The storefront of Bird in Hand.

The storefront of Bird in Hand.

by Kevin Dicciani

Bird in Hand has been a Chestnut Hill staple for 38 years.

Inside the shop, at 8419 Germantown Ave., you can find antiques, furniture, collectibles, fine china, crystal, silver and more. With inventory updated regularly, there is always a sale, always something new to discover – and for a good cause. As a nonprofit, all proceeds from the shop are donated to local charities and the community itself, for which the shop has raised more than $1 million since it opened its doors in 1975.

“We’re about giving back to the community,” said John Thompson, executive director of Bird in Hand.

Thompson, of Whitemarsh, has been the executive director at Bird in Hand for three years. Along with his staff, made up entirely of volunteers, Thompson tries to supply the community with items both rare and old, new and trendy, and most importantly, affordable.

“Our aim is to always make it an interesting store for the community,” Thompson said. “Our window is always changing as interesting things come into the shop. We price things to sell. We have the lowest prices. You control the prices – unlike other consignment shops. I think they’re all reasons why we’ve been here for so long.”

Bird in Hand is always looking for quality items – both consigned or donated. For donated items, the shops gives tax letters which are accepted by the IRS. Thompson also said the store is adept at liquidating estates.

Thompson said the items that have maintained their popularity over the years are jewelry, silver-plate, sterling silver, artwork and small pieces of furniture. Over the years, though, Bird in Hand has evolved. By mirroring changes in society and its tastes, the store has not only survived, but flourished.

“Items that we sell have very much changed over the years,” Thompson said. “Many years ago we did very well with items such as cut glass and sets of china. Today, people are looking for items of a much more contemporary look, so we are constantly changing with the community.”

Bird in Hand donates to seven local charities and institutions, including Woodmere Art Museum, Morris Arboretum, Meals on Wheels, the Senior Center and the Chestnut Hill Library. At the moment, Thompson said, it is raising money for seniors moving and transitioning into retirement communities.

“If we can help the community or the people in any way, that’s what we try to do,” he said.

Thompson said he hopes to see Bird in Hand up-and-running for another 38 years, continuing its devotion to the neighborhood.

“We’re really devoted to Chestnut Hill,” Thompson said. “People have been very satisfied with us over the years, and I hope that continues.”

Bird in Hand is open 10 months out of the year (closed in July and August), Monday through Saturday, 10-4:30 p.m. (they also open for community events on Sundays). Consigning appointments can be made for Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings, and walk-ins are welcomed on Mondays.

For more information, call Bird in Hand at 215-248-2473.

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