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Kate Hardy, owner and founder of Square One Goods Co., is excited to offer Birmingham a unique shop for locally made stationery and gifts. Hardy got her start at Woodlawn Street Market, where she had great success with her Birmingham-centric stationery and home goods.
In October 2017, she entered REV Birmingham’s Big Pitch, a program in which REV gives local entrepreneurs a chance to pitch their ideas for businesses to a panel of judges. Hardy came in second with her pitch for Square One, which means that REV has helped her in finding retail space, marketing her shop and some of the other details that come with opening a new business.
Starting From (You Guessed It) Square One
Hardy has lived in Birmingham for 14 years. She got married and came to Birmingham from Scotland with only two suitcases — so you can really say she started from “square one.” This experience was part of the inspiration for the name of the shop. The other meaning of the name comes from the idea that Hardy wants her shop to be a starting point for people to shop for gifts and local Birmingham treasures.
She noticed that when she went to other cities, there were many small locally-owned shops where she could purchase handmade goods to take back home or to give as gifts, but that Birmingham had a need for something similar. The more she talked to people about her plan for Square One, the more she realized that other people felt that way too.
Hardy is a huge proponent of supporting local Birmingham businesses — so much so, that she has an entire section of Square One that is dedicated to other local makers. This is what is called a “co-shop.” This will supply a next-level platform for people who may have a stand at Woodlawn Street Market or Pepper Place market, but who want to test out how their work does in a retail environment. She also plans to host classes, pop-ups for local artists and anything else she can do to help out other local artists and makers.
“I think that being downtown is really important. That is something that REV asked me — would I consider other locations? And I really wouldn’t. I was determined to be downtown.”
Square One Goods Co. is located in Founders Station, a funky little area of shops, eateries and boutiques on the corner of Morris Avenue downtown. Also located in Founder’s Station: The Essential and Pilcrow Cocktail Bar. A new bar concept from the owners of Collins Bar, Cayo Coco is set to open soon, as well as the new location of Sprout and Pour, who is moving from Edgewood. Hardy is excited about the area, and hopes that the new developments will encourage people to come spend the day downtown, walking, eating, drinking and shopping.
Square One Goods Co. not only offers cute accessories for your pets, it is a pet-friendly shop! Murphy Brown, Hardy’s cute spaniel, is the official mascot of the shop. Give him a scratch behind the ears when you go in to check out the goods.
Square One Goods Co. opens in Founders Station on Saturday, August 25. Hours: 11-7. They will be open Tuesday-Friday from 11-7. Normal weekend hours will be Saturday 10-7 and Sunday 10-5. The shop will be closed on Mondays. See more of Square One Goods.