Mother and daughter team Amy Hawking and Jean Stahr - Photographed by Julie Linnekin

If you’re still in the market for gifts this holiday season, we have a great new local resource for you. Okay, maybe not new, but most definitely reimagined, refreshed, and restocked. Little Shop of Papers, located in the Foundry of Barrington, has long been a destination for custom cards and invitations. Did you know, though, that they’ve recently expanded their giftware to include luxe lines like Juliska and Michael Aram? And that they even have great gifts for the men in your life? Get ready to be pleasantly surprised by the wide variety of offerings in store.

Little Shop of Papers
Little Shop of Papers

When Jean Stahr first opened Little Shop of Papers in 1988, paper cards and invitations were all the rage. Jean had found a great niche, and earned a loyal following from customers in the Barrington area and beyond. They still have a very strong customer base, but Amy Hawking, Jean’s daughter and the store’s co-owner, says it’s time to “open the next chapter.” Amy came up with a plan for helping the business evolve, while still “bringing manners back.”

Mother and daughter team Amy Hawking and  Jean Stahr - Photographed by Julie Linnekin
Mother and daughter team Amy Hawking and Jean Stahr – Photographed by Julie Linnekin

The shift to digital photo cards and invitations certainly changed Little Shop of Paper’s business, but not its raison d’être: Jean and Amy are still on a mission to maintain civility in a culture that often prefers efficiency. And since gift giving is such a gracious art, they’re determined to offer a selection of gifts that you’ll be proud to give.

Amy and Jean are thrilled to introduce their new high-end, collectible lines. Juliska, which is headquartered in Connecticut, and Michael Aram, based in New Delhi, India, both offer artfully designed dinnerware and home decor items. The store is currently featuring Juliska’s Winter Frolic line, which features nostalgic scenes of winter fun against the backdrop of an English country estate. The pieces are timeless, and each is packaged in a keepsake box – no wrapping required!

Juliska's Winter Frolic line of tableware is beautiful and collectible - Photographed by Julie Linnekin
Juliska’s Winter Frolic line of tableware is beautiful and collectible – Photographed by Julie Linnekin

Each piece in Michael Aram’s line is artisan-made, and showcases natural forms. You won’t find two alike, and that’s the beauty of his creations: each are hand-crafted in metal to reflect the beauty of both the materials and the uniqueness of the subject. From candles topped with a single perfect magnolia, to cheeseboards featuring black orchids, each gift is an enduring appreciation of nature – and of the lucky person who receives it.

Michael Aram's artful items are unique and recognizable - Photographed by Julie Linnekin
Michael Aram’s artful items are unique and immediately recognizable – Photographed by Julie Linnekin

If you have a few more holiday parties on your calendar, Little Shop of Papers is the perfect place to purchase hostess gifts. The shelves are still stocked with fun items–from candles and holiday-themed matches, to floral trays and pillows–at very reasonable price points.

“We’ve had Michel Design Works for many years, and it’s done very well for us,” Amy says. “Plus the scents are so much fun! Even my husband, who is not exactly discerning when it comes to scents, said, ‘That is the prettiest candle!'” The candles (pictured below, on the center shelf) come in festive scents like Sleigh Ride, and White Christmas, and sell for $25. “Michel also makes these fun foam soaps, like this one, Nutcracker Sweet, which go flying out of here.”

And if you’re setting a holiday table, why not make it easy with paper placemats? These fun Roseanne Beck designs (pictured below, on the bottom shelf at left) come in packages of 20, for just $12.

Holiday charm at Little Shop of Papers - Photographed by Julie Linnekin
Hostess gifts await at Little Shop of Papers – Photographed by Julie Linnekin

Amy has some great ideas for gifts to put under the tree as well. “We also have these fun Chicago-themed items by Dish,” Amy says. One of Amy’s customers was delighted to find the collection so close to home. She purchased several pieces for her grown children, not because they live in Chicago, but because they had recently run the Chicago marathon. A large platter is $54, and will serve as a reminder of their accomplishment for years to come.

And look at the beautiful glass ornaments with a winter snowfall scene, all tied up with a plaid bow. Wouldn’t they be lovely as gift toppers?

Chicago-themed tableware by Dish - Photographed by Julie Linnekin
Chicago-themed tableware by Dish – Photographed by Julie Linnekin

For trimming the tree, Little Shop of Papers has an amazing collection of ornaments from designer Eliot Raffit. Raffit, who is also a Cornell-trained architect, designs the vintage-inspired shapes and covers them in glass glitter. The glitter is made from pure silver in a seven-step process, so the ornaments reflect light like a diamond….

“They’re like jewelry, and most are about $65,” Amy says. “The great thing about this platinum color is that it can go either way – with either a gold or silver color scheme.” Little Shop of Papers has designs from each collection, which feature snowflakes, globes, hearts, the seaside, chalet, farm, aviary, and “First Noel.” Part of the proceeds of the “First Noel” collection go to the Pediatric Care Department at New York’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

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If you have a chef in your circle of friends and family, Little Shop of Papers stocks an excellent collection of gifts that are sure to inspire culinary genius. And if that chef happens to be a guy, you’re really in luck! Look at this fun selection of grillware–the “social lights” are dressed-up lighters, and have you ever seen more official-looking grill tools?

Amy has fun holiday gift items that will be appreciated all year through. “These brie bakers have been very popular hostess gifts. They come with the baker itself, and a topping like caramelized onion or maple walnut.” Who wouldn’t love those? “And the cutting board with an erasable chalkboard strip is really neat too, and is a great buy at $31.”

Great gifts for the family chef - Photographed by Julie Linnekin
Great gifts for the family chef – Photographed by Julie Linnekin

Or, if your guy prefers the view from his desk (or a swig from his flask), you can help make sure it’s a great one with these fun items. At the back of the top shelf, there’s a tablet case that can still be monogrammed in time for Christmas– but only if you hurry! (See it? It’s glen plaid, in chocolate. I think my husband needs one.)

And here’s an item Amy thinks everyone should have: VinOice ($30) is a great wine chiller and pourer all in one. “You put the stainless steel rod in your freezer, and then you attach it to this no-drip pourer. It keeps your white wine chilled the entire time you’re drinking it. And it has a gravity-closing spout that even red wine drinkers love.”

We didn’t picture it, but there’s also a hilarious selection of Duke Cannon’s Big A** Soaps, perfect for your guy’s stocking (assuming he has a sense of humor). In scents like “Smells Like Productivity,” you simply can’t go wrong.

Little Shop of Papers' "Manly Man" selection - Photographed by Julie Linnekin
Little Shop of Papers’ “Manly Man” selection – Photographed by Julie Linnekin

And, as we all know, when the shopping’s done, the wrapping and cooking have just begun! Little Shop is still a great resource for all of your wrapping and paper product needs. They have a festive collection of wrapping papers by the sheet, and ribbons to match.

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We hope you’ll hurry in to Little Shop of Papers soon. Amy and Jean look forward to helping you with your holiday gift shopping!

 Post - Little Shop of Papers ext sm Little Shop of Papers
  The Foundry Shopping Center
  740 West Northwest Hwy.
  Barrington, IL 60010

  Little Shop of Papers is on Facebook!

  Phone: 847-382-7733 
  Fax: 847-382-7732

  Store Hours
  Mon – Sat: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

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