October 2013

MAKING CONNECTIONS AT THE BLUE PARROT FINE GIFTS

Author: Rebecca Edwards

It’s Friday. Your week has been crazy with work, kids and “to do lists.” Just when you think the dust is about to settle, you realize, “Oh no! I need to get a gift.” That gift might be a hostess present or for your anniversary, a wedding or other special occasion. What to do?

Remain calm and go to The Blue Parrot Fine Gifts in the Village at Wexford. Owner Linda Hyslop, who has been in the fine gift business for over 30 years, is waiting there to help you find just the right thing, and she’s glad to do it. She’s a gift-giver. It just comes naturally to her. And she truly enjoys the art of finding just the right thing for just the right person.

“In today’s busy world, I believe it’s becoming harder and harder to have that special shopping experience and find that perfect gift. But for me, life is all about making connections. I want to help people reconnect with enjoying shopping and help them find thoughtful presents. After all, gifts are a reflection of the connection you have with a person and an occasion,” Hyslop said.

Hyslop is one week out from celebrating her daughter Natalie’s wedding. As the mother of the bride, she is ecstatic and, quite naturally, feeling the nerves of planning such a big event. Yet, as a gift-giver, she has this one in the bag. She knows her daughter and her tastes implicitly. She’s connected with her. Furthermore, her daughter is very connected with The Blue Parrot and one of its collectible lines, Wee Forest Folk.

“My daughter started collecting Wee Forest Folk figurines 30 years ago. She has an extensive collection, and she is having WFF characters as the bride and groom decoration on top of her wedding cake,” Hyslop said.

Wee Forest Folk are fanciful mouse miniatures handcrafted in the United States by Annette Peterson and are one of The Blue Parrot’s top attractions for patrons. Sculpted completely by hand, each Wee original takes weeks to create and packs a ton of personality and creativity for being such a, well… wee, little creature. Peterson gives them quirky playful names like “Little Dipper,” which is a little mouse in a pink and purple inner tube looking quite cute with a yellow bathing suit and green flip flops.

According to Hyslop, “people come from all over the country for this,” as well as some of her other top lines, including Pandora jewelry, Cinda B bags, and Wolford oil lamps.
Hyslop is also giving her daughter an outdoor “jazz frog” sculpture that has a Bluetooth connection and plays music. “My daughter is a herpatologist (a branch of zoology that studies amphibians) biology professor and loves music. I know she will love this piece.” The lucky bride is also receiving a personalized, elegant cedar cutting board with “And they lived happily ever after” on one side and “Natalie and Jason 2013” on the other side.

OTHER GREAT GIFT IDEAS:
Sand pictures to decorate a desk or office space
Local wine from Island Winery or a Goat Island box for a hostess gift
Hand-carved Russian Santa figures for holiday table decoration
John Medeiros, Pandora, Decker, or Lori Bonn jewelry for an anniversary or a Valentine present
A pair of sandals from Charleston Shoe Company as a comfy pair of attractive shoes for that trip to Europe paired with a Baggallini hand bag
Charles Viancin silicone lids and bottles for an eco-minded mom on Mother’s Day
All-natural Farm Fresh skincare products that smell lovely and are great stocking stuffers or gift basket additions
A “drunken dragonfly” by Paul’s Metal Petals for that special someone who likes to garden

“The Blue Parrot has become a meeting place for folks,” Hyslop said. “I have a lovely staff and they are all very oriented toward the customer. We try to make shopping a social occasion and we try to offer unusual, signature pieces that make people feel special and, yes, connected to each other.”

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