F: Can you tell us about Homesong Market?
AW: We believe that utility can indeed be beautiful, and that buying secondhand is one of the best ways to reduce consumption and save energy. In light of this, we offer an online flea market once a month where we sell lovely antiques, vintage items and secondhand wares, like quilts, crocks, and copper cookery, giving new life to older items that come with patina and a story. Being deeply rooted in the rhythm of the seasons, as our shop is right in the heart of the Midwest, we encourage our customers to move slowly through them while they create and tend to their homes, savoring the gifts each has to offer. We have plans to expand a bit after COVID-19 to offer seasonal workshops and retreats for both homemakers and little ones, centering on slowing down and working with our hands.
F: What made you decide to open a lifestyle store?
AW: My passion lies in making things more beautiful than they have to be, and my purpose is very much tied to matters of life centered around the home, so creating a space that celebrates both of these was only a matter of time. I had no prior business ownership or retail experience, but after a trip to Paris a few summers back whereupon I fell in love with all the small, quaint, intentionally crafted shops, my wheels got turning and I thought, “You know, I could do this.”
Perhaps more importantly, sustainability has become increasingly important to me as my awareness around the subject has grown over the years, and I feel so strongly that if I can help the earth in any way, it's my responsibility to try. Homesong Market is my offering to those who want to make a mindful home that honors our collective Earth home and takes into consideration the effects of our consumption while we make our home here. As we continue to learn and grow, it is my hope that this shop continues to help educate consumers on ways our homes can be hubs of meaningful change.
F: What’s your favourite Falcon product and what do you use it for?
AW: While we frequently use and love them all, the baking set is my absolute favorite. We use the enamel trays for casseroles, pastas, big salads, and serving smaller sides. All the sizes are wonderful. I gifted both my mom and mother-in-law a set for Christmas last year and they love them too!
F: Is there a specific dish that you would personally make using any of our Falcon products?
AW: Our family loves chicken pot pie and I like to make a really large one in the large size baking tray and top it with puff pastry. It’s delicious and so comforting. My kids request it once the leaves start to turn and we begin craving all things warm and cozy.
F: Are there any other local companies you'd like to shout about? Where do you usually eat, drink, and source ingredients in your local area?
AW: As a small company supporting other local businesses is extremely important to me, so this list is rather long! For French food, we adore Le Fou Frog, Axios, and Westport Cafe. A few other favorite family spots we frequent are Aladdin Cafe for gyros, El Camino Real across the border for street tacos, Chai Shai for Paksitani food, and Novel downtown for a nicer meal. We also enjoy spending time in the River Market on the weekends, as well as our local organic farmer’s market on Saturdays in Brookside. You also cannot miss first Fridays in the West Bottoms for antiquing! Kansas City has so much to offer.
F: How have you been keeping during this time? Do you have any tips for small business owners?
AW: Our situation is rather unique in that we opened our online shop in November right before the pandemic hit, and then had plans to open our brick and mortar in June, which despite everything, we did. Having to navigate these unfamiliar waters as a novice shop owner during a time when life was turned upside down for the rest of the world has given me many gifts and taught me many lessons. At the shop, and in my own life, we have adopted Anne Lamott’s “bird by bird” motto and are taking each day as it comes. My advice to anyone looking to open a small business, especially now, would be to remain open and flexible, get in early and stay late, breathe deep, hire a team that is passionate about your shop’s philosophy and vision, pivot when needed, and if you can, use your gifts to offer your customers an experience that helps them forget about all the chaos in the world for a moment.