STANTON — Birdy’s Antiques & Gifts in Stanton is one of those stores that attract browsers the way honey attracts bears. More than just an antique store, Birdy’s is filled to the brim with items that will transport you down memory lane, make you smile, or simply hold your interest until yet another object catches your eye.
Of course, all this browsing doesn’t bring in a dime for store owner Diane Lowell, but she doesn’t mind. Part of the fun of running Birdy’s is the chance to see her customers’ faces light up with surprise or pleasure.
“Some of this stuff just makes people happy just to see it,” Lowell said. “The fun thing is that even if people aren’t going to buy anything, they come in, pick something up, and I can tell by the look on their face that it reminds them of their grandma or grandpa and times passed. Obviously, it’s great if they do buy something, but it’s not all about that.”
Birdy’s is something of a sideline for Lowell, who also owns a beauty salon and works at Barden Funeral Home as a mortician, something she became interested in years ago after a funeral director spoke to her high school psychology class.
“I’m a beautician, mortician and ‘antiquician,’” Lowell said with a laugh.
Birdy’s recently celebrated its first anniversary and, according to Lowell, business has — to date — been quite good. She attributes its popularity to several factors, not least of which is the selection of items it offers.
“We have a wide variety,” she said. “It’s not just antiques. We wanted to have a store that’s not just one type of thing. Some is Victorian, some rustic, but we also have cool, funky stuff. That’s really helped us. We get a wide variety of people in and not everyone is into antiques.”
Some of the store’s more unique offerings include a 100-year-old Victorian settee, hand-painted lamps and interesting glassware.
One of the first things one notices when entering the shop is the way in which items are displayed. Unlike some antique dealerships, Birdy’s merchandise is arranged in attractive groupings much as one would find in a high end department store.
According to Lowell, credit for this goes mostly to Raychelle Gavitt, who works at the store and handles most of the display arrangements.
“Raychelle is a big help on the merchandising end of things,” Lowell said.
“We have all kinds of stuff here,” Gavitt added. “There are also booths downstairs.”
The downstairs portion of the store is filled with a wide variety of consignment items, from toys to photos and paintings to fine antiques, what Lowell describes as “everything from A to Z.”
Though the store itself measures up favorably to similar big city store, Lowell notes that prices at Birdy’s are more in keeping with small town sensibilities.
Lowell’s prices are so reasonable, in fact, that antique dealers from other cities frequent the store, sometimes buying entire truckloads of merchandise.
“If they buy it from me and then sell it at another store for more, it makes no difference to me,” Lowell said. “I try to buy low so I can sell low.”