What many people love most about the Cranford-Westfield area are the thriving downtown districts, especially the independently run small businesses. While it’s true that small businesses have a tough time staying in business these days, there are many establishments in our area that have been flourishing for decades. One such businesses is a favorite boutique of mine: Periwinkle’s Fine Gifts in Downtown Cranford, which has been operating for an impressive 26 years!
Recently I caught up with Periwinkle’s owner Elaine Moffett to discuss the secrets of her success in town. According to Elaine: “In our 26 years of Periwinkles, a lot has changed in retail and tech. We have always strived to embrace these changes with new ideas in buying, design, and social media. The one thing that has not changed is our personal service to our customers. That, we believe, is key. People are not numbers, especially in a small town. Over these years it all comes back to the love of my customers—they are all so special to me!”
I couldn’t agree more with Elaine, that exceptional customer service elevates any business above the rest. It’s one of the things that keeps me coming back to Periwinkle’s for every darn holiday, every birthday, every milestone gift I need to buy. Elaine has personally helped me select gifts that I might not have considered without her advice. And every gift you purchase in store is lovingly gift-wrapped and ready to give; don’t you just love that?!
As for the well-curated inventory of at Periwinkle’s, Elaine said, “We stay on top of trends, be it jewelry, home décor, baby, or hostess gifts. The best of best are chosen to be in our store, keeping in mind the high demands of consumers today for quality. Our bestselling items are probably personalized items, especially our ‘town’ items. We cover 5 towns, and Periwinkle’s has designed Town Afghans for each, depicting scenes of each town. Also coasters with est. dates of towns, wooden signs and magnets—all from companies in the USA. Our customers love the unique items we present . . . items they never even knew existed.”
Spring is the perfect time to visit Periwinkle’s, as the store is full of bright Easter and spring-themed merchandise. I know I need to get my hands on their Belgian chocolate bunnies ASAP! If you like decorating your home for Easter, you must see the hand-painted chick eggs imported from Austria—Periwinkle’s has been importing these for more than 20 years! Every egg you purchase comes with a charming little story card describing how the eggs are painted in a little Austrian village, so they make a great hostess gift as well.
Don’t forget that Periwinkle’s also has a nice selection of greeting cards—often on sale! That has come in handy sooooo many times when I’ve been walking through town, see Perwinkle’s, and suddenly remember someone’s birthday!
The next time you have to buy a gift for someone, head over to Perwinkle’s. I guarantee you’ll be greeted with a smile by Elaine and her adorable “assistant” Ginger (the sweetest little dog you’ll ever meet), and you’ll walk out with just the right gift. When you’re in the shop, make sure to sign up for their e-mail list so you can receive exclusive coupons and find out about fun events in-store, such as the annual Kentucky Derby hat contest, sip-n-shop nights (with cocktails!), visits from the REAL Santa Claus, and many more.