Niwot’s menagerie of hand-selected art and gifts will have you singing its praises
by Amanda McCracken
photos by Ladd Forde Photography
Members of the Canadian folk band, The Be Good Tanyas, were right when they penned the lyric, “The littlest birds sing the prettiest songs.” A menagerie on Niwot’s historic main drag, Little Bird is half gallery, half boutique and 100 percent harmonious. Imagine a cross between a Sundance catalog and a fairy garden. That’s Little Bird. And you’re sure to find something you love for yourself or a friend: home décor, jewelry, clothing, stationery, accessories and more.
The company’s visionary, Liz Gould, says she and her husband, Bruce Rabeler, find unique pieces by going directly to small artists rather than typical trade shows. Their pieces range from delicate calla lily-inspired earrings handpicked on their trip to Mallorca, Spain, to leather bracelets adorned with semiprecious stones they discovered on a trip to San Francisco. The store’s old brick walls are warmed with decorative angel wings and mosaic-like watercolor paintings of animals by Albuquerque artist Travis Bruce Black. A stand of locally made handbags by Maruca Design perches in the adjacent room.
The colorful Johnny Was clothing collection combined with the Liberty boots provide a boho-meets-cowgirl style that matches the Patty Griffin and Indigo Girls streaming from the speakers. In the “lotion potion” back room, you’ll find pampering gifts such as lavender-filled sachets, locally hand-milled soaps and whimsical greeting cards from German artist Catrin Welz-Stein.
Gould makes jewelry designed with Southwest colors like turquoise and deep reds. Little birds adorn metal pieces made by her husband, who specializes in photographing macro-botanicals. For five years before opening the shop, the couple traveled the local mountain art show circuit selling their work. It was at these shows, Gould says, where they met a variety of great artists. The spark for Little Bird was lit: “We began wondering if we could start our own store featuring these artists.”
Seven years ago, Little Bird began in one room and has now expanded to four in its home on Second Avenue in Niwot. Being out in Niwot, away from the commercial hub of Pearl Street, doesn’t discourage customers from finding them or returning to shop.
“We have loyal out-of-towners who make their annual trip to Little Bird,” said Gould. They might be coming to find the newest lotion bar made by Fort Collins-based company Queen of the Meadow. Or maybe they’ve come to add a new piece of art to their garden, like wooden wind chimes designed by Colorado Artist Cynthia White with wood she finds river kayaking. No matter how far they travel, customers are sure to be delighted by the flock of treasures for feathering their nests.
112 Second Ave., Niwot, Colo. 80544
Open Mon.–Sat. 10 a.m.–5 p.m.