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Blackbird Collection

Blackbird Collection created by Amy Appleton Dreyer brings fashion and interiors together in a gallery setting and aims to provide an experience of mindful consumption. Find environmentally conscious brands and beautiful vintage and custom pieces, all in a former art gallery in the Crossroads.      

“After graduating college, I was busy waiting tables and backpacking all over the world,” says Dreyer. “Fashion was kind of a happy accident that I stumbled into after starting a blog to take my mind off of the IVF journey. My background is in modeling, styling and fashion for the last ten years. I started Stepsofstyle with my two stepdaughters and it slowly turned into so much more.

“I took fashion, interiors, and travel and combined them into a concept that could maybe help our planet, or at least raise awareness about climate change. The fashion industry is responsible for 8-10% of global emissions, particularly fast fashion. As a culture, we tend to wear things once and throw them away. So many brands overproduce, and what isn’t purchased ends up in the Atacama Desert in Chile or other landfills. I want to help people curate a timeless wardrobe by not only buying more conscious brands but also by buying less and wearing them more. It’s about finding pieces that last longer, are less trendy and more classic with just really incredible fits.” 

Drawing inspiration from Amy's personal style, Blackbird Collection embodies a harmonious blend of modern and vintage charm.

“My fashion can be described as comfortable, chic and timeless with a little bit of glam. I’m very much into neutrals but there will definitely be some pops of color here and there.”

The brands reflect a diverse array of voices committed to positive change.

“A lot of brands at the shop aren’t just environmentally friendly but many have their own special story. I’m trying to support the planet and a diverse group of designers from all over the world. I picked four Ukrainian brands not just because I wanted to support them but also because their designs and fashion are some of my absolute favorite and most forward thinking in the sustainability category.”

The name of the shop holds deep significance and comes from her Sicilian roots, symbolizing a fusion of heritage and vision.

“Blackbird is derived from my Italian roots and family name, Merlo. I was born Amy Merlo Appleton. My great grandmother, Maria Merlo, immigrated here from Sicily in 1921. When I was trying to come up with a name for the shop, my mom (who also flies the Ukrainian flag proudly at her home my great grandmother built in Columbus Park) said the name Merlo means blackbird, your middle name from the center of who you are. And that was it—it stuck.”

Step into the space and feel transported to another time and place, where modern elegance meets vintage allure.

“It truly is about bringing so many of my favorite things from decades of travel and adventures together. I picked mostly designers I have worn or worked with for years, so I know their quality of work and believe in their visions. We do vintage sourcing but I also carry new pieces from Matt Castilleja and Devon Himes Studio. I try to support mostly small with a few larger brands that show interest in the environment as well as creating timeless fashion that won’t really ever go out of style. I do mostly small batch buying to not only avoid sitting on large amounts of backstock but also because I want whoever purchases these pieces to feel that not everyone else will be seen wearing the exact same thing. I mostly get one of each size per season with the exception of a couple elevated basic brands.

“For Interiors, I partnered with my long time friends and colleagues, House of Palm. Chanel and I have worked closely together for years doing Stepsofstyle closet sales at her shop Dear Society as well as interior projects at my home. Collaborating with her as well as her partner Dante of Nomada, who is an incredible artist and visionary, has been so inspiring. We source unique pieces from all over the world, restore and recover them to bring something really special to people’s homes. We are also creating custom furniture as well. There is really something for everyone at Blackbird—a lot of pieces are definitely higher end, but there are a few brands that won’t break the bank or the planet. And honestly, it’s just a really fun space to hang out in, so no pressure to buy—you can just come hang out and get inspired.”

Blackbird aspires to pave the way for a future where fashion and sustainability coexist harmoniously.

“We want to educate everyone on the importance of doing our part to slow climate change. Even though retail by nature isn’t sustainable, I think by supporting forward thinking brands and having a conversation about fashion and sustainability will inspire others to follow suit in our pursuit of a consciously curated lifestyle.”

Blackbird Collection is located at 122 Southwest Boulevard in Kansas City and is opening this spring. For more information, visit