When we wrote about Smallbox Co., we weren’t sure what to expect of the first one. Would the design itself be super high-concept? And what would it sell? There are practical problems, after all, with trying to stock and shop a true shipping container. But Rainy Day Bham is an excellent fit. It maximizes both the container and the Parkside location to create organic gallery shopping you’re sure to enjoy.
During off-hours, Rainy Day’s Smallbox looks like what it is: a basic shipping container. Open, though, it’s a combination of white box and outdoor room. White shelves along a back wall hold the more substantial goods: colorful abstract art, Birmingham pillows, pottery, even dog treats. Rope swing shelves on the window wall display art and cards and tea towels against the naturalist backdrop of a park view. Go on a sunny day, and you’ll likely be shopping in natural light.
Selling local arts and crafts could easily skew eclectic and folk art-y, but owner Saramia Arenas has kept the shop thoughtfully modern. Her clean but relaxed aesthetic makes Rainy Day Bham exactly the kind of place you’ll want to pop into while you’re in the area. And its local focus makes it easier to justify an impulse buy.
The shop is a little like a permanent Art Crawl, where its community location is just as important as the art on offer. We’ve talked before about Railroad Park being a kind of community center, and with its focus on modern, local craft, Rainy Day only ads to that feel. Meanwhile, the park’s ability to draw in a broad cross-section of Birmingham residents may be just the setting for Rainy Day’s mission to “help grow and nurture the creative community in the Magic City.”
It’ll be there through the end of the year to find out.