“Here in the village of Kingsley, unbeknownst to me, there used to be a hallmark store at this very location and the name of it was The Chickadee,” Stacey Walton said.
She’s taken over that old Hallmark store at 108 W. Main Street in Kingsley with Chickadees, a similarly styled gift store that features Michigan inspired items, and goods made from locals and other northern Michiganders. The idea for the shop sprang from Stacey’s own love of retail therapy.
“I’ve always enjoyed purchasing things for gifts for other people ahead of time. Whenever there was a deal I would buy one maybe two or three of them and hold them in the house until I needed a gift and then I was always feeling good that I have exactly what I need a great price right here in my house. Well, it kind of got out of control,” she laughed. “So I realized I need to start selling these gifts and I can start doing them on the Facebook marketplace or things like that but it takes time you know integrating people and all that it just wasn’t what I really wanted to do. But I felt like the value was more than something I could sell at a garage sale so it’s a hard situation to be in.”
She works as a massage therapist and was looking to find a new space for her practice when the W. Main Street location became available for rent. She was interested, and when it came time to see it she knew that she wanted the spacious property. One part of it would be dedicated to her massage therapy business, and the other would be an opportunity for her to start the gift store that had been on her mind. Thoughts become things, and her thoughts are spread out all over her curated shop.
The shelves have been lovingly stocked with easily giftable items like soaps, lotions, skincare, jewelry, stickers, winter accessories and much more, all with a local focus. Many of Chickadees items are made by local adults and youth.
“Our soaps and candles are made by a friend group. We have a product line called Nan Genes, it’s the face care line that we have, and the woman who makes it is local to Kingsley. Our decal work with thermos mugs and other types of things is a high schooler, he’s got his own entrepreneur business. We have some paintings by another high schooler, she’s doing paintings in the area so we’re trying to get her to build a business and how to be a bit of an entrepreneur which has been really rewarding.”
Another rewarding aspect of opening Chickadees is the excitement Stacey feels towards contributing to the local economy in Kingsley. Her location is steps away from Redefined, a resale shop that she hopes to share customers with.
“The corner gift shop does a lot of repurposed stuff and they also have lots of wonderful consignors. They have a big selection of old fashioned candy and such, but we have different things and kind of a different feel.”
Within Chickadees is Stacey’s massage therapy business, and in her old location is a new chiropractor business. She’s excited to be able to offer goods and services to all, and she’s especially happy that area residents are getting more access to these things.
“So now Kingsley offers dental care, we’re getting an optometrist, we have a chiropractor now. I have a small little quaint gift shop open a few hours a week so locals have somewhere to come to for meaningful gift it’s slowly becoming more trendy for locals to actually shop here in Kingsley for things that they would normally go maybe downtown Traverse City for or try to build into their shopping when they had to go get groceries for the week or something like that.
It’s amazing to be apart of building this little village that has such a huge, loving community.”
Chickadees is open every week Tuesday through Friday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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