Hi!
I'm Nicole. I am a wife, mother, shop owner on Mackinac Island, and lover of handmade. The little things and little moments inspire me. Follow me on my blog as I write about shop news, my travels, island life and motherhood.
Nicole
xo.

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little luxuries

Hello!

My team and I cannot believe how quickly this summer is flying by! But amidst the hustle and bustle of the season, I sat down with my communications/marketing intern this summer to talk about some of my favorite moments and memories of being a store owner as we continue to celebrate the 10th year of being established on the island!

Continue reading below to hear some of the great experiences we have been reminiscing on all season here at Little Luxuries:

1. What connection do you have to Mackinac Island? 
My family visited Mackinac Island a few times while growing up and I always loved the history and charm of the island. In 2006, I spent my first summer working on the island at The Gate House restaurant. I loved the experience so much that I came back for another summer in 2007. That is when I started dating my now husband, Andrew Doud. Andrew's family has a deep history to Mackinac Island. America's Oldest Grocery Store, Doud's Market, has been in his family since 1884. Andrew took over the family store in 2007. We lived on the island for eleven years year-round, and now spend our winters in Petoskey and commute to the island for work from November-April. We love Mackinac. We have two boys and one on the way (due in November)! 
2. How did the idea come to you to open a gift shop on the island 10 years ago? 
During my first winter on the island I was helping my husband (then boyfriend) work at Doud's Market and substitute teach. A friend of ours was selling his shop. He asked if we were interested in purchasing the business. After long conversations and a business plan with Andrew, I decided to go for it and take the risk. I had no prior retail experience at this point and really just had a love for shopping 'small' and handmade. In January, I went to my first gift show and I opened Little Luxuries May 1st, 2009. I was most nervous to use the cash register on opening day! 
3. What was your inspiration behind the vintage theme of Little Luxuries? 
I have always had an eclectic style. I am attracted to items that tell a story or I may just love the pattern or design. Not to mention, I am not an expensive shopper. I love finding good deals, but unique items. When opening Little Luxuries, I knew I wanted to fill the store with 'little luxuries' or small gift items that were affordable for everyone and with items that I loved. I think it's easier to sell a product that you love yourself! 
 
4. How do you feel like you've grown as a store owner over the past 10 years? 
I can't believe it's been ten years! I remember the night before my opening day like it was yesterday. I have definitely grown in many ways, but also have stayed the same. I think that is why Little Luxuries is the way it is. Small things always change each season, but it's still the Little Luxuries it was in 2009. I pay attention to little details, I love unique displays, I have to have a clean and tidy store, and of course, a fun environment! Now with owning three stores, the ordering, websites, social media, and employees have definitely added a lot to my plate and I learn new parts of retail and customer service continuously. 
 
5. What is it like to raise a family on the island? 
Our boys are young still, 3 years old and 4 years old, but there are challenges to raising children on Mackinac Island and there are advantages. After spending two winters in Petoskey, I love being able to have both. Living around a boat schedule can be difficult and getting from point A to point B in a hurry or in bad weather can be not so fun. However, the beauty of the island beats those difficulties usually. If you enjoy a small community where you can say hello to everyone, Mackinac Island is just that. 
 
6. In what ways has the island changed since you've lived here? 
Since 2006 to 2018, many businesses have changed and our lifestyle has changed as we have a growing family. However, the charm of Mackinac has remained the same and I believe it always will. Good friends we have worked with or spent time with have moved off the Island, but Mackinac overall still remains the same. 
 
7. What is your favorite place on the island to relax and spend time with your family? 
There are a few :) We enjoy biking around the island as well as walking up to Anne's Tablet on the East Bluff. It's a gorgeous view and quiet. I really love anywhere on the island where we can escape the hustle and bustle. 
 
8. What is one product you have continued to feature throughout these 10 years? 
I have carried Lollia, a beautiful bath and body line based out of Denver, CO since 2009 and it continues to be a top seller. I also still carry Beth Mueller, a handmade ceramic collection that is made exclusively for Little Luxuries with Mackinac-themed designs. Beth is very talented, based in Vermont, and her items are customer's favorites. 
 
