For the Pittsburgh shopper with a keen eye for unique, handmade goods, sporadic craft fairs like I Made It Market
and Handmade Arcade
have long been the solution. Now, those craft-hounds have a permanent destination in Lawrenceville's latest boutique, WildCard
, which opened in late October.
WildCard, masterminded by Shaler native and Lawrenceville resident Rebecca Morris, specializes in cards, paper and stationary, as well as bags, buttons, jewelry, T-shirts, books, craft supplies and more. Plus, there's original and vintage art on display and for-sale.
Morris, who has a background in city government, left Pittsburgh for a few years ago to learn the retail ropes at Paper Boy in Chicago. She says she and her husband both wanted to "get a new perspective, and bring it back to Pittsburgh."
The look and feel of the shop in-and-of itself is a work of art. Located at 4209 Butler St., half a block down from the freshly re-hatched Istanbul restaurant, WildCard's interior is as dynamic as its merchandise. Designed and constructed by Andrew Moss at mossArchitects and Morris' husband, Brian Mendelssohn, of Botero Development, the space features impossibly high ceilings (original tin, of course), exposed brick walls and distinctive flooring solutions--the back of the ground-level shop is made of wood joists relocated from the upstairs area, and the front floors are essentially wooden beams sliced thin and arranged like tiles. The effect is simultaneously organic and innovative.
Mendelssohn has created two two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartments above the shop, which are renting for $1,900 a month. Almost 15 percent of the building materials were reused from the building itself, and the residences contain many other green features, as well as roof-decks with clear views to Downtown.
Writer: Caralyn Green
Sources: Rebecca Morris, WildCard; Brian Mendelssohn, Botero Development
Photograph copyright Caralyn Green