Six years ago, Patrick Pearson lost his wallet and in looking for a replacement, found his passion and calling as an artisan and small business owner. Today, alongside his brother, Mike Boyd, he has opened his own storefront in the heart of Richmond’s celebrated independent shopping district, Carytown, to sell his wares: simple, high quality goods.
Founded in 2013, Blackbyrd, a nod to Richmond’s Byrd Park where it all began, initially started with a focus on small handstitched leather goods. Entirely self-taught, Pearson soon expanded his offerings to include wallets, billfolds, card holders, glasses cases, purses, and more, selling to friends at first, then friends of friends, and finally online.
The new Carytown store, which completely sold out of inventory during a soft opening pop-up during the annual Watermelon Festival this summer, is part lifestyle boutique, part gallery, part workshop, and hopes to be part gathering spot for members of the community to drop in for an espresso or to hear some jams on the vintage record player. Blackbyrd also hopes to host small events showcasing music and local beers. The second floor of the building houses the modest workshop space where each item sold on the first floor is carefully cut, stitched and completed using natural leather from Hermann Oak.
The store itself is a sleek juxtaposition of new and old, sleek metals and elegant woods. In renovating the historic building, 8,000 pounds of plaster were removed to reveal beautiful brick walls. Beautiful display cases, also built by Patrick, showcase the timeless, handcrafted products while the store’s cashless point of sale system is uniquely 2019.
Beyond leather goods, Blackbyrd is inspired by travel – partnering with like-minded businesses around the world to offer limited goods, rotating on an annual basis. Currently, the shop is featuring wares from Iceland – including classic Icelandic sweaters and Reykjavík rain coats. The brothers are also tuned into current trends, working with contacts in the garment district of New York.
Blackbyrd is located in Carytown at 3439 West Cary Street.