9. What is a future goal you have set for the growth of Little Luxuries? 
My goal is to continue to offer my customer's the best, unique products for home and heart. I try to keep up with the ever-changing social media to keep our shopper's in the loop and for cistomer’s to be able to purchase our little luxuries easily from home, not just in the shop. 
 
10. What is one of your favorite moments that has occurred at Little Luxuries? 
Hmmm...this is a good question! I have several as I love seeing repeat customers over the years. But a big moment, was when I expanded Little Luxuries in 2012. We doubled our size and this made Little Luxuries much more visible to foot traffic and it allowed me to offer my customer's with many more choices of products. Little Luxuries' original space became very crammed over just a couple years! In 2015, The Artists Market of Mackinac Island opened and in 2017, Canvas and Paddle opened. Little Luxuries will always be my 'baby'. The up-beat environment, wide variety of products to choose from, and little touches I have created over the years makes it my happy place. 
Thanks for reading this week! I hope you enjoyed our little question and answer session! 
Nicole, 
xoxo

 

 

 

 

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Yesterday, my good friend Carly Woods from Pearls and Paint took a trip to the island to visit my three shops! She wasn't only coming to make a visit, but also to film video tours of her favorite items throughout the stores. 

Pearls and Paint is a home styling company that is based in the eastern portion of the Upper Peninsula. Carly began this company as a pursuit of her passion for home styling, although she still dedicates time to being a real estate agent full time and a mother of two. 

"My favorite thing is listening to [my clients] tell me how they need a space to work for them, hunting for how to achieve that, and then watching their face light up when I show them my design."

Carly spent time in all three stores-Little Luxuries, Canvas and Paddle, and The Artists Market-giving the viewer tips on where select items would work well in a home as well as how she would use those home goods in her own house. We had a blast hearing her thoughts on how to style with our products! 

When asked what her favorite home styling tip is to give someone, she responded with, "I love to tell my clients to 'design your space to fit your function. You should love the space you live in, whether home or office.'"

We encourage you to check out her other "how-to" videos on her Facebook Page if you are looking for a home-styler to bring ideas to your next house project! Carly also does personal consulting for specific room arrangements. Her business card information is displayed below:

Thanks again for visiting, Carly! 

 

Nicole, 

xoxo 

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Hi there!

This week, we have a special edition to share with you: our summer employees' favorite products! If you have wanted to get to know some of our hard workers this year or learn more about select products, keep reading (this is the blog for you)!

To start us off, Emily (I'm sure a familiar face to many of you), our wonderful store manager from St. Ignace, MI., chose to feature our perfume line, Lollia. Here's what she had to say: 

"The reason I love this line of perfumes is because you can wear your favorite scent all day and it lasts without needing to reapply often. 'In Love' is the scent that I chose. The reason I think it's an overall good fit for Little Luxuries is because it aims towards every age group, not only with the packaging, but also with each scent-they both represent each individual who is buying it. Plus the packaging is so pretty and I love that the line is made right in the USA!"  

Lexy, our retail associate from Harbor Springs, MI., chose to feature our Shower Therapy bombs-yes, shower bombs do exist! Here's what she had to say: 

"These bombs definitely fill up your whole shower with its aroma! Each bomb lasts about four showers, but make sure to set it on a ledge or shelf-too much exposure to water makes the bomb disintegrate quickly. I have used both the Eucalyptus and Lemongrass bombs. The Eucalyptus one is very strong but by the end of the shower, I felt like I could breathe better-it was definitely a stress reliever. The Lemongrass one also smelled so good and fresh! I'm excited to try more scents!"

Annie, our retail associate from Rochester, MI., chose to feature 'The Home T' mug that reads "I Woke Up Happy". Here's what she had to say:

"I love my Home T mug because of its sweet and comforting quote on the front. It reminds me each morning to start the day off with a positive attitude while sipping on my warm coffee. These mugs are also great because they are an affordable price, can be easily washed in the dishwasher, and is a modest size, making sure your coffee doesn't get too cold before you can drink it! Also, 10% of The Home T's profits are donated to multiple sclerosis research." 

