In 2009, owner Katie Bjerke gave up a promising career in public relations for an even more promising career in motherhood. When her first son was born, she made the difficult decision to leave her salaried position at a local financial institution to become a stay-at-home mom. Following the birth of her second son in 2011, Katie realized she needed a creative outlet if she was going to survive the three-ring circus she now called “life” and began sewing in a small walk-in closet in the second story of her home. Many of her friends were starting families, so, naturally, she began sewing gifts to welcome home baby.
After being introduced to Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan, sewing spread to painting furniture, which further developed into a love for a re-purposed life. Slowly, Katie began delving into estate sales, thrifting, and auctions to find pieces that could be given new life. What started as a hobby while kids were napping, blossomed into a legit business in 2013 when Hatchlings & Hens made it’s first debut at a local vintage and handmade market.
When she wanted to further expand her business, Katie began researching outlets for selling her handmade goods. But, it soon became obvious there were few brick and mortar shops that focused on vintage and handmade goods for babies and children. Etsy was a consideration, but, again, proved to be overwhelming and unsuccessful. Katie realized, in a community where young moms were moving toward a more organic way of raising children, a co-op of sorts that featured handmade goods for kids and moms would help fill a huge void.
In 2016, after a year of holding occasional sales in a small garage, Katie, along with her husband, Jerry, decided to make the big leap into a more traditional storefront. The new location at 602 State Street will open on May 7 and offers a unique shopping experience in historic downtown Cedar Falls, Iowa. The shop features quality handmade goods from talented makers from across the state. The space also includes a make & take craft space that is open for walk-ins during regular business hours and after/before hours for special events and private parties.