Northwest Woman

Find the Perfect Gift For Your Sweetheart This Valentine’s Day

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With Valentine’s Day around the corner, now is the time to show your special someone that you care. Have fun picking out the perfect gift by shopping at these five destinations.

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Ladies knows that actions speak louder than words. With Valentine’s Day approaching, now is a great time to give your special someone a gift that says, ‘I love you.’ You can never go wrong with a classic gift of flowers or jewelry. You might also consider something out-of-the-box, such as a mink fur coat or massage oil. Selecting the right gift that befits your loved one should take time and effort. Personality is essential to consider.

“Keeping your loved one in mind is the most important element to giving a successful gift,” says Kathy Basista, owner of La Bellissima, 10 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake. “It has to be significant to them.”

So where can you find the perfect Valentine’s Day present for the person you love? Fortunately, some of the best shops to find impressionable gifts are located right here in the Chicagoland region.

Countryside Flower Shop, Nursery & Garden Center, Crystal Lake

Flowers are a classic Valentine’s Day gift, whether it’s a simple and sweet bouquet or an extravagant floral arrangement. Paired with chocolate-covered strawberries and a heartfelt card, flowers complete the package for a great Valentine’s Day present.

“We carry all of those items here at Countryside,” says Emily Powell, assistant manager at Countryside Flower Shop, Nursery & Garden Center, 5301 E. Terra Cotta Ave., Crystal Lake. “We have a huge assortment of gorgeous flowers and exceptional gifts. Women are drawn to our store because we do pretty, we do lovely, we do wow. Whether they walk in the shop or receive a surprise delivery, women love how beautiful gifts from our shop make them feel.”

Flowers at Countryside come from all over the world. Since it’s just one shop, the store is able to carry fresh products from a large selection of vendors.

Designers at Countryside are expected to put an abundance of time and effort into each floral arrangement, Powell says. It’s important to her that each arrangement matches what the purchaser is looking for.

“An arrangement of ginger, leucadendron, stargazer lilies and seeded eucalyptus looks nice together,” Powell says. “Hydrangeas and roses also pair nicely, while cyclamen plants can look great on their own.”

For a Valentine’s Day present that’s a little more out-of-the-ordinary, Powell recommends personal keepsake gifts such as birdbaths, bird feeders, garden statues, figurines, wind chimes, candles, glassware and unique giftware.

“A gift from here says, ‘I love you,’ because it shows that the giver put thought and time into their decision,” Powell says. “A gift from here is not just something picked off the shelf.”

MJ Miller & Co., Barrington

Jewelry is a gift that says, “You’re special.” Michael Miller, owner of M.J. Miller & Co., 123 W. Main St., Barrington, thinks every woman deserves to feel special.

“The thoughtfulness of the gift-giver makes the initial impression, almost more than the jewelry itself,” Miller says. “But it’s the jewelry that represents a lasting, tangible symbol of that love.”

From blue jeans to a little black dress, Miller insists that diamond stud earrings go well with all outfits and make a great gift.

“With every turn of the head, the diamonds sparkle,” Miller says.

The selection of studs at M.J. Miller & Co. covers a wide spectrum of size, shape, quality and price. Miller favors round brilliant-cut diamonds weighing .70 carat each and set in a handmade “martini” style platinum design.

Other earrings are also available, such as 11-millimeter round mabe pearl earrings that are wrapped in a double row of diamonds weighing a total of 4.68 carats.

“Diamond stud earrings are a terrific option since they are appropriate on a daily basis,” Miller says. “You’re telling the world that your Valentine is very, very special. And the pearls are perfect to wear with that little black cocktail dress.”

M.J. Miller & Co. additionally carries an impressive collection of rings, including a 8.09-carat oval-shaped ruby ring that’s outlined in 1.32 carats of white diamonds and set in an 18k white-gold band, a .96-carat round amethyst ring surrounded by .23 carat of diamonds, and an oval 11.88-carat Glossular (green) Garnet surrounded in diamonds and set on a detailed platinum setting.

“We have extraordinary treasures in our showcases,” Miller says. “Men who come here want to find something extraordinary – just like the lady in their life. So, whether they spend $99 or $99,000, the message is the same: men who come to M.J. Miller & Co. are still very much in love.”

La Bellissima, Crystal Lake

From comfortable cottons to sexy silks, lingerie is a great gift for a more personalized Valentine’s Day present. Kathleen Basista, owner of La Bellissima, is an expert when it comes to selecting something special.

“A beautiful piece of lingerie can make the wearer feel confident, beautiful and sexy,” Basista says. “Every woman deserves to feel beautiful, and a gift that makes you feel good about yourself is truly a special treat. We try to make sure that we can help provide direction to the purchaser based on any information we have on file with regard to size and style.”

