by Susan Schabacker
Opening the door to Eclection and Breathe Wine Bar & Lounge, customers are greeted with a creative array of eclectic treasures and a medley of vintage clothing, books, and handcrafts. This warm and welcoming atmosphere in downtown Kernersville has become a happening hangout place; an inspired hub for people and their creative passions.
“When people walk in, they often say they want their kitchen or bathroom or guest room to look like this. We have created this interior to be as interesting as it is inviting,” says Chris Federico, Eclection’s owner. Chris, her daughter Lauren, and her husband Jeff created this innovative and inspiring atmosphere from scratch. They transformed tree trunks into tables, old countertops into benches, and painted doors, shutters and drawer fronts into display shelves.
Chris wanted to put Kernersville on the map, to draw people from at least a 50-mile radius, and to be a really important place for the locals. Eclection is the perfect place where people can gather to share a cup of coffee or have a glass of wine or a beer.
Every Saturday night at Eclection, people can enjoy live music at 8 p.m. “Our goal is to bring the best music from the Piedmont Triad area to a cozy and comfortable environment,” said Chris. This includes singers, songwriters, and bands that range from indie electronic beats to acoustic acts, with such performers as Joey Barnes from Daughtry, Evan Olson (Evan and Dana), Nick Wes, and Upstart Crow.
While listening to live music, visitors can browse through a wide variety of crafts and vintage pieces by local artisans in a relaxed setting and enjoy hors d’oeuvres, desserts, coffee, or wine with some of the finest cheeses in the Piedmont Triad.
Whether enjoying a drink and appetizers with a friend or opting for something more substantial, Eclection offers food and drink that suits everyone. Some tempting choices include Thai chicken meatballs, quiche, and savory tarts−such as a caramelized onion and goat cheese tart or a mushroom, bacon, and Swiss tart.
Eclection offers a wide variety of wines, personally selected by the owner, including sweet reds and whites to more full-bodied, dry wines that pair well with the local cheeses from the Goat Lady Dairy, Looking Glass Creamery, Chapel Hill Creamery, and Kernersville’s own Once Upon a Meadow.
Those who prefer beer can partake from a variety of choices, including local brews like New Belgium and Highland from Asheville, Foothills from Winston-Salem, and Natty Greene’s from Greensboro.
About 5 years ago, Chris Federico began offering handcrafted and vintage pieces with the Kernersville Indie Flea Handcraft and Vintage Market in the lot next to the Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden from April through November. Later, she rented the house, which is now the Kernersville Museum, for the holidays to showcase festive and fashionable jewelry and beautifully handcrafted pieces.
“I, myself, am an artist and have always made jewelry. I took vintage pieces apart and created originals. But there was really no place to sell them,” says Chris. “Eclection is a special venue for local artisans to showcase their work to build and promote their brand. Each booth becomes a store within the store with its own identity presented in its own unique way.”
With 60 local artisans and craftspeople, authentic and exciting pieces are discovered around every corner. On one shelf sits an unusual roller-skate-Converse-sneaker lamp, round the bend and there are racks of colorful vintage aprons and every type of shoe, from cowgirl boots to glittery flats. With plentiful creativity and ingenuity that goes into every piece, it is hard to walk away empty handed. From home decor to jewelry and accessories, to furniture and architectural salvage, “you can often find things you have never seen before,” says Chris, “everything we have is creatively inspired.”
Everything is handmade or vintage in this relaxed environment that is perfect for meeting people and networking while having a cup of coffee or enjoying a glass of wine.
To keep things fresh and interesting, themes change from month to month. “Our theme for January is bridal. A recent theme was ‘in the garden,’ which included anything you might find in a garden or related to a garden, like a dress with flowers or a dish with a bird pattern. Other themes have included colors, like one month when everything celebrated the color turquoise,” says Chris.
Eclection even offers a delightful mix of classes for people who want to make hand-crafted treasures. Classes range from faux finishing to chalk painting and jewelry making to canvas painting. From kids’ birthday parties to ladies’ get-togethers and mother-daughter afternoons, singles, couples, friends and families alike can enjoy these interactive 2-hour arts and crafts sessions and return home with their own creations that also make terrific custom-made gifts.
On the first two Saturdays in February, Eclection will offer custom jewelry making for the perfect Valentine’s gift and cookie decorating for adults and kids. It is an ideal time “for people to come in and make personalized gifts for loved ones,” says Chris.
To learn more about the full calendar of happenings at Eclection and Breathe Wine Bar & Lounge, including how you can schedule your bridal shower, bachelorette party, and other private events, please visit www.eclectionnc.com or call 336-497-4822.
Whether you are interested in showcasing and selling your work, taking classes, bringing your friends and family to events, or just stopping in for a drink and a bite to eat, Eclection and Breathe Wine Bar & Lounge is an ideal place to be. Locals and out-of-towners alike share their passions and express their creativity in this eclectic, inspiring, and welcoming setting.