By Sarah Robinson/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – After 25 years in business, Barbara Fleishhacker may be more of a downtown fixture than the old Riley’s jewelry store that houses her store.
Fleishhacker opened the Main Attraction in 1988. Like Fleishhacker, the store on Main Street in downtown Tupelo has been a local favorite ever since.
The store that specializes in new and vintage clothing and accessories is branching out this spring and opening a new location.
Unfortunately for her many fans in Tupelo, it’s not the shop around the corner. The Main Attraction’s soon-to-be sister location will open this spring in the east Nashville neighborhood of Edge Hill.
It’s a big move for the store and for Fleishhacker.
“I keep thinking I have lost my mind. But so far, everything I’ve done has just been meant to be,” she said.
The Main Attraction East, slated to open in May, will be similar to the one in Tupelo but will focus more on vintage pieces. Fleishhacker said it will give her an opportunity to sell some of the pieces she has collected and held on to over the years.
While she will be spending a lot of time in Nashville initially to get things running, Fleishhacker said she will keep one foot in Tupelo and has not made plans to relocate completely.
The downtown Tupelo store is staying put. Brody Holland, who has managed the store for the past 13 years, will maintain day to day operations.
“I’m excited for her new venture,” said Holland. “I hope I can do wonderful things here to keep the store growing while she’s away.”
Fleishhacker said the new store will be in a “young, urban neighborhood” just across the river from downtown Nashville. And although she knows any new move has its own level of risk, Fleishhacker said, “If it doesn’t work out, well, nothing ventured, nothing gained.”
Longtime friend and customer Meredith Deas Tollison said she remembers when Fleishhacker first opened the store. She said as a young woman in Tupelo, Fleishhacker inspired her.
Tollison said that Fleishhacker encouraged her to develop her own style. “What a free spirit Barbara has always been. It meant so much to be able to walk into her store and pick out things that really expressed who I am,” Tollison said, “and I can still do that today.”
Tollison recalled that Fleishhacker threw a Madhatter’s tea party for her and a group of friends as a graduation gift in 1991. The Main Attraction’s wonderland-themed party is now an annual Halloween event that welcomes both shoppers and trick-or-treaters.