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Birmingham, Al 35203

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Tag: charm on second

Loft District Spotlight: Glimmer Pops Up for the Holiday Season



Chatham Hellmers is a Loft District fixture, not to mention our costume jewelry hero. But this holiday season she’s broadening her reach. Offering what struck us as an unusual pop-up approach, she’s opening Glimmer a block or so away from her existing boutique on 2nd Avenue North. Intrigued, we decided to find out more about how Chatham Hellmers does pop up.

As the owner of Charm, Hellmers brings an attitude that’s equal parts brashly independent and unapologetically feminine to the jewelry buying experience. More importantly, she offers accessories that make a statement without a painful price tag, making Charm one of our go-tos for local style.

Unlike Charm, Glimmer is inherently temporary (only open through December). It also offers a different feel than Charm fans are used to ⏤ “a boho vibe,” Hellmers told us, rather than the “blingy” atmosphere of Charm. But that affordability we love will remain in force. “Glimmer is 95% stuff under $50.00,” Hellmers said, “so it is attractive to those holiday gift-seekers.”

Her decision to pop up was driven in part by a place that was begging to be used: “Living downtown and having a business also down here means I’m anxious to have tons of fun activities and life down here ⏤ nothing is a bigger bummer than a space that is just hanging out, all empty and lonesome!”

“The little space next to El Barrio restaurant has always seemed underutilized to me,” Hellmers said. “Walking by it, I always thought, “Wow – that would be a cute little shop,’ and then nobody made it a cute little shop.”

We tend to think of pop-ups as a strategy for new businesses testing the brick-and-mortar waters, but Hellmers decided she could make it work for the more-established Charm. She sees a broader customer base in the “bunch of folks who are waiting for a table at Barrio or Bamboo or Collins Bar, and may not even go that extra block and a half down the street to Charm.” We think she may well be right.

Here’s to Hellmers’ winning combination of neighborhood and business sense, and to the next great holiday gift destination!

Bham Events: Art Crawl

We’re always fans of Art Crawl – the monthly loft district event highlighting local artists and venues every first Thursday from 5-9 p.m. – but never more so than when the holiday season is upon us. The local artists at Art Crawl have you covered, with affordable goods from prints to pottery to handmade jewelry. And if the thought of shopping makes you feel faintly itchy, remind yourself that Art Crawl allows you to enjoy fine adult beverages while you shop, and your attendance will be rewarded at the after-party hosted by Pale Eddie’s Pour House.

To whet your art appetites, we’re previewing some of our favorite items from the artists’ online portfolios:

Contemporary folk artist Kunkle crafts his colorful pieces on scrap wood, specializing in pop culture and literary references. We love his A Clockwork Orange head, Honest Abe, and “eat a book” series. Our current favorite is this special commission piece he made for a friend with a misbehavin’ cat.

Image via Art by Kunkle

Stoneface Ceramics creates small storage items that look pretty on a dresser or desk. This one probably needs to store our office candy.

Image via Stoneface Ceramics

Chris Davis creates pieces we buy for all the kids in our lives, then secretly keep for ourselves. His work has the kind of simple, bold shapes and colors that feel kid-friendly but hold their appeal at any age.

Image via Christopher Davis

Ever wondered about the trippy, anthropomorphized Miss Fancys on the back wall at Avondale Brewery? Paul Cordes Wilm is the guy who’s responsible. Besides larger works and the occasional art print tee, he tends to offer postcard prints of his work.  Pair these with small frames for your own budget art accents – we’ve seen a loft dweller use a framed bienvenidos print to dress up an otherwise generic condo door – or as small holiday gifts.

Image via Paul Cordes Wilm

When it comes to wearable art, you’ll find great copper pieces from Kat Griffith. This coiled copper bracelet feels modern and fun, especially with the soldered detail at the ends.

Image via Funky South Gallery

Silver Cicada Designs also makes wearable pieces, though maybe not in the way you’d imagine. We’d most likely use this soulful fox as wall art, but we can imagine repurposing it for next year’s Halloween costume.

Image via Silver Cicada Designs

And of course, some of the venues are great shopping spots in their own right. What’s On Second has all the vintage treasures you never knew you needed, until you did. Sojourns, which stocks gorgeous fair trade items from around the world, is our go-to for handmade greeting cards, children’s toys, and housewarming gifts. Charm is the very best costume jewelry store in town. Plus, we like to visit the semi-toothless small cat taxidermy, and we daydream about buying the hand-beaded deer head.

Go forth and crawl (handy event map here). Let us know what you saw/loved/bought.