Field Trip Friday: Sparrow and the Nest
by Cecelia White
Walk into Sparrow and the Nest on any given day, and you're likely to find owner Stephanie Lienhard busily preparing for the next workshop, in between errands, or generally hard at work for her business- which has become a community staple in just over a year of it's opening. Despite my surprise visit and her busy schedule, Stephanie took the time to talk with me; surely, a driving force behind the success of Sparrow and the Nest is the rare exuberance and passion this owner has for creating a beautiful space for artisans and the community.
We talked a lot about community; all of the goods at Sparrow and the Nest are handcrafted by local artisans, and the building that houses this collection looks and feels just like any home in the Heights- welcoming, charming and local. For years, Stephanie and her husband and jazz pianist, Andrew Lienhard, hosted the Underground Arts Market, which was a seasonal salon for artists to connect during the holidays. In many ways, Sparrow and the Nest feels like a natural extension of that, born from a desire to create a closer connection between crafters, artists, and admirers alike.
Growing up in New Orleans, I mentioned that the store felt reminiscent of Magazine Street, where I spent my childhood weaving through the local stores. Anyone who has been there knows that local business is not just a model keeping dollars in the city, but an attitude- and the best local business always makes guests feel like family in a way that is natural. It's a front porch type of feeling, a my home is your home attitude, and Sparrow and the Nest is doing that just fine.
Overall, the feeling at Sparrow and the Nest is one of wonder and magic; the little creatures and unique goods fill a niche for the fantastically odd and whimsical gift-giver.