Sweet Gifts for Pennies on the Dollar
(Left Click to Enlarge Pics)
Last week while my hubby and I were away visiting the beautiful state of Arizona we had the chance to visit some truly amazing little shoppes. We ducked into more charming places than I have room to share. Visiting small, privately owned businesses brought back many memories for me and reminded me how challenging owning a brick and mortar store can actually be.
~QUICK and EASY TO MAKE~
Simple To Follow Directions
It's not for the 'faint of heart' I can assure you! With the economy the way it is today I'm not surprised when I hear another one has closed.
~PERSONALIZE FOR A CUSTOM LOOK~
So, as much as I once loved my days running a 'Storefront Gifterie' I don't ever see myself returning to such a business. Still, there were aspects of being a Shop Owner that I will always love tho...
~CHOOSE SOME SWEET WRAP~
(Shopping Dollar Tree is Great!)
Going to Market (wholesale) four or five times a year (or more when necessary) provided endless hours of inspiration and proved to me on more than one occasion that nearly every idea I THOUGHT I'd come up with had in all likelihood been done many times before (bummer!)...
~I LOVE TOILES and PASTELS~
(Found This Beauty at Tuesday Morning)
One of the most popular things sold in my A Gathering Place Shoppe (Yes! I've had the same name all these years!) were embellished soaps and decorated/bottled oils. Back then I didn't even try to make them... Quite honestly I was too busy trying to balance my books and was far too focused on trying to keep the lights turned on if you want to know the truth! :( (Trust me when I say there were LOTS of lean days even in the early 90's, too!)
~FRENCH, ITALIAN and ENGLISH SOAPS~
(Lots of Sweet Finds @ Ross/TJ Max-i-million)
Anyway, I learned a lot about marketing during those early days of owning a business and thankfully figured out that expensive isn't always better. Creative Labor is extremely costly as we all know and many of the things found offered in the best boutiques were created by hard working (struggling?) peeps like yourself (and Moi).
~THESE WERE FOUND AT ROSS~
(Cost $3.99-$4.99 for a Box of 3)
Boy...I'd love to tell you that the embellishment of soaps was all my own idea, but you know that would be TOTALEEE SILLY! Just know that I'm just showing you my little spin on them! I'm sure you'll come up with your own amazing styles and ideas that will suit you (and those you love) to a T!
~IMAGINE THAT...PINK SOAP~
Now...to make these over-the-moon Embellished Soaps for the special lady in your life start by stopping into your neighborhood stores like ROSS, TJ Max, Marshall's and Tuesday Morning.
~RE-WRAP SOAPS IN SOME PRETTY PAPER~
All of the stores I just mentioned sell amazing Soaps and Body Bars at discounted prices. Lots of the ones I found smell truly heavenly and were made with high-quality ingredients! It's the packaging/boxing that is UGLY!
(They are probably designed by a man!)
OMGOSH...did I say that????
~SIMPLE - SIMPLE - SIMPLE~
This is easy to do...just like wrapping a gift box! Secure with a TINY BIT of glue (hot or Tacky) if necessary.
I skipped the glue and just folded the ends over like you see above before tying up with my favorite rayon ribbon...
~VINTAGE PAPER DOILIES~
For the Soaps covered with solid pastel paper, old paper doilies were added for just a hint of chic panache before the ribbon was added! Sweet, huh?
Now...I have tons and tons of vintage and older millinery blooms to work because I've collected them for years. They truly add a special romantic touch to most of the things created in my AGP studio, but at the same time they can be very pricey.
~ATTACH FLORALS TO THE TOP~
Still...you can find some amazing florals at Michael's and Hobby Lobby so check these places out when you have time. Some of the best roses I've ever found (over 200) were at a garage sale and glued onto cheap looking baskets (the florals were great...the baskets not-so-much!).
I'm crazy about personalizing things and love coming up with sweet little decorative tags to attach to my gifts. Use your imagination because the possibilities are endless...
~HERE THEY ARE AGAIN~
Computers are wonderful if you know what you're doing, but you can also create amazing one-of-a-kind hang tags from rubber stamps and simple papers! I made the labels you see above using a vintage postcard graphic and lettering. Soap fragrance and/or ingredients can be added to the backside of the tag if you so desire. On small items I've always believed simple is best and less is more!
~CREATED FOR A FRACTION OF RETAIL~
Lastly...I opted to cello-bag my embellished soaps. I love this look and all you need to do after one is tied up is to place it in a small gift bag and you are good to go. You can also wrap the original soap box in matching paper and then place the embellished soaps (without the cello bag wrapping) back inside. Then cover the entire box with clear cello wrap and secure with a single tag and ribbon.
Before I scoot I just MUST show you the most amazing church I've seen in many a moon! It is Catholic Church located in Flagstaff, Arizona and is about 100 years old if I remember correctly! I was totally awestruck to see it person and knowing it comes trimmed out with PINK PAINT made it even more, um...
Thank you for stopping by today! Don't forget tomorrow I will begin another fun Give-A-Way...
Blessings for a lovely Sunday. Isn't God Good?
Love to you...