Downtown businesses offer great service, selection

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 9, 2006

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas everywhere you go in downtown Greenville. In Confederate Park, glittering angels and light-festooned trees announce the season, while just across the street, the newly refurbished City Hall is festively adorned in red and green.

Down at the Main Street offices, smiling snowmen greet you, surrounded by hundreds more lights, while bow-trimmed wreaths brighten the lampposts up and down Commerce Street.

Be sure and drive through downtown after dark to enjoy the beauty of thousands of glowing lights, a veritable winter wonderland.

But don't let your time downtown be only a &#8220drive-through” this season.

Some of the most unusual, whimsical and affordable Christmas gifts can also be found in the heart of the Camellia


&#8220We not only offer some great gift ideas downtown, the businesses also give you great customer service in a comfortable, inviting atmosphere,” said Nancy Idland, Main

Street director.

&#8220You don't have to drive out of town, fighting traffic and crowds. Save gas, money and time when you shop here in Greenville.”

Smiles and gift wrap, no charge

Service with a gracious smile and complimentary gift wrapping, too, are offered at a downtown mainstay, The Pineapple.

As always, The Pineapple offers a Santa's workshop full of holiday decorations, from traditional creche figures to whimsical tree ornaments.

&#8220Our holiday items are selling very, very well,” Manager Katrina Scofield says. She points out a new line of ceramic tableware and ornaments, &#8220Art of the Spirit.”

&#8220These items are individually hand-painted and feature scenes from the first ChristmasŠthe ornaments have scriptures painted on them. They are really beautiful,” Scofield says as she holds up a colorful platter depicting the shepherds visiting the manger.

For a gift guaranteed to put a smile on the recipient's face, check out the &#8220Grow-a-Heads” (Grow me, Trim me, Love me!) at The Pineapple.

&#8220We've offered these before, but this is the first time we've had Santa heads.

Just add water and watch them grow. They are lots of fun,” Scofield says.

For a truly tasty gift idea, take a look at the array of edibles offered by the shop.

From classic southern cheese straws and rich chocolate truffles, to &#8220susan-snaps” and spicy dips, The Pineapple has sweet and savory treats for everyone on your gift list.

The &#8220Fine Whines”  (Life Uncorked) line offer saucy, sassy comments printed on napkins, wine labels, to-do lists and more -  perfect stocking stuffers.

If you're still in that light-hearted gift-buying mood, &#8220You can't go wrong with  the ‘Life is Good' line. It's always popular and fun,” Scofield says, pointing out a display featuring everything from sleep tees and slippers, to travel cups and aqua soccer balls.

Want to give that special someone a good excuse to kick back and relax?

Scofield holds out a robe. It's amazingly soft, practically asking you to slip it on and curl up with a cup of cocoa and a good book.

&#8220This is from  ‘Barefoot Dreams' by CozyChic. These are the robes and throws everyone is knocking off. Here, you can find the real thing,” she explains.

More cozy robes, along with tailored pajamas in whimsical prints, are available from BedHead (worn by the stars on &#8220Grey's Anatomy.”

&#8220Our entire clothing line is on sale throughout the holidays, so be sure and check out our sweaters, dresses and other items,” Scofield says.

Roomy and fashionable handbags from the HOBO line are a big seller for the store, which also carries such names as Murval and Shiraleah.

Further pamper that special someone with body care items from a new line at The Pineapple, Hill House Naturals, featuring more inviting scents such as cashmere and fresh linen.

Remember we mentioned a good book to curl up with? Consider a copy of  Melinda Rainey Thompson's &#8220SWAG: Southern Women Aging Gracefully.”

The Greenville native's collection of wise and witty essays has been selling like hotcakes at the store, Scofield says.

For a truly personal gift, consider another new item at The Pineapple: monogram stamps from &#82203 Designing Women,” along with attractive note cards ready to be put to use (probably as a thank you note for your wonderful gift from The Pineapple!).

Classic fun for the kids

Just next door at one of Greenville's newest businesses, Prissy Britches, owner Cheryl Gates offers plenty of top-quality clothing for infants and children.

