Small Business Appreciation Week: Local boutique on wheels expands to storefront

Small Business Appreciation Week: Local boutique on wheels expands to storefront

MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — People may have noticed a pink ’63 Shasta Airflyte cruising the area, but it’s what’s inside that’s makes it truly stand out.

“I saw this cute, little camper online, and I had to have it. So I bought ‘Birdie’ in Wisconsin brought her back and restored the entire thing, repainted it, ripped a lot of stuff out of it,” said Ali Woods, owner of The Blackbird.

Three years ago, The Blackbird became a clothing boutique on wheels, popping up at area markets, festivals, and events ever since.

“I just love that it is so eye-catching and I can just hook it up and get on the road,” said Woods.

Last year, amid the pandemic’s shutdowns, the mobile setup proved to be beneficial.

“I took to the local people in this town and asked if I could pop up in their lots, and it has been amazing. I’ve gone to Indulge, Curiosi-Tea, North Side Hair Co., a lot of different areas and that’s how I made it work last year,” said Woods.

Now the Blackbird is spreading its wings into a new storefront at 1434 Broad Street in Mankato.

“Everything that’s going to be in the store is brand new, no one has seen it before,” said Woods.

But not to worry, Birdie’s travels are far from over.

“As well as this new storefront we are getting, I will have people here and take her on the road. I can’t give up on this because this is my baby,” said Woods.

The storefront opens on May 27 and will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.

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