Birdsong’s Return to Milwaukee’s Juneteeth Celebration
MILWAUKEE — Edgar and Elizabeth Birdsong started their business 18 years ago in the front yard of a family member’s home.
They sell everything from lotions to soaps, but one product in particular has earned them the nickname “The Oil People.”
“I’ve always been a good guy. Once I tried the oil, I was hooked. I found a wholesaler and started selling oils,” Edgar said.
Birdsong’s offers over 700 different high quality scents that you can add to any of their body care products.
“We have lotions, shower gel, body oils, body butter, massage oils, where you can customize all your scents, so you can really layer your scent and really make it pop,” said explained Edgar.
Tomisha Greer is a loyal customer. She said she is taken in by the smell of the store as soon as she walks through the door.
“I love the smells and everything is just rich and inviting,” Greer said.
Birdsong’s will be a vendor at Milwaukee’s Juneteenth Day celebration this year. They will have a small sample of everything they sell, including African clothing.
“There are a lot of kente prints that are really a form of expression when it comes to freedom in America,” Edgar said. “We sell a lot of stuff for Juneteenth. A lot of young women come for the pageant. It’s kind of like a hub or an outlet for people to show off.”
June 19 fashion isn’t just about style, it’s really about self-expression and freedom and the dress aspect of the slave trade is often overlooked. Slave owners were required by law to clothe those who were enslaved and it is safe to say that comfort, weather and type of gear were never considered. Stories are told time and time again of how those who were emancipated were eager to run to the banks of rivers to shed their slave clothes and finally be able to show who they were and where they came from. That’s why many of the fashions you see on Juneteenth represent self-expression and freedom.
Whether you’re looking for specialty t-shirts, organic soap, car air fresheners or oils, Birdsong’s has you covered. Whatever you wear and whatever you do, the message behind Junteenth is clear: Celebrate freedom in the city we love.
“I love Milwaukee,” Edgar said. “I was born and raised here in Milwaukee and my clients were really supportive and I couldn’t see myself doing anything else.”
Birdsong’s Distribution is located at 2216 N. Doctor MLK Jr Dr. in Milwaukee.
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