Vicki Briganti – WWJ-TV Writer / Producer / Editor
The Hallmark store my mom shopped at in Howell closed. Let’s just say I don’t get greeting cards in my mailbox anymore. A card? Sent with a stamp? How quaint. Did she sign the card with a quill pen?
Hey, not everyone shops online. When my friend Gigi was visiting from Italy (International Friendship Rekindled Thanks To Facebook), he had a request from a friend to bring home a snow globe. I have to admit, snow globes aren’t top of the mind awareness in my world. I had no idea where to take him to make this important purchase. Since we were walking around Royal Oak, we went in a few stores on Washington Street. Listen up Write Impressions, Five15, and Shine. Start stocking snow globes. Someone suggested we try Hattie’s Hallmark in the strip mall at 12 Mile Road and Campbell Hilton in Madison Heights. So we checked it out.
I thought the Hallmark stores went out of business when Border’s closed. I’ve lived in Royal Oak for almost 14 years, and I’ve never gone in Hattie’s Hallmark, which is 1.38 miles from my house. Well, I have been missing out. What a wonderful surprise. They offer complimentary coffee on a table by the front door. Ah, nostalgia. It was like walking into 1989.
Normally, I buy my greeting cards from the Dollar Tree or CVS Pharmacy for $.99. If I need several, I might go to ACO Hardware where they are 2 for $1. After all, it’s the thought that counts, right? Gigi found a snow globe he liked and didn’t blink an eye as he shelled out $35. They wrapped it in a box for safe travel.
Home Away From Home
The whole experience brought me back to the summer after I graduated from high school. I worked at the Browsery Hallmark in Allen Park and Dearborn. It was there I learned how to professionally gift-wrap using a string to measure the box. I wonder if my dad worked at a Hallmark store. You can’t even find the seam on his gifts. He folds the paper and tucks the tape underneath. I feel guilty spending :02 seconds ripping open a gift that probably took him 12 minutes to wrap. Me? I just slap on wrap and take a nap (Zen And The Art Of Napping).
The ladies working at the store are like sweet, warm, friendly (not greedy) aunts. You feel like they might hug you if you’re having a bad day. I felt so at home and comfortable; I went back later to buy some cards. To you, Valentine’s Day is two weeks away. To me, it’s sooner than you think. My motto is: Why put off until tomorrow what you can obsess about today?
Hallmark has cards for $.99, and they are much more creative and unique than the ones at CVS Pharmacy. Suddenly, I care enough to send the very best. I feel proud sticking a gold crown seal on my envelope. I immediately joined their Crown Rewards program and went online to complete my customer satisfaction survey to receive $2 off my next purchase. I’m hooked. I rate it 10 out of 10. Highly satisfied.
I hope they don’t go out of business. I can’t single-handedly keep open the U.S. Postal Service and Hattie’s Hallmark with my loyal patronage, but I can try. Shopping online at amazon.com doesn’t feel as all-American. Besides, nothing says ‘Americana’ quite like a snow globe. Just ask the Italians.
>> More Motor City Musing With Vicki Briganti