25 Gifted Retailers of 2009

Service, selection and special events are the strengths of these specialty retailers.

For a third year, Gifts & Decorative Accessories presents 25 Gifted Retailers, selected from among the numerous applications received by our research department. From East Coast to West, and from north to south, this is a group representative of the range of merchants that are gifts and decorative accessories retailers. Among our featured retailers are a gift and home furnishings boutique, gift basket and gift-wrapping specialists, a gift department within a pharmacy, a church shop and, with a nod to modern retailing, an online-only retailer. Throughout 2010, G&DA will present a more personal look at each retailer in a Q&A feature on GiftsandDec.com.

A Little Something

Lovelock, NV

One store. Estimated 2008 total sales: Less than $1 million

Gift and home accent specialist founded in 2008. Offers promotional to mid-priced lines in 1,000 sq. ft. of selling space. One employee. Key vendors include Acadian, Suzzettes and A Candle Co. for candles; Camille Beckman and Canus Vermont for personal care; Crystalmania and Southwest Trading for jewelry; Demdaco, Christmas, Burton & Burton and Hanna's Handiworks for holiday; and Leanin' Tree and Blue Mountain Arts for greeting cards. Special events: Ladies Night before Valentine's Day, a Brats and Beer Men's Night and special sales during local high school games. Participates in the Main Street Mania block party with local businesses. Regularly changes its displays.

All Thru The House

Vero Beach, FL

One store. Estimated 2008 total sales: Less than $1 million

Gift and home accent specialist founded in 1979. Offers mid-priced to high end lines in 3,200 sq. ft. of selling space. Four employees. Major vendors include Colonial and Trapp for candles; Thymes for personal care; Swarovski, Chrislu and John Medeiros for jewelry; Byers Choice, Roman, Jim Shore, Radko and RAZ Imports for holiday; and Avanti, Carol Wilson and Pictura for greeting cards. Held a 30th anniversary event this Fall and holding holiday open house. Prides itself on its quality, longevity, personalized customer service and unique, hand-selected product.

Ash Hill Designs

Chester Springs, PA

One store. Estimated 2008 total sales: Less than $1 million

Gift and home accent specialist founded in 2006. Operates out of a vintage cottage. Offers mid-priced to high end lines in 1,800 sq. ft. of selling space. Total sales per sq. ft., $90. Four employees. Key vendors include Votivo, Voluspa and Creative Candles for candles; Caldrea for personal care; Simply Accessories, Lotus and Susan Rifkin for jewelry; and Peking Handicraft, Select Artificial and Fringe for holiday. Also carries antiques, lighting, original art, linens, upholstery and case goods. Special events: annual anniversary sale, holiday open houses, Stonewall Kitchen tastings and a fall/holiday floral class. Offers personalized service to ensure a customized look for customers. www.ashhilldesigns.com

Blackstone's of Beacon Hill

Boston

One store. Estimated 2008 total sales: Less than $1 million

Gift and home decor specialist established in 1982. Offers mid-priced lines in 540 sq. ft. of selling space. Total sales per sq. ft., $1,110. Three full-time employees. Major vendors include Root, Caspari, The Bee Man and Ana Candles for candles; Crabtree & Evelyn for personal care; Lovell Design, Charlotte's Daughter, Morse Code and Sea Breeze Design for jewelry; Caspari, Wendt & Kuehn, Wilhelm Schweizer, Midwest-CBK, Boston Intl., JingleNog, Anne Maria Murray hand-painted porcelain, Mary Lake Thompson, Nutcracker Designs, Lady Clare, Wee Forest Folk, RAZ Imports, Byers' Choice, House of Marbles, Bethany Lowe, Kurt Adler and Mr. Christmas for holiday; and Caspari and Ciao Bella for greeting cards. Special events: 12-Days of Christmas Celebration, book signings and community charitable events. Caters to both locals and visitors. www.blackstonesbeaconhill.com

bumble B design

Seattle

One store. Estimated 2008 total sales: Less than $1 million

Online gift specialist founded in 2001. Works with individuals and businesses to create corporate gifts, employee appreciation gifts, holiday and everyday gifts for clients, friends and family. Offers promotional to mid-priced lines through an online store. One employee. Key vendors include Big Dipper Wax Works, and ArtWax Candle Co. for candles; Aromaland, EO and Earth Therapeutics for personal care; Gourmet Foods from Fran's Ltd., Tom Douglas, Port Chatham Seafoods and Lighthouse Roasters for holiday; and Compendium Inc., for greeting cards. Makes seasonal changes to its online store. Believes its artful packaging, high quality products and distinctive, colorful web site set it apart from the competition. www.bumblebdesign.com

