Saturday, September 7, 2013

Saturday Gift Post--Soaps and Scents Moves to the Tosa Village, John and Todd's Gargage Sale, A Card Line Turns Out to Have Local Roots.

It's gift post day, but instead of talking up one of our new lines, I thought I'd talk up a new store. Our friend Karen at Soaps and Scents is gone from Mayfair (I think her new location might someday be the women's changing room at Nordstrom) and wound up in Tosa Village, just down the block from Le Reve.

It's still a soft opening, I was cautioned, but goodness, it already looks beautiful. I can't imagine what it will look like when it's finished. Lots of fixtures from the old space, but it all seems so fresh and new, and while the size is not much different, it's more square than long and narrow, giving it a more open feel.

Soaps and Scents has the same phone at their new location on 7600 Harwood Avenue, (414) 771-2228. Their hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 10 am to 7 pm, Saturday is 10 am to 5 pm, and Sunday is 11 am to 4 pm. They might stay open later today, as it's Tosafest.

I needed a gift, and thought flowers, right? I checked in at the Wauwatosa Outpost, where I also stocked up on  lunch. Our friend Fawn had a great suggestion. I wound up heading to another independent, Urban Sense Florist in Washington Heights on 54th and Vliet, just just up the hill and a bit east on Milwaukee from Ourpost, though you should note that 70th Street zigs and zags a bit.

Urban Sense moved to their new location in the spring and looks quite lovely. Like most florists, their bread and butter is weddings, I suspect. Everything is made to order, but I could tell from the flower selection that my bouquet would be attractive, and it was a much better value than when you order through one of the national services. Looks like the good eye that the owners have for floral design continues into their gift selection. Ironic

So back to Downer Avenue, where I'm working my old opening Saturday shift, readying up for our 2 pm event with James Benn, author of the Billy Boyle series, the newest of which is A Blind Goddess. Across the street is our own fest, the weekly garage sale of John and Todd. Last year I bought a typewriter there. It's got a lot of interesting stuff. More "good eyes" on the case.

And what would Saturday be without at least a smidge of Boswell giftiana? We recently received our latest shipment from the card line 8mm Ideas, and we found out from Molly, the creator, that the line turns out to have local ties. One of her parents was from Neenah and the other hailed from Whitefish Bay. Here's one of my favorite designs, "Happy is Reading."

There are plenty of new things out this week at Boswell. We got a large Kids Preferred order, and in addition to beefing up our Goodnight Moon and Eric Carle baby toys, we've got more plush, including our first visit from the Gruffalo. I didn't realize how popular Julia Donaldson's book was with our booksellers, or I would have brought it in earlier!

Another accomplishment this week--I finished my Christmas ornament orders. We wound up dropping one vendor, and cutting back on another, clearing the way for a third, and beefing up a fourth. All in all, our ornament selection was highly praised last year, and our sell through was good enough to bump up our orders a bit. We'll see how it goes.

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