Area shops offer customized gift ideas for holidays

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 8, 2005

With Christmas only weeks away, local merchants have decked their halls with gift items that offer recipients a more personal touch.

Whether it's a mouse pad for a pet-loving friend that features Fido's furry face, a bib for the family's newest baby, complete with the little darling's name, a spiffy monogrammed handbag for Mom or an engraved silver bracelet for a little sister – Greenville's shops have a variety of extra-special gift ideas in a range of prices and styles.

Picture this

A simple totebag, T-shirt, or mug can be transformed into a prized gift when you place a favorite photo of a special person, pet or place on it.

At Butler Services and Calhoun Studios, located across from Pizza Pro on Cedar St., owners Bob and Ellen Glasscock can create these items and many more for customers.

&#8220We do all our work in-house, so there's no paying high shipping charges with our business,”

Bob Glasscock explains.

With the latest computer technology, the Glasscocks can take a photo as small as a wallet size, and produce a poster as large as 24 inches by 36 inches &#8220while losing very little image quality.”

In addition to totes, tees and mugs (both traditional and travel-type), the business also can create photo mouse pads, Christmas ornaments, teddy bears sporting photo T-shirts, jigsaw puzzles, license plates, and 12-month calendars.

&#8220We also can create custom photo tiles that make great trivets…and all our mugs and tiles are dishwasher safe,” Glasscock said.

Another gift idea?

&#8220Personal cards…the modern version of the old calling card. It's only $10 for 100 cards with a photo. That's an original and inexpensive present. We can also do personalized note cards.”

Another very popular item offered by the business is their line of sterling photo jewelry, with pendants and charms featuring photos of loved ones.

Customers can bring in photo negatives, hard copies of old family photos and current snapshots. They can also bring in, or e-mail, digital images to Butler Services for use in photo gifts.

&#8220We have even done work from an image sent by camera phone,” Glasscock said.

The turn-around time is just a few days, the business owner says.

&#8220If an item is ordered on Monday, we can generally have it ready for pick-up by Friday.”

Prices start at $6.95 for an ornament. Totes are $18.95, as are T-shirts, with an additional charge for larger sizes or dark colors.

Mouse pads are $12.95 each and mugs are $14.95.

Butler Services/Calhoun Studio is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Wednesday from 9 a.m. ‘til noon. Call Bob Glasscock at 382-8265 for further information.

On the cutting edge

At The Pineapple, located on Commerce St. in downtown Greenville, gifts featuring that personal touch abound.

One of their newest additions to the shop's line-up of customized gifts is its collection of wooden cutting boards, each featuring an initial in the center.

The cutting boards range in price from approximately $30 to $150, depending on the size and style, and are already proving &#8220very popular,” store manager Katrina Scofield says. The store will continue taking orders for the boards for the next two weeks.

A charming and inexpensive gift idea is the &#8220Initially Yours” Soap in a Purse, retailing for $7.99. &#8220You get the soap in the shape of their initial and a nice little bath cloth to go with it,” Scofield explains.

Sweet-smelling monogrammed soaps are also available for only $5.95.

This item could be matched up with one of the store's elegant monogrammed guest towels in damask ivory, Scofield says.

For those on your list who enjoy writing &#8220snail mail,” The Pineapple also offers several different styles of initial note cards and stationery in the $8 to $10 price range.

To keep those unsightly rings from appearing on a family member's coffee table, sets of initialed terra cotta coasters are also available.

The store offers a large selection of linen items available for monogramming by a Montgomery seamstress.

&#8220We have already passed our cut-off date for Christmas delivery for those items, but we have many personalized gift ideas in stock and others that can be ordered and here in just a few days, including personalized jewelry,” Scofield says.

The Pineapple also offers complimentary gift-wrapping to its customers. The business is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call Katrina Scofield at 382-7240.

A sterling idea

At Special Finds by Janice, located next to Forget-Me-Not Florist in the former Hainje's building on Commerce St., sterling silver reigns supreme.

&#8220Engraved jewelry is always a popular item for gift-giving. We have a wide variety of sterling jewelry – bracelets, earrings, pendants – available for monogramming,” business owner Janice Cole said.

