Category: Guides

357. Solisq Offers Last Minute Holiday Shopping SUCCESS

 There’s one full shopping day left until Christmas and, if you’re still looking for wonderful gifts of warmth to keep your loved ones cozy this winter, you need look no further than Solisq Accessories by Gina Ahn at the Ice House Mall in Barrington.
Gina is the owner of Solisq and says, when you’re looking for a great gift, you can not go wrong with beautiful gloves and hats that can be used immediately during this winter season. She says they also serve as a warm reminder of the gift giver.
“We definitely have a wide variety of gloves and hats for all lifestyles, functions and across age groups. We are also very sensitive to budgets so we carry many options across all price ranges.”
“We also have a nice selection of scarves and wraps made of different materials and also in different price points.”
“And we are expanding our collection of gifts of cashmere.  We carry a lot of luxurious fabrics and materials and unique finishes. I have some pretty cashmere scarves with mink pom poms, 100% silk and a lot of fair-trade. I’m also expanding into alpaca hats, gloves, hand warmers, all fair-trade and, of course, our everyday fashion collection of gloves.  Plus, we have some really unique, locally made jewelry and another affordable line of jewelry which is made in Canada.”
Gina just celebrated her shop’s first anniversary in Barrington. She opened Solisq in November of 2012 and she is excited to announce that she’s moving her shop to a new location in the heart of downtown Barrington at the beginning of 2014!
“I’m so excited to start the new year in a brand new Barrington location…”…

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321. Notice Accessories for Living’s “One for You, One for Me” Gift Guide

 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)
Getting ready to deck the halls? Decorate your mantel with a few stockings by Barrington resident Jen Hapwood’s company, My Perennial.…

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308. Great Gifts of “Warmth” and “Time” at Solisq

 If you’re looking for something unique for the special woman in your life, there’s a brand new vintage inspired jewelry and accessories store in Barrington’s Ice House Mall. It’s called Solisq, and it’s only been open for a few weeks.

You’ll find so many special pieces at Solisq that you’ll be sure to find that great one-of-a-kind gift. “I try to make all of my items in my collection very unique,” says owner Gina Ahn.  “I just try to choose designs that you can’t really find at a mainstream mall.”

We asked Gina what’s one great gift idea for this holiday season and she immediately shared the idea of giving “the gift of warmth” or “the gift of time” with several very creative suggestions, starting with her cashmere scarves.

She says they’re a great way to keep warm and stylish this winter and they’re on special for $34!   “It’s a little pop of color in a luxurious material.”

Solisq carries hats and gloves as well as an array of fashion scarves with varying details featuring a two-sided finish or those that turn into an infinity loop.  “Even though they’re a small item, it’s something you can have with you and always think of the one who gave it to you.  Or if you gift it to yourself, it makes you feel special.”

And as for the gift of time, Gina offered another clever suggestion……

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306. Great Gifts: Pick a Pen at TT Patton Fine Stationery

 If you’re like me, you probably haven’t even started your holiday shopping yet.  Hopefully for you, you’re not like me!  But in case you could use a few suggestions for great gifts this year, I’ve been putting together a list of ideas for items you can purchase locally.  The guide is called Great Gifts of Barrington and it’s sponsored, in part, by the Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce, a partner in building business success.

If you’d like to find a gift that makes a lasting impression, you don’t have to look any further than TT Patton, the fine stationery and writing store at 123 Station Street in downtown Barrington.
When it comes to the art of fine writing, TT Patton owner, Theresa Patton, is an expert and someone you should meet.  She’s a pro when it comes to technology and she fires off texts and tweets with flying fingers.
But the cool thing about Theresa is that she truly values taking the time to communicate the old fashioned way.  Her store is filled with items that encourage a return to writing meaningful messages, by hand, and on beautiful stationery.
So when I asked Theresa for one gift idea that can be purchased in her store this year, a special Vincent Van Gogh-inspired pen she’s carrying today came to mind……

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