Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Friends, there is a new home store in Portland, called Manor. I was immediately intrigued by their beautiful space (full windows, hand-hewn beams) and the fact that under the name of the store is the charming descriptor "Fine Wares, Curious Goods". That was enough to get me to enter, and once inside, I realized what a treasure trove Manor truly is. You know those stores that you could spend hours in? Where you just wander and each corner or nook presents another beautiful or interesting object? This is the kind of store Manor is. About 6 weeks ago, Mom and I spent probably an hour wandering around, and it could have been much longer.
While we were there, we stumbled across the amazing and beautiful blankets by NooNoo. We must have stood around looking at them for at least 20 minutes. The NooNoo blankets are small, beautifully made tactile objects for babies. Have you ever noticed how babies little fingers are drawn to the tags or edges of baby blankets? NooNoo takes that concept to another level, designing pieces that are made to interact with the baby and stimulate their little brains, help teach counting etc. They are embroidered with sweet designs (some based on drawings by toddlers), and overall are such a unique, beautiful little something to attach to a stroller or to become a favorite comfort object.
So onto the best part of this story. As stated above, while Mom and I were shopping, we must have perused the NooNoo blankets a dozen times, satelliting around them, oohing and aahing. I was this close to buying one, friends, but the pirate ship purchase had just occurred, so I responsibly (but regretfully) kept my wallet closed. Nevertheless I have thought about them ever since. And we didn't leave Manor completely empty-handed; Mom had purchased some napkin rings that needed to be ordered. Manor assured us they would call when the napkin rings came in and Zach and I would go pick them up for Mom.
We got that call last week, so Zach (in his continued heroic efforts of doing everything I would normally do, plus everything he would normally do, plus more while I'm on bed rest) made a special trip out to Manor to pick up the napkin rings from my mom. On his way home, I got this call:
Zach: Hi hon. I just had the best shopping experience at that store.
Janelle: Yeah, its a beautiful store, isn't it?
Zach: And they were so nice. I walked in and there were immediately two friendly women to help me. And they immediately knew what I needed to pick up. And there was this amazing taxidermed owl that I loved.
Janelle: Well, I'm glad it was a nice errand.
Zach: Oh yeah- the lady mentioned that she threw in a little something extra for you. I'm not sure what, but I brought it home for you.
Well, friends, you have to know where this was going. The lovely, generous owners at Manor gifted us with a NooNoo blanket! I was stunned with their kindness, because really, between the two of us, Mom and I had only spent about $100 at the store. And we weren't regulars (although we certainly will be now). And they must have observed our obsession with the NooNoo blankets because we never discussed it with them, just meandered our way back to them during our shopping excursion.
So thank you, Manor, for such a lovely gift! You turned Sunday into a special day and reminded both Zach and I of why we support small local businesses. Especially those committed to not only beautiful wares, but beautiful customer service.

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