Where You’ll Find Gift Ideas With A WOW Factor!
By LEIGH C. MERRIFIELD
News & Journal Editor
About You Monograms celebrated its ‘grand opening’ on March 3rd in Bridgeport.
Owned by Lisa Lang, she and her husband Andy purchased the property (the former location of Mustard Seed Primitives on W. Main Street) in February of last year, and since that time, they have been fully engulfed in makeover mode! The building has been totally renovated – new wiring, plumbing, etc. – and all construction work was done through local contractors. There were a few special additions such as archways within the interior and a projecting balcony off the second floor exterior that overlooks the nearby Lloyd Lang Bridge. Yet, some of the old still remains … like the totally restored original oak floors. Everything is now complete and their doors have opened for business!
Lisa says that she and her daughter Miranda tossed around ideas for this shop for some time, and she finally decided, excitedly, to move forward with it. Always a particular fan of personalized monogramming, Lisa said the name of the shop was simply a ‘no brainer’!
“Some of my friends used to tease me about all my personalizations and they’d say ‘It’s all about you’! So my daughter and I just kind of looked at each other and said naming the shop wouldn’t be a problem,” she joked.
Lisa also admits to having a special affection for all things ‘Southern’, and evidence of this is prevalent in her shop. Visitors have already noticed and remarked about all the pineapples among displays there, and they ask ‘why’. According to Lisa, the answer is simple: this sweet fruit has become synonymous with Southern hospitality and friendship, and that is exactly how she wants her customers to feel … that their business is genuinely welcomed and that it will be a place they will want to revisit again and again. And, needless to say, when choosing merchandise to carry, Lisa traveled south to the Gift Market in Atlanta, GA!
Although planning the property’s refurbishing was a rather laborious process, learning the skills and techniques for successful monogramming also consumed a lot of time. “We have been playing with it since the fall of 2016, taking classes, watching videos, and doing lots of research,” she added. “It takes a great deal of patience and practice, but we’ve mastered it.”
There are plenty of things to choose from at About You if you’re looking for things to monogram! They can monogram everything from cloth to leather! And you can also bring items in that have been purchased elsewhere for monogramming. BUT, one thing they have learned is to inspect those items carefully to ensure that the fabric can be successfully digitized.
“There are a lot of variables, and some fabrics may be prone to puckering, but we know what to examine and we’ll be honest with you if we feel the finished product might be questionable,” Lisa continued.
About You can help you get ready for summer with totes, beach blankets and towels, etc. They also carry clothing for men, women and children – reversible vests, sweaters, baseball caps, unisex rainwear, pj’s, and robes – you name it! They have a unique line of raincoats for children (sizes 2T to 6) that can be monogrammed as well – and with matching boots … along with hair bows and backpacks! And lots of infant items too … from blankets and keepsake quilts to baby caps, onesies, Christening kits and Tooth Fairy kits! Believe it or not, they also sell Converse tennis shoes, which are also suitable for monogramming. To say the least, a gift purchased at About You will be unique!
If you have a man in your life who is hard to buy for, how about a monogrammed piece of luggage? Or for a lady who has everything, try a set of monogrammed placemats with matching napkins or a personalized casserole carrier!
“We also learned that there is such a thing as ‘monogramming etiquette’,” Katherine Hughes, About You’s monogramming specialist offered. “It’s true what they say about location, location, location! Placement, font, and even the order of initials may vary for men as opposed to women, so there are a lot of things to consider and we can help guide our customers in making all those decisions.”
Lisa added, “Although people can order personalized items online, there is a lot to be said about being able to see and feel the product you are purchasing in person. In addition, you can be involved in selecting the font and choosing from our many colors of thread (even metallic thread for those who want to add a little bling!). This is what makes your gift so personal; you have been instrumental in its creation.”
There are many more surprises you will find at About You! If you are planning a bridal shower or if a wedding is in your future, you’ll be amazed at the many ideas you can find here to help you. Looking for a special baby gift? Again, why not make it an original gift – a keepsake to treasure? Are you a sports fan? Make your allegiance known to everyone with team logos! If you know someone who has been accepted into a sorority, About You carries necklaces with Greek insignias attached. Looking for an original wedding gift? How about a personalized wood cutting board or a specially etched set of glassware? Or perhaps you just need a small hostess gift or party favor … in that case, you’ll want to look at their monogrammed note cards, candles, or even miniature confetti cookies! Items like the etched glassware may have to be outsourced to a third party, but otherwise, just about everything else can be done in-house.
More entailed logos and embroidery work must be digitized first and that may take a couple of days to send away for digitizing, but when it returns, their monogramming machine is capable of handling nearly any personalization you are looking for. There is typically only a 3-4 day turn-around time for special orders and embroidery work.
Lisa has also employed Jordan Lewis who is proficient in working with vinyls. If you are looking for specialty items, for instance, for the back of your car windows, she can help you with vinyl lettering. These personalized vinyl items will affix to glass, metal and just about any smooth surface.
If you are tired of endless hours spent walking through stores at the mall or window shopping on websites and still turning up empty-handed, then clearly, this is the place to shop! If you don’t want “just another gift” and prefer to give something with special meaning that reveals the thought you’ve put into giving it, then be sure to visit About You Monograms! The staff would love to give you the one-on-one attention you deserve, so feel free to call for an appointment to ensure that they have the time to spend guiding you with your choices.
Lisa’s daughter Miranda is in charge of internet marketing and is currently creating a customized website; however, in the meantime, you can peruse their information, photos and comments on Facebook @aboutyoumonograms.
About You Monograms accepts major credit cards. Located at 110 W. Main Street in Bridgeport with ample free parking right next to the door, their hours are M-F from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. They can be reached by phone at 304-842-2178; if an after-hours appointment is more convenient, please call 304-290-8636.