Carrot Tree Coffee & Gifts

Pulaski, WI

One store. Estimated 2008 total sales: Less than $1 million

Gift specialist in business since 2007. Also operates a coffee shop and makes its own chocolate. Offers promotional to mid-priced lines in 1,300 sq. ft. of selling space. Four employees. Major vendors include Pure Integrity for candles; Annaleece, Fire Mountain Gems and Grandmothers Buttons for jewelry; Demdaco for holiday; and Leanin' Tree and Northern Exposure for greeting cards. Special events: a Ladies' Night each November and April and open mic and live music nights. Disseminates $1.00 or more off gift coupons to local businesses. Has made its own line of skin care products, Carrot Tree Soaps and Essentials, since 1999. www.carrottree.net

Casa Urbana Apothecary & Salon

Hudson, NY

One store. Estimated 2008 total sales: Less than $1 million

Gift specialist founded in 2007. Also operates a salon in the same location. Offers mid-priced to high end lines in 2,000 sq. ft. of selling space. Total sales per sq. ft., $200. Eight employees, including four sales staff. Major vendors include Lafco, Claus Porto, ZENTS, Tokyo Milk, Linari and Abahna for candles; Claus Porto, ZENTS, Thymes, Waterl'eau, Jack Black, Eau d'Italie, John Masters' Organics and Tokyo Milk for personal care; Thymes' Frasier Fir, Tea Forte and Angel Wreaths/Trees for holiday; and Wooster & Prince for greeting cards. Hosts evening cocktail events and offers a rewards program. Provides personal attention for all customers, including serving iced and hot tea, as well as coffee. www.cuhudson.com

Classic Impressions

Palatka, FL

One store. Estimated 2008 total sales: Less than $1 million

Gift and home specialist in business since 1989. Offers promotional to mid-priced lines in 2,100 sq. ft. of selling space. Five employees, including a three-member sales team. Major vendors include Yankee Candle for candles; Jody Coyote for jewelry; Gallery Marketing for holiday; and Leanin' Tree for greeting cards. Also carries a large selection of wedding and anniversary merchandise. Hosts annually a two-week anniversary celebration which includes a store-wide sale, refreshments and free giveaways. Prides itself on being a clean, uncluttered store with interesting displays. Strives to offer outstanding customer service and the best merchandise at the best price. www.classicimpressions.net

Cute Buttons Gift and Paper Boutique

Cary, NC

One store. Estimated 2008 total sales: Less than $1 million

Gift and stationery specialist founded in 1998. Offers promotional to mid-priced lines in 1,000 sq. ft. of selling space. One employee. Major vendors include Dirt Candles and Lollia for candles; Get Fresh and Lollia for personal care; and Tikilynn Cards & Notes, Katie & Company, Chatsworth, Whitney English, Sweet Pea, Anzu, Louella Press and Abby Jean Weddings for greeting cards and invitations. Hosts holiday parties and partners with local businesses for events. Also holds bridal seminars. Produces monthly newsletters featuring etiquette tips. Displays merchandise on antique furniture and plays upbeat music to keep customers in a great mood. www.shopcutebuttons.com

Dazzle!

