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Terry Shea and her Wrappettes: Aimee George, Barbara Fullenwider, Terry Shea, Brook Thompson and Anna Parker.
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Wrapsody hair bands
Colorful hair bands made by a local high school student are popular with customers.
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Co-owner Terry Shea said the collection of bracelets by Alex and Ani are some of her favorite products.
It all started with a few buckets of paint, a Bunko group and a pitcher of margaritas. Sarah Brown and Terry Shea had met through a mutual friend and discovered they both dreamed of opening a gift store like the ones they remembered from their childhood towns.
In 2004, they opened Wrapsody with help painting from the same friends who continue to support Wrapsody today in both their Hoover and Auburn locations.
The store’s gift selection features merchandise Brown and Shea feel is not just fun but also has meaning. When buying for the store, they look for items with a special story and price point they would want to buy themselves.
Often that philosophy looks like supporting local artists. Colorful hair bands sold by the register are made by a local high school student. The Hot Skwash velvet pumpkins, one of Shea’s personal favorites, are crafted by stay-at-home moms while their children are away at school. Monograms are sewn locally.
“We appreciate our customers and try to give them something unique to buy,” Shea said.
Silver spoon crosses from a Birmingham artist can be bought in Hoover, and Sweet Home Alabama plaques crafted by an Auburn artist are sold at the Auburn location. Sweet Melissa’s products, made locally, are sold in the store. Regional items such as pottery from Mississippi also support a broader base of Southern artists.
The Wrappettes, Wrapsody’s staff, know many customers by name and are happy to recommend gift ideas. Complimentary gift-wrap is always available, and both locations emphasize being a happy, hometown gift store, Brown said.
“We like being that store where when you walk in, people know you,” Shea said.
With Christmas approaching, the store is decked out for the holiday season. This season’s theme is “Back to the Basics,” so customers can expect to see traditional holiday items such as poinsettias, stars, crosses and plenty of evergreen and mistletoe. Several themed Christmas trees will also be on display, including a Tacky Sweater and Sweet Home Alabama tree.
The same loyal friends who helped with the store’s beginnings continue to support Wrapsody today, joining the crowd of customers during holiday sales. The store will run its annual Twelve Days of Christmas sale, which features a daily rotating special Dec. 2-14. Santa and his elves will be visiting the store Dec. 8 for a festive afternoon of free pictures with the little ones. The day after Christmas, customers flock to the Christmas Sale where all Christmas products are half off. In past years, lines of loyal customers have stretched around the building — all thanks to what started with friends, paint and margaritas.