ST. CLAIR – Blackbird Home Goods owner Heather Bernhardt said she’s constantly switching up merchandise inside her store.
And all the Michigan- or river-themed merchandise, she said, goes over really big.
“People can’t get enough of that,” Bernhardt said. “We have a ton of that in here now. And people always like to see new stuff.”
Only in St. Clair’s Riverview Plaza since June, Blackbird first opened inside the mall behind War Water Brewery. Now, Bernhardt said the store’s had two weeks in its new home right on the front plaza.
“That was kind of our trial run,” she said. “… I think we just got a really great understanding when we were back there. Trial and error, you know — what do people want to buy? What are they looking for?”
“We’re bigger, better new inventory all the time,” Bernhardt added.
The store, just slightly north of War Water, features home décor items, furniture, some apparel, and gifts with choices ranging from pillows and candles to small food items, jewelry and gift cards.
Although they hadn’t been in the plaza long, Bernhardt said she had already hoped to expand when she got into business. She lives in St. Clair with her family and said she previously worked for Blue Cross Blue Shield until she left for the new venture.
That it’s near their home, and with the anticipation of the St. Clair Inn opening later this year, she said she knew it was the right time.
“The whole reason we decided to. We’re from St. Clair. I’ve wanted to do something like this for a while,” Bernhardt said. “And once we heard the inn is opening, we were like, ‘Let’s do it here.’ It feels good to do it in your own community.”
With the inn across the street and the popularity of the plaza courtyard during festivals, she said she thought their new location will give them good visibility.
“It’d be so cool to be right in the middle,” she said.
Bernhardt said it’s “not significantly” bigger than the store’s inaugural home. But she added the move was kind of “under the radar.”
“It’s a better build-out. We blew up the ceiling. It’s more dramatic, it looks bigger. And actually, there’s less windows, which for our type of store, I need wall space. It works better,” she said. “It’s crazy. We now have people like, ‘We didn’t even know you were here. We missed it.’ Because the foot traffic up here is just awesome.”
Blackbird Home Goods is open at 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, according to its Facebook page. It’s closed Monday and Tuesday.
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/blackbirdhomegoods.
Contact Jackie Smith at (810) 989-6270 or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @Jackie20Smith.
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