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Ode to Bette – Now you can shop on our website!

bettes logo finalTwelve years ago, we were debating opening a Hallmark store and were invited to a dinner in Chicago with other Hallmark store owners. We had the good fortune of sitting across the table from Bette. At the time, Bette owned several Hallmark Gold Crown stores in the Kansas City area. We had no idea that we were about to embark on a wonderful friendship.

Bette became a great friend, mentor & inspiration as we started down the path of Hallmark ownership. Bette helped us plan our store layout, gave us product ideas and was always available for advice & tips for whatever issues we were facing.

Over the years, we would meet up with Bette at gift shows & Hallmark meetings. She was always excited about the business, looking for the next new thing & encouraging (or should I say “challenging”) us to be forward thinking about our business. Our favorite part of Bette – she would always admit to making a mistake which was so reassuring because we have made a few mistakes along the way. She would always say, “if you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not trying.”

Not only was Bette great for chatting about the business but she was a dear friend. The many laughs we shared over “store stories”, adventures with kids and all the curveballs that life throws your way. We kept up with family news, shared vacation stories, talked politics  & celebrated new births & kids’ accomplishments.

It was with a sad heart, that when we met up with her at the last gift show, she said “I have news.” She was retiring. Although, we were thrilled for her, we were sad for us. Bette will have more time to spend with her grandkids and travel the world with her husband – two of her favorite things! Doing it now, while she still can is a gift. But we were sure going to miss her… A LOT!

A few months ago, Bette contacted us because even though she had sold her stores, she did not sell her e-commerce website. She wanted to know if we wanted to take over her website. We had been thinking about expanding to an e-commerce site but had not pulled the triggered. And once again, Bette was challenging us to be better store owners!

We’ve been working hard over the last few months to transfer ownership and update the website. And we’re thrilled to now be managing “Bette’s Gifts powered by Christine’s Hallmark”. You can now shop with us 24/7 at both www.christineshallmark.com & www.bettesgifts.com.

Although it won’t be the same without Bette being a part of our Hallmark owners group, we’re honored & thrilled to be carrying on a little bit of Bette’s legacy. And here’s hoping that she’ll just stop by St. Louis one day & pay us a visit. We’re ready!

Book Signing – Good Night St. Louis

We were thrilled to host June & Julie the authors of “Good Night St. Louis” at the Cottleville store for a book signing last month.

Have you seen the book?

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It’s a sweet little book filled with beautiful illustrations of landmarks around St. Louis. Julie & June have been long-time friends and had an idea for the book. They came up with the content but needed someone to illustrate. They laugh when they tell you that they met Karen Wilke Heyse, their illustrator, online!!( Something they don’t like to promote when doing events with school-aged children!) But it was a perfect match! The illustrations are gorgeous!

Karen had some fun when illustrating this book. Every page has a cardinal somewhere in the illustration and it’s a fun game trying to find the hidden cardinal. When she was working on the illustrations, she had one grandson and another grandchild on the way so there are two ladybugs hidden somewhere in the book.

It was so much fun to have June & Julie at the store! It’s obvious they love the book, love meeting their fans & have loads of fun promoting the book. The best part is their array of colored sharpies they have to sign a book. They’ll sign it in your favorite color along with adding a special message.

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If you missed them, don’t worry they promised to come back in the fall. Just in time for all of your holiday gift buying! We’ll let you know when we’ve secured a date.

Girl’s Night Out – Troy store!

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Last week we hosted a Girls’ Night Out at the Troy store. It’s been a long dreary winter & we were ready to kick-off spring with a little fun with the ladies! And we did have a good time!

First we started with a little food. Have you tried Wind & Willow dips? They’re super easy to make & they always taste delicious. We have a variety of dips available and it’s hard to pick one as your favorite. Add in some snacks, sweets & wine… and we were ready to party!      ladies night.1

We also had some great deals on our customers’ favorite items – Vera Bradley, fashion scarves & DaVinci beads. Our fabulous DaVinci rep, Tina, was there to help everyone create a beautiful bracelet. Most of the evening, there was a line of people waiting for Tina’s fabulous eye at creating cute jewels!

 

nora fleming springAnd we introduced a new line – Nora Fleming! These beautiful serving dishes can be customized for any holiday or occasion. They feature a pearl detail and the neutral palette goes with everything! One plate… all occasions!

The evening wouldn’t have been complete without sending everyone home with a goody bag. And a lucky few won some great prizes! Congratulations to Jeannette Robertson, winner of the Vera Clear Beach Tote; Sandy Branson, winner of the Vera Clementine Colorblock Tote; and Nancy Smith, winner of the Sarah Jessica Parker gift basket!ladies night.3

Did you miss hearing about our Girls’ Night Out? Make sure you join our mailing list here. And you’ll be “in the know” for all of our special events & savings at the Troy store!

Hope to see you soon!