BROOKSVILLE —A Zephyrhills trio celebrating a ladies day out couldn't get enough of the Wired Bird, an eclectic shop of home decor and personal accessories of a fashionably female bent.
The women stocked their choices of jewelry, handmade beauty products and holiday decor at the counter, scooted off to a luncheon reservation and promised to return.
What tempts shoppers to a wing of the former and famous Rogers' Christmas House Village?
"It's unique things, such a range of things," says manager Coral Wilson. "If you don't find something you like, you'll find something in the next room."
Four rooms feature "Vintage-Farmhouse-Shabby Chic-Cottage Glam-Upcycled & One of a Kind Artist Creations," according to proprietor Staci Lewis White's business card. White gives each collection its own nook or corner.
White designs and concocts many items herself, from pewter-like, dangly earrings and down-home to high-design jewelry, all-natural bath products, barn boards painted with catchy announcements and kitchen magnets bearing inspirational adages.
Her earrings celebrate a variety of careers and hobbies: tiny scissors for the hairdresser, miniature measuring spoons for the cook, midget sewing machines for the seamstress. She will mix a set of earrings for the wine lover: one each of a Lilliputian wine bottle and a diminutive cork screw.
White, 44, launched her handmade bath product line when "I couldn't find any all-natural and reasonable (priced items)," she said.
Surprises include bath bombs that fizzle and release pleasant scents in the tub, and beard and mustache oil for guys.
A locally popular mermaid collection includes antiqued bells and door knockers, necklaces, hand-painted signs and more.
Among wearables are stylish hats along with feathery hairpieces fit for Derby Day, shimmery mermaid tails and tops for little girls, kids' whimsical socks and infants' onesies proclaiming across their chests messages such as "Have a bottle of the house white."
The shop's vintage goods are sourced from estate sales, especially china tea cups and several pieces of restored furniture.
The Wired Bird's customers include two particular groups, White and Wilson agree — the 50s and older, and the teens and early 20s. The elders go for teacups, jewelry and gifts for others. The younger ones choose pendent necklaces featuring origami, bicycling, planets and astrology, and also hand illustrated and matted quotations created by a local teen artist.
"A lot of people buy for charities," White added, explaining that they compose basketfuls of trinkets and trifles. She credits such purchases to her reasonable pricing policy.
"If this shop is unique, it's that we're not luxurious" in high-end goods and likewise price tags, she said.
For instance, earrings are from $6; matted art from $10; decorative socks, $5; women's hats, $15.
White claims, debatably, "I'm not the most fashionable. I like to hear what you like."
What others like, she will make herself or search out.
"Searching" may mean recommending another local shop.
"This is such a small town, I don't want to step on anybody's toes," she said.
She doesn't sell handmade soaps other than her own because other shops do, nor does she carry a Christmas line except for personalized gift tie-ons unavailable elsewhere locally.
With only part-time entrepreneur/retail experience, White draws on her educational background in psychology by engaging her customers personally, reacting with fresh stock to their requests and counting on manager Wilson's savvy at knowing where every item in the full-of-goodies shop can be found.
Contact Beth Gray at [email protected]