Getting the word out

Pine Cone Gift Shop celebrates one-year anniversary

By KATHERINE RYDER Special to Shopper News Published:

Pine Cone Gift Shop is not your everyday, run of the mill, boutique. Nestled along Kidron Road, just outside of Orrville, this shop offers a vast collection of floral décor, accessories and items for the home.

Annette Hodkinson, owner, admits that she is a garden and floral lover, which is evident when customers walk into the shop. The mixture of potpourri, doilies, candles, wreaths, potted ornaments and lawn décor encompasses the visitor as they peruse through.

Hodkinson opened the doors about a year ago because she believed people were looking for more permanent items for their homes.

"Times have changed," Hodkinson said. "I have always loved retail and customer service and I thought I could provide something that customers would really enjoy."

One of Hodkinson's goals is to have people walk in and have an enjoyable time, even if they don't buy. Part of the ordering process includes bringing items in that customers will appreciate, all the while maintaining the atmosphere Hodkinson is working toward for the store.

"When I'm ordering I think about what the current trends are and what I like," Hodkinson said. "I'm just a small shop so I have the freedom to carry more of what I think other people will enjoy rather than stocking with some other items."

Hodkinson admits that her favorite aspect of the business is attending gift shows, visiting other gift shops and buying products. Those times allow her to broaden her own creativity and accumulate different ideas for what she can offer her customers.

Having only been settled one year, Hodkinson still finds it difficult to get the word out for Pine Cone Gift Shop, believing that the first year to the first year and a half are always the hardest. However, she maintains sales and discounts continuously as an initiative to keep traffic coming to the store.

"I have a lot of return customers," Hodkinson said. "The initial goal is to get the word out, because I believe word of mouth is the best advertising. I have the support of the community, but it takes a long time to build a name up for your business."

As part of her long-term goals, Hodkinson would like to get a website up and running, both to participate in online orders and as another tool to increase the familiarity with her business.

Hodkinson also wants prospective customers to know that she accepts custom orders for her floral items. Individuals may bring in vases, swatches or just their ideas and she can create what they are looking for.

Pine Cone Gift Shop is located at 2877 Kidron Road in Orrville. The business is open Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Wednesday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

They are currently gearing up for their annual Christmas Open House. The Christmas Open House will be Friday, Nov. 16 and Saturday, Nov. 17, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. There will be a lot going on during this event. Refreshments will be served. Customers can sign up for door prizes. Stop out and start your Christmas shopping early and take advantage of the special sales during the Christmas Open House.

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