Shhhh....a shopping secret

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Where is the last place you would expect to find unique clothing and accessories?
Museum gift shops?  Wrong.
Craft fairs?  Wrong
Flea markets?  Wrong.

Surprise,'s the hospital gift shop! More and more hospital gift shops are evolving into mini "boutiques" appealing to visitors, staff and even shoppers!

I recently took a trip to Lowell General Hospital where I met with the gift shop manager Donna Thoene.  Donna took over both The Lowell General Shop and The Saints Memorial gift shop (also in Lowell) a few years ago.  Back then they were the typical old-fashioned hospital gift shops run by volunteers carrying  "run of the mill" candy, trinkets and flowers---that is until Donna came into the picture! With a retail background, she stepped thing s up a notch by bringing in stylish clothing and accessories.

The entrance of Lowell General's gift shop greets you with Jennifer Hollack's "Lightness of Time", a stunning mobile that pays homage to the enterprise of American industry and the resiliency of the American worker in and around Lowell.

Manger Donna Thoene clearly loves her work! "Everyone loves to shop here" says Donna 
"We like to change things up so you never know what you'll find!"

So the proof is in the pudding right? Check out these fabulous finds.  The prices are extremely competitive --with jewelry starting at just over $10.00 (I saw many gorgeous pieces for $12.99!), most bags under $100 and tops under $50. Their bag selection includes Big Buddha, Vera Bradley,  and vegan bags Shiraleah and Laurenhide  (many are discounted).  And who doesn't love Alex and Ani bracelets? They have carry the full line!

I am kicking myself for not buying the gold bracelet (center)! Guess I'll just have to go back!

This gorgeous Vera Bradley robe is the perfect gift for a new mom!

The gift shop carries an extensive selection of Alex and Ani

For those who are visiting patients there are some great gift ideas too, including adorable baby items, stunning flower arrangements from Floral Arts Flowers of Westford, and delicious Nelson's Candy--sure to elicit a smile! The hospital also has a service where items can be purchased on-line and delivered to a patient's room.

The flower arrangements are gorgeous!

Too cute!!

So whats the best thing about shopping at Lowell General's gift shop? All profits go to charity! It's guilt-free shopping at its best! The LGH Auxiliary owns the gift shop which is one of their top producers. Over the past 5 years the Auxiliary has raised and donated $750,000 to the LGH Legacy Fund which financed the construction of the beautiful new Dahod Building. The Auxiliary has also recently donated a computer and game table to the LGH Cancer Center.

And to sweeten things up even more, the hospital offers FREE valet parking...great for those rainy shopping days!

For more information, contact Donna at 978.937.6373 or visit Lowell General online.

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