Writer / Suzanne Huntzinger

Photographer / Brian Brosmer

Hometown memories have a special place in everyone’s heart. All Things Carmel has captured those memories in its brand-
new store.

Under the management of Mandy Hildebrand and owned by the Carmel City Center Community Development Corporation (the 4CDC), this quaint shop has an array of All Things Carmel from Greyhounds sportswear, books and paintings by local artisans, and dozens of other gifts and mementos.

The shop, right in the heart of downtown Carmel’s Arts and Design district, opened in June 2016 but was a long time in planning.

“Mayor Jim Brainard has wanted to create a store like this for a long time,” Hildebrand says.all-things-carmel-2

Despite the best of intentions, the timing and funding never came together. But then the 4CDC stepped in. The Corporation’s mission to promote quality of life in the core of Carmel provided the store’s perfect foundation. Once it found the right location, the 4CDC moved ahead with its plans.

Hildebrand adds, “I came on board in May 2016; they had already put in orders and made plans for a June opening.”

The store’s opening coincided with a Mayors Conference hosted by Mayor Joe Hogsett in Indianapolis. Although Indy played host to the conference, Brainard was asked to host an after-party event for the mayors arriving from all 50 states. The grand celebration was Brainard’s chance to show off the city and its downtown, which he’s worked so hard
to build.

Hildebrand adds, “Mayor Brainard is proud of this city’s accomplishments, the accolades it’s gotten for its schools, infrastructure like the roundabouts, the world class Palladium, and being honored as one of the top cities in which to raise a family.”

Hildebrand and her staff are busy settling in. Having owned a small retail business previously, she found managing the shop to be a perfect fit.

“I love it. We’re in a great spot in a fun area that’s new and modern but still has a small town feel to it,” she says. “There are always events going on in the district — new people coming in. I love talking to the shoppers and hearing their stories and favorite memories about Carmel.”

She also enjoys working with her all-volunteer staff. In conjunction with the 4CDC’s mission, the store operates as a not-for-profit entity. All proceeds go toward operating costs and to benefit the city of Carmel.

Hildebrand explains, “The volunteers are very friendly and helpful with the customers. They’re all here because they want to be here, and they really enjoy the job.”

Exciting things are on tap for All Things Carmel. The shop’s website store should be up soon for online orders. They have book signings planned, and the store is also part of Gallery Walks, which takes place the second Saturday of every month. The fun event sends the district’s shoppers on a scavenger hunt through all the stores to find a list of items.

all-things-carmel-4“It gets people in the store. It’s really nice because all the business owners in the district are so supportive of each other,” Hildebrand explains.

Shop owners in the district have a higher mission on their minds than simply promoting their individual shops.  A popular shopping trend is to break away from patronizing only chain stores.

Hildebrand explains, “You can find really unique things in the district shops. You’re not only finding something no one else has, but you’re supporting local businesses.”

Building inventory for All Things Carmel is a priority for Hildebrand right now. She’s constantly busy sourcing new and unique products to offer. The shop also works with Carmel-Clay Schools to carry more Greyhounds merchandise, especially when there is a championship to celebrate.

“It’s challenging. We’re always looking for local authors, artists or others to feature their products for sale in the store,” she says. “If you’re a local author or artist or you make unique gifts, come talk to us.”

Stop in All Things Carmel at 110 Main Street, Suite 104, to find the perfect gift or memento for your family or friends. Get more details at www.allthingscarmel.com.

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