Creaky floors and local stores

Including a local store for a bridal registry was the right call

This is my first column as a Mrs. and I am certainly in wedded bliss.

One of the first tasks for me and my husband, Nick, as a married couple is to unwrap the oodles of wedding presents piled in our guest bedroom. We opted for a traditional wedding registry. Both of us lived on our own for more than a decade, but most of our household possessions are still hand-me-downs from parents, friends and former roommates. We decided we wanted to embrace marriage by having at least two coffee cups that matched and wine glasses that don’t have a bank logo on them.

Every wedding website I read had some insight on wedding registries, whether it was the number of items to register for, must-haves, or the number of stores to register at. As a domestically challenged bride, I won’t begin to give advice on the content of registries, but I will share that the best decision I made about our registry was to include a locally owned business.

In addition to two big-box stores, we registered at Collier Hardware. We had positive interactions with all three stores, but the experience at downtown’s Collier was unparalleled. There are no scanner guns at the store. Instead, you walk the creaky hardwood floors with a clipboard, pen and paper, handwriting the SKU numbers for each item you want. Some brides may find that cumbersome. I found it refreshing. It made Nick and me more deliberate about what we were choosing, instead of getting into materialism-overload and scanning every bar code in sight.

A few weeks after we completed our registry, I got a phone call from Collier. They wanted to deliver a gift and were making sure I would be home to receive it. I was stunned. Up until that point, I was just happy that UPS was leaving the deliveries from the other stores out of the way of the sprinkler.

The delivered present didn’t come with a card and I went through a minor panic wondering how to get a thank-you note to the sender. So I popped into Collier hoping they could help, thinking it was a long shot. One of the owners was behind the counter and quickly tracked down the name on the check that was used for the purchase. I left Collier knowing that the store’s great customer service stems from the top.

These are the kinds of experiences people love about shopping locally, in addition to keeping sales tax dollars closer to home. Collier Hardware fit our taste and style, but Chico abounds with locally owned options for registries, including Zucchini and Vine, The Galley, and Little Red Hen. These are also my favorite places as a wedding guest to find great gifts, especially because they usually offer free gift wrapping. And, thanks to the generosity of our friends and family, I have a lot of unwrapping from Collier to do over the next few days.