HILLBILLYHIPPIE owner Sarah Blair opened her store in downtown Mechanicsburg selling crafts and art work from recycled material. JEFF GUERINI/STAFF

The name — HillbillyHippie — isn’t all that’s unique about this new Champaign County shop

Once she got her first business in downtown Mechanicsburg off the ground, Sarah Blair said coming up with a name was easy.

“I’m a hillbilly and I’m OK with it,” Blair joked about her new store, HillbillyHippie. The new store, at 19 N. Main St., opened just a few weeks ago. The business provides space for about 10 local vendors who sell all locally made products that include wind chimes, soaps, woodwork and even furniture.

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The second half of the store’s name comes from the idea that most of the store’s vendors specialize in finding new uses for older items and materials.

“We shouldn’t be wasting so much that we have in our earth now,” Blair said. “What’s great is a lot of my vendors take things that can be recycled and make something new. It’s about cutting down on waste.”

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Along with running the business, Blair and her mother also make some of the items that are sold in the store. She described it as a modern farmhouse decor store. It’s also not the only new business to fill a vacancy in downtown Mechanicsburg in recent months. The Hive, a new market and deli, opened nearby at 22 S. Main St.

Little by little, Blair said she’s seeing more interest in bringing business back to the village’s downtown. She moved to the village with her husband about three years ago. Having other small business owners nearby is helpful and the owners have been supportive of each other, Blair said.

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“When we moved here it was kind of a ghost town,” she said. “Now things are staying open a little later.”

If enough businesses show they can be successful, it could spur more interest from other potential owners, she said.

“If we could get more people to do different things here, it could really be an area where you could bring your family for a Saturday afternoon,” she said of the downtown.

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