by Maggie Zeibak,
You haven’t met Missy yet? You haven’t had that irresistible urge to drop into her store of the same name on Avenida Del Mar? Well you’d better remedy that in a hurry, because here’s a one-of-a-kind shop where just about all of your gift-giving prayers are answered.
Generally described as a party supply and gift shop, that only covers the basics – it’s a boutique specializing in high-quality, on-trend items sourced from around the globe.
Shop-owner Missy White has a nose for understanding what people want to buy, mostly because it’s what she wants to buy herself. She understands her friends and family and how they like to spend their money, particularly on something unusual and guaranteed not to break the bank.
This home-grown entrepreneur graduated from San Clemente High, left for college in Utah and came right back home. Blazing her way through successful careers with Billabong and Nordstrom she collected plenty of selling experience and expertise, taking time to marry co-owner Paul, and create their family Riley (9) and Sidney (6) along the way.
Hubby Paul handles the online business as well as the less glamorous financial and back-of-the-house operations. It was with his encouragement, support and investment that made Missy’s a reality.
Coming to terms with the fact that she didn’t want to keep hurtling up the coast to other cities when she needed a gift or party supply, she decided that San Clemente needed her particular brand of business. Testing the waters and doing her market research, she started offering her friends shopping visits to her sitting room, where she laid out her latest ‘finds’ from the New York Trade Show. Soon, the phone was ringing with friends of friends asking for the privilege of a visit. You know how that goes, you see something you like, someone else has it, and inevitably, the question arises … “Where’d you get that?” We love to share and soon the word goes around, and in the case of Missy’s house, the phone was constantly ringing with requests. “Can I come over and see what you’ve got”? That’s when the “pop-up” shop started.
After two years it was time to get serious and find a location where she could cater not only to a local clientele, but also to visitors.
“I was so fortunate to have Becki Owens, a local interior designer, lay out the design of the shop and provide an eye-catching décor,” she said, “everything went smoothly and it suits my needs very well. I’m excited to be here and would like to invite San Clementeans to come in and look from top to bottom as we have something for everybody. We’re open seven-days-a-week, but allow plenty of browsing time as you never know what you’ll find on the shelves. I’ve got a price-range starting from $3 to $300 and my stock rotates constantly.”
Children can find adorable stuffed toys in hampers close to the maze-designed, black-and-white floor, while mom can examine the sheets and rolls of whimsical wrapping paper suitable for every occasion. Wouldn’t you love to receive a gift wrapped in an ice-cream sundae dish design? Lightning bolts are fun, too. For those last-minute gifts you can order online and they will gift-wrap ready for you to pick up.
Talk to Missy and she’ll help solve your gift-giving dilemmas as well as dispense free advice on party themes and balloons. Her selection of balloons is extensive, ranging from alphabet letters, to emojis to seasonal colors and designs, together with an exciting array of party favors and hostess gifts.
Thinking along festive celebration lines, make a beeline for the vibrant colored packages of eight Sparklettes, reasonably priced and guaranteed to light up your event. Kiddies and adults will love these. Don’t pass up the tins of Glow in the Dark Thinking Putty ($15) also ready for little kids and big kids to get their fingers working. Locally made Laguna Sea Salt is a unique handcrafted gift (try the Himalayan Pink $7) even though the recipient may not excel in the kitchen. You will find exceptionally different types of gifts here and ones that won’t break the budget.
Passing up our emotional wellbeing is not an option, especially when there is a supply of treats on hand. Even better, satisfy your cravings with Sugarfina products offered in a chic Bento Box packaging to select and present your choice of boutique candies. Choose distinctive Butterflies, Cuba Libre, Sea Salt Caramel, and Chocolate Bacon Pretzels, pop them in the blue box and it is gourmet candy for grown-ups.
Prominently displayed in the shop are S’well stainless steel, colored water bottles. For those of us who want to rid the world of plastic bottles, these high-performance, no condensation containers keep drinks cold for 24 hours and hot for 12, meanwhile providing a stylish accessory. A size and color is available for everyone on your shopping list.
Much in demand are the products from Ban.Do, the must-have Gold Phone Charger ($32), and various notebooks displaying our sentiments; one in particular – I am Very Busy.
That says it all about Missy White who, with her huge, personality-plus remarks, “Welcome to my world of really, really good things – this is my happy place!”