 

Kimmy, our retail associate from Clarkston, MI., chose to feature the Island Girl of Mackinac T-Shirt from our Island Girl collection. Here's what she had to say: 

"I would highly recommend this t-shirt because of its cozy feel and I love the cut of it-I think it flatters all body types of women. I also love the logo that is on it because it really encompasses the idea of being on the island. As an island girl, this is my first time here, and I have learned to truly embrace living on the island in a carefree way, just like the logo suggests!"

Leigh (left) and Kathleen (right), retail associates and cousins from Nashville, TN., chose to feature our bags of Mackinac Granola (Organic) from our food collection. Here's what they had to say:  

Leigh- "This organic granola is deliciously sweet with the dried fruit that it includes. It's good to pair with a bowl of yogurt or just to eat by the handful. Coming up with my family from Nashville every summer, this granola always reminds me of big family breakfasts on the island!" 

Kathleen- "I love the mix of sweet and salty-the sweet oat flavor and the salty pistachio and pumpkin seeds. The pecans in the granola definitely bring me back to my Southern roots. Also my mom and aunts love to make homemade granola, so trying this Mackinac Granola is great to bring home to my family!"

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Bryanna, our retail associate from Imlay, MI., chose to feature our vintage silverware rings from our sister store, The Artists Market. Here's what she had to say: 

"I own a couple different pieces of jewelry from The Artists Market, but I love my two Vintage Silverware Rings because they add a vintage flare to any kind of outfit. It's such a timeless piece of jewelry, especially since it is authentic silverware from the 1900's. These rings are triple-plated with silver, and so far, I have had no problems with wear and tear or water exposure. Also, these are such a perfect, unique gift to give someone!"

As for me, Nicole, I chose to feature my Meanwhile Back on the Farm bag, also from our sister store, The Artists Market. It is made very well. The straps are real leather and get softer the more I use it. The interior of the bag has the cutest fabric! The bag doesn't show dirt. It's a great every day tote to carry a little bit of everything. I highly recommend Meanwhile Back on the Farm for any type of tote! 

Thanks for reading this week! I hope you learned a little bit more about our staff this summer and were able to add a few more items to your wish list. Our summer hours are 9:30am-10:00pm seven days a week, so be sure to stop in soon! Also, our online store can be found here if you're ready to get shopping!

 

Nicole, 

xoxo

 

 

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Now that the holiday weekend has slowed down here on the island, I wanted to share a recap of our Little Luxuries Fourth of July celebration! We had a blast on Wednesday and could not have asked for more beautiful weather throughout the whole day-it was a hot one, but the clear sky made for a perfect fireworks show in the evening! 

    

Throughout all three stores {Little Luxuries, The Artists Markets, and Canvas and Paddle} fresh lemonade and yummy candies were offered for the customers' sweet tooth from open until close. Oldies music was playing as we celebrated the only way we know how to...vintage style! 

     

                           

The boys, Andrew and I, celebrated together for most of the day with family and friends outside and had so much fun! Louis and Tommy fell asleep before the fireworks began, but within a couple years, I'm sure they will be able to stay up with the grown-ups to enjoy them as much as we do. 

    

M-185, the paved interstate road around the island, was packed with tourists and locals during the fireworks show, especially on Windermere Point and areas near the public library and Mackinac Island Public School. The bright lights and different shapes over the water made for some loud cheers from the spectators! It was the perfect way to end such a special day for our country. We love the USA! 

 

I hope you all enjoyed your holiday as well! 

 

Nicole, 

xoxo 

                        

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Wow! What a fun weekend we had on Saturday, we celebrated our 10th birthday on Saturday and this party lasted all day long! To celebrate as an island community, my team and I offered many different chances to receive cute goodies from the store. The first 250 customers were given a pink Little Luxuries bag, each customer that spent $50 or more at the register were given a bag full of our adorable items, and a giveaway was given each hour to any customer whose name was chosen. We loved seeing each customer filled with so much excitement when they found out they were the winner for that hour. Check out some pictures from our special day below! 

     

  

 

 

 

And of course we offered delicious refreshments throughout the whole day!

    

 

We are so thankful to have grown, learned, and experienced all that we did these past 10 years, and we are already looking forward to see what the next 10 years will bring! Thank you to those who have stuck with us and supported our growth. Cheers to the future! 

 

Nicole, 

xoxo

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