With husband Johnny Cole manning the in-store engraving machine, a gift of silver can usually be engraved in script within a very short time.

&#8220Unless we are exceptionally busy, we can generally have the work done within 15-20 minutes,” Cole says.

A flat rate of $5 is charged for the engraving work on each piece.

The business also offers customers a variety of unusual purses and totes to suit almost any girl's tastes, young or old, along with fashion jewelry, watches, garden flags and other gift items.

Cole provides complimentary gift-wrapping for her customers. Special Finds by Janice is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, contact Janice Cole at 382-2219.

Sweet scents and Santa, too

At Alissa's Closet, business owner Vesta Taylor says customers can find the perfect candle scent to match the personality of anyone on their gift lift. Taylor's business, located in the former Hunter's Hideout buillding on Courthouse Circle, across from the Court Square Caf\u00E9, carries a full range of scented candles to make any home or office smell &#8220wonderful.”

&#8220Our Tyler scented house candles are terrific…this year, the Christmas scent is candy cane, and it smells fabulous,” Taylor enthuses.

She also offers diaper bags and stackers ready for monogramming, along with travel bags and handbags &#8220in all shapes and sizes.”

&#8220We have these great new polka-dot cosmetic bags, which my niece helped design in New York City – and they can also be personalized,” Taylor says.

Monogramming takes just a few days, the business owner says, and runs $6.25 per item, whether a customer is having a full name, single initial or three initials monogrammed on the item.

&#8220We can also special order some very unusual and attractive personalized jewelry items and have them back in only a couple of days,” Taylor says.

The shop offers a full line of stuffed Webkinz pets, including cuddly puppies, kittens, horses, pigs, cows, bears, elephants and lions.

&#8220You can go online and you ‘adopt' your pet and name it…they have all sorts of virtual games and activities you can do on the computer,” Taylor explains.

At $11, the Webkinz are &#8220a very affordable and fun gift for a child.”

Something else fun and much anticipated will be the return of Santa to the business. The jolly old elf is slated to appear at Alissa's Closet this Friday, Dec. 9, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

&#8220Everyone who makes a purchase gets a free photo with Santa – that makes a great personal gift,” Taylor says.

Christmas ornaments tailored to best friends and family members are also available at Alissa's Closet, along with fun bath and body products with a variety of witty sayings and a &#8220wonderful, tangy scent.”

As a special incentive, Taylor is offering customers a Christmas Rewards Program this year.

&#8220Anyone who spends $10 or more is issued a reward card. Every time you or a friend or family member you send in makes a $10 or more purchase, it makes you eligible for a punch on your card, worth $1 in merchandise in our shop,” Taylor says.

&#8220Truly, every gift is personal preference…we have many gifts that are the ‘right fit' for your needs here at Alissa's Closet.”

Alissa's Closet is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The shop offers complimentary gift-wrapping and accepts all major credit cards. For more information, contact Vesta Taylor at 382-1911.

Initially yours

As one might expect of a shop called Monograms and Designs by Janice, this Cedar St. business specializes in personalizing all sorts of apparel and accessories.

&#8220We offer

a wide variety of purses, tote bags, luggage, bathrobes, slippers and baby linen items, all available for monogramming,” owner Janice Stinson says.

Add to that list cozy stadium blankets, pillow cases, baby bibs and blankets, and

traditional children's outfits in both knit and gingham check.

Stinson also offers T-shirts, sweatshirts and regular shirts that can be personalized with a monogram.

Shoppers should allow at least five days from date of order to pick up their gift items, which Stinson will gift-wrap free of charge. Monogramming charges starts at $5 and up, depending on the job.

The business also offers women's casual and dress clothing, fashion jewelry, Auburn and Alabama accessories and home d\u00E9cor items – plenty to see and admire.

Monograms and Designs by Janice is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. However, the business owner says anyone whose schedule conflicts with these hours of operation is welcome to call and set up a special appointment.

&#8220We'll be doing our monogramming right up until Christmas Eve, but we do recommend customers make their choices as early as possible for the best selection,” Stinson said.

For more information, contact Janice Stinson at 382-6991.