Charlotte, NC

One store. Estimated 2008 total sales: Less than $1 million

Gift and home specialist founded in 2005. Offers promotional to mid-priced lines in 2,700 sq. ft. of selling space. Seven employees, including five salespeople. Key vendors include Virginia Candle (Woodwick), Colonial Candle and Southerness for candles; Archipelago and Pass Christian Soap for personal care; Pandora for jewelry; Lynn Haney, Byers' Choice, Mark Roberts and Christopher Radko for holiday; and Oatmeal Studios, Quotable, Marianne Richmond, Calypso, Mikwright, Lifesighs and RPG for greeting cards. Offers a Rewards Program and a 20 percent discount off one item during a customer's birth month. Merchandises in four front windows, two of which are used for new seasonal product. Offers free gift wrapping and prides itself on knowing customers by name. www.dazzlegiftables.net

Dedricks Gifts

New Paltz, NY

One store. Estimated 2008 total sales: $2.5 million

Gift specialist which began as a single aisle within its owner's pharmacy in 2003. Now occupies 1,500 sq. ft. of selling space within the pharmacy. Offers mid-priced lines. Total sales per sq. ft., $133. Nine employees, including eight salespeople. Major suppliers include Root and CrossRoads for candles; J.R Watkins and Sweet Grass Farms for personal care; Pink House Imports and MOMA for jewelry; Midwest-CBK, K&K Interiors and Grasslands Road for holiday; and Avanti, Pictura and Marian Heath for greeting cards. Special events include open houses, Mother's Day Tea, Customer Appreciation Days and the 12 Days of Christmas in July. Also holds closed door parties for preferred customers. Keeps merchandise fresh by moving and reworking everything each month. www.dedrickspharmacyandgifts.com

EXCLAMATIONS!

San Diego

One store. Estimated 2008 total sales: Less than $1 million

Gift specialist established in 1993. Offers promotional to high end lines in 5,000 sq. ft. of selling space. Four employees. Key vendors include Northern Lights and Two's Company for candles; Serafina, Enchanted Meadow, Sonoma Lavender and Pendergrass for personal care; and Sullivans, Wilco, McDuffies, Big Steer and Sweet Shop for holiday. Hosts corporate appreciation luncheons and presents a holiday open house. Offers a signature look which encompasses an upscale blend of natural earth tones and corporate bling. As a one-stop shop, its customer care, quality and attention to detail set it apart. Recognized No. 1 gift shop in its area for 2009. www.exclamationsgifts.com

Flowers by Whitney

Murray, KY

One store. Estimated 2008 total sales: Less than $1 million

Gift and home accent specialist founded in 2006. Offers mid-priced lines in 1,600 sq. ft. of selling space. Five employees, including a sales team of four. Key vendors include Trimmings, Skeem and Paddywax for candles; Two's Company, Me Bath, Upper Canada, Mainstreet and Mud Pie for personal care; Golden Stella and Seasons for jewelry; RAZ Imports, Department 56, TAG, Kalalou, Coton Colors Pottery, Mud Pie, Mainstreet Collection and Midwest-CBK for holiday; and Design Design and PPD for greeting cards. Hosts five open houses. Charity and community events include the Relay for Life and a benefit for the Down syndrome organization, UPS for DownS. Prides itself on its creativity and uniqueness. Recognized as the No. 1 gift shop in its area for three years running. www.whitneysgifts.com

Gold Connection

Winfield, AL

One store. Estimated 2008 total sales: Less than $1 million

Gift, home accent and fine jewelry specialist in business since 1986. Has 6,900 sq. ft. of selling space. Five employees, including four sales associates. Major vendors include Tyler, Yankee Candle and Swan Creek for candles; Chamilia, Waxing Poetic, Fossil, John Wind, Simon Sebbag, Emily Ray, Sunriver Silver, Cargo Hold, Pure Sanctuary and Pick Up Sticks for jewelry; and Glory Haus, Fenton, Dept. 56, Jim Shore, Caffco, Mud Pie, Mainstreet, Roundtop Collection, Evergreen and Christopher Radko for holiday. Also carries Vera Bradley. Uses its website and social networking to update customers on new products and events. Holds two open houses and maintains a “wish list” for customers. Believes ever-changing displays intrigue customers. Looks for new vendors and products to keep the store fresh. www.shopgoldconnection.com

Grandma's Cedar Chest

Burns, OR

One store. Estimated 2008 total sales: Less than $1 million

Gift and home accent specialist in business since 1996. Store contains an espresso bar. Offers promotional to mid-priced lines in 2,000 sq. ft. of selling space. One employee. Key suppliers include Beanpod for candles; Annaleece for jewelry; Ganz for holiday; and Legacy for greeting cards. Holds a summer sidewalk sale and a day after Thanksgiving sale, which begins at 7 a.m. and includes drawings, giveaways and discounts. Celebrates its eclectic product mix. Prides itself on its hometown feel and is known for its mingling espresso and candle scents.

