The Silver Birch Trading Post

silver_birch_front_desk.jpg

Fair-trade art and gifts at The Silver Birch

By Heather Lumb

A-Town's Delaware Avenue is home to a handful of gems that are adding to its up-and-comer image. Count fair-trade advocate The Silver Birch Trading Post among them. A hybrid of an art gallery and a boutique, the store's goal is to help support starving artists both around the way and around the world. So if you're a lawyer by day and pillow stuffer/wood ring carver/hot shot photographer by night, release your artsy output right here.

silver birch outsideIt isn't "staff" that keeps this creative joint running, it's family. Owner Brooke (her parents and sisters help out) is all smiles and will direct you toward the funkiest birthday gift or give you the background on any of the artists on display. Go on and test her--we did, and she seriously knows her inventory.

silver birch front of storeSilver Birch has no real theme. As long as it's fair-trade, impressive art, anything goes. A surprise fact--the store is also an eBay community, so if they're short on shelf space or if an artist wants to go national, Brooke and crew will post pieces online.

The Vibe: The room is a square foot shy of tiny, and the intricate displays combine to make you feel like you're in your hippie grandmother's La Jolla, California sitting room. A posted sign on the door proclaims "browsers welcome!" and that's half the fun, but you'll more than likely walk out with something. Maybe Shorties Incense ($.10/stick) or an "I heart Boxed Wine" tee ($20).

Price Point: Affordable. There's a $20 average on gifts and $100 average on art.

Score! Find: A pair of 12-year-old girls, self-titled The Diamond Sisters, make a branch-and-origami mobile of teensy paper cranes and beads. $25 per branch, and the "aw, shucks" factor is just priceless.

Find It

The Silver Birch Trading Post
294 Delaware Ave
Albany, NY 12209

Comments

Is that meant to be fair trade instead of free trade?

@chrisck: Yep. Thanks for catching that. It's fixed now.

I'm a thousand times over impressed with this little shop, so great find! I actually walked past it last week and wondered what was inside. Thank you, thank you.

This is a pretty excellent concept. One place where local artists can sell their stuff. I like going into these types of places when I visit other cities. It'll be nice to do it locally. I wonder if they will sell local CDs...

My friend and I went into the store to kill some time before a movie and the owner started talking to us about the movie and how the neighborhood is going to change. She was so nice and cool and had great stuff. I'm going back to buy something soon.

There's a new-ish store in East Greenbush/Rensselaer, Blue Fiddle Gifts, that sells art and crafts by local people. They operate on consignment. It's an eclectic little place, lots of fun to look around, tons of stuff to see.I have bought a few very reasonably priced gifts there.

They have a website: http://www.bluefiddlegifts.com

Silver Birch is a fantastic little shop, and Brooke is wonderful! She helped me figure out what size bracelet would fit a 5 year old by calling the artist! I try to stop in whenever I am walking by.

Sadly, it appears that the Silver Birch Trading Post has closed (unless somebody knows it has moved to another location). I just saw today that Botanic Ana Spiritual Works has moved into that spot near the Spectrum (from another locations a couple of blocks down Delaware).
It's unfortunate to lose a place for local artists and quality crafters to sell their work.

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

What's All Over Albany?

All Over Albany is for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. In other words, it's for you. It's kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who can help you find out what's up. Oh, and our friends call us AOA.

Search

Recently on All Over Albany

Stuff to do this weekend

Welcome to summer. Have a lemonade and some freshly-picked stuff to do. There's baseball, strawberries, jazz, wine ... all kinds of fun things to make... (more)

Dog poop is a universal issue

One of the bits from this Ian Bogost article about the topics that frequently pop up on Nextdoor: The dog-pop-in-other-people's-trash-cans issue is everywhere and all... (more)

No. No. No. No. No. No. No.

Tucked in at the end of a state Department of Environmental Conservation digest of agency police officer encounters -- titled "Strange Rattle in the Engine... (more)

Here's the design of that Henry Johnson commemorative medallion

Here's that how that coin-shaped medallion to honor Henry Johnson turned out. It will debut at a free event at The Palace June 27 at... (more)

Morning Blend

Kaloyeros Federal prosecutors presented dozens of emails as evidence in the bid rigging trial of Alain Kaloyeros and his codefendants. It was revealed through emails... (more)

Recent Comments

Troy has way more parking downtown than any other city I visit. There are 3 parking garages downtown and 2 are within 1000ft of Monument Square. There are public surface lots nearby. Outside the downtown core there is tons of street parking with few to no restrictions. It is unrealistic to expect cities to have parking directly in front of your destination like the suburbs. That's WHY they're different classifications.

No. No. No. No. No. No. No.

...has 2 comments, most recently from Ellen

Albany City Hall carillon concerts

...has 1 comment, most recently from Tim

Where to take foreign language classes

...has 6 comments, most recently from BrĂ­d

Five takeaways from the start of the fifth major effort to redevelop 1 Monument Square

...has 9 comments, most recently from RedBarron

Morning Blend for Jun 20

...has 1 comment, most recently from ace