We’re headed to Reading, PA and the stomping grounds of so many indie artists and crafters including Daisy Janie, Megan Auman, and of course Tara Gentile! Let’s swing by Hello Bluebird and find out why owner Alex McCarty is passionate about all things handmade, the brick and mortar experience, and laying a foundation for life.
Customers often ask me, “Did you always want to have a store?” It’s a funny question for a Gemini like me, because there have been so many things I have “always” wanted to do. I think opening this store is a wonderful realization of the many talents and inclinations I have adopted over the years.
The common theme of all of my pursuits has been a passion for cultivating relationships, helping others, inspiring meaningful living, and spreading beauty. On the “Policies” page of our site, I outline some of the specific guidelines that I apply when jurying artists, and sum it up that we are looking for “lovely things made by good people.” Hello Bluebird only sells items that are handmade by individuals, and products that are artist-driven, eco-friendly, or socially-responsible.
There are SO MANY beautiful things out there for shops to choose from, made in a variety of ways, but it is important to me to build my business on what I perceive to be a sustainable way of living. No mass-produced stuff made at the expense of other peoples’ well-being, the environment, or our children’s’ future.
The greatest part of owning a shop like mine is watching my customers respond to the unique nature of handmade goods. Not all of my customers are as keenly aware of the indie movement as many of us in this online community, but they can sense something different and special in the items they pick up in the shop. I get to watch them connect with these products in a totally personal way, like you would react to a gift from a friend, or your grandmother.
There is just something so much more intentional and human about a handmade object. These customers don’t always know why they feel so giddy about the pretty things in my shop–but I do!
Luckily, I have been blessed with patient vendors, a loving family, and new customers every day who seem to truly love the shop. The best part is that each long day of hard work belongs to ME, and I am building the life I have always wanted.
Hello Bluebird is launching a dedicated workshop and class space in April! Look for info on “NEST at Hello Bluebird” soon. Owner Alex is encouraging her community to “Go Out on a Limb and Make Something.”
Hello Bluebird Boutique and Gallery
609 Penn Avenue
West Reading, PA 19611