The arrival of spring signifies new beginnings. The weather warms, the flowers are in full bloom and for many St. Louis students, spring also means graduating and starting a new phase of life. Soon, many in our area will don their caps and gowns, receive diplomas and partake in a lot of celebrations to commemorate the major milestone of graduation. Finding just the right gift to mark this momentous occasion for your friend or loved one, however, isn’t always easy. It can be difficult finding that one perfect gift to symbolize how proud you are and what graduation means to you and the recipient. Here are the top spots to buy gifts for grads in St. Louis:
Cat’s Meow Personalized Gifts
12065 Manchester Road
St Louis, MO 63131
Personalized gifts are always special because they are made just for you, and Cat’s Meow is one of the best places in town to find the graduate in your life something they’ll love. From headbands and duffels to treasured photo holders, Cat’s Meow can make any gift more personal by adding your recipient’s name or initials, making it truly special. It also has lovely keepsakes that can be engraved as well as a beautiful assortment of jewelry and home decor. One popular idea for high school graduates soon heading off to life in a college dorm is a personalized pillowcase where they can comfortably lay their head after a long night of studying.
6271 Delmar Blvd.
University City, MO 63130
Plowsharing Crafts is definitely a one-of-a-kind store in that everything sold at both locations truly makes a difference. This is because all Plowsharing Crafts items are made through Fair Trade. So, before you even select something for the graduate in your life from these stores, you’re already embarking on a very thoughtful endeavor. Fair Trade products create opportunities for economically and socially marginalized producers, support safe working conditions, ensure the rights of children, encourage environmentally sustainable practices and respect cultural identity. That the gifts available at Plowsharing are beautiful and artistic is just icing on the cake. Visit either the University City or Kirkwood location and find a present as unique as the graduate who will receive it. No doubt, they will treasure it forever.
13498 Clayton Road
St Louis, MO 63131
Recently re-located from Ladue to Town & Country, JA Whitney continues to be one of the most popular gift destinations in all of St. Louis County. This is because its discriminating clientele know they can count on JA Whitney to help them select just the right present for any and all occasions, especially graduation. Some terrific gift ideas include shower caddies, cosmetic bags, dopp kits, spa towel wraps and throw blankets, all of which can be personalized. One particularly popular graduation gift is the college mail holder that can be customized with the graduate’s name and school to help them stay organized when they’re no longer living at home.
Jenny Present Jewelry
14222 Ladue Road
Chesterfield, MO 63017
Talented, local designer Jenny Present has spent the last few years building a jewelry empire. Much of her success can be attributed to the fact that she understands jewelry should say something about the person wearing it, that it should truly mean something. Choosing one of her personalized pieces is the perfect gift for any graduate. Present says, “Our jewelry helps customers show appreciation, to express love and share special moments with loved ones. Jenny Present jewelry is more than just your typical accessory – it’s jewelry that tells a story.” You can customize any of her hand-stamped pieces with a name, date, monogram or initial. Additionally, alma mater and graduation year, like “NYU 2011” or “CSU 2013” are especially meaningful when you add a small hand-stamped pendant with the graduate’s first name or initial. Or perhaps you may choose an engraved necklace that carries special meaning for the new grad by creating your own inspirational saying and having those words stamped onto a pendant. Visit the Jenny Present showroom or local boutiques who carry her line: Pulse in Chesterfield (1644 Clarkson Road), Dot Dot Dash in Clayton (6334 N. Rosebury Ave.) or City Sprouts in the U City Loop (6303 Delmar Blvd.)
K. Hall Designs
8416 Manchester Road
Brentwood, MO 63144
Walking through K. Hall Designs is a feast for the senses. The fragrant aromas permeating this lovely boutique instantly calms the mind and lowers the pulse. This might be just the thing for a recent graduate heading off to college in the fall. The stress of being in a new environment and the added pressures of keeping up with academic studies can make it hard to slow down and relax. Perhaps a collection of tranquil candles, luxuriant bath and body products or high-quality diffusers is just the right gift to remind them to take time for themselves as they embark on the next chapter of their lives…or at least keep their dorm room and sheets smelling nice. K. Hall Design’s company headquarters is conveniently located in Brentwood as well as its beautiful retail space which offers, in addition to all the aromatic candles, bath, body and home products, home decor, linens, pottery and other unusual gifts.
Meredith Johns is a freelance writer covering all things St. Louis. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.