One can’t help but feel a sense of warmth and being at home when first entering Alexandra’s Home and Garden at 105 N. Third Ave. in Oakdale.
The 380-square foot gem in Oakdale’s popular walkable downtown shopping area is literally transformed in early November to a ‘Holiday Showcase.’
According to owner and founder Alexandra Zwald, the store is closed while she and a team of helpers change the entire look of the store from everyday Home and Garden to a place of holiday happiness.
“We have five full size trees and four smaller fully decorated,” she said.
In addition to the trees, shoppers will find scented candles, garland, wreaths and varying home décor items.
“My selection is more natural looking,” Zwald said of her holiday decorating style. “Lots of earth tones and burlap … burgundy, gold … more of the warmer tones.”
It’s a comfortable, familiar holiday feel.
“I’m not the place someone goes to for modern,” she said. “I mean I see it and it’s really cool, but I don’t have the space to do a lot of different. I tend to stick to the traditional and that’s what’s been popular all these years.
“I’ve bought so much great stuff,” she added of the incoming inventory, “but it’s still the classics.”
This year marks the business owner’s 15th Christmas in this location.
“We really do a large gift business too,” Zwald said. “The ornaments are always popular. We also sell trays, towels, lotions, soaps and the scented candles. We just sell so much of all of it.”
It’s also the wrapping, she said, of what makes the shop different. Since first opening her business, Zwald has maintained a number of traditions that her clientele respond to well. Among them is the perfectly done wrapping, regardless of item or price, complete with tissue paper and ribbon.
“Wrapping is the number one thing here at Christmas time,” she said of the complimentary service. “Wrapping is huge here.”
Aside from the aforementioned gift items and ornaments, Zwald also has a strong following of decorative Santa Claus collectors.
“I always buy more of the traditional Santa,” she shared. “That’s what everybody seems to like.”
For the at-home decorator looking to update or invest in a key item, Zwald recommends they start with beautiful garland, wreaths or even a Santa.
“Those are always the must-have for the home,” she said.
Alexandra’s Home and Garden signature open house is a long time tradition now for customers of the quaint, yet hearty shop. Once hosted on Black Friday, a few years back Zwald modified the date.
“It was just crazy,” she said of the early years. “People were lined up outside waiting to pay. This way gives them time to trickle in and see everything. It’s less overwhelming.”
Alexandra’s Home and Garden Open House for 2014 will be hosted this weekend, Saturday, Nov. 8 and Sunday, Nov. 9 from the hours of 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Following the Open House event the store will be open seven days a week through the holiday season, Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.