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Gift Shop Guaranteed To Put A Smile On Your Face

OAKHURST — Oakhurst has a shiny new gem in the form of a gift shop, opened early this month by longtime area resident Laurie Flanagan. Many remember Laurie from her days as the owner of Time For Tea, from 2007 to 2011, and in other incarnations as a gift shop owner around town.

Since selling the tea shop about six years ago, she has been busy but, as time passed, Laurie found she really missed the gift store part of owning the dual-purpose enterprise. What she didn’t miss was cooking in the kitchen.

So now, Oakhurst Gifts has opened its doors and welcomes the community to what Laurie considers her happy place, where she likes to play, with shelves and tables full of nice, fun stuff she can sell “without charging an arm and a leg.”

The bright store with a friendly atmosphere is well-positioned right next to Lynn’s Nail Spa and Solstice Salon, in the same shopping center as DiCiccos.

Oakhurst Gifts is located at 40282 Highway 41, Suite 14. It’s open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Saturdays, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. — closed on Sunday and Monday. The phone number for Oakhurst Gifts is (559) 642-4438.

Inside the shop visitors will find a nicely displayed array of collectibles including china, jewelry, textiles, stationary and cards, kitchen accessories, candles, lotions, potions, sweets and popcorn, and a specialty section for men. Laurie has a keen eye for retail and it shows in every detail, including the gift baskets she makes up on request.

How many times do you want the perfect small token of appreciation for a teacher, a hostess or get-well gift, something lovely and affordable to show you care? Laurie has this figured out: she makes baskets of any size and the old adage, good things come in small packages is apparent. Can’t really go wrong when you start with a few pieces of elegant chocolate and a store with nearly unlimited possibilities.

Among those possibilities are certain items people will go nuts over, just as Laurie has. Mermaids, anyone? Fresh, pretty towels and soaps? Vintage graphics? And for those who remember Laurie’s other special gift shops over the years, including Always and Forever, fear not: while she’s excited to present a wide variety of items, you’ll find there’s a section with a delightful abundance of tea, tea pots and related accessories.

You can also pick an empty basket and do a DIY gift basket on your own. The common thread in Laurie’s selections at Oakhurst Gifts? She wants to put a smile on your face.

With each step of finding and ordering, the purveyor of charming goods was able to add another piece to the shop, and rarely was a problem encountered, Laurie laughs, except one thing you may not expect.

As furniture began to arrive for displays, the boxes they came in had one disturbing trait in common: they were all flat. That meant Laurie had to get out the tool box and assemble just about every piece, herself — an achievement she’s proud of, to be sure.

Construction labor aside, what’s the best part of opening Oakhurst Gifts?

Laurie is doing what shes loves and that makes her happy, and she hopes that will make others happy, too.

“I love to find something and then have someone see it and love it,” she says. “That’s the goal!”



Laurie Flanagan is Kellie’s sister-in-law.


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