“We make thoughtfulness affordable” Monarch plans third gift shop
Are you looking for that special gift or the perfect gift basket for family, friends or business clients? Forget-Me-Not Gift Shop in Winston-Salem's exclusive and historic Reynolda Village will soon provide an alternative "thoughtful" and "affordable" option for gift buyers. It will be the third gift shop opened by Monarch, along with The Grapevine locations in Asheboro and Southern Pines.
Of the three, this spot is the most visible, says Julia Augustoni, a Monarch regional director who oversees all three locations. The shop is located in the Cattleshed Shops in Reynolda Village – 2201 Reynolda Rd., Suite 111-D.
“Our tagline is, ‘We make thoughtfulness affordable,’” she says.
The shop had a soft opening in November for Reynolda Village’s Holiday Stroll — and did quite well. Augustoni plans a grand opening for February or March.
“We do all-occasion gift baskets,” she says. “We also did Christmas wreaths and holiday décor items.”The gift shops got started with seasonal gift baskets.
The shops do buy some giftware, and people supported by Monarch typically enhance those items, Augustoni says. The individuals also perform all the pre-assembly for the gift baskets.
The signature piece for each gift basket is a customized notepad, made by the people we support and included with each basket. Individuals who work with the shops in Southern Pines and Asheboro also make bows. The bows are used with all gift baskets, and sometimes, just the bows are sold to customers because they are such a popular item.
“We want to be able to show all the things that the people we support do,” she says. “There are many products made by others with disabilities across the country. I want to bring those items into the Reynolda Village shop as well. "The stores also offer necklaces, napkins, coasters and photo frames. Augustoni says the Reynolda Village location will provide handmade beaded items and jewelry as well. In Southern Pines, the focus is on pottery, she says.
All three locations are open to the public, but Augustoni notes, “Our staff and our families are some of our best customers.”
While the Southern Pines location is mostly advertised through word of mouth, the Asheboro shop recently moved to a new storefront located at 125 E. Taft St.
“We’ve seen a huge difference there because we are now more visible to the public,” Augustoni explained.
The Reynolda Village shop has a terrific, upscale location, she says. “We’re right beside K9 Doggie Bakery and Boutique (the shop’s official name), and it brings in unbelievable traffic. We are bringing diversity to the Village. Our goal is true community integration.”
Pictured (l-r): Sharon Burns, Gloria Hunder, Bunny Schoolcraft and Julia Augustoni, who work as a team with the people we support and others to operate and ensure the success of Monarch's gift shops.