Thursday, December 1, 2011

Say Hello to Kitty

As per usual, I found myself shopping, but this time it was supposed to be for gifts alone. It is that time of year and there is something so fulfilling about the thrill of the gift hunt. Every shopping experience is different but this was an extra special outing as I found myself in the midst of the wonderful world of Hello Kitty by Sanrio. This is a world of utter happiness that I was once very familiar. I remember her coy smile and the oversized bow. My parents gifted me a huge deluxe basket of Hello Kitty goodies when I was a child and somewhere, among all my junk or perhaps in a trunk, are a decades old pink pair of Hello Kitty scissors that are a piece of my history.

Now, as I shop for the new products from the Japanese line, I am the one making history because this brand has staying power and recently celebrated 50 years in business. Just look at all of these trinkets. Coffee mugs, lunch boxes, Eco-friendly totes, watches, rings, stationery, cups, pens, pencils, jackets, toys, luxury jewels, shoes and whatever else you want to name, the brand encompasses it. With high profile designer collections and endorsements the brand has exploded, there are now a handful of different characters under the Sanrio brand that are fit for each and every personality and age group out there. Not only that, it has people like me still coming back for more.

I was lucky enough to find Sunshine Gifts, one of two small shops owned by the uber friendly Angie Rupley Wiltz. I love the small business owner because they fully know their products, the brands they sell and connect with their customers on a whole different level. Upon my visit, I encountered one very enthusiastic repeat customer who despite the fact that she is over 30, confessed that not only does she still purchase Hello Kitty for herself religiously, but "Sunshine Gifts is the place to go to for the best Hello Kitty stuff"-anonymous shopper.

On this particular day she was very hopeful as she chose a few pieces that she was sending her husband back for as a pseudo-surprise for her birthday. This particular customer was unabashed in her love and devotion to the line and she left me feeling empowered. She is a woman who knows exactly what she wants and isn’t afraid to put it on hold. I loved the Hello Kitty line too so why have I been hiding it for all these years? I reconnected to my childhood while I was there & shopkeeper Angie was much obliged to help me pick out some pretty luxe pieces as gifts and well, of course, some for myself. (Hey at least I wasn’t sending someone else back for it later.) Owner Angie had intimate product knowledge about each piece that she showed me and her shop girl charms worked as I watched my bundle increase on the counter. Thank goodness for old school layaway!

For gift giving, my choice piece is this Mini Tea Set for Winter that is oh so cute for the little ones. It is not plastic but porcelain which is what every little girl deserves-the real deal. I have a few little girls in my life that would love to own their very own, real tea set and I cannot wait to give it to them. The recipient of this Hello Kitty tea set is going to be one very cool Kitty.

Happy Shopping!