Mark Adams was a young man in the 1970s and looking for something to do for a career when his parents visited San Francisco and saw a 45-foot dragon kite.
“They followed it till they found a man who told them about a great kite store,” he says.
That inspired him to have his own kite store. He opened Wings of the Wind downtown near Union Station and had it from 1975 to 1981 when he joined his father’s oil business.
Adams says he always hoped to open the store again, and that’s what he and his wife, Susan, did three years ago in a mere 750 square feet on East Central just west of Edgemoor.
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Now, Adams says he’s moving the store to perhaps the most ideal site for a kite store, but it’s not because of the building’s 2,240 square feet.
It’s because the former Birds on the Roof Bakery & Cafe space near the Starbucks at Central and Rock Road has 21-foot ceilings.
“There’s not a better one for high ceilings than that,” Adams says.
He says he’ll have “a man lift” to hang the kites at different levels and then retrieve them for customers.
“That’s entertaining in itself,” says Ella Rogers-Hungria, who works at the store.
Wings of the Wind specializes in kites of all kinds, including novice and sport kites and custom-made ones.
“They’ll probably hook you up with a parasail if you need one,” Rogers-Hungria says.
There are also garden decor items, such as flags and wind chimes, and art and science toys.
“The toys are definitely a showcase item,” Rogers-Hungria says.
She says there are a lot of retro toys and battery-free toys.
“Things from your grandparents’ youth.”
The current store is stuffed to the point of kite tails landing on customers’ heads.
“That’s part of the fun of it,” Mark Adams says.
Susan Adams jokes about the store being part of her husband’s perpetual childhood.
“I’ve got a great inner kid in me,” he says.
The new store will be fun but more practical, too.
“We can just load it up with kites, and they won’t be dragging on anybody’s head,” Mark Adams says.
The move will happen in the middle of October, and both sites will be open for a time during the transition to the new space.
Susan Adams says the floor at the new space will be sky blue with clouds painted on it.
“It’ll be like walking on the clouds,” she says.
Landmark Commercial Real Estate handled the deal for the new space.
The new store will allow the Adamses to carry additional lines, but they say it’s still hard to leave College Hill.
“They sure gave us our start,” Mark Adams says.
“They’re wonderful. They really support small business.”