Downtown shop offers unique gifts for every person, style

By Chris Lauritsen

On their way home after purchasing a piece of art work titled “Catching Fireflies” from the 1999 Ann Arbor Art Fair, Steve McCrumb mentioned to his wife April what a cool name for a art gallery would be.

“It was more like dreaming, it wasn’t a reality,” said April, who went on to say that it takes a lot of money to open up a store and they just didn’t have it at the time.

Little did April know, one year later they would have the opportunity to open their own store.

When April was growing up her mom always encouraged her to make things rather than go out and buy them. It was from her mother’s encouragement that she started to make paper gifts for her family members that in which she would sign with her “hallmark” April’s Ideas.

Eventually April ended up renting table space at the Ann Arbor Artisan Market where she sold her April’s Ideas paper gifts, which included hand made cards, frames and books.

From Ann Arbor, she ended up traveling around to 34 fairs in 1999 and local store owners in the towns where the fairs were held would ask April if she would wholesale any items. She would always have to say no because of lack of inventory.

Steve and April decided to wholesale their goods. Enter Catching Fireflies.

The couple decided on a 2,200 square feet former pharmacy located in downtown Berkley for their first store that they would call “Catching Fireflies.”

The idea for their store was to sell April’s Ideas paper products, along with some purchased items that were found at gift trade shows, as well as some local arts works.

Once Catching Fireflies started to turn in a big profit, April was able to purchase different types of items to fill the store.

The couple was later able to open a second store in downtown Rochester at the old train depot on University Roads.

April explained the couple redid the inside of the old train depot giving it a “overall whimsical look.”

Along with a.i. Paper Products, Catching Fireflies carries over 150 different products, including jewelry and purses.

“A lot of people come in here for the person that has everything,” said Bess Silson, who works at the Rochester location and has worked at Catching Fireflies for three years.

Along with their stores in Berkley and Rochester, Catching Fireflies offers a comprehensive online store.

“The store is fun and light hearted,” said April.

For more information about Catching Fireflies visit their website at

www.catchingfireflies.com

 

Contact senior reporter Chris Lauritsen via email at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @ChrisLaurtsen