Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Seattle: Martha E. Harris Gift Shop in Madison Park: A Visual Gold Mine

I give my highest "must see" rating to Martha E. Harris Flowers and Gifts in Madison Park, Seattle.  If you love what I love (entertaining, color, ribbon, china, flowers, tablescapes), then you must figure out a way to visit this beautiful shop.  In my photograph above you can see the shelves (yes, shelves) of Emma Bridgewater took my breath away.  It is very difficult to find Emma Bridgewater pottery and accessories for sale in the United States. I simply couldn't believe my eyes.  I'm under strict instructions from my mom to return to this store when I get back to Seattle in June and get her some of the "bird mugs." Fun!  Do you remember when I visited the Emma Bridgewater Factory in Stoke-on-Trent, England?   

I have shopped all over the country (Houston, Palm Beach, Chicago, New York) and I can easily tout Martha E. Harris Flowers & Gifts as being one of the prettiest merchandised shops with the best selections of all the things I love. It is a visual gold mine.
When is the last time you saw a selection of ribbon this extensive? I need to make a game plan and return (ribbon for fresh lavender bundles, ribbon for my Honey Dijon rose bouquets, ribbon to create a monogram with on a pillow).  
When I was reflecting on my visit and preparing to write this post, I realized how broad the phrase "gift shop" is.  There are 3 gift shops on every main street in every town in America.  The quality of goods varies greatly and more often than not, they sell whimsy, not beauty.  Martha E. Harris offers beauty through color-based vignettes and colorful displays.  Lovely pieces to buy for your home or give to a friend.  If only I could register for my wedding all over again!
I have been passionate about linens for years.  I have amassed quite a collection of dishtowels, runners and napkins and lately I have been pushing myself to use them around the house.  I love how the usual color combinations can add interest to a clean and classic kitchen.
I also really appreciated the variety of fine gifts at Martha E. Harris.  In the photo above you can see apple-shaped candles, beautiful yarn scarves, pretty gift wrap rolls and paper flowers.  I couldn't wait to show you.
The shopgirl called a new collection of spice jar dolls to my attention. They are a great example of how the store brings in a few art pieces to enhance the mix. 
What surprised me was that Martha E. Harris is also a floral design service. The retail marriage of floral arrangements and fine gifts makes so much sense - purchase beautiful serving pieces, fresh linens and order a bouquet for the table.  Look at the masterpiece they had made up just minutes before I arrived.  And notice the variety of glass vases on the shelves...this florist isn't kidding around!
As I travel around the country, I try to highlight the shops, sweets and treats that I think will bring delight to my readers - I call it a "City Series." In the sidebar of the blog, you can find other cities and when you click the name, you will see a list of all my blog posts from that city.

When you visit Seattle, make your way to Madison Park and I know you will find delight at Martha E. Harris Flowers & Gifts.

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