When it comes to spending, Robbie Johnson Weinberg of Eclectic Eye in Midtown Memphis is focused on keeping it local.
“Over the years, we’ve learned to be very intentional about our vendors,” said Johnson Weinberg, co-owner of Eclectic Eye. “Can you buy it locally, within a budget that you can live with, and understand its greater impact? That’s a question I am always asking. Our community is rich with talent, resources and meaningful businesses. It’s important to us to support these businesses in order to cultivate an economic landscape of which we can all be proud.”
Johnson Weinberg’s dedication to choosing local involves many partnerships including archimania, who designed the original store and the re-design in 2015. The company uses local landscapers and purchases plantings from a locally-owned nursery. Unique artwork including sculpture and murals from Memphis-based artists Kyle Taylor, Yvonne Bobo and Michael Roy, help make the space inviting to customers.
“One of our favorite collaborations is our work with The Cry Baby Club. We work with them on unique, accessory pins to sell in our store.”
For events and the company’s eyewear trunk shows throughout the year, Johnson Weinberg uses local vendors for beverages including local coffee brands. They also work with local restaurateurs and caterers to handle food for events.
Eclectic Eye’s accounting needs are managed by Memphis-based Cannon Wright Blount and they retain PR and marketing services with local agency inferno to ensure that the brand is top-of-mind for their customers.
“In 2018, we also shifted our computer networking company from a non-local to a local company,” Johnson Weinberg said.
“We really wanted a local source for our network, as we strongly believe that it’s important to be able to see a local face in the community.”
Eclectic Eye retains a local insurance provider, who Johnson Weinberg notes has been very helpful in addressing issues on the ground. “One night, a car plowed through our building and by the time we had made it over to see the damage in the freezing December weather, our local insurance provider had actually driven by on his way to get donuts and stopped to make sure everything was okay. It’s this kind of community that makes supporting local worth it.”
The piece originally appeared in the Greater Memphis Chambers‘ Move Your Money to Memphis Initiative.