Three years ago, tired of packing and unpacking for vintage markets, the Hoffers decided to put down roots and leased a portion of a 100 year old dress factory. Their rustic elegant style has caught the attention of those looking for the unusual.
Pam and Mark Hoffer, owners of Birds Gotta Fly, a vintage, rustic to elegant farmhouse decorating shoppe has watched the rise and popularity of Chip and Joanna Gaines on their HGTV Fixer Upper TV show. But their customers know that the Gaines don’t have anything on the Hoffers. Their shop is located in the most unusual building: a 100 year old abandoned dress factory building. Soaring 14 ceilings, massive beams and hardwood floors that would cost a mint to reproduce in today’s world is only part of the charm that draws customers from all over the country and even as far away as France. The main draw is the talent of the Hoffers themselves.
“People are tired of grandma’s antiques and they don’t want to go out and buy new. They want something different. A mix of styles that when combined tell their personal story,” says Pam Hoffer. “I teach them how to paint, to repurpose, to combine and have fun doing it.”
No one would have predicted the massive success the Hoffers have enjoyed since opening their doors in 2013. Built almost exclusively through word of mouth the shoppe never stays the same with the Hoffers. It’s almost a Disney-like magic that happens each week as the Hoffers and their staff of amazing fun-loving helpers move, tear down, build new, paint, and create a magical experience. It’s not unusual to see lights on until 11:30 at night as the Hoffer team creates a new experience for the next day’s customers.
Four times a year the Hoffers host special “events” where eager customers line up for a block away waiting for the doors to open.
Located in a mixed residential/commercial use area (with no other retail operations around) it is that feeling of stepping back in time combined with the never-know-what they’ll-see experience that is drawing raving fan-based customers to their location. And they’re bringing back their friends by the car and bus loads.
The Hoffer have just opened a paint shop and boutique within Birds Gotta Fly with plans to open an event center in the upper level massive ballroom-like venue.
“We’re humbled by the outpouring of love and happiness from our customers,” stated Hoffer. “My goal is to teach people not to be afraid of paint and mixing styles which is why I teach a furniture painting 101 workshop.”
Who would have ever thought Elkhart, Indiana would have been the center of a new decorating trend. Maybe a TV show is the next thing for this talented duo.
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