What is Blackjack Gardens? Is it a showroom or a horse farm or both?
Blackjack Gardens is an outdoor furniture/accessory shop that has over 10, 000 square feet of showroom space packed with quality brand-name furniture. The horse farm, Blackjack Farms, is a separate entity, which offers boarding and riding lessons.
How did the business get started?
The owner, Frances Gorrie, started her retail career at the gift shop at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. She opened Blackjack Gardens in 1997 on Birmingham’s Southside and later moved the shop to its current location.
How did you get started in the retail business?
I started working at Blackjack over eight years ago. Talking with customers and developing relationships has been so fulfilling. There are so many options now available for outdoor spaces, and it can be overwhelming. Our job is to help customers decide what their needs are, establish their likes and dislikes, and assist them in the selection of their furniture and fabrics, and placement of furniture, as well.
Why an outdoor furniture store (as opposed to interior)?
Frances enjoys the creativity in the outdoor industry, which is changing all the time with new fabrics, styles, colors, and applications. People that love outdoor living have more options now than ever before.
What lines do you carry?
Brown Jordan, Lloyd Flanders, Gloster, Winston, and Summer Classics. There are hundreds of options available, and it is our responsibility to help our customers select what is best for them and teach them about the product. We now also offer Gabby furniture, which is our only indoor line.
Do you offer custom work?
Absolutely. We can special order just about anything the customer is looking for. We have fabric samples and frame finish samples from all of our furniture lines. We work with commercial customers, as well as residential. Blackjack Gardens is a shop that offers something for everyone, from an accent piece to a complete outdoor living space.
Birmingham has such a diverse home-style portfolio. Is it the same with outdoor rooms?
Yes. People don’t realize the choices and selections that are available for outdoor rooms. Birmingham is very eclectic, and customization is key. We work to stay current with all the trends.
Do you work with landscape architects and interior designers?
We work with individual customers as well as landscape designers and interior designers. Designers know that they can depend on us to assist them with outdoor furniture selection.
Any new trends for outdoor living?
Contemporary design is growing. Neutral colors have dominated consumer purchasing, with bright hues such as kiwi green, coral, sky blue, and red being added through accessories like throw pillows, rugs, and flower pots. I also am seeing a trend toward grays.
What are some items you carry that might surprise customers?
We carry Vietri dishes and pottery. We also sell Primo Grills and accessories. We carry Christopher Radko ornaments year round. We stock Treasure Garden Umbrellas and also offer
customized shapes, sizes, and colors. We also have a wide range of indoor decor.
Blackjack Gardens • 5549 Derby Dr., Birmingham, AL 35210. 205.836.2933
Photography by Art Meripol