Items in La Bellissima’s lingerie collection range from size small to 3X, while bras range from size 32A to 46N.

For a Valentine’s Day treat, Basista recommends a black chemise from Affinitas – a vintage-style piece with adjustable straps; a black chemise with red lips from PJ Salvage – a cozy option with a touch of spandex; or a black and red babydoll from Hanky Panky – a shadow print chemise with black lace that includes a string panty.

Other favorites include a pink, all-lace chemise from Golita with a strappy T-back detail and matching panty; in addition to a Prima Donna Delight full-cup wire bra with black lace, mat gold embroidery, topaz Swarovski crystal and a matching panty.

“Most women are wearing the wrong size and shape for them,” Basista says. “They are used to settling for lack of comfort and support. It’s really worth having a bra that fits well and is comfortable. We have a wide selection of colors and styles.”

La Bellissima also carries massage oil, candles, swimwear and pajamas. Men often buy gift certificates, Basista says.

“We have a lot of significant others who come in for a loved one because she complained of ill-fitting bras,” Basista says. “It’s thoughtful. That says, ‘I was listening and I heard what you were saying.’”

York Furrier, Elmhurst

Good things come in small packages, but sometimes it’s nice to unwrap something sizable. Kathy and John Rezny travel the globe to find the best fur coats, outerwear, accessories and other merchandise for York Furrier, located at 107 N. York St. in Elmhurst. The knowledgeable staff helps you pick out the perfect gift for him or her, and wrap it up with a big, beautiful bow.

“For Valentine’s Day, a gift from York Furrier is truly thoughtful,” Kathy says. “Every time the gift recipient dons the colorful sheared mink walking coat, or slips on the knit fur scarf, they are reminded of you.”

York Furrier carries a collection from high-end designers including Michael Kors, Zac Posen, Monique Lhuillier, Badgley Mischka, Norman Ambrose and Zandra Rhodes.

When it comes to a gift for a special woman in your life, Kathy suggests items from the York Furrier 84th Anniversary Collection. Fur scarves are available in fox, Tibetan lamb, chinchilla, mink or knit Rex rabbit, as well as an array of colorful and patterned chenille scarves.

Belts by designer Robert Kipperman are another top pick – made with fine Italian leather and adorned with Swarovski crystals.

“Scarves add a touch of stylish warmth to your wardrobe, while belts are a made-for-attention accessory,” Kathy says. “Handcrafted evening bags are another great idea. They also use Swarovski crystal elements, as well as fine metals, for a more vintage vibe.”

If you’re shopping for the man in your life, Kathy suggests a shearling lamb vest with leather trim or a fur trooper hat in coyote or mink.
“The shearling vest is perfect over a flannel shirt or cable-knit sweater,” Kathy says. “It’s great for the football fanatic or the guy who enjoys being outdoors. The hat is for uber-cold protection and chic street style – definitely mom approved.”

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, Kathy’s anticipating hearing some new “gift stories” from happy recipients.

“We enjoy hearing the sentimental stories of how the gift of fur was presented,” Kathy says. “Usually happy tears are involved.”

State Street Jewelers, Geneva

For a more serious relationship, consider giving a gift that can become a family heirloom.

“Jewelry is a true gift of love,” says Martha Sanchez, manager of State Street Jewelers, 230 W. State St., Geneva. “When it comes to Valentine’s Day, or any other special occasion, jewelry is the most romantic gift that a man can purchase.”

Sanchez highlights Tacori as an elegant, lasting brand that State Street Jewelers carries. Whether it’s a bracelet, an engagement ring or a pair of earrings, Tacori pieces are handcrafted by artisans who spend hours sketching designs, hand-selecting gemstones and ensuring high-quality results.

Some exquisite Tacori pieces available at State Street Jewelers include 18-karat yellow gold engagement rings, also available in white gold or platinum; 18-karat yellow gold earrings; 18-karat gold wedding bands, available in rose, white, gold and platinum; blue topaz rings, with a blue topaz stone set in sterling silver and 18-karat gold; and Promise Bracelets, each of which comes with its own key to symbolize commitment.

“When a man purchases jewelry, it’s a personal choice,” Sanchez says. “It’s something that he takes the time to think about and choose especially for his special person. At State Street Jewelers, we carry quality jewelry that we hand-selected from the finest brands in the industry.”

Look for a trademark crescent silhouette design to identify a Tacori piece.

It’s important to Sanchez that a gift from State Street Jewelers brings years of happiness. Because State Street Jewelers is an independent jeweler, it has a vested interest in providing customers with personalized attention and a pleasant shopping experience.

“A gift from State Street Jewelers is a gift that you can be proud to give as a lasting treasure,” Sanchez says. “It’s a gift that’s romantic, personal and thoughtful.”

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