By Lisa Truesdale Photos by Phil Mumford
Look to Adorn and Adornables for classy gifts for grownups, children and the home Ives Gentry is known among friends and family for being a very savvy gift giver. She even has what she calls her own “gifting manifesto.”
“I believe that gift-giving is a meditation on the people I love,” she says, “and a testament to the attention I’ve paid to them all year long.” Which is why the Longmont resident was happy to find Adorn, an intimate gift shop that opened downtown seven years ago. “I can always find something unusual and exquisite there, or something small but delightful, if it has to be shipped.”
Just as Gentry takes pride in always finding the perfect gift, Sharald Church—who owns the store with her husband, Scott—takes pride in cultivating the perfect mix of merchandise.
“I’m a super-picky buyer,” she says, “and I work hard to keep a fresh gift assortment on hand. Many items are one of a kind.” But, she hastens to add, “we never use that as a sales pitch, like, ‘You’d better buy it now or it will be gone.’ My regulars know that if they really want it, they should get it, or it probably won’t be here when they come back.”
Church travels to industry trade shows several times a year, and buys from nearly 100 vendors. She has also built up good working relationships with the sales reps for the lines she buys from regularly. “They know I will only buy if they protect me by not selling the same items to another store within a 10-mile radius.”
Sister store across the street
Before Adorn, the location housed The Garden Gift Shop, a store that carried a lot of home décor and garden-themed items. During her first few years in business, Church carried many home items too, but “the store has naturally evolved towards what was more popular, and that was gifts,” she says, although there are still quite a few home items, such as seasonal housewares from Tag, and Frasier Fir candles and home scents from Thymes, which are especially popular around the holidays. The gift assortment, meanwhile, features local artisanal items like handbags from Boulder’s Maruca Designs; jewelry; TokyoMilk, a Denver-based line of perfumed lotions and other “body luxuries”; and the ever-popular Dammit Dolls, cloth figures that can be thrown to help relieve stress and frustration. “We’ve sold more than 400 of those,” Church laughs. Adorn carries several lines geared toward tweens, like purses from Bungalow 360; unique hair accessories; and items from the Natural Life Collection. But if you need a gift for a child from newborn to age 8, Church suggests you try a store across the street—Adornables, the “little ones boutique” the Churches opened three years ago. “The baby and children’s items we had here at Adorn were doing so well that we ran out of room, so we opened a second store,” she says.
Step into Adornables and you’ll immediately notice that Church’s astute gift-buying is represented nicely here, too. For babies and toddlers, you’ll find 3-D books with “tails,” from Little Jellycat; Swaddle Designs’ zzzZipMe Sacks; 3-D cut-wood clocks from Modern Moose; Pee Pee Teepees to shield caregivers during diaper changes; Chewbeads teething jewelry; and a variety of clothing from Winter Water Factory and Zutano. For older kids, there are educational games and puzzles by Eboo and Monkey Pod Games; Itzy Bitzy bento lunchboxes; Squishables plush; dumptrucks and kitchen sets by Green Toys; and craft kits and funky hats. In the back of the store, there’s a play area with a dollhouse and a wooden table with cars, to keep kids busy while their parents shop. Our town As for the success of both stores, Church partially credits the fact that she supports small, unique startup artists and carries a lot of “Made in the USA” gifts. She also believes it’s important that she’s involved with the community, and that she’s usually on hand at one of the stores every day. The Churches live near downtown, their daughters went to elementary school there, and she serves as director of Longmont’s ArtWalk and as a block captain for the Longmont Downtown Development Authority. “People like to interact with a store’s owners,” she says. “It adds to the small-town feel.
“I feel like I know almost everyone,” she adds, “and they all know me as ‘the Adorn lady.’” Gentry agrees that the popularity of both stores is partly due to Church and her two employees. “I really trust their judgment,” she says. “I went to Adornables for a baby gift, and since I don’t have kids myself, I couldn’t apply my usual gift-giving criteria. They gave me amazing advice about the perfect gift for a 6-month-old, and it was definitely the coolest, most unique gift at the baby shower.”
Adorn Home & Gift Gallery (303-651-6933) is located at 668 Fourth Ave., Longmont 80501. Adornables Little Ones Boutique (same phone number) is across the street at 661 Fourth Ave. Both are open Mon 10am-4pm, Tues-Fri 10am-5:30pm, and Sat 10am-4pm. They’re closed on Sundays, except for special holiday hours of noon-4pm between Thanksgiving and Christmas.