Find: Hidden Treasures in Homewood – Kids’ Play Furniture, Infant Clothing

I’m about to let you in on one of the best-kept secrets in our city.  It’s a place where you can find hand-smocked infant gowns at an unbelievably reasonable price, where bookcases on par with Pottery Barn are a fraction of what their catalog cousins cost, and stick horses – yes, the classic with manes made of yarn – are still fashioned of real wood and not hollow, injection-molded plastic.

Prime Time Treasures houses all these things and more at 1755 Oxmoor Road in Homewood, just at the south end of 18th Street’s downtown shopping district.  You may have driven by the building countless times and not realized that you were passing a retail store with a unique twist.

Prime Time Treasures doesn’t stock the typical items that are mass produced in a factory on the other side of the world.  Instead, every item is made by a craftsperson here in Birmingham.  These aren’t amateur efforts, either.  The dollhouse-inspired book case shown here is sturdy enough to last for generations, and the pride of craftsmanship is similarly evident in most every piece on the floor. 

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This precious hand-smocked gown is only $17 (for detail, View image ).  The coordinating bonnet with blue piping is $9.  You won’t find a better price on a hand made ensemble like this and you can feel good knowing your purchase will benefit local crafters.  Few of our own grandmas are creating this handiwork these days.

Prime Time Treasures is a program of the Assistance League of Birmingham that allows seniors (defined as those age 55 and over) to sell their hand made products  with only a small fraction of the purchase used to offset overhead costs.  This means an incredible savings for BirminghamMoms and a winning situation for the seniors who participate. Since its inception, over $3.5 million has been returned to over 4500 Alabama Seniors. 

Children’s items are in the back section of the store along with baby blankets, quilts and afghans.  Toy chests aren’t recommended for kids these days, but you may find a version here that would do nicely as a coffee table/storage bench in your home. Don’t shortchange the front of the store either.  Some of the Adirondack chairs are particularly nice and at least two vendors offer pastel portraits from whatever photo you supply.     

BirminghamMom recommended agenda: Chicken salad sandwich at OutTakes, a cookie for the road from Savage’s, then a browse through Prime Time Treasures.