Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Shopping in the Heartland of America

What do I love more than shopping ?  Shopping at a small gift store, either owned and operated by Women or Military Spouses.
     I have spent the last few days driving around the countryside in Leavenworth, Kansas.  Admiring the sights and loving life.  I have been here on several occasion but I never have the time to truly relax and enjoy, as I am always busy working.  Last week was work, this week is me time.
     Yesterday I arrived at June's Cottage and Cafe http://www.junescottage.com/ .  It is a Historic home overflowing with antiques, unique gifts and collectibles.   There is so much to look at, you have to literally walk around at least three times to take it all in.  June also has a Cafe, that looks so welcoming that you want to sit down and have a cup of tea.  I, unfortunately had already had lunch but there is always tomorrow.  The staff in the cottage are so friendly and helpful that you feel like you are visiting friends.
   My next stop, on the recommendation of June's Cottage, was to Picket Fences and Petals http://www.picketfencesandpetals.com .  Another awesome gift store founded by Deanne Montgomery with a slightly different theme than June's Cottage.  Here you will find a large selection of Vera Bradley http://www.verabradley.com/catalog/shop_catalogs.jsp  and Brighton products http://www.brighton.com  as well as baby products, candles, jewelry, lotions and much more.  Both stores were decorated with a Fall/Halloween theme.  You have to take your time and browse in order to appreciate all there is to offer.  It does not surprise me that both stores have a huge clientele.  To decorate these stores takes finesse and I believe a gift of vision.  Looking through June's Cottage and Picket Fences and Petals is comparable to walking around a museum and enjoying fine art, both stores were breathtaking.
     Today I arrived on the door step of the Ruby Slippers Shoppe, " a non profit, volunteer,  community gift shop, organized and run by military spouses who are members of the Ft. Leavenworth Spouses' Club"  http://ftleavenworthspousesclub.com/ruby_slippers_shoppe  It is a quaint Historic building nestled on the backside of Post at the corner of Organ and Warehouse Rd.  There was a candle burning in the window and when I opened the door, the room was filled with the beautiful scent of Fall.   Magical !!!  like the others, this charming little shop had it's own personality.  It had Americana, crafts, jewelry, pictures, cards, signs and so much more.  For such a small space, it is remarkable the amount of merchandise that they have displayed.
To me displays are the key to sales.  When a customer can visualize an item in there own home or see a grouping of products that reminds them of a friend, then you have hit a home run and are on your way to a sale.

  Not quite sure yet how I am getting all my great finds home since I am flying but with a will there is a way.
So the next time your out shopping , stop in to your local home town gift store or Spouse store if you are lucky enough to have one on your Post, and go searching for those little treasures that make you smile.  Remember Christmas is slowly approaching and will be here before you know it.   Shop til you Drop...

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