Richard McGrath has a new career path that begins in German Village.
Saturday, April 12, the former flight attendant will open White Rabbit Cards, Gifts and Collectables at 188 E. Whittier St.
"I needed a change," said McGrath, a native of Colorado who moved to the village last year.
The boutique shop specializes in greeting cards, scented candles, soaps, stuffed animals and other gifts for the home. The 875-square-foot space is next door to Muse Gallery.
McGrath said he tries to buy as many products that are made in the U.S. or Ohio as he can.
Soap is made by the Willow Tree Soap Co. in Mentor; candles are from the Sydney Candle Co. in Cortland, Ohio; and buckeye chocolates are from Harry London in North Canton.
McGrath said he got the idea for a gift shop from an aunt who owns two Hallmark franchises in Tennessee.
He said he thought the store would be a good fit for the village, which certainly has its share of boutique shops, but none that offer the kind of merchandise he has for sale.
McGrath, 39, said he looked at several places throughout Columbus, but wanted to stay in the historic district.
"I like this area," he said. "It's kind of hard to find real estate in German Village. I've got a lot of foot traffic here."
Shiloh Todorov, executive director of the German Village Society, said White Rabbit adds some flair to the diverse mix of independent shops in the historic district. The site has a rich history as well, she said.
"Villagers are always delighted to welcome new, imaginative businesses into the neighborhood," Todorov said. "It's one of the reasons we live here, to be able to walk to great businesses.
"Some folks will remember that location as a grocery, a barber shop and an aquarium and pet-supply store," she said.
"Our files show it was also an ice cream shop -- the Lickety Split -- and the Global Gallery was next door."