Selecting the Perfect Gift

Valentine’s Day shopping advice from a local merchant

Valentine’s Day is around the corner. Do you have special someone you would like to shop for? If so, then read on. I turned to Carter Nevill, owner of Carter & Spence which is located on Main Street in Warrenton, for some advice to help you select the perfect gift for the special person, or people in your life.

Nevill said, “Chocolate and cards remain some of the most popular Valentine’s gifts for many people, and shops such as the Town Duck and Marta Von Dettingen’s businesses offer great options.” However, if you are seeking unique gift options, there are a plethora of merchants in Old Town Warrenton, and throughout the county where you will find the perfect gift.

For Women

So what are some options for the special female in your life? There are so many to list, but

Neville shared a few.

“Earrings are always a good idea for those who like to change up their style depending on the day, and are a great gift option that doesn’t break the bank,” Nevill said. Some options include Semaki & Bird earrings which are beautiful, yet delicate looking and are available in multiple colors for just $25 each.

Personalized jewelry is a nice gift as well. Nevill shared,“Simple sterling silver initial disc pendants, like we make in house, is an option for those waiting to purchase something closer to Valentine’s Day.” The cost of this unique pendant is $32.

Carter & Spence recently brought in a line of designer fashion cuff bracelets with reversible colorful leather inserts from France called Les Georgettes that have proven to be extremely popular. “They come in three sizes, with different designs and metal colors for the cuff, and plenty of colorful options for the insert. It’s a really fun, stylish way to accessorize,” said Nevill. “The best part of offering this line has been seeing how the bracelets have appealed to almost everyone; from the fashionably hip to the classical traditional.” These stunning pieces are range in price from $79 and $119.

Additionally, Neville suggested several other last minute purchases that may be of interest. If you have a girlfriend you could purchase a simple, elegant frame and place a special picture inside – it makes a memorable gift. Plus Neville Neville suggested purchasing a hand-blown, simple small vase to present flowers to your loved one. Take your hand-picked vase to a local florist and have them customize the floral arrangement. “This is an alternative to the ‘throw-away’ vases and plain wrapping around a bouquet, and it will allow your recipient to have a nice vase after the flowers are gone,” noted Neville. He suggested Simon Pearce vases as an option for just this type of gift. Prices for small vases start at $65.

“Specialty cards are another unique option,” said Neville. “Cards, such as Rifle Paper Co. designs are artistically driven.” The paper is a special, heavy stock and the card itself offers a letterpressed design; quite stunning and unique. Beautiful address books are also available. Prices range from $4.50 for a single card to $32 for specialty address books.

Bath items also are in the creative gift category and are treasured by those who like to be pampered. “Any bath goods are great for those that enjoy relaxation: bath wash, bubble bath, salts and other options are perfect,” he said. Prices begin at $5.00.

For Men

Yes, there is a myriad of options for the guy in your life, which you may purchase locally. If your man enjoys bow ties, Neville noted there are an array of options available. From designer ties such as Collared Greens, a Virginia company, to even more expensive offerings from Brackish – made of real feathers (perfect for the hunter in your life). Brackish makes their ties in Charleston, so both of these options are made in the U.S.A.. For Stranger Things fans, actor Noah Schnapp (Will Byers) wore one of these bow ties at the Golden Globes. Bow tie prices range from $55 for Collared Greens products to $195 for Brackish ties.

And if bow ties are not your thing, Nevill suggested some leather accessories as an option. For instance, “keychains, wallets and other options are all available.” Various sizes, colors and patterns are available and you are sure to find the one to suit your significant other. “Smathers & Branson has unique keychains which may be a perfect gift,” noted Nevill. Keychains range in price from $28 to $50.

Nevill also mentioned personal grooming items, especially the unique ones are an alternative. “Shaving gifts are a great gift for men, especially for anyone tired of paying $30 or more for razor refills. Double-edge safety razors are far more economical, with a pack of 5 blades running $4 or less,” shared Nevill. “And, once you ‘unlearn’ the poor shaving habits of using cartridge razors, you’ll discover that a proper wet shave with a brush and a single-blade safety razor gives a far more comfortable and closer shave.” Some personal grooming products to consider include shaving creams by George Trumper, known as Geo F Trumper; classic safety razors by Rockwell Shaving; brushes by Vie-Long and Omega; and men’s soaps by Duke Cannon. Prices for personal grooming items range from $15 to $35 or you can splurge on a kit for around $100.

February Birthstone

Last but not least, remember those who celebrate a birthday on or near Valentine’s Day. Be sure to celebrate both equally; in case you needed to know the birthstone for February is an amethyst.

Remember the thought is what counts, and the person receiving your gift will appreciate whatever you give them, even if you do not purchase one in a store. There are other gift options such as a special dinner, cooked by you and paired with a cozy fire, which make for an enjoyable celebration. For all who are proposing this month, congratulations. Enjoy creating new memories with your special someone – happy Valentine’s Day.


Gifts for under $100

  • Sterling silver necklaces or charms
  • Earrings
  • Bracelets
  • Picture Frame
  • Vase
  • Bath goods – salts, wash, bubbles
  • Specialty cards and address books
  • Men’s grooming supplies
  • Keychains
  • Bow tie

Gifts for Over $100

  • Gold jewelry – bracelets, necklaces, earrings and more
  • Diamonds and other gemstones
  • Engagement ring
  • Men’s grooming kit
  • Professional leather accessories: wallets, phone and tablet cases, etc.

Carter & Spence is a family-owned boutique jewelry and retailer providing an array of options for customers since 2004. The business is located at 41 Main Street and their phone is 540-347-9189 and the website is Kathleen Nevill founded the business in 2004 with the desire to open up a modern version of the traditional jewelry store; one that offered wedding, anniversary and baby gifts in addition to jewelry. Her vision was always to be unique and different. She sought out interesting and artistic designers like Ananda Khalsa, and she wanted to make sure that buying jewelry did not have to be an intimidating sales experience, so the atmosphere would be relaxed and friendly. Over time, Carter & Spence has expanded to broaden offerings to include designer homewares, as well as offerings for men.

Debbie Eisele
About Debbie Eisele 63 Articles
Debbie Eisele is a freelance writer and the Community Outreach Coordinator for Hero’s Bridge, a nonprofit serving older veterans. She lives in Warrenton with her husband and twin daughters.

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