Handmade from home
By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer
PELHAM—April Joyce, owner and founder of Pelham’s new gift shop Gracie Bea’s, always dreamed of opening a store selling handmade items, an idea inspired by her own experience as a craftswoman.
“I’ve been sewing for years and years, and it’s so hard to get exposure,” Joyce said. “There’s nowhere you can go to buy handmade items.”
Unlike online sites for handmade goods, Gracie Bea’s gives customers a personalized shopping experience, allowing them to browse items made by local artisans.
Gracie Bea’s also fills a niche in Pelham, giving local craftspeople a permanent place to sell their goods. Joyce said the store currently carries goods from 12 vendors, all from Pelham and Alabaster and all known personally by Joyce.
The walls and racks around the store are filled with handmade items, from home décor, such as burlap table runners and wreathes, to baby clothes, tutus and jewelry.
“I started making them for the grandsons and just didn’t stop,” Joyce said motioning towards a neatly folded stack of hand-sewn baby blankets. “I can’t get enough of the baby stuff!”
Not only is the inventory at Gracie Bea’s unique, it is also constantly changing as vendors bring in new items almost daily.
“Everyday, someone is bringing me new stuff,” Joyce said, adding Gracie Bea’s feels like a new store every week.
Gracie Bea’s also can fill custom orders, Joyce said, a benefit of selling from local vendors. Many of the vendors can made personalized items, and Joyce has her own sewing room on location for embroidery and custom orders.
“You name it, if it I don’t have it, I have a sewing room in back and I can make it for you,” Joyce said.
Gracie Bea’s opened in Victoria Plaza on Pelham Parkway on May 10, but a special grand opening, with a representative from Origami Owl and opportunities to win a gift basket of hand made goods, will be held on June 7, Joyce said.
The shop is open every Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Joyce also encouraged customers to check Gracie Bea’s Facebook page for regular updates about new inventory.