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Ali Shops Blog

Archive for February 25th, 2011

Personal Shoppers

Friday, February 25th, 2011

There aren’t many services you can count on being free, so you really ought to take advantage of professional shoppers who will do all the heavy lifting for you at better department stores and some specialty stores like J.Crew and Anthropologie. There’s no obligation to buy, and no requirement that you shop for expensive merchandise. Call ahead, be specific about your wants and needs, and feel free to say no if it’s not for you. Of course, often, it is exactly what you need – and what you didn’t even know you wanted.

So who are the Twin Cities’ best personal shoppers? Shop Girls listeners weighed in last week with their recommendations:

  • Mary Sickel at Nordstrom, Mall of America. “She will pull things ahead of time, but also, once she gets a feel for what you like she keeps pulling things as you are in the dressing room. She’s also great with accessories!” – Cori
  • Meg at Nordstrom, MOA. “She does an outstanding job,” – Jen
  • Hot Mama, seven Twin Cities locations. ”Not necessarily personal shoppers, but they do a good job of helping you pull looks together.” – Jen
  • Heidi Melena at the Armani counter at Nordstrom. “She loves to help with gifts on top of being a tremendous makeup artist.” – Nia
  • Who is your favorite?

Watermark on the Move…Again

Friday, February 25th, 2011
It was just two and a half years ago that Wayzata’s premier stationery store, Watermark, moved off scenic Lake Street for a bigger, sparkling new space on the more heavily trafficked Wayzata Boulevard. Turns out, visibility isn’t everything. Watermark is heading back to Lake Street and downsizing, due to shifting customer demands.
“Watermark was founded on Lake Street in 1990, and while people loved the pretty decor of our new spot, we heard our patrons telling us they missed us on Lake Street,” says manager Alexis Harsh. “I just had a customer say ‘Oh! You’re heading back to Wayzata.’ Even though we’ve been just a few streets away.”
Watermark is taking the spot between D’Amico and Graham Jewelers at 810 E. Lake St.  The new design studio/store opening April 4 will be more focused on custom invitations  - by far the fastest growing part of the business. The grab-and-go paper goods and gifts, which Watermark beefed up when it moved to Wayzata Boulevard, have proven a tougher sell.
“Admittedly, the big box companies make it very difficult for boutiques like ours to compete,” Harsh says. “Vendors we have carried for years are landing huge contracts with Target to design a line just for them – very similar to what they design for their dealers like us, yet at a third of the cost.”
Watermark will continue to offer some paper goods and monogrammed gifts. Meanwhile, a moving sale is on now at the 1160 Wayzata Blvd. E. store: 50 to 75 percent off cards, boxed invitations for all occasion, frames, baby gifts, candles, pens and more from Russel + Hazel, Jellycat, Filofax and other brands. | Mpls.St.Paul Magazine © 2008 MSP Communications, Inc. All rights reserved