Easter Basket Time!

easter bunny finalAre you still trying to hunt for Easter basket items? We can help you fill those Easter baskets. From sweet treats to neat gifts, we have great items for kids of all ages!

For the little ones… The Littlest Bunny in St. Louis is a seaster itty finalweet book customized to our hometown. And speaking of our hometown, Good Night St. Louis is also a sweet story to put in a little one’s basket. Our itty bittys are a BIG hit for girls and boys featuring Princesses & Super Heroes. And until Easter, all itty bittys are buy one, get one 50% off!

easter scout finalFor the older girls’ baskets, we have cute coin purseaster lilly keychaines & mini wallets from Scout & Vera Bradley that would brighten anyone’s basket. For your girl on the move, one of Lilly Pulitzer’s new keychains is a must for her Easter basket. Our Lilly Pulitzer & Vera Bradley insulated tumblers filled with candy would make a great gift also!

easter world smallest etchFor the young gentleman on your list, we are featuring soeaster cubeezme of the World’s Smallest toys including Army Men, Rubik’s cube, and Etch-a-Sketch. Our Missouri home t-shirts would be a great addition to the basket and they truly are one of the softest t-shirts! Or fill up one of our Cubeez with candy or cash and any kid would be happy!

easter dish finalHeaded to someone’s house for Easter brunch or dinner? We have the perfect hostess gifts! Receive a free bag of jelly beans when you purchase our cute bunny dish. Or one of our Nora Fleming plates with an Easter attachment would make a perfect gift and the platter can be used all year!easter nora final

Stop by and we would be happy to help you with all of your Easter gift giving needs!

Please note that we want our staff to enjoy the holiday with family & friends so we’ll be closed on Easter Sunday.

Look forward to seeing you soon!

 

Summer Vera Bradley now at Christine’s Hallmark!

New Vera Bradley patterns are always a breath of fresh air when they arrive! The Vera cabinets get a thorough cleaning and rework. And new color is added to freshen things up.

Vera introduced two new primary patterns in their summer collection – Marrakesh and Pixie Blooms.

Marrakesh evovera marrakeshkes an exotic Moroccan city with its cool tile motifs in midnight navy, light blue and dark turquoise accented with orange, gold and white. It features a lining with a geometric arrangement of spades in blue-green, white, dark turquoise and orange on a navy background.

vera pixie blooms

 

Pixie Blooms is a more bohemian print featuring uncomplicated flowers in shades of warm red, fuchsia and coral. It features a lining with “confetti” dots in red, gray, hot coral, pinks and apricot on a black background.

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The most exciting news from this launch is the introduction of Classic Navy in Vera microfiber handbags and accessories. This pattern is being launched exclusively at independent gift stores. Navy has been a hot color for spring fashion so we’re thrilled to add this to our collection!

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So far, these patterns have been neck and neck in popularity! And Lucky You continues to be a strong selling pattern. I don’t think folks can resist the crispy navy and kelly green featured in this pattern.

 

Stop by and let us know what your new favorite pattern is from the launch. Or maybe your favorite will remain one of the older patterns. Look forward to seeing you soon!

Girls Night Out at the Cottleville store!

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What’s our cure to the January winter blues? A Girls’ Night out at our Cottleville store! We always enjoy planning these events for our customers! And a fun evening is always had by all!

 

 

We had two special guecott girls final 3sts at this event. Tammy from the Hallmark Crown Collection stopped by to help our customers pick the perfect accessory! The Crown Collection is a beautiful jewelry line exclusive to Hallmark Gold Crown stores. The jewelry is inspired from the Hallmark art archives – one of the largest privately held collections in the country. All the jewelry is nickel, lead free and hypoallergenic. Now through Valentine’s Day, receive a free heart keychain with any purchase from the Crown Collection!

Also joining the festivities was Nanccott girls final 2y from Simply Stated. She creates beautiful custom home décor items – perfect for a wedding or baby gift… or just a little something to add to your own home. She can add a monogram, name or any type of personalization to a variety of home décor items. To see the many options, visit her at Simply Stated website.

We had lots of fun food samples for everyone to taste. Some of our favcott girls final 4orite dips from Wind & Willow and a new food item for our store – Raven’s Jalapeno Raspberry jam. Perfect with cream cheese and your favorite crackers! A girls’ night wouldn’t be complete without a little wine! Everyone was treated to a wine glass with a chalkboard base which enables you to mark the glass as “yours”.  No one is sipping from your wine glass!

 

Of course, we had to give out a fewcott girls final 5 gifts! Congratulations to our winners! Donna Schraer & Melissa Gill each won a necklace and earring set from the Crown jewelry collection. Jane Ryberg won the Glowolgy gift set in the Love scent. And Jan Sova won a Vera tote in the pattern of her choice.

No one left empty handed! In addition to the chalkboard wine glass, everyone went home with a goodie bag full of some of our favorite things!