Granma's Treasures/Granma's Charms

Wray, CO

One store. Estimated 2008 total sales: Less than $1 million

Gift specialist founded in 1995. Is also a quilt and custom frame shop. Offers promotional to mid-priced lines in 2,000 sq. ft. of selling space. Three employees. Major vendors include A Cheerful Giver for candles; Upper Canada Soap for personal care; Demdaco, Blossom Bucket, Great Finds, Park Designs, Melissa & Doug and Stephan Baby for holiday; and Legacy Publishing for greeting cards. Special events include Granma's Birthday Bash, a holiday open house, Granma's Pajama Party where prizes are awarded for most “just-out-of-bed” costumes. Also participates in the local Chamber of Commerce-sponsored Wray Daze, a weekend filled with super bargains, barbecue, parade and game night. www.granmastreasures.com

Lisa's Gift Wrappers

Royal Oak, MI

One store. Estimated 2008 total sales: Less than $1 million

Gift and gift wrapping specialist founded in 2004. Offers mid-priced to high end lines in 1,200 sq. ft. of selling space. Total sales per sq. ft., $208.Five employees, including a sales staff of four. Key vendors include Design Design, Wooster and Prince, Waste Not, OCD and Snow and Graham for holiday; and Calypso Cards, Madison Park, Naughty Betty, Selfish Kitty and OCD for greeting cards. Other major suppliers include Ampelco, Midori and Offray/Lion Ribbon. Hosts gift wrapping classes and Girls' Nite Out events. Partners with local charities involving women and children, including HAVEN, a shelter program for abuse victims and OPERATION Kid Equip, a school supply and backpack program. Receives gift wrapping referrals from local and big-box retailers. www.lisasgiftwrappers.com

Main Street Marketplace

Waupaca, WI

One store. Estimated 2008 total sales: Less than $1 million

Gift and home accent specialist founded in 1987. Offers promotional to mid-priced lines in 2,500 sq. ft. of selling space. Total sales per sq. ft., $120. Five employees, including four salespeople. Is open seven days a week. Major vendors include Yankee Candle and Virginia Candle for candles; Camille Beckman for personal care; Silver Forest for jewelry; Old World Christmas for holiday; and Pictura, Avanti, Pumpernickel, Recycled Paper Greetings and Blue Mountain for greeting cards. Is located in an historic 1877 downtown building. Makes and sells its own fudge and honey. Offers free coffee and fudge samples to customers. Hosts open houses twice a year. Believes there are no rules in merchandising. Its store motto is “May every visitor who walks out our door feel better than when they walked in.” www.mainstreet-marketplace.com

Paper & Chocolate

Dallas

One store. Estimated 2008 total sales: Less than $1 million

Gift and stationery specialist founded in 2006. Offers mid-priced lines in 2,500 sq. ft. of selling space. Total sales per sq. ft., $275. 10 employees, including eight salespeople. Major vendors include Lux, Nouvelle and Seda France for candles; Lollia for personal care; RAZ Imports for holiday; and Letterpress for greeting cards. Special events include trunk shows, author events, bridal events and chocolate tastings. Highlights merchandise through two large windows, which change every three weeks. Believes its inviting store environment and delicious chocolate sets it apart from its competition. www.paperandchocolate.com

Pauline's Gifts

Gloucester, MA

One store. Estimated 2008 total sales: Less than $1 million

Gift specialist in business since 1999. Offers promotional to mid-priced lines in 1,000 sq. ft. of selling space. Three-member staff. Major vendors include Blake Brothers and Jubilee for jewelry; Delton, Evergreen and Toland for holiday; and Marian Heath for greeting cards. Mails money-saving postcards bimonthly. During the holidays, a Ladies Day is held with refreshments and door prizes. Participates in the Gloucester Destination Marketing organization, a group geared to growing visitors to the community. Known for unique and affordable gifts, including many hand-painted, one-of-a-kind items. Store displays always reflect the changing seasons. Store also doubles as the owner's art studio. That personal touch keeps customers coming back. www.paulinesgiftshop.com

