Photos by Kaitlin Bitz.
Store Manager Katy Kelly is excited for Festivity’s first Christmas season with the Homewood community.
Festivity boutique lives up to its name. Splashes of color fill the store, fashionable outfits hang in every direction and upbeat music blasts out of the speakers at all times. This is to say nothing of the staff.
“I have a phenomenal team,” store manager Katy Kelly said. “They wake up every day looking forward to customers coming through the doors. We want them to come in here and feel like it meets every expectation they have for shopping in a boutique.”
The one-stop shop offers women’s apparel, accessories, jewelry and unique gift items for any occasion. Metal yard ornaments in the shapes of animals such as pigs and peacocks (which the staff refers to as “the farm”) and tile coasters with photos of Homewood landmarks are among items customers will find.
“You can come in and buy a hostess gift, a gift for the birthday coming up and a dress to wear on your date,” Kelly said. “We are really seasonal driven, so we have those one-of-a- kind gifts that you might not be able to find in other stores.”
Festivity opened its first store in Atlanta in 1999. Due to its success, several more stores were added in the Atlanta area as well as Nashville over the next decade. Kelly says that many of their Atlanta shoppers voiced their desire for a Festivity boutique in the Birmingham area. In 2012, that desire became a reality and the company began scouting Alabama locations. Homewood was the perfect fit.
“The second we drove down 18th Street, we knew this is where we wanted our store,” Kelly said. “A huge part of moving to Alabama was finding this location. We’re happy we’re here.”
In the seven months since Festivity has been in the Homewood area, Kelly said that the store has evolved to become a staple of Homewood despite being such a new business in a well established shopping district.
“We put so much into opening a store and finding the right location and making it feel like we’re home- grown in this area,” Kelly said. “The challenge is to make people feel like we want to be here for them. It’s a daily challenge to fit in with the street but stand out to customers at the same time.”
Kelly is happy with warm reception the boutique has been given by the Homewood community. She hopes that the company will continue to expand within the Birmingham area.
“I feel the reason that this company has expanded and grown the way that we’ve have is because we’ve stuck to what we know works,” Kelly said. “But we’re open to welcoming new products and new thoughts and ideas from our customers.”
In the meantime, Festivity is ready for its first Christmas season on 18th Street. According to Kelly, customers can expect “ridiculously crazy” décor.
“We literally have ornaments and trimmings hanging from the ceilings. It’s breathtakingly beautiful,” Kelly said. “We’re so excited because we feel like 18th Street is the perfect little street to go above and beyond. We’re really excited to show Homewood how we celebrate Christmas.”