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Photo by: Sarah Wilson - Christmas cheer is everywhere at Hannibal Square's newset shop. Manager Chris Scott and sales associate Kim Whittaker help shoppers find the best gifts for all occasions at Lafayette & Rushford.
Winter Park / Maitland Observer Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013 3 years ago

Inside new store Lafayette and Rushford

New gift shop now open
by: Kristy Vickery

Christmas trees sparkle, glimmer and glow, draped in different themes pulling the eye in to a holiday kaleidoscope of gifts hand-picked for customers from around the world.

But the items found here are not just holiday themed, they come and go with the seasons, as quick as one season ends and another begins, so does the décor at the newly opened Winter Park Lafayette and Rushford home store.

“We approach home décor and gift giving in a creative and unexpected way; we have an outside of the box approach to things that we all need,” Lafayette & Rushford co-owner Kristen Painter said. “We try to offer something unique and more interesting than you would find elsewhere, because we want people to come in and see something new that they’ve never seen that’s fresh and inspires them.”

Want to wash your hands with grapefruit and sugar? There’s a soap for that. Don’t have a Christmas garden gnome yet? They’ve got that. Hand-beaten metal bowl with a crab guarding the rim? They have that too.

Painter said she travels to markets across the U.S. and handpicks every product for her home store.

“For the size of the store that we are, we have far more manufactures that we work with than most stores,” Painter said. “Most stores will have a dozen, may be two dozen manufactures that they order from, we have well into the hundreds; so we’re always adding something new.”

Lafayette and Rushford customer and Winter Park resident Carolyn Bethel said the new home décor store fits perfectly into Winter Park.

“I think it’s (the store) amazing, and there’s nothing like it,” Bethel said. “I do a lot of shopping and I think all of their things are unique…the store stands apart.”

The family-owned business has had a store in Dunedin for more than 10 years, and decided it was time for a second store. With much research to the Central Florida area they decided Hannibal Square was the right fit and their grand opening was held on Nov. 16.

“The people of Winter Park really just came out and showed tremendous support and far exceeded any expectations,” Painter said. “People really like to support the independently owned businesses. We’ve been just astonished by the amount of traffic we’ve gotten thus far, and taken back by how kind everyone has been.”

She said that their grand opening was elbow-to-elbow with people, not only shopping, but just coming out to show support.

“It’s really a community here; everyone is so wonderfully supportive here,”

Lafayette & Rushford manager Christopher Scott said. “It feels like here in Hannibal Square we are all a family.”

Lafayette and Rushford Sales Associate Kim Whittaker said the Hannibal Square community has welcomed the new home store with open arms.

“There are so many neighbors that are upscale and people just don’t reach out… but not here,” Whittaker said. “We want to see everyone succeed, and anything we can do for each other is just going to make it a better community.”

Lafayette and Rushford know Winter Park was the right choice for them and couldn’t be happier with their decision to open here.

“I feel like we fill a niche that has been waiting for us here,” Painter said. “It feels like we’ve already been here forever, there’s an intangible quaintness to this area.”

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