WEST HARTFORD – SPIN Monograms & Gifts opened for business about 18 months ago in Bishops Corner, but it was in an out-of-the way location did not bring in many browsers and the engraving and embroidering machines occupied a major portion of the store's compact 400 square foot space.
"I wanted more space and to offer more products, and I also wanted to increase walk-by traffic," said owner Marcie Humphries, who is also the co-owner of nine Pet Supplies Plus stores throughout Connecticut with her husband Jason and other family members.
Humphries found out about an empty space in Blue Back Square, and it suited her needs perfectly. The storefront at 55 Isham Dr., right next to Umi Sushi and originally planned as the sight of Chow, had never been occupied. Humphries was thrilled to be able to design the new store to her exact specifications.
SPIN has a product that serves a niche market unavailable from other area stores – with a vast selection of easily-personalized items for people of all ages.
Humphries has a machine on site to embroider monograms, names, or other messages on fabric, and also has an engraving machine which can personalize glass, metal, and acrylic gift items.
Even during the busy holiday season, she can personalize most items within a few days. Certain products – such as the very popular filigree necklaces, phone cases, and silver earrings – are done offsite and may take up to a week and a half, Humphries said.
Humphries just opened the doors at the new location last week, and said business has already been brisk. "Everyone likes the bags, and clutches are big for holiday gifts," she said.
"But it's not just for the holidays," said Humphries. She said SPIN's products make great birthday, hostess, baby, engagement, and wedding gifts. She has gifts for men, babies, teens – all ages, she said. "I had someone in here today buying something for a 96-year-old," said Humphries.
A personalized gift, Humphries said, immediately shows that the giver had forethought and planning in the selection.
The cost of personalization is automatically included in the cost of the gift, with prices beginning at about $20 for cosmetic bags. Tote bags sell for $30 to $60, and waffle robes are $45.
For the traveler, SPIN will personalize luggage such as rolling duffel bags and smaller bags that hook onto other pieces.
SPIN will host a grand opening celebration on Dec. 6, as part of West Hartford Center and Blue Back Square's Holiday Stroll. Humphries said she plans to have a popcorn machine on site and offer raffle prizes such as personalized tote bags.
The store is open Monday through Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. More information can be found on the store's Facebook page.
“SPIN Monograms & Gifts is really representative of the diverse group of niche retailers we offer in our mixed use center,” said Blue Back Square Project Marketing Manager, Barbara Lerner in a news release. “We pride ourselves on always offering a unique shopping and dining experience.”