But she also carries lots of toys and treats sure to please any child on Christmas morn. From alphabet blocks and Lincoln Logs, to hand-crafted wooden puzzles and irresistibly soft stuffed animals, Santa's elves have been busy supplying Prissy Britches with &#8220fun stuff.”

&#8220I aim for classic toys and games and great books that you won't really find anywhere else in the area,” Gates says.

The Melissa and Doug line of classic wooden toys is unique to Greenville, and Prissy Britches offers everything from colorful &#8220choo-choo” trains and railways to an array of puppets, puzzles, a &#8220pizza party” and pull-toys in the popular line.

&#8220Melissa and Doug toys are very durable and fun and they start at only $10,” Gates says.

A love of books can be fostered with Prissy Britches' selection of classic reads, among them, &#8220Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day,” &#8220Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” &#8220The Best Kid in the World,” and the &#8220Olivia” series about a charming young piglet.

Specialty books such as a lavish pop-up Cinderella storybook and collections of traditional fairy tales and nursery rhymes are also available at the shop.

From rainbow-hued giraffes to roaring dinosaurs, Prissy Britches' selection of stuffed animals appeals to the kid in all of us.

When the kids want to enjoy rainy day fun outside, Kidorable's rain gear will keep them covered in style, from polka dots to frogs to firemen.

&#8220We have rain coats, galoshes, backpacks, purses and umbrellas, in sizes 2T to 4T and 7/8 to 9/10,” the store owner says.

Need gift ideas for an expectant mom? Look no further than Prissy Britches, which offers skin care lines for baby and mother, and fun and informative books like &#8220Eats, Poops and Leaves” and &#8220Haiku Mama.”

For baby, there are pastel piggy banks ready for personalization, picture frames, and, of course, plenty of clothing items and cuddly blankets to keep the little one cozy and cute.

Mama can stay organized with one of the many fashionable and practical diaper bags at the shop.

Gates is always ready to assist customers in finding the right sizes, styles and ideas for the perfect present, and offers free gift wrapping while you wait.

And grown ups just might find the perfect gift for themselves when they check out the selection of beautiful hand-crafted stained glass, created by Dale Gates, Cheryl's husband. Don't miss the exquisite tri-fold fireplace screen in front of the vintage hearth in the front of the shop.

A sterling idea

Just across the street, you'll discover Special Finds by Janice. Owners Janice and Johnny Cole have expanded the business since the closure of Forget-Me-Not Florist, once housed in the same building.

 Silk floral arrangements, ranging from vibrant sunflowers to poinsettias perfect for the season, are surrounded by angel figurines, rooster prints, John Deere memorabilia, and other charming country home accents.

Colorful garden flags hang overhead, and a large array of handbags, from petite metallic evening purses to large embroidered bag are offered. The fellows are not forgotten, with a selection of sports and hunting-themed picture frames.

However, the most ‘special find' here at the locally-owned store, Janice Cole says, is the huge array of sterling silver, including earrings, bracelets, necklaces, charms and more, offered at very competitive prices.

&#8220That's our top item, the sterling silver. We offer something for everyone from babies to grandmothers in our silver jewelry, and we offer engraving services right here in the store,” Cole says.

The most unique item carried at Special Finds?  Its line of sterling silver and Austrian crystal jewelry hand-crafted by Johnny Cole.

His wife proudly displays his latest creation, a tiny crystal bracelet and necklace perfect for the younger set.

&#8220Wouldn't that be perfect for a special little girl?” she says with a smile.

A large selection of fashion jewelry, from chunky, funky bracelets to delicate chandelier earrings and fun holiday brooches and bracelet watches can also be found at Special Finds by Janice.

Cole, like downtown business owners, is happy to offer complimentary gift wrapping to her customers.

These are just a few of the downtown businesses offering unusual and attractive gift ideas, superior service and convenience this season, Nancy Idland says.

 &#8220Shop in Greenville and discover what wonderful things you can find right here at home. Merry Christmas!”