Last minute personalized gifts still possible

Clothing, plants and ceramics some of items available
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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Looking for that last-minute Christmas gift and hoping to make it special? If you hurry, Auburn has some great personalized gift options. GeRée Carpenter, owner of J.W. Ffrog’s Embroidery and Clothing, said she has a lot of ready-made designs customers can search through, and a selection of garments to attach them to. “We have hats they can personalize,” Carpenter said. “We have aprons if they don’t know what size someone is.” The store also has towels that serve as unique gifts, Carpenter said. “They can do little Christmas designs on them,” she said. Carpenter said one of her customers has made embroidery his traditional gift. “There is one guy who does a shirt every year for his sister who is a breast cancer survivor,” she said. “It’s kind of neat to see him come in every year.” Embroidery starts at $8 for basic designs, Carpenter said. So, why is an embroidered item a good gift? “It’s personal,” Carpenter said. “It’s one of a kind. You can pretty much make it say whatever you want it to say.” Patty Bailey, store manager of N2 Pottery, said while it’s getting too close to the holiday for her to fire items in her kiln and have them ready for Christmas, there are still gift options available at the store. Some small paintable items include ornaments and figurines, Bailey said. “They can (paint) some Christmas ornaments, because we have some acrylic paint we can do those in and put their names on them and that kind of thing,” she said. These items range in price from $5 to $8 and don’t need to be fired. The store also has supplies for those who want to start from scratch with their gifts. “We sell clay, and glazes and tools for people in the area who work with clay,” she said. “They can always bring their projects back, and we can fire them.” Clay ranges from $8-$10 a block and glazes are $4 or $5, Carpenter said. Carpenter said she thinks the painted creations are extra-special gifts when children give them to relatives. “The things that is always just great is when the kids come in and make presents … they just do a terrific job, and it’s something those grandmas and grandpas will keep forever,” she said. Alan Campbell, co-owner of Dancing Dog Productions, said the store should be able to complete some basic personalized designs on clothing before Christmas. A basic message on a shirt is $14.95, Campbell said. Campbell said relatives sometimes want the clothes created for children who have certain hobbies or like specific animals. “It seems to fill a need for some people … to be able to give a gift with a simple message of how they feel or something (the other person) likes,” Campbell said. Kim Wright, owner of Avantgarden, said the store offers several personalized options for the last-minute gift shopper. “People can make their own wreaths,” Wright said. “They can pick out the different artificial foliage they like and ribbons and ornaments. If we have the time we can (put it together) for them.” A wreath assembled by the store’s staff would start around $50, Wright said. Arrangements using artificial and live foliage as well as various accessories sold in the store are another option, Wright said. The store has a multitude of Christmas-themed decorations to go along with these arrangements. “That makes a nice gift,” Wright said. Customers can also buy small plants and adorn them with pretty pots and festive decorations. These types of gifts also come ready made and start at $15, Wright said. Personalized gifts purchased in Auburn are not only unique but also support the community, Wright said. “(The gift) took a little more time and thought,” she said. “It’s a little more original. And I think people are thinking a little more about trying to shop local.” Reach Bridget Jones at ------------------------------------------------------- Options for personalized gifts J.W. Ffrog’s: 939 Lincoln Way, Auburn. Call (530) 889-9029 N2 Pottery: 195 Elm Ave., Auburn. Call (530) 888-3800 Dancing Dog Productions: 1101 High St., Auburn. Call (530) 885-3692 Avantgarden: 1085 High St., Auburn. Call (530) 888-1510