28 November 2007

The Blissful Guide to Irresistible Gifts

Here it is, friends, our round-up of favorite finds for everyone on your list this holiday season. It’s The Blissful Guide to Irresistible Gifts. Exhausted already? Pressed for time? Stupefied by the throngs at the malls? Shop The Blissful for the unique, desirable goodies you’d really like to give. Here are our suggestions for 2007:

For the gal you'd really like to spoil (and maybe that's you!)...

Our newest arrival! The softest cashmere fingerless gloves. You'll be amazed at how very warm these babies keep you. And so stylish! Fingerless is the look of la saison.

For your cousin in college...
French eau de toilette and bubble bath in Art Nouveau bottles by l'Aromarine.

For your big sister with impeccable taste...

Gold-plated charm necklaces that beg the question, Where did you find that?


For your son's new girlfriend visiting from the city...

MarieBelle chocolates in signature blue and brown boxes or a chic little lunchbox filled with their famous Aztec Hot Chocolate.


For the traveller who likes to wander off the beaten path...

A wayward travel guide to City of Lights.


For the head of the PTA...

A ruffly cake plate heaped with cookies or topped with something a little more unexpectedly sweet, like our winsome birdie.


For the consummate entertainer...

Our favorite "ceremetale" tray for the season in a reflective titanium finish. They're even dishwasher safe!


For the twenty-something setting up house...

A place to record favorite family recipes.


For those who like their wine...

A bottle of your choice in one of our humorous wine bottle gift bags, with...

A set of wine glasses for casual gatherings in a modern new shape, or...

A vintage doorknob winestopper (perfect for the neighbor throwing the casual soirée), or

A vintage pool ball winestopper.


For the busy woman who needs to remember everything at a glance...

A slate message board.


For your niece in high school...

Our Piano Cord Bracelets in sets of six, available in four colors.


For every stocking needing stuffed...

A peppermint candy-encrusted marshmallow stir stick for cocoa. Yummy for kids of all ages.


For your favorite door...

Our retro glitter-dusted wreath.


For your newlywed daughter or daughter-in-law...

A set of 12 Days of Christmas plates in modern holiday colors.


For the one throwing the Christmas caroling party...

Holiday candle pairs wrapped with vintage sheet music and adorned with holiday sentiments and vintage ornamentation. By local calligraphy artist Helen Lewis of Illuminating Words.


For the collector...

Mercury glass perfume bottles in various sizes and shapes.


For the craftsy gal...

A rubber stamp set by Cavallini & Co. And while you're at it, why not color coordinate it with our 2-wick candle tin in Tea Leaf?

For your best high-end friend...

A luxury soy candle by Akeewakee with packaging so gorgeous it should be considered art. Try Patchouli Fir or Lavender Amber for winter ambiance.


For the traditionalist...

A handsome tabletop clock that smacks of European styling.


For the aging hippie...

Our Red Hippie Van, naturally!


For the luxe mama, or the mama who deserves a little luxury...

A quilted velvet throw to curl up under after a long day of hustle and bustle.


For anybody who needs a real nice break...

An item or two from our new French apothecary collection, Côté Bastide.


For the woman who fancies herself a little bit French...

A gorgeous new book to thrill her eyes and soul.


For the girl who loves color...

A handbag in her favorite hue.


For the office gift exchange...

Our Andaluz candles in one of three juicy scents, or...

Our two-wick candle tin in Mayan Hot Chocolate. Indulgently good.


For the last minute oh-geez-I-need-a-gift-right-now-and-one-that-they'll-actually-LIKE!...

Our Pane Rustico (flatbread) and bestselling gourmet pestos, handmade in small artisan batches in Italy and Atlanta. We have a hard time keeping this in stock during the holiday season!


For the trendy and eco-conscious girl on a budget...

Chic new satchels and handbags in organic leathers and velvets!


For your classy mother-in-law...

Soft leather carryalls for everyday necessities by Hayden-Harnett.


For she who likes to keep it preppy...

A darling wallet in a distressed leather. Most of these have pink (pink!) interior lining.


For she who likes to travel light...

A fun clutch for day or night.


For your daughter, who likes to make bath time a little fancy...

Sugar scrubs by Mistral, each one with its own little scoop.


For those who can't get enough of Christmas...

VOTIVO Candles in the best seasonal scents, all dudded up in their holiday finery.


For your sister who likes to hang out in the kitchen...

Our artisan bread boards, perfect for serving on, with...

A blue and white horn spreader for a really great flight of cheese.


For the vintage bibliophile...

A 2008 daily planner with archival-style nature-inspired artwork.


For the neo-80s hipster...

Our Ramone studded cuff bracelet by Hayden-Harnett. (The proprietor's favorite style.)


For one who is both elegant and edgy...

Our Hayden-Harnett Joey Cuff.


For the classically cool girl OR guy (we love androgyny in jewelry!)...

The Hayden-Harnett Celina Cuff.


For the woman who loves to make a statement...

An heirloom-quality piece by Elements/Jill Schwartz.


For everybody, especially those for whom you have no idea what to get...

A Sid Dickens Memory Block. Timeless, movable, affordable art on plaster. Handmade in Vancouver by the artist and his team of up-and-coming young artists. With motifs ranging from travel to architecture, art, music, religion, nature, mythology, and fairytales, you are sure to find one that signifies something important to your gift recipient. Let us help you get that certain someone started on a collection.


And for YOURSELF...

Wrap your presents by the glow of our new favorite candles by Tatine. Choose a home-y, familiar scent like Egg Nog or Mulled Cider, light it up, and bask. It's bliss in a pillar.

