Bird & Bean and the Angel of Shop Local

Bird & Bean in RockridgeA confession. I am a terrible gift giver. Atrocious really. But it’s not that I buy awful gifts. It’s that I can never get it together to go out and buy them in the first place. Sadly, I can’t even get the chore done for my beautiful nieces much less the rest of the family, friends, and other important people. I can’t count how many gifts I haven’t bought loved ones. Though, it must be said, I’ve always had entirely good intentions.

And, if you’re thinking why not just buy them from an ecommerce behemoth and get the presents delivered, let me just say this: I have a million LOCALMOTIV reasons not to do that. But the most relevant one for this story is that online shopping doesn’t work well for this particular mission. I can no longer sit at my computer for hours, searching pages of products for “just the right gift.” And, there’s nobody to ask any questions — no advice, no expertise.

Enter Bird & Bean to prevent a potential auntie crisis.

The Situation

It’s 3 days before Christmas and I’ll be flying out the next day to visit family. I’ll be staying with my brother, his wife, and my two beautiful, smart, and funny nieces. I haven’t bought the girls anything yet. Yikes. I cannot go empty-handed. No doubt, my sisters will be spoiling them rotten. I cannot be outdone. Yikes.

The Angel of Shop Local

So, when I arrived at Bird & Bean, I wasn’t in the best state of mind. At first blind panic glance, I concluded that I was doomed. I will never find anything for a 5 year-old and almost 2 year-old. OMG!

Just then, the Angel of Shop Local descended upon me. I don’t know her name. She might have been the owner or an employee — I didn’t ask. She calmly asked me if I needed any help. Inexplicably, I said no. And, that answer clearly confounded her. “Okay, if you need any help, I’ll be right over there.”

“Okay! I NEED HELP! Two nieces. Here are the sizes. I need to spoil them. Do you have anything?”

The Angel smiled assuredly and nodded in the affirmative.

She guided me to the shelves to show me all the viable options and more. She added helpful commentary like “this is very popular because the kids really love the softness of this fabric.” Or, “these are one-size fits all and they will most definitely fit.” And “those are super cute and are one of our most popular items.” Plus they have their own adorbs house-designed Bird and Bean brand that adds extra uniqueness and value to the excursion. Then the Angel pointed to the SALE rack. She explained, “there’s still a lot of good stuff here.” She proceeded to pick out the clothes she felt best suited the nieces as I had described them to her. Great! We picked out the favorites together.

Then, “do you have any good toys and books?”

“Yes. Of course. For your nieces, I would recommend these…” I was particularly fascinated with the books about women inscience. And the stuffed toys were so cute and cuddly.

In  20 magic minutes or so, I bought jackets, cute hats, jeans, leggings, dresses, shirts, and all sorts of adorbs stuff. And the nieces now look cuter than ever–all adorned in their Bird & Bean outfits.

More About Bird & Bean

What they offer: boys & girls clothing from baby and toddler to young children. Then there’s also toys, games, and books. Also baby and toddler gear for moms and dads. Shop Local angels who can help you find exactly what you need in a desperate situation. Oh, and they have their own Bird & Bean house-designed brand which adds an additional unexpected value! Did we miss anything? Yes, we did… they have a refuge for moms/play space for kids in the back. We give this shop a five kittens, puppies, unicorns, and rainbows rating!

Address: 3212 College Ave, Berkeley, CA 94705

Phone: (510) 879-7066



Neighborhood: Rockridge, College Ave (one wall in the shop is in Oakland but the store has a Berkeley address)

More to Explore

Ruby’s Garden is a Shop Local Gem

Ruby’s Garden is a Shop Local Gem

They say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Well that might be true. And we certainly think this picture captures the essence of Ruby's Garden. But based upon our experience, Ruby's deserves no less than 10,000 words of local love. But sadly, we only have room for...

read more
Dr Comics & Mr Games: A Shop Local Secret

Dr Comics & Mr Games: A Shop Local Secret

Pssst. You want to know a secret? There's this cool comic book store on Piedmont Ave called Dr Comics & Mr Games. It's an unknown entity to many--hidden away in plain sight on Piedmont Ave. But, it's actually a thirty-two year-old establishment that is also famous...

read more
Rhythm Bikes Provides Local Rhythm

Rhythm Bikes Provides Local Rhythm

Without local bike shops, bookstores, gift shops, clothing stores, and local cafes and restaurants what makes one neighborhood different from any other? It's a hot question that bubbles up in the Montclair community from time to time (or very often). One such moment...

read more

explore more in these shopping guides:

Kids Style & Stuff