A Lilla Bazaar, a new shop on Brundidge Street, has recently opened in Troy.
The store is run by Nancy Conklin and has been open for only about six weeks, though it has been in progress for many years.
According to Conklin, it all started as a personal collection for her and a way to help some friends out.
A Lilla Bazaar mainly sells cultural items which are mostly handmade and come from places such as Pakistan and Afghanistan. Conklin said she currently only buys from four families.
“I help families overseas,” Conklin said. “I started out buying things for myself, but then got to know the families and some of them were refugees, some of them were in war-torn areas, some in earthquake-ridden areas, so I ended up getting things from them and trying to help them out.”
Conklin started selling on Etsy.com in 2011, though she has recently been focusing more on her shop.
“I haven’t had time to put toward (Etsy) because I’ve been focusing on the shop, but as of tonight I’ll be putting more stuff up,” Conklin said.
Some of the pieces in A Lilla Bazaar were even made by Conklin herself. Though she has had a hard time creating since she has been so busy, she hopes to do more in the future.
Conklin created her own poster for the shop to get the word around, which she has been handing out to students.
“I keep giving them to students,” Conklin said. “I don’t know what they’re doing with them.
“It’s like, ‘sure! Go put them up somewhere!’”
Some students have already discovered her shop and have fallen in love with how cozy and quirky it is.
Taylor Metcalf, a senior graphic design major from Panama City, Florida, said Conklin’s artwork was what originally caught her eye.
“There are a bunch of flyers hanging up in Malone on some of the bulletin boards that the woman actually hand drew,” Metcalf said. “They looked really cool, so I thought the store would be pretty unique too.”
Not only do many students find the store interesting to look at, but some find it inspiring as well.
Abby Phillips, a junior fine arts major from Gulf Shores, found the handmade items really inspired her to create more.
Conklin wants to try to target customers who want to make things, and she even has some ideas of creating fun social events to put on at her shop.
“I’m trying to make a sitting area out front and have it open on Thursday nights or Friday nights,” Conklin said. “We’re gonna have some sort of costume thing going on — anything to make people be creative and think!”
Like her poster says, she wants to “feed your head.”
Besides costumes and jewelry, Conklin also sells essential oils and mixes them herself.
“If you come in here with an ailment or something you need oil for, I will mix it for you,” she said.
Her main priority is to bring some culture and diversity to Troy, and she hopes she can do that in a way that brings fun and inspiration to everyone.
“When you walk in, you are welcomed with open arms into this lovely shop and an owner who cares for and remembers her customers,” Phillips said.
“I grew up going to stores like this,” Conklin said. “I felt Troy needed something like this.”
A Lilla Bazaar is located on 1119 South Brundidge Street and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.