And that's The Blissful Guide to Irresistible Gifts 2007. Noël!

26 November 2007

Bonne Anniversaire to The Blissful

2007: The Year of the Carousel.
Photo courtesy of Flickr.
This week last year, we were earnestly working around the clock to put the finishing touches on our shop in time for a December 1st grand opening at our new Fulton Drive location. We knew we’d come a looong way from our earliest beginnings in a barn the previous year. When we finally opened our doors on December 1st, 2006, we sensed we were stepping into a brave new era. And so the first of December is a landmark day in the history of The Blissful. What excites me is looking back and realizing how very far we’ve come in just a year, and better yet, how very much more lies ahead!

And so we're going to make a bit of a fuss about it. This coming weekend, we invite you to celebrate our one-year anniversary with us. Shop The Blissful on Friday, November 30th, Saturday, December 1st, and Sunday, December 2nd and take 20% off of one item on premises (some exclusions apply). In addition, because tradition holds that we celebrate first anniversaries with gifts of paper, we're taking an additional 10% off of all paper items, including books, 2008 calendars, and stationery (it's time to start making out those holiday cards and cartes postales, you know). It's the The Blissful Bonne Anniversaire Sale, and it's a good one!

As we gear up for another weekend of holiday shopping, would you like to take a little Before-and-After photo tour with me? You would? Superbe! Here we go!

BEFORE: Get a load of The Blissful shortly after we took possession of the space in early November 2006. Yikes! Insulation was all over the floor as sheets of drywall lay stacked knee high. When we crossed the threshold of our new shop just after construction began, this was what awaited us.

AFTER: And baby, take a look at us now! Hard to believe it's the very same space.

BEFORE: Okay, these photos are a little out of order. This is the way the space looked when we first laid eyes on it, before we ever signed the lease and gutted it. On our first showing with the property manager, I had a strong feeling that this was our space, as inglorious as it looked (and smelled). Behold the lovely green walls (in two unattractive shades!) and the stained, matted grey carpet. Still, my mind's eye could envision what this place could and would become: the lush, quirky boutique overflowing with quality, Euro-styled goods that is The Blissful.

AFTER: A little more glorious today, I dare say. :)

BEFORE: Before it was ours, one-half of our space was a Bureau of Motor Vehicles (I actually got my driver's license here at the age of sixteen), then a golf shop, then a bead shop. The other half was a nail salon with Pepto Bismol pink walls. Those had to go.

AFTER: Practically everything in the space was altered in a major way before we moved in. We had a new ceiling installed and new flooring laid, new lighting (cans, tracks, and chandeliers), new electrical put in exactly where I specified (unfortunately I overlooked the bathroom, so because we are outlet-less in there, we can never plug in a lamp, a fragrance burner, or even my straightening iron! Now how did a girl with naturally curly hair overlook that one?) Walls were torn down and new walls were constructed. A utility closet was cleverly concealed. We then painted the walls--and I mean all the walls--not one, not two, not three, not four, but FIVE TIMES. Yes, we really did.

BEFORE: Okay, now we're back to the part when they gutted the whole place. These HVAC tubes--or whatever they are--reminded me of elephant trunks. The wooden wall supports (gosh, I know there's a really basic word for those that I should know but it's just escaping me at the moment) demarcate our storage room and my teeny, tiny little office, which, in hindsight, should've been just a teeny bit bigger.
AFTER: Now look at this lovely corner. My office (which is barely big enough for two people to turn around in, nevermind the desk, the chair, and the two large filing cabinets) is hidden away behind our Sid Dickens vignettes.

BEFORE: And on the other side of the shop, take a look at the area that would become our Boudoir. Did I mention the old Pepto pink walls?

AFTER: The pink is gone, but the thrill? No, we've still got a few thrills.

BEFORE: Then one day...the electrical was finished, the drywall was up and plastered, the floor was laid, and all the construction workers moved on to their next job site, taking their gear and their royal mess with them. And we finally began to...move in!!!

AFTER: What a difference a year makes.

BEFORE: And there she is, folks, the intrepid proprietor, working at retrieving a paint chip from this circa 1880s table. We thought we might try to match this color for our walls. We took said paint chip to the paint store, had it mixed, slapped it up there, AND!...no. As I said, we painted our walls FIVE TIMES.

AFTER: And here she is today. Does this look too much like one of those cheesy MySpace photos?

AND EVER AFTER: See how this next photo is a bit fuzzy? I don't mind it that way. It's a bit imperfect, like life, like shopkeeping, like appointing your home should be. Never too studied, always desirous of a relaxed effect. I like to think of this photo as resembling one of a carousel rider. The carousel is gorgeous, gilded, whimsical, and a place where you can let your hair down. The rider remains in motion, free and easy and always with a little 'wheeee!' in the back of her throat. I hope The Blissful creates a similar experience for our customers. And this carousel rider? She's good for another few thousand rides. Here she is, about to yell to the operator: Keep going! I want to stay on! We hope you'll join us this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday as we celebrate the one-year anniversary of The Blissful. Those of you who subscribe to our e-mail list, watch out for a GAWGEOUS (channeling Savannah, Georgia) new annnouncement in your Inbox this week. (To sign up for our e-mail list, send a blank e-mail with the word 'Subscribe' in the subject heading to info@theblissful.com and we'll gladly add you to our list.) Click here to view details about this weekend's event.

Thank you to all of our customers, locally and around the U.S., who have supported The Blissful in our first year in Canton. May there be many more!