture, artwork and antiques.

While visitors will see some of the same vendors in LeClaire as in Moline, Ms. Thompson said they are required to carry different products in each store. Her philosophy is to appeal to “shop hoppers” who may visit both locations.

“The Smith Family Olde Country Market has a line of candles and lip balms that are wildly popular in Moline,” she said. For the LeClaire shop, the candles are in different vessels.

“They have a different look to them, and they carry a different scent line,” she said.

This first-floor room in LeClaire contains merchandise from Arlo & Elm, whose products also are featured at THE Market in Moline. JAN TOUNEY

Several vendors who are featured at the new Market II say this is a perfect opportunity for them to get into LeClaire, whose reputation is growing as a specialty shopping destination.

“We’re really excited,” said Nancy Turner, who along with her husband Rick, owns Songbird Lane Antiques in Cambridge, Ill. “We’ve always loved LeClaire. It’s a great spot for antiques.” 

Ms. Turner said she plans to fill their first floor space with a mix of smaller antiques, primitives and some new merchandise.

“I love our room and I love our space,” she said. “The way Katie has it set up, it’s great for shoppers. There’s something there for everyone.”

Tenneil Register, the owner with her husband Jesse, of R7 Reclaimed out of Grandview, Iowa, said she had been looking for an opportunity to get into the Quad Cities shopping market. The business offers vintage repurposed handmade furniture as well as unique new home goods.

“Katie has a brilliant design that helps small businesses without having to staff a brick-and-mortar store of their own,” she said. 

Kirsten Cooper, of east Davenport, has been refurbishing and reupholstering furniture for the past four to five years, selling it on consignment. Describing her style as “shabby chic eclectic,” she also is excited to bring her business, The Freckled Fox, to THE Market II.

She agreed with the sentiments of other vendors in saying that selling in a collaborative environment benefits all. “It’s really a great support system,” Ms. Cooper said. 

A regular shopper herself at the Moline Market, which opened in 2019, Ms. Cooper said she “really liked the mix of vendors.”

Sitting on THE Market’s spacious front porch with an expansive view of the Mississippi River, Ms. Thompson noted that a planned extension of LeClaire’s streetscaping in 2023 will help her business as well as others at the north end of the downtown district. Currently, the pedestrian sidewalk ends just two buildings shy of her business.

Coming to LeClaire fits in perfectly with her desire for a laid-back, comfortable shopping experience for customers.

“Our lives are busy and hectic enough,” she said. “And in LeClaire, people can come and truly slow down. Park your car, walk down the street, enjoy the river, eat good food and shop from great local businesses.”

THE Market: A Journey to Joy
Owner: Katie Thompson
Locations: The Spotlight Event Center, 1800 7th Ave., Moline.; and The Rambo House, 430 N. Cody Road, LeClaire.
Hours at both locations: Wednesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday, noon-4 p.m.
On Facebook: The Market A Journey to Joy

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