By Ingrid Schnader
A gift shop selling items such as home decor, accessories and candles opened in Brookwood Village in October, just in time for the holiday season.
The Cottage of Serendipity owners Cynthia and Mitch Elmore were longtime residents of Homewood who now live in Hoover, so moving their storefront from Pelham to Brookwood Village was a perfect fit.
“We’re excited about being here,” Mitch Elmore said. “Brookwood’s trying to do some really cool things to get people back into the mall, and we’re just happy to be a part of that.”
Anne Stephens, who works for specialty leasing and marketing for the mall, said small businesses such as The Cottage are what make Brookwood so different from other shopping malls.
“It fits our strategy of bringing more local and unique retailers to the shopping center that shoppers in the surrounding areas would really appreciate going to and that you can’t get at any other shopping center,” she said.
“Brookwood has been evolving with the change in consumer trends in the last decade,” Stephens said.
Mitch Elmore said he is especially excited about the new storefront because of the Christmas festivities that Brookwood has planned for the rest of the year.
“Santa’s going to be here in a couple of weeks, and it’s going to be Christmas all over Brookwood,” he said in November.
The Singing Santa is a longtime tradition at Brookwood Village, dating back to the 1970s. He has a guitar and a microphone, singing Christmas carols and spreading holiday cheer. Brookwood celebrated his arrival Nov. 22, and Santa will be available for photos every day until Christmas Eve.
There also will be storytime with Santa on Tuesday mornings and Thursdays after school.
Last Christmas season, Brookwood partnered with Birmingham Art Crawl and invited local artists to the mall for one weekend. This year, Brookwood is making the event bigger by bringing in artists throughout December.
“It’s a great opportunity for the artists, given that they can be in the shopping mall during the holiday season when people are out buying gifts,” Stephens said. “It’s really a win-win situation, and it’s something that I think people in the surrounding neighborhoods will really appreciate, being able to come to one place and shop directly with local artists.”
For more information about The Cottage of Serendipity and to follow what the Brookwood Village mall has planned for this holiday season, visit shopbrookwoodvillage.com.