At Hayfields gift shop in Hamilton, shoppers are inspired to pursue ‘bookmark browsing’ - the practice of scanning a store’s contents and pegging items to peruse once you’ve stopped looking at the item that brought you into the store.
You may go in to buy a wedding gift and come out with mother-daughter aprons or Tokyomilk lip elixir.
The effect is feminine and fun, not unlike the image of the store’s owner, Amy Camerlin, a former marketing executive who opened earlier this summer in the space that formerly housed Scribe stationery shop.
“Life is busy and it just gets busier, so why not add some brightness to your world?” said Camerlin, handing over a lipstick in the shape of a Russian doll. “As a shopper, I most enjoy going to stores that are calm and peaceful, that offer a sense of connection, and that bring a little fun.”
Gesturing around the store, she said, “I choose the products that I sell with that in mind; I want shoppers to find something here that will bring someone happiness. Everything in this store is something I personally love.”
Thus the store’s motto: “Give with style, with joy, with love.”
The style part is revealed in the not-your-average-gift selection. Even down to the cards, which feature witty and thought-provoking messages, Hayfields sells things that inspire a double-take. One example is the Beatriz Ball collection of trays and bowls. A serving tray that appears to be hand-shaped silver is actually made of an aluminum alloy that is lightweight, affordable and also goes in the oven.
Design is front and center with purse notebooks and in the teacup-shaped baking cup that goes from oven to table. For those wanting social stationery, the Felix Doolittle line of personalized stationery is coming soon.
Design is also central to the baby items, as evidenced by the supra-soft baby capes with satiny linings by Bunnies by the Bay. Mothers of babies (and those needing the ideal shower gift) might snap up the embroidered diaper covers, the downy-soft stuffed animals and, for the older children, classic children’s books like "Blueberries for Sal" and "Make Way for Ducklings."
And it wouldn't be Hamilton if there were no products sporting horses-and-hounds themes. That's a world with which Camerlin is quite familiar, having spent much time at . (Just so the pigs and chickens don’t feel left out, there are also gift soaps in the form of farm animals.)