‘So many unique things’
Art and woodwork shop opens in Wilmore
By Olivia Mohr
Greeting customers at the door of Natural ReCreations, an art and woodwork shop, is a table for sale that has a hole at its base resembling a tunnel down underneath the carpet of the shop.
The effect was created through an illusion using mirrors and small lights. On racks in the shop are wooden staffs decorated with dragons and fairies and wands made out of driftwood. The shop is also full of larger pieces of furniture, like handmade tables and office decor, and smaller decorative pieces of art. In one corner of the shop are musical instruments and books.
Natural ReCreations, located at 311 E. Main Street in Wilmore, opened May 16. Co-owner Alec Hardy, who owns the shop along with his wife, Diana, said the goal of the shop is to sell unique handmade items people haven’t seen before. The shop is open Thursdays from 2 to 6 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is also open during some town events. Alec said most of the items in the shop are made with wood and recycled materials, which inspired the shop’s name.
“Our name is because we try to make everything we can out of things that other people are throwing away,” Alec said.
Diana said that so far, the shop has created a lot of interest in the community but hasn’t sold much, which she said she and Alec anticipated because people may not be expecting to walk into a shop in downtown Wilmore and see the things they sell. Their hope as the shop gains awareness in the community, is for them to receive more business.
Diana said the shop’s main mission is to give her and Alec a chance to interact with the community and give them something to do since she and Alec are retired.
In the shop on June 20, Alec and Diana’s son David was putting the finishing touches on one of his projects, a tree made of twisted pieces of copper wire with a wooden base.
“I actually started it like 10 years ago and never finished it,” David said.
After he finished the project, he put it on display at the front window where the wire and wood finish sparkled in the sunlight.
On a shelf in the shop is a small sign that reads “Diana’s Originals,” some of Diana’s creations. She said she aims to make projects people can be inspired to create themselves. She crafts projects out of stones, driftwood and dishes.
Like Diana, Alec said he would like for customers to imagine what they could make themselves and find inspiration from the work at the shop.
Natural ReCreations currently has three artists who sell their artwork. Alec said he hopes that if the business goes well, it will move into a larger shop and other artists will be able to sell there also.
Artist Lauren Ashley makes leather fortune cookie keychains for sale in the shop, artist Michelle Yunker sells wood burning and painting projects there, and artist Ralph Yoder makes projects out of old wood – such as a chestnut clock and a coat rack for sale in the shop.
One of Alec and Diana’s sons, Chris Hardy, sells apple cider meade at Dodd’s Corner Farmer’s Market in Nicholasville and at Natural ReCreations.
He helps Alec build wood projects, but he doesn’t sell his own projects. Diana said she and Alec have been married for 44 years and their first house together was in Wilmore.
They now live in Nicholasville, but they opened Natural ReCreations in Wilmore because they believe downtown Wilmore is growing. Also, Alec’s friend owns the building, and David maintains it.
The Hardys will be making smaller projects for dorms and apartments in the future, and Diana said she hopes customers feel the shop is a comfortable, unique place.
“We’re so unique,” Diana said. “We have so many unique things.”