Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Holiday Hours

Initial Attraction will be closed from

12:00 noon on December 24th

through January 1st.

We will resume normal business hours on Friday, January 2nd.

We hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday season. We truly appreciate your business and your support and look forward to seeing you in the new year.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Holiday Cards - A Deal for our Readers

Haven't mailed your holiday cards yet? Thinking you might skip them this year?

We think keeping in touch and spreading holiday wishes is an important tradition, especially in this email driven world (who doesn't love seeing something personal in their mailbox?). Let us know that you read this blog entry and you'll receive a 50% discount (off the original retail price) on any Caspari holiday card purchase as a little added incentive to spread peace and good wishes this holiday season.

Photo cards or folded notes, Caspari's elegant designs will distinguish your holiday cards from the rest. With a 50% discount, holiday cards might not seem that far fetched this year. Or, for those readers who like to plan ahead, buy them now for next year... and then can you help us with ours??

As always, you must let us know you read about this offer when you are at the register, so that the discount will be taken from your purchase, since this isn't being promoted within the store.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Ana Candles - A Deal for our Readers

  • These candles are one of our favorite gifts -- and not just at the holidays.

  • They're elegant, sophisticated, classy, and unique.

  • They're smokless, dripless, and made of high quality paraffin (which puts them on right par with soy in terms of burn quality).

  • These candles come in such a variety of colors (even ivory), they fit perfectly in any home.

  • They make great gifts for anyone and everyone -- from couples to singles, hosts and hostesses, or to showcase in your own home.

  • We even have a selection of elegant matches to make your gift really complete.

  • For a more personalized gift, pair them with a monogrammed hand or fingertip towel.

These candles are such a no-brainer in terms of gift giving, we even keep some of the ivory or amber on hand for those last minute gifts we haven't planned for (we know you know what we're talking about!).

We think these candles are such great gifts, we're offering our blog readers 20% off of any Ana candle purchase if you mention this promotion in the store. Once again, you must tell us that you read about this 20% discount when you are at the register, otherwise the percentage will not be deducted, since this sale is not being promoted within the store (but is only offered to our blog readers). Offer ends 12/20/08.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Current Lead Times as of 12/10/08

Wondering if you can still get something personalized in time?

Current turn around time for embroidery is holding steady at one week -- sometimes we can even fit orders in earlier.

Latest order date (to receive by 12/24) for items we do not personalize on the premises:

Insulated Tumblers: 12/9/08
Three Designing Women Personalized Stamps: 12/10/08
Engraved Silver: 12/15/08
Engraved Soap: 12/16/08

Store Hours:

Tuesday - Friday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

Saturdays: 10:00 am to 3:00 pm

Sundays and Mondays: CLOSED

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call us: 269.341.4444

Better Than Bisquick - A Deal for our Readers

Ok, we admit that $7.25 seemed a little steep when it came to pancake mix. But once we actually tried The Barefoot Contessa's Favorite Pancake & Waffle Mix, we quickly realized just how wrong we were as it just as quickly became our favorite pancake and waffle mix.

Please understand, we were perfectly happy with Bisquick. But Ina Garten's mix has a little bit of malt and a lovely vanilla flavor to which the big box just doesn't compare. Ina's mix is just as easy to make and just as effortless when it comes to consistent, easy pancakes and waffles, but the flavor will leaving you dreaming about more.

We think you'll like it so much, we're offering our blog readers a 50% discount off of one purchase of The Barefoot Contessa's Favorite Pancake & Waffle Mix. For the price of a box of Bisquick, you've got a holiday breakfast in the bag. However, you MUST mention that you read about this discount on the blog -- it will not be promoted within the store and we will not marketing it outside of this site (a little thank you to our blog readers). Limit one mix per customer, in stock quantities only, offer expires 12/24/08.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Perfect for a Party

Going to a Party? Some great hostess gifts:

  • Wine Bottle Stopper: Single initials or a variety of stock designs by Mariposa. Price: $21 - $27.

  • Stonewall Kitchen: assortment of sweet or savory food items, perfect on their own or pair with a set of napkins or a spreader. Price: $6.25 - $20.

