In London, the word “bird” can also mean “gal.” That is what inspired shop owner Adrienne Beard’s new women’s clothing store, The Chipper Bird. “I wanted to incorporate the words bird, joyful, and happy into the name],” Beard said. “I thought I could be a happy gal as well.” Located on Bay Street in downtown Bellingham, The Chipper Bird is a welcoming and lively space. This is a place to browse around for one-of-a kind trinkets and handpicked clothes and most of all, have fun while shopping.
It is impossible to miss the bright yellow store sign out front; it stands out from the usual Northwest greyness. The white-picket fence and a garden bench and chairs let passersby know that entering The Chipper Bird will take you into a place akin to a sunny, warm summer day. Inside, there are many local treasures with everything from lavender lotion from Lynden to hand-made clothes and bags from local seamstress Martha Savage of Savage Creations.
Most of the clothes are gently used and at affordable prices. Beard makes sure she carries as many different sizes as possible. “Everybody wants to wear cute clothing no matter what the size. As long as it is cute and ladylike, I’ll get it.” The Chipper Bird is perfect if you are looking for a fun pattern dress, an array of jewelry options such as a lace choker, or a wide selection of wedges. Whether it’s floral, polka dots, or another one of the many patterns, the clothes are meant to be playful and are inspired by vintage fashions from the 1940s–1970s.
Beard likes to treasure hunt for second hand clothes outside the area to bring into her store. “It’s nice to freshen the pool of used clothing,” she said. There is opportunity to bring a whole outfit together here. Pick out a flowy dress and match it with a pair of handmade earrings and a cute belt, or choose denim jeans and a button down shirt.
Although The Chipper Bird is in its first year, Beard is no stranger to owning her own business. She previously ran the women’s store, A Lovely Day, which closed last year three months before she opened her new store. “The Chipper Bird has more of a rustic feel,” Beard said. “It feels a little more like me, with wood and lace and more housewares than A Lovely Day.” There is fanciful feel to the store. Up above are lights and feathers that dangle from an artistically twisted wire as well as sparkling branches that decorate the room. The shop is everything girly, yet not the slightest bit flashy.
Beard said she has always been drawn to the ladies who were put together and held themselves well. “I don’t feel like a super fashionista, it’s just a lot of fun. I think you should play dress up forever.” The Chipper Bird serves women and girls of all ages. Although most popular for women college-aged to mid-60s, Beard said even a 12-year-old can find something here as well. Her favorite part of being a shop owner is when the customer finds something that fits perfectly and is excited about it. “I want people to feel comfortable and I want them to find treasures, not just local, not just for other people, but for themselves.”
Whether you are looking for an affordable outfit or local soaps and lotions, Beard’s store is really a hidden gem in Bellingham.