Located in Salzburg Square (off Route 101), Hexagon 101 is the place to see and purchase unique, contemporary artwork; beautiful, handmade objects from across the country and beyond; and an array of French vintage items. The owner, Mike Kline, has been an artist his whole life and a teacher of middle and high school students for 20 years. He currently teaches woodworking to grades 5-8 at Pine Hill Waldorf School in Wilton, NH- the same idyllic town where he and his wife, Geraldine, have lived since moving from Seattle, WA in early 2016.
While in Seattle, Mike regularly exhibited his paintings in cafes as well as at a weekly Sunday market. He found the relaxed informality of cafes to be an ideal environment for showing his artwork. At the market he discovered a love for interacting with the visitors who stopped in to check out his inspired works. It was this that led Mike to open his own gallery/shop in Amherst offering much more than just his own artwork.
Hexagon 101 is a peaceful place where you can enjoy a delicious cup of coffee or tea, an old-fashioned Squamscot soda, and other beverages. Mike’s offerings include his original artwork and prints, antique and vintage items, personalized artworks (more on those in a moment), photography, greeting cards, unique gifts, and imported French sweets- all amidst a quiet, cafe setting. He also offers the chance for you to create your very own works of art.
I was completely impressed the first time I walked into Hexagon 101, both by the creativity of his artwork and the thoughtful way he has gone about setting the shop up. Also, if it’s possible to have a “coffee tooth” rather than a sweet tooth, I am guilty and Hexagon 101 provides a great cup of coffee!
Mike makes personalized pieces of wall art for couples and families, that I encourage you to see in person –they are fantastic Anniversary, Wedding, or simply “I Love You” presents!
Mike and Geraldine have lived in France, England, Canada, upstate New York, and Seattle, appreciating different aspects of each unique place. He told me that he enjoys the
rural beauty and tranquility of Southern New Hampshire, and loves the presence of history, old buildings, and rough stone walls. Their travels and moves have been connected with Waldorf schools and communities (Geraldine as a school director, Mike as a teacher), which Mike told me has always given them a sense of being at home. Mike
and Geraldine have three grown children and two grandchildren.
Mike joined the Chamber of Commerce recently as an opportunity to network with members of the community and gain exposure as a new shop owner. He looks forward to what benefits his membership will bring and to finding ways to participate.
For Mike’s fun fact, he shared with me the story of how “Hexagon 101” was named. It has nothing to do with its location on Route 101- that ended up just being the cherry on top of the cake! The name was actually conceived months prior to even choosing a retail spot. Mike and Geraldine were dreaming up the business and brainstorming names and ideas.
The French imports part of the business led them to the name “Hexagon” (l’Hexagone is a nickname used by the French for their country due to its roughly hexagonal shape). It had a nice, catchy ring to it as well as having embedded meaning. The “101” part comes from the fact that there are 101 administrative departments in France (well, there were at the time- Mike told me that since then a 102nd department has been added!). But wait, there is even more behind this clever name; 101 is the typical number assigned to an introductory course in a school. Put them together and they sound good- ‘Hexagon One-Oh- One’.
Beauty, education, and French-ness: the undercurrent in all that Mike and Geraldine do!