Perch Home

Maplewood, NJ

One store. Estimated 2008 total sales: Less than $1 million

Gift and home accent specialist founded in 2006. Offers mid-priced lines in 750 sq. ft. of selling space. Total sales per sq. ft., $325. Four employees. Key vendors include Archipelago and Votivo for candles; Lollia, Cucina and Pre de Provence for personal care; Lotus Designs Jewelry Studios and Hotcakes Designs for jewelry; Old World Christmas, Cody Foster and Bethany Lowe for holiday; and Snow & Graham, Paper Relics, Catalina and Bella Muse for greeting cards. Hosts luxury antiquing bus trips. Has frequent buyer Perch Points reward program and community private shopping nights for charitable organizations. Prides itself on devotion to customers, free delivery and giftwrap services. Mixes new product with vintage. www.perchhome.com

Random

Dallas

One store. Estimated 2008 total sales: Less than $1 million

Gift and home accent specialist founded in 2005. Offers mid-priced to high end lines in 4,040 sq. ft. of selling space. Total sales per sq. ft., $120. Two employees. Major vendors include ReCandle, Seda France, Lampe Berger and Judy Havelka for candles; Fraiche and Shannon Martin for personal care; Patience Brewster, Demdaco, Fringe, Jeremie, Shannon Martin and Curly Girl for holiday; and Patience Brewster and Shannon Martin for greeting cards. Special events: trunk shows, wine tastings and short-notice sales. Describes its merchandising scheme as random and tries to keep product choices fun to capture the customer's interest. Prides on its personal service. www.shopatrandom.com

The Chandlery

Roswell, GA

One store. Estimated 2008 total sales: $1 million - $2.9 million

Gift and home accent specialist in business since 1977. Offers mid-priced to high end lines in 3,500 sq. ft. of selling space. 17 employees, including sales team of 14. Major vendors include Colonial Candle and Aspen Bay for candles; Hillhouse Naturals, Thymes, Lady Primrose and Elizabeth W for personal care; RAZ Imports, Lynn Haney, Byer's Choice and Christopher Radko for holiday; and Shade Tree, Gina B and Up With Paper for greeting cards. Hosts several Girls' Nights Out community events, in partnership with a local magazine. Customer services include engraving, monogramming, special orders and bridal/gift registries. www.chandlerygifts.com

The Gift Shop at St. David's Church

Wayne, PA.

One store. Estimated 2008 total sales: Less than $1 million

Gift specialist established in 1999. Offers promotional to mid-priced lines in 900 sq. ft. of space. One part-time, paid employee and 14 volunteers. Major vendors include Alexa's Angels, Acacia Beads, Bead for Life, Blake Brothers, Deirdre & Company and Fibrations for jewelry; Demdaco, Enesco, Mission Imports and Serrv for holiday; and Cards by Anne, It Takes Two and Printery House for greeting cards. Special events: Open House Wine and Cheese Party before Christmas. Sells at local church events and other fundraisers. Themed displays changed monthly. Profits support two international missions. www.stdavidschurch.org/outresearch/giftshop

The Vine and Branch

Eaton, CO

One store. Estimated 2008 total sales: Less than $1 million

Gift specialist founded in 2006. Offers promotional to mid-priced lines in 1,600 sq. ft. of selling space. Three employees. Major vendors include Thymes, TAG, Root and Aromatique for candles; Pre de' Provence and Baudelaire for personal care; Cindy Smith and Alexa's Angels for jewelry; TAG, Caffco, Park Hill, T.J.'s Christmas and Sullivans for holiday; and Michelle Designs for greeting cards. Special events: Ladies Night Outs, summer sidewalk sales and 20 percent-off one item sales throughout the year. Believes its custom floral arrangements and customer service set it apart from the competition.

GDA Staff | News & Commentary

Lenise Willis, editor in chief; Anne-Marie Earl, managing editor; Cammie Collier, art director; and Brianna Glenn, assistant editor, love reviewing new products for Gifts and Decorative Accessories . The team stays on top of the latest trends in bath and body, candles, gourmet items, stationery, home décor, fashion and more, and love chatting about their latest finds. Check in each week for more of their latest picks on GiftRap, and see more of the team on their new bi-weekly video series, Thoughts That Count.

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