Thanks to everyone who came out! We had a great time and can’t wait to plan our next Girls’ Night Out!girls night out

 

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Small Business Saturday

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Saturday, November, 29 is Small Business Saturday. With Hallmark in our name, many do not realize that we are small business. Most Hallmark stores are individually owned and that is why there are no two alike!

 

 

We’re two sisters who opened our first Hallmark store in Tgnsl april 2014 007roy in 2003. We always wanted to open our own business but didn’t know exactly what type of business we wanted to open. Enter Hallmark – another family-owned business with products we love and a brand you could trust. In 2005, we were offered an opportunity to open a second store in Cottleville and that’s how our little business got started. We now have more than 15 employees and we support local schools & charities in the community!

 

It has been a loLillyt of hard work mixed with fun that’s truly a family affair. You’ll often find sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, and husbands helping us out at the store! And we’ve learned a lot along the way! We’re the janitor, lawyer, the stockroom gal, sales associate, PR manager, computer programmer… you name it, we’ve done it! We  always work hard to make the store a happy place with great customer service and fun products. We love what we do, we love finding new products, and we love our customers!!

 

We hope that on Small Business Saturday you’ll take the time to support a small business – ours and/or any other small business in the community. We also want you to know that we appreciate YOU, our customer, because without you we could not be here.

Thank you for supporting our business!

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Backpack 101 – Your Guide to Vera Bradley Backpacks!

It’s back to school time! And one essential for the school days ahead is a backpack. We’re walking through all the Vera backpacks so you can choose the right one for you!

But first, our models! Lilly is starting kindergarten, Megan is entering 5th grade, Hannah will be starting high school and Brianna is in her second year of college. Not only are they going to model the backpacks but you can find out which one they’re taking back to school.

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The Ultimate Backpack is great for the younger crowd (or it could be used as a handbag).  The main compartment is large enough to fit folders and it has a handy zippered back compartment. There’s even a spot to slide a tablet behind the front pocket. The Ultimate backpack measures in at 11 1/2″ x 14 3/4″ x 5 1/2″.

 

backpack tech final

The Tech Backpack is a great choice for those taking a computer back and forth to campus. It has an easy access padded laptop compartment and features two front zippered compartments, one perfect for a tablet. The Tech backpack measures in at 11 3/4″ x 16″ x 6 1/2″.

 

backpack campus finalThe Campus Backpack is ideal for the student toting a lot of books. It has an extra-large interior with plenty of room. There’s a headphone grommet, plenty of inside organization and an ID window. Padded straps and back provide extra comfort.  The Campus Backpack measures in at 12″ x 16″ x 16 1/2″.

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And finally, the Lighten Up Backpack is perfect for those carrying an extra heavy load.  This backpack is constructed of durable, lightweight, water-resistant polyester. This lighter material equals less weight. It has two roomy compartments and a front zip-down pocket with organization and an ID window. It also features padded straps and back. The Lighten Up Backpack measures in at 12 3/4″ x 17″ x 7 1/2″.

 

So, what did our models pick for their back to school essentials?

 

backpack lilly choice final

 

Lilly is starting kindergarten and the Ultimate Backpack was the perfect fit. Large enough to hold her folders but not too bulky for her little body. Lilly choose her backpack in Flutterby as she loves butterflies. She was also wild for the leopard print Lighten Up Lunch Mate. The perfect “brown bag” for her lunch.

 

 

 

backpack megan choice final

Megan is entering the fifth grade and she chose the Campus Backpack as her back-to-school bag! Her backpack is in Blue Bayou. She wanted a lunch tote and choose the Lighten Up Lunch Mate in African Violet.  It coordinates perfectly with all the blues in her Blue Bayou Campus Backpack.

 

 

 

backpack hannah choice fina

 

Hannah is starting high school this year. Freshmen year is full of new experiences and she’ll be ready with her Campus Backpack.  She says she’s not a “girly girl” and is drawn to Canterberry Cobalt. She wants to stay organized so she would add the Student Agenda in Ziggy Zinnia to her back-to-school essentials list.

 

 

 

Brianna is starting her sebackpack bri choice finalcond year at the community college and you may also recognize her as one of the friendly sales associates at our Cottleville store. She has worked for us since she was in high school.  She wants to keep her load as light as possible so she chose the Lighten Up Backpack in African Violet. And Brianna is always organized so she paired it with a Student Agenda also in African Violet.

 

What’s the right backpack for your student? Come in and let us help you find the perfect fit. And the good news is from July 31 through August 3, all of our Vera Bradley backpacks our 25% off.

Happy shopping!

 

 

 

 

Keepsake Ornaments – Troy’s Staff Favorites!

Last week we highlighted the Cottleville staff favorite Keepsake ornaments. If you missed it, you can read it here . Now we’re going to highlight Troy’s favorite picks!

Amber’s favoornament.amberrite Keepsake ornament is “Time to Fly” because of the quote “the best is yet to come” on the ornament. That’s a saying that Amber often tells herself so even on a bad day she knows the best is yet to be!

