Doing ‘something different’ in downtown New Haven

The purple railing, the chalked sidewalk, the doodly-dangly thingamajigs, the bubbles—all of these things should be your first clues as you drive down Broadway in New Haven: Molly Rose & Company is not your grandmother’s gift shop. 


The word “eccentric” comes to mind. “Eclectic” might even be more suitable to describe what you're about to see if you stop the car and venture inside the quaint little house just south of the railroad tracks in downtown New Haven. 


But, be forewarned: you're going to be there for a while. 


Molly Rose Wyrick is the proprietor, in-house artist, collector, and curator of what can only be characterized as a conglomerate of the confounded; a clutter of creativity, a cornucopia of skillful capacity. Molly Rose Wyrick


Come in, my pretties. Wander among the wonder. Look under that nook... carefully consider what might be curled up in that cranny.


The walls of this little house are slathered with paintings, objets d'art, trinkets, baubles, bangles, and—literally—a few thousand of your favorite things.


You'll find children's books; vintage bedsprings magically transformed into decorative centerpieces; nightlights made out of old bourbon bottles; incense (and, who knows? Maybe, sometimes, even some frankincense and myrrh!); hobo bags; hand-crafted candles, and too many other treasures with which to tease you. 


Wyrick gathers this ever-changing inventory of unique paraphernalia, mostly, from local artists and craftsmen.


However, some of it comes from as far away as Sweden, when a former exchange student at New Haven High School, displays some of her artistic wares. An artist from Johnson City, Tennessee—whose mother went to New Haven High School—also adds to the mix. 


After working as a mental health caregiver—and raising her children—Wyrick wanted to do something that would inspire people, and appeal to everyone's need for a little bit of art and creativity in their lives.


"I wanted to feed people's souls," she says.

Crafts by local artists at Molly Rose & Company.


It was important that Molly Rose & Co. was "more than just a shop.” She wanted it to be a meeting place, where people can come by just to chat, or to "chill" for a while. Every other Friday, she hosts a "drop-in" where people come to quilt, crochet, or do whatever they like doing.


As a kid growing up in New Haven, Wyrick remembers the "craft shed"—an event sponsored by the Parks and Recreation Department that still continues to this day.


"We all need to remember the child in us," she says, "and we need to nurture that." Wind chimes at Molly Rose & Company.


Her business card reads, "A shop of art, imagination and fun.” She holds art classes, often taught by the artists whose work she sells. There are classes for kids where "science meets art.” Even adults come by to create chalk drawings on her sidewalk in front of her boutique. 


Every summer solstice is time for a party, and her husband, Marty, is instrumental in entertaining guests and making it a night to remember for people of all artistic interests. Guests enjoy everything from "alcohol, ink, and fire" classes to more traditional classes like painting wine bottles or making jewelry. 


While the workshops and classes are always popular, the private parties and special events often bring people together in a laid-back social environment solely for the purpose of camaraderie and kindness.


It's not for business networking. It's just for good fun and casual conversation.


Many people from other areas of the country go to her website where they can get updated on Molly's latest creations. 


Across East Allen County, 622 Broadway in New Haven is, perhaps, the most unconventional address. 


But, from the very beginning almost three years ago, that was Molly's objective: to bring a little "something different" to downtown.


Read more articles by Ron Oetting.

A Fort Wayne native and New Haven resident since 1991, Ron Oetting (aka RKO) is the former owner/publisher of the Allen County Times, a weekly "good-news" paper covering seven communities in East Allen County. Now in his retirement, RKO continues to tell stories about the place he lives and loves. If you have a story to share about East Allen County, contact him at [email protected].
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