  • Napkin Box: One of our best-selling hostess gifts as it is perfect for the entertainer. Includes a Mariposa cocktail napkin box, any set of Caspari cocktail napkins, and any napkin weight. Mix and match to create a custom set, just for them. Price: $44.

  • Sink Set: Frasier Fir, Olive Leaf, Gardener, Lavender or Eucalyptus scented hand wash and hand lotion from The Thymes. Perfect for the kitchen or bathroom, includes a convenient caddy. Price: $28.75.

Throwing a party? Some essentials to make it elegant and easy:

  • Crepe Placemats: Set of 12, made of crepe paper in festive colors -- these are the perfect setting to your table, especially considering they won't need to be laundered later. Use coasters to keep the water marks away and you'll most likely be able to re-use them for another event. Made by Caspari. Price: $15.50.

  • Stonewall Kitchen appetizers: Open a jar of Cranberry Horseradish Sauce or Roasted Garlic Onion jam, pair with some cream cheese and crackers and you have an elegant appetizer that doesn't require an oven. Price: $7.75.

  • Caspari Paper goods: Keep clean up simple without forfeiting quality with lovely paper goods from Caspari -- plates, napkins, guest towels, etc. Price: $5.25 to $10.75.

  • Mariposa spreaders: Serve your guests in style with spreaders from Mariposa. A variety of styles and motifs available, perfect for any occassion. Price: $17.

Lovely Gifts for Less than $25

Find something perfect without having to spend a fortune:

  • Ana Candles: Smokeless, dripless, high quality paraffin. Perfect for everyone -- couples, singles (male or female), host/hostess, or even for your own home or party. Great to have on hand for that last minute gift or pair it with a personalized guest towel. Price: $22

  • Personalized Ornaments: Rebecca Edmonds hand paints whatever you want -- from a single name, to an ornament with all the grandkids'. Perfect for a first christmas (couple or baby) or a cherished keepsake. Price: $22
  • Ballpoint Pen: These pens have a lovely feel -- both in your hand and to write with. They'll look forward to writing thank you notes with this! Black ink, variety of colors and patterns. Price: $19.75
  • Stationery: Notepads and notecards in a variety of colors and sizes. Perfect for a casual note as well as a formal thank you. Price: $14.50 - 17.50
  • Napkin Box: Cocktail napkin holder in a rich rattan is the perfect place to showcase holiday napkins -- an excellent hostess gift. Add a set of Caspari napkins for $5.25 and you'll still be under $25. Price: $17.50

  • Napkin weight: Available in a variety of motifs and seasons, as well as single initials. Pair it with a set of napkins, attach it to a bottle of wine, or hang as an ornament from the tree. Price: $14

  • Zip ID: Available in a variety of Vera Bradley patterns -- perfect for an ID/credit card and some cash, with a keychain attachment. Priced so perfectly, you could tuck a little cash or gift certificate in for them as well. Price: $10 (Baekgaard leather card holder also available for $11)

  • Kid's Topics: the classic version of Table Topics, geared towards kids and all packed up and ready to go for the car or to a friend's house. Sample questions include: What would be a really good flavor of toothpaste? or What's your favorite Disney character? Questions to start great conversations with or among your kids. Price: $10

Great Gifts for Guys

Below are some tried and true gift ideas that both you and he will love.

  • Wine Tote: Perfect for carrying a bottle of wine and some cheese (or ditch the cheese altogether and take two bottles of wine!). Price: $27.50 - $40

  • Wine Bottle Stopper: Single initials or a variety of stock designs by Mariposa. Price: $21 - $27

  • Wine Coaster: Mariposa's wine coaster is one of our best selling gift items. Their new holiday design also holds a votive candle. The wine plate doubles as a coaster for a drink. Price: $26 - $62

  • Sport Chair: Not just for sports -- great for camping or at the beach. Canvas chair folds out to include a side table, as well as plenty of pockets for storage. Can be embroidered with up to three initials on the back. Price: $69.50 (plain)/ $78 (personalized)

