Shopping

Charmed, I’m sure! Recently Younger Daughter and I explored the latest addition to retail whimsy in Birmingham, Alabama — a boutique called Charm, on Second Avenue North across from Urban Standard coffee shop. I mean, where else are you going to find a glittery and sequined deer’s head but in downtown Birmingham??? This little gem of a shop specializes in vintage and locally handmade jewelry, scarves and handbags — but with attitude. It’s like rummaging through your crazy aunt’s closet while she’s out dancing on tables because the fleet has come in. Or something. Owner Chatham Hellmers had the late and great Jinx boutique in Birmingham’s Five Points that was always a must-stop destination for quirky jewelry and retro-hip style. Charm is a grownup upscale version perfect for browsing, especially if you’re looking for gifts. I was immediately delighted and impressed with Hellmers’ taste when I spied an “old” jewelry box made in the shape of a rolltop office desk — the same jewelry box I had growing up. The drawers and compartments are lined with a red velvet-type fabric, and I kept them lovingly stocked with silver turquoise rings and copper bracelets to show I was In Tune with Nature and One with the Universe and wide plastic cuffs to show I read Vogue. Hey – don’t judge! It was the 1970s, remember, and I was young(er). Anyway, find out more about Charm at http://www.charmonsecond.com/