 

 

Jennifer loves the “I Melt” ornament becauseornament.jennifer it’s a little country s’more snowman that plays the “I Melt” song by Rascal Flats. This ornament combines all the things that Jennifer loves – Rascal Flatts, s’mores, and country!

 

 

Kallie & Oliviaornament.kallie share the same favorite ornament and it’s sure to be a favorite of many others! They love the Olaf ornament! Kallie loves the movie & Olaf was her favorite character. Olivia loves watching “Frozen” with her niece and thinks this will be a perfect addition to her tree!

ornament.stephanie

 

Stephanie’s favorite Keepsake ornament is “I want you to Want Me”. She can’t believe that anyone wouldn’t like a singing chubby elephant in a box! She also likes the Cheap Trick song.

 

 

And, finally, ornament.tanyaTanya’s favorite ornament is the Christmas Commemorative. It’s the second ornament in the series. She likes that it celebrates the year and reminds her of the original Hallmark ornaments.

 

Stop by the store and let us know your favorite Keepsake ornament. If you turn in your Keepsake Ornament wish list in by June 30, you will receive a free tumbler, a coupon for 25% off your next visit and 500 Crown Rewards bonus points!

And don’t forget that Ornament Premiere is July 12 & 13!

 

 

Keepsake Ornaments – Cottleville’s Staff Picks!

 

It’s Keepsake Ornament Premiere time! And with the date just a few weeks away, I thought I would share our St. Charles (Cottleville) staff’s favorite ornaments!

 

ornament.cott.teri 2 ornament.cott.teri“Friends are Family Too” and “Sweet On You” are two of Teri’s favorite ornaments. She loves that the ornaments are a great way to let people know that they are special to you.

 

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Amanda lovornament.cott.amandaes “Zipping Through the Snow”. She has a Hallmark Christmas coloring book from when she was young girl and this ornament has the same Santa face as in the coloring book. She’s been a Hallmark girl from the beginning and it brings back good memories. She also likes Marjolein’s First in Series – Simple Gifts.

 

ornament.cott.deeDee thinks there is always a Hallmark ornament that sends a special message to a special person. This year, “You’re Amazing, Girl” is her favorite ornament  for her daughter who juggles being a wife, mom and teacher.

 

 

Emily’s fornament.cott.emilyavorite is “One Like No Other” because of the personal sentiment it holds. Having a Mother who has battled breast cancer twice, it’s a reminder that everyone is beautiful in their own unique way. She thinks Hallmark Keepsake ornaments are great because they send a special message to everyone.

 

ornament.cott.amy

It may be simple but Amy’s favorite ornament  is “Anchored in Faith” because it reminds everyone of what the holiday is about. She also thinks it looks “beachy” and she loves the beach!

 

 

And, Beth… well,ornament.cott.beth Beth couldn’t pick just one. In fact, she picked thirteen! She loves all the Hallmark ornaments and thinks the ornaments signify either great memories or happy thoughts for the future. One of her favorites is “Baby Mine”.  You’ll have to stop by and ask her to point out her other twelve favorites!

 

What’s your favorite Keepsake ornament? Drop off your ornament wish list by June 30 and you’ll receive a free tumbler, a coupon for 25% off your next visit, and 500 Crown Rewards bonus points.

Mark your calendars for our Ornament Premiere on July 12 & 13! Stay tuned, we’ll bring you the Troy staff’s favorite picks next week!

 

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!

Build it, and they will come.

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Welcome to our website! and blog!! We’ve wanted a website for a long time and we’re thrilled that we finally have one. We started thinking about this two years ago. We met with a couple of people & felt completely overwhelmed. We had no idea what we wanted, who to go with, how to do it so off to the backburner it went!

Last summer, we decided enough was enough. We needed a website and by the end of the year, we were going to finalize a website designer. We spent a couple of days going all around St. Louis meeting with a bunch of firms & walked away still not knowing what to do. Everyone we met with was qualified but no one that we were excited to work with on the project.

Then we thought back to someone we met with two years ago, we liked her and her firm but WE just weren’t ready. We gave her a call, met with her & before the meeting even ended, we knew she was the one. Enter Kelli and cdkweb. We felt like she got  us. We loved her energy and knew that she would help us build a great website. YAY!! We had a website designer!

To help us zero in our vision for the website, Kelli did an exercise that she described as similar to going to the eye doctor. Showing us a variety of pictures, she would ask “do you like this one or this one better?”. We weren’t sure what some of the pictures even had to do with a website but we played along. Then she had a series of words & we had to pick what words best described our vision for the website. Off Kelli went & a few weeks later this beautiful site came back to us. It was like magic! (I don’t think Kelli would describe it that way!) We loved it!

We made a few tweaks, found a bunch of photographs and did some writing and our website was ready to go! We hope you like it as much as we do. We’ll keep updating it and I’m sure it will grow and change over time but we think it’s off to a great start.

This little blog is where we hope to talk with you about what we’re thinking about, planning for and getting done at the store.  Who knows who you’ll hear from but we hope to keep it fun & exciting.

Thanks for stopping by!