  • Insulated Tumblers: 12 or 16 ounces, these tumblers keep condensation to a minimum (no need for a coaster!) and keep cold drinks cold. Personalized only, with or without a stock design. Please allow fifteen business days plus shipping. Price: $56 - $60

  • Bamboo Bath Towels: Four times more absorbant than classic cotton, super soft, very luxurious, and environmentally friendly as well. Available in a range of colors, can be personalized. Price: $55/set (additional for personalized)

  • Baseball cap: Personalize it with his initials on the back. Price: $26

  • The Thymes: Soaps and lotions in scents like Olive Leaf and Eucalyptus. Price: $10.50 - $30

Monday, October 13, 2008

Welcome Vera Bradley

It took us a long time, and many customer requests, to be able to finally offer Vera Bradley products for sale. While the 12 linear feet of shelving they require to stock the many patterns and styles took a bit of brainstorming, once we figured out a way to make it work, we've been thrilled ever since to offer this line of handbags, stationery, and accessories.

We're currently carrying a wide range of styles and patterns in the Signature line, Microfiber, as well as the new Resort line. However, if we don't have what you are looking for, we can special order it. Turn around time is about two weeks, but shipping and handling charges don't apply (as they would if you purchased directly from the website). Even if it's a retiring color or style, don't hesitate to ask as we're happy to try to track it down for you.

Vera Bradley is currently running a promotion through November 4th 2008, in which customers can receive a free see-through travel pouch (which meets current airline regulations, so you no longer have to resort to a plastic baggie, as the travel pouch comes in six different, stylish patterns -- Night Owl, Puccini, Frankly Scarlet, Cafe Latte, Mediterranean White, and Mediterranean Blue) with a purchse of $75 or more. If you did not receive a coupon but would like to benefit form this promotion, please let us know.

In addition to the handbags and totes, we're also carrying an assortment of stationery, pens, pencils, post it notes, mouse pad notes, and other paper goods in the Vera Bradley styles -- many of which are perfect for tucking into your purse.

Lastly, you can also find a small sampling of Vera Bradley placemats and napkins (we can place special orders for you in relation to these items as well), as well as the Vera Bradley Cookbook.

Meme and I are finding new things to love about Vera Bradley every day -- and we're learning so much about this line from our customers, so a sincere thanks to all of you who have shared your tips and favorites tidbits. Some of our favorite items include the Tech Case (which Meme and I both have and love). It's perfect for our cell phones and all of their attachements, as well as for stashing a few credit cards/cash for on the go errands. We hear that it's great for cameras as well. We both pore over the beautiful pictures and mouthwatering recipes in the cookbook -- Meme has even tried some of the recipes and it turns out that they taste just as good as they look. I am becoming a huge fan of the Microfiber line -- the Pleated Handbag fits everything I need for the day in something the size of a purse. Amazingly, the microfiber stays clean, even with all the lint and threads associated with the textiles that we are around all day.

Do you have a favorite Vera Bradley product? We'd love to hear about what it is and why you love it.


We know...
We've been there -- we know what it's like to have to shop for multiple people all at once on a limited budget. We also know when something more (like a wedding gift) is better, and everything in between. It is our goal to provide an array of gifts in a variety of price ranges to fit your various needs.

Experience the Difference:
If we don't love it, we don't carry it. It is our goal to try it, wash it, test drive it on our family and friends, and be able to vouch for it. Quality is our ultimate goal, in everything we do, from the items we carry to our level of customer service to our monogramming standards. We know there are lots of websites and retail stores out there, just a phone call or click away and we hope you'll experience the difference in working with us. Whatever your initial attraction, we're sure you'll find many more qualities to love. It's one of the many things that set us apart from the rest.

Why Blog?
Because we are so hands on in selecting and testing merchandise, we thought a blog would be helpful in order to highlight some of our current favorites, new items, as well as old standbys. However, it's also a way for you, our customers, to share experiences and feedback as well. We are so appreciative of the wonderful network of customers that we've come to meet and get to know over the years. Your feedback and ideas have been invaluable to us and we hope to continue that experience here.