Retail therapy abounds at The Peddlers Cart in downtown Elizabethton

Published 9:05 am Tuesday, August 13, 2019

If you happen to take a walk in the first block of downtown Elizabethton, The Peddlers Cart is a business you need to take time to visit. Within seconds of walking through the front door, you’re not only greeted by the smiling face of business owner, Jane Mullins, but the historical memorabilia, collectibles and crafts inside the shop is sure to evoke feelings of lifetime memories of some of the best days of your life.

For nearly nine years now, Mullins has offered her downtown business and the collectibles within to locals as well as travelers from afar who often plan trips just to stop in and see what is new on the shelves. Whether you collect dolls such a Holly Hobby or you’re looking for antique collectibles, home décor, toys and more, this shop has it all. One of the best things about Peddlers Cart is the fact that the business has a budget designed for everyone and one thing that Jane wants people to know is that no matter how much money they may have in their pocket, they can always afford to shop at The Peddlers Cart. There are items priced as low as a nickel and even those smaller items are sure to bring a smile to someone’s face.

She said, “Everybody is so nice, and everyone tries to help everybody else.”

As many downtown businesses have publicly stated, having a business downtown is like having an extended family.

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Being a business owner in downtown Elizabethton has some great perks other than the foot traffic and the customers that venture into the shop. For Jane, it means that the times she can take a quick walk away from the shop, she can visit other local businesses. She is especially fond of stores like Duck Landing and Antiques on Elk as well as others including All Star Sports and Country Crafts. Her favorite downtown restaurant, and one that is popular with many is Jiggy Ray’s Pizzeria.

She said, “Jiggy Ray’s is my favorite restaurant and they have such good pizza and appetizers and the salad bar is the best salad bar in town!” That is something that most who dine at Jiggy Ray’s will agree on as the salad bar is truly one of the freshest and has a large variety of salad bar items to choose from.

At The Peddlers Cart, Mullins rents space to vendors who set up weekly, with many who have been inside the walls since the day she opened the doors and others who just started utilizing the space recently. Items on the shelves change frequently which means that there is always a great variety of merchandise to look at.

Besides the incredible array of collectibles, dinnerware, dolls and more, those who enjoy a little paranormal activity may enjoy knowing that this store also boasts a little resident ghost that has been affectionately named “Ernie” who, as Jane says, is always up to mischief around the store. From a toy truck rolling across a hallway without a push from the hand of a child, to keys that seemingly go missing on their own and items being moved around without the help of a human, Ernie has a history of playing innocent little games in the shop.

A few years ago, a team of paranormal investigators from Washington County Paranormal Investigations came in and picked up audio of a child running back and forth in the shop. Don’t worry though, after years of being in business downtown, little Ernie has proven to be a harmless little ghost and one that many people come in just to see if they can sense him in the shop. What better place for a ghost than in a shop that is filled with amazing nostalgic merchandise?

Some of the items you can find in The Peddlers Cart are toys and dolls from the 1970’s and beyond, collectible dishes, books, vintage and modern clothing and shoes, scarves, wallets, beautiful jewelry and more. If you’re looking for a special item for a gift for someone or just want to find something fun or unique, chances are you won’t leave without something in your hand.

Jane loves her customers and she has been able to meet tourists from Japan who traveled to Elizabethton just to see the covered bridge and others who have traveled to the area from Germany and other places overseas. She even has a couple who fly in and always buy their Christmas décor from her shop every year.

The close-knit community of business owners and those who work within means a great deal to small business owners like Jane. She said, “I think everybody down here gets along and it’s just a great place to be. If I had to do it all over again, I would come right here to this same spot and open my store.”

People have told Jane that coming into her shop is like therapy for them and she has some who come in every day to shop or even just to walk around and look at everything. The shop is open Monday through Saturday until 6:30 p.m. but she usually tries to stay open until at least 8 p.m. Saturdays during the car show. When you are ready for good old-fashioned “retail therapy” be sure to visit Jane Mullins and her shop, The Peddlers Cart, at 404 E. Elk Avenue in downtown Elizabethton.

Angela Caito is a freelance writer, film producer and publicist who writes a variety of columns nationwide. Sidewalk Stories is an initiative to help promote our local Elizabethton businesses. To contact Angela to be included in Sidewalk Stories you can email her at: