High on Cute
Driving along Highgate, Roslyn, my magpie eye is caught by the glitter of pink and gold shiny shine – the gift store equivalent of a window full of puppies. Can’t. Resist. Must. Pull. Over (good thing I wasn’t transporting live organs). Welcome to Blackbird, a shop so sweet, its candyfloss without the toothache, so adorable it’s a bichon frise without the piddling. A place where fluffy pom pom loveliness meets practical in a range of jewellery, sunnies, homewares, gifts, greeting cards and handbags: “I do love a good handbag,” says Tania McCaul, looking around the shop where quite a few soft leather handbags invite fondling, “but I’ve sold two today so I’m not the only one with a problem.” Blackbird was once a butchers, snuggled in a row of perfect teeth including Grays Studio Picture Framer, once a diary, today both selling a different kind of home essential. Tania likes to support New Zealand companies as much as possible. The Kea Rose candles, special occasion cookies made by Briar from Briar’s Delectable Cookies (only instore on special occasions, otherwise too tempting), Rachel Morrison jewellery, the story books are by local authors Vicky Murphy and Rachel McCoubrey; the ‘wish I had one’ giant bubble kits are put together by a stay-at-home-mum who lives in Bannockburn (I have it on good information that hippies like to use these at festivals, but small children will enjoy them too and probably won’t say “hey Man, you’re in my bubble” quite as much). She looks for goodies other stores don’t stock and having gone online in the last few months “I seem to be sending parcels every week.”
A row of ice cream money boxes lure in kindy mums popping in on the way from drop off and pick-up at the child wrangler across the road, “Sooo good. I don’t have to loiter around outside the gate,” says one and because Tania likes to keep it affordable, you can spend as little as $2 (the most expensive item New Zealand made wall art by Lisa Sarah at $170), with most things around the $20-40 mark, making Blackbird a treat shop where the treats don’t give you fillings, they give you happy. So wholesome, its almost like not shopping at all, except you leave with a piece of cuteness to make your day all smiley and better. And everyone needs a bit of that sometimes.
Facebook | www.facebook.com/BlackbirdGifts/
74 Highgate, Roslyn
Post by Lisa Scott