While heading out for a party at a friend's house, I needed to bring something for her. I didn't want to just show up with nothing in hand, so I popped innto Monica's Florist and had them throw a quick bouquet together for me. They did such a nice job on this quickie bouquet, I can only imagine what they can turn out when they actually have time to work on it!
My boss selected A Day In May Design to do the invites to one of our fall parties for the magazine. They designed an incredibly unique and interesting invitation that might has well come with frames, they were that beautiful. Everyone was asking for extras - so we had to guard them. A Day in May really outdid themselves. We've seen some extraordinary designs in the past and theirs ranks at the top.
My niece wanted to get some jade while up for a visit, so I took her to Arts of China. This is a shop dedicated to all things of the Chinese culture. They had so much jade, pink quartz, black obsidian and a bunch of other stones. We wound up buying a jade buddha and some necklaces for her. I was impressed with what I saw; it reminded me of when I was in Shanghai and Beijing.
Tibet Styles has a great selection of interesting, intricate jewelry. The lady who runs the shop, Dolma, is the sweetest woman who will answer any and all questions about the jewelry she's got. I was drawn to her crystals and stones and got into an interesting conversation with her about the meaning of each. She's a neat lady and her jewelry is fantastic.
One of the girls in my office brought in pickles, dumplings, bratwurst and stollen for the holidays she bought from Lehr's German Specialties. She even bought a cassette with music on it that we played for the holidays. The pickles were so good - delish - I had to go for myself and check it out. I was surprised how authentic looking this place was and even asked if they could order me an outifit if needed. They said they could!
If you like Japanese folkart and hand made items, then Mashiko Folkcraft is for you. I found this unique store while out wandering, trying to get my bearings. I had some kind of idea where I was when I saw this shop and had to go in. It was a cramped, cluttered mess with a bunch of 'do not touch' signs all over the place. Not exactly friendly and welcoming. From what I could tell, most of the items were handmade and breakable, so I do understand the signs. But still - a little friendliness never hurt anyone.
When my aunt and uncle were up for a visit, I took them all over. My aunt particularly liked Chinatown and bought a lot of stuff while there. I found a website for one of the stores we visited, Butterfly's Gift Shop and sent her the link. I think my uncle is going to smack me the next time he sees me because my aunt keeps ordering things from there. I had bought the bells of good fortune windchimes that I keep in my cubby at work and I also have one in my apartment. I thought their stuff was nice enough.
Excellent Oriental Imports is where we went when we needed bulk items for a theme staff party we were having, We wanted the genuine article and was able to work with us to get everything we needed. The quality of their products was good enough for what we needed and the pricing they gave us was even better.
When the father of one of our staffers died, the office took up a collection for the family as well as sent an arrangement through Neda's Flowers and Gifts. We wanted to be sensitive on what to send, so I contacted the owner and told them our dilemma. They helped us pick out the correct floral arrangement for the funeral as well as sending a plant to the house. It worked out perfectly on all accounts.
What can you say about Angela's Gift House? Well, I was there with a co-worker who needed to get some candles to pray over her sick mom. When we walked into Angela's and told the man behind the counter why we were there, he pointed out several candles I thought he was showing us. What he was doing was showing us what we should buy - a collection of 5 candles my friend did get. The same man asked me if I was looking for anything in particular and while I wasn't, he guided me over to some red candles he said would bring love into my life. I'm still waiting for that to come in, but I also didn't buy all the candles he suggested. Coincidence? I guess we'll never know.