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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.
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.”
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!
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.
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.
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?
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….…
We all know that giving is the best part of the holidays, right? There’s nothing like spreading holiday cheer with just the right gift for that special someone. But Notice owner Mari Barnes and her daughters Becky Jackson and Hannah Hannick see that our eyes do tend to wander while looking for that perfect present. Despite our best intentions, holiday shopping quickly turns into “one for you, one for me.” (And how could it not, with so much cute stuff around? We really can’t be blamed.)
The ladies at Notice want us to embrace this method of shopping. “It makes shopping even more fun,” Becky says. “How’s that a bad thing?” We decided to make it official with the first annual “One for You, One for Me” gift guide.
Becky, who is in charge of visual merchandising and marketing, describes Notice as a one-stop-shop for clothing, gifts, and accessories. “We have great, unique gifts for women, men, and children–there’s something for everyone on your list,” she says. And because the Barrington store is one of three Notice boutiques–there’s also a store in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood, and one in Evanston–they have tons of rotating inventory.
“Barrington customers always get first dibs,” Mari says. “Since we have the largest storeroom here, we have everything shipped to this location.” They’re constantly bringing new items out onto the floor, where lucky Barrington shoppers can snap them up before they’re shipped off to Chicago or Evanston (if they ever make it onto the truck, that is).
Notice has all the glitter and glam a girl could want for the holidays: A vegan leather dress from Eva Franco (pictured above, at left, $278) is a great wardrobe update, and can easily withstand a red wine spill (not that red wine ever spills, but just in case). And while you’re there, you could pick up a sparkling frame or candle as a hostess gift–you can’t get much more efficient than that!
So here it is, folks. Our “One for You, One for Me” Gift Guide including gift suggestions for all of those special people in your life along with companion gifts for yourself ;). Happy shopping!
For the Wee Ones (and You)
As the mother of a 2 year-old son and 7 month-old daughter, Becky is always on the lookout for the cutest items for the kids in our lives. These Stack and Scare blocks by Uncle Goose ($52) are made in Michigan with sustainably forested basswood. The interchangeable pieces inspire creative building, and the graphic designs are great for the youngest architects.
And you’ll look adorable building alongside your little one in this Waverly Gray sweater ($218). The nubby texture, knit cuffs, and inset zipper take this sweater to the next level.
For a Great Friend (and You)
Color-blocked felt totes ($220 and up) from Gräf & Lantz would be a welcome gift for any woman on your list (including yourself!). Their bright colors and zig-zag stitching, coupled with rich leather handles, strike the right balance of design and durability.
The German duo of Gräf & Lantz also make coasters in the same 5mm-thick wool felt used on their bags. Coasters just like these were used to protect tables in Bavarian taverns until the late 1800s, which is how they got their name “bierfilzl,” or beer felt. Combine a set ($22) with your favorite brew for a host/hostess gift with a bit of history. They’re functional, durable, and come in lots of great colors.
For a Man (and You)
For the men in your life, Notice carries a line of gorgeous Graphite Objects ($34-72) from sculptor Agelio Batle. The organic, nature-inspired forms are handmade by first creating a clay mold of the object. Then carbonaceous graphite (the same material used in pencils) is combined with other compounds in the mold under intense pressure. The result is an art object that can also be used as a smudge-free writing instrument–one that will last up to seven years! (If you don’t see the perfect object below, just ask–there are many more designs available.)
And wouldn’t it be more fun to address your holiday cards with a fun pen like the ACME pens pictured below ($49.50)? Or combine a pen with one of Notice’s many journals for a writing-themed gift.
For a Family (and You)
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The creator of the wildly popular Nora Fleming servingware pieces, Nora Fleming herself, is coming to town for a special event hosted at the Carol & Company boutique in downtown Barrington this November 14th.
Nora Fleming is one of the most popular lines sold at Carol & Co.’s online store headquartered in the company’s new retail space at Barrington Commons Court. Nora Fleming, who is from St. Charles, will be visiting with guests about her ultra-collectible line of simple white platters that can be accented with whimsical minis.
Carol & Co. owner Ruth Grigson carries many of Nora’s pieces right here in her Barrington store and sells them to a growing list of Nora Fleming fans across the country who find CarolandCompany.com with a simple search on the internet.
The seemingly endless line of Nora Fleming’s decorative accents attach to the platters and make thoughtful and space-conscious gifts for anyone who enjoys hosting.
There’s a mini for nearly every occasion, from football games to birthdays to holidays.
And they even offer a Nora Fleming Keepsake Box, where you can store all of your minis and pull out your favorites in any season.
Nora Fleming will appear at Carol & Company in Barrington Commons on Thursday, November 14, from 7-9pm. Food and drinks will be served. Carol & Company will give away a FREE popcorn mini with each platter purchase, and will offer free gift holiday gift boxes when 3 or more minis are purchased. Please join them in welcoming Nora to Barrington!
During the Nora Fleming event, Nora herself will be signing platters (just bake it for 30 minutes after having it signed, and it’ll stay on through washing).
If you haven’t shopped at Carol & Company yet, we highly recommend you drop by to check out this adorable shop. The bright and airy storefront is filled with Nora Fleming pieces plus unique jewelry, home accessories, and fabulous gifts for men and women alike. There are fun stories behind each and every product, and Ruth Grigson can’t wait to share them with you.
When Ruth opened Carol & Company on June 1, 2013, it marked a departure from her former online-only business model. Since its inception in 2010, Ruth’s creative marketing and eye for design have earned the Carol & Co. wesite a well-established online following…
As the site grew, so did her need for warehouse space: the search for an office began. When she realized that a storefront in downtown Barrington rented for only a bit more than office space, the brick-and-mortar Carol & Company was born.
Ruth assembled a team she loves, including Director of Customer Happiness (yes, that’s her real title) Lenoir Marks; Director of Retail Therapy, Melissa Blach; and Chief Shipper Extraordinaire, Tom Pomykala (Ruth’s dad, a retired entrepreneur). They love working with customers to create just the right gift (that’s how they earned their superlative titles).
For Ruth to include a product line in her store or on her site, she has to love it……
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