by Lorie Lewis Ham
Reedley resident Priscilla Luther has been selling her crafts at craft fairs for a few years now, but she dreamed of having a more permanent location to sell not only her crafts, but those of other local artists as well. Now that dream has come true with the opening of Birds Nest unique finds on November 1 in Minkler.
According to Priscilla, the idea for such a store came to her about four years ago. “It just came natural being that I am a crafter and wanting better for myself, plus hauling everything to the craft fairs was getting pretty old. I guess you could say it’s always been a dream of mine to own my own little shop.”
Birds Nest offers a unique collection from several local vendors/artists of handmade and refurbished gifts. Priscilla stated that it took a lot of work to get the shop to how she had envisioned it, but she is thrilled with how things have come together and the variety of artists involved. “Hailey Vetter makes one of my favorite items, her jewelry is made up of the ends of bullet shells, really unique, and another gal makes crosses out of bed springs, her name is Yvette Wiebe. And Julian and Lisa make benches out of head boards from beds and turn old doors into shelves. These are some of my favorite items and artists because their work is what defines my shop and the uniqueness of it. I want people to see my shop for what it truly is and I feel it’s unique in so many ways.”
When asked how she came up with the name for the shop, she stated that it went back to her childhood. “Well first off since I was little my family called me bird and since I wanted the shop to reflect me and I have always wanted a country boutique I found it fitting for the shop to be named Birds Nest. And Unique Finds is because birds go out and find all these different and unique items to make their nest. And that’s what I’m doing finding local artists and bringing them under one roof.”
From the moment she got a yes from the person who owns the building Priscilla chose in Minkler, she had two months to make it happen. “And single handedly I accomplished the vision God gave me. And with the support of all those closest to me I now have my very own shop.”
That support has included family–her husband whom she said has always been supportive of her, and her sister in law Andrea as well, who also sells her jewelry in the Birds Nest. “Everything that she has in her shop are handmade items by local crafters,” shared Andrea. “I make handmade jewelry. Jewelry by Dre. I make earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and rings. I can also repair your jewelry. Just walking into the Birds Nest gives you a welcoming feel. Free coffee for customers is a plus.”
Priscilla’s own crafts include scarves, painted signs, and block words. She also built all of her own displays for the shop. As to why she chose Minkler for Birds Nest she felt it was the perfect fit, “truth be told it doesn’t get more country than Minkler. I believe Minkler needed some color.”
With Christmas shopping time here why not check out Birds Nest for some unique gifts, and help support some local crafters and artists. Birds Nest is located at 18250 E Kings Canyon, Sanger (the official address but Priscilla says it’s really in Minkler) and is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Fridays from 10-7 and Wednesday and Saturday 9-5, and Sunday 1-5. They also have some Christmas time specials-Spend $25 or more and receive a free pair of earrings! Plus every Thursday bring your own yarn and she makes them a scarf for $5. You can keep up with the latest from Birds Nest on their Facebook page.