Green Table Gifts in Tempe will be celebrating its 4th anniversary on Saturday, July 11, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a storewide sale, guest vendors—and even food trucks. A limited amount of special gifts with purchases will be available. As you know with antiques and one-of-a-kinds, the early bird gets the “worm” and, in this case, an extra special treat as well!
Full of fun and exciting items, Green Table Gifts has many artists and vendors displaying a wide range of antiques, vintage, home décor and gift items along with a full line of Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint. You feel like you are visiting a neighbor when you walk in. A friendly hello from owner Patty Brees or one of the staff makes you feel right at home and everyone is ready and eager to help you find what you are looking for.
When Patty opened the shop in July 2011, one of her goals was to surround herself with beautiful, inspirational items that were lovingly made by hand along with vintage, one-of-a-pieces that spoke to her. After many years in the corporate world at a national gift shop chain, Patty was looking forward to a change that included offering more unique and locally made products.
Creating Green Table Gifts was a giant leap of faith for Patty—but a successful one, given its rapid growth. The shop opened with the help of Joy Getz, her assistant and former co-worker in the corporate world, and seven local vendors. The first location was a 900 square feet storefront near the Chandler mall and only carried gift items. When customers wanted to buy the vintage furniture being used to display gift items, Patty began carrying furniture and so vintage became a large part of the shop’s inventory.
As Patty added more vendors, the furniture and Annie Sloan Chalk Paint®, more space was needed and Green Table Gifts eventually moved to its current 2,500 square feet location in November 2012 giving her the space she needed to accommodate her expanding business. The current store allows a larger classroom venue for Chalk Paint® classes and room to showcase a fresh perspective on combining vintage and handmade items into irresistible gifts and home decor items.
Patty enjoys finding local providers who share her philosophy of being eco-friendly. She is a firm believer in supporting local business and is proud that approximately 75% of her vendors are local artists. Other items the shop carries are carefully selected for quality and craftsmanship and most are from small family-run businesses. The many talented vendors that Patty has discovered, encouraged and “collected” are constantly changing out their merchandise including jewelry, cards and stationery, purses, clothing accessories, local Arizona sports gifts, kitchen accessories and much more.
The shop’s name comes from two sources—green is Patty’s favorite color and her trademarks are two large green tables that she uses to showcase her ever-changing featured displays. The display tables quickly began bringing customers back to the shop wanting to know, “What’s on the Green Table this time?”
Patty and her creative staff are always on the lookout for neglected antiques that can either be repaired, re-purposed or remodeled using Chalk Paint®—a product she discovered a few weeks after opening the shop and which has revolutionized her business. Chalk Paint® is a very special decorative paint that is specifically designed for furniture but can also be used on walls, floors and in paintings. It will cover just about every surface, including fabric, with minimal preparation, if any. The full line of paint, wax, brushes, books, fragrance and fabric is available in the store and in the online shop.
The antique and neglected pieces that are redone sell very quickly so the shop is constantly changing as fun items arrive weekly. Customers love the techniques Patty uses to restore and repurpose the vintage pieces so she teaches classes on various Chalk Paint® techniques as well as offering custom refinishing. A large well-stocked display of Chalk Paint® is located on the back wall next to a work area used for classes, demonstrations or one of Patty’s many projects. She has become an expert on Chalk Paint® and finds herself carrying around a paintbrush most days as she answers customers’ questions and demonstrates techniques.
Patty has always been a creator and, surrounded and supported by her family, she still creates each day. When she was a child, her parents—who were professors and symphonic musicians—nurtured her creativity and she credits their support for her “craftiness.” Her dad, Bob Wittkamp, is her shopping buddy and often finds treasures that Patty has overlooked on their “picking” trips. He helps in the shop, making repairs or moving heavy items. Her mom Betty helps out with Patty’s 12-year-old son, Jonny, allowing Patty to work the many hours needed when you have your own business. Jonny also helps in the store behind the counter and greeting visitors. Husband Sean is the technical support, working on the website, blog and with print media. He has been very supportive of the business.
One of the things that makes Patty unique is her ability to change and grow with the needs of her customers—she listens and responds. Tapping into her creativity and listening to her customers, Patty is still growing and expanding her business. Keep your eye on Green Table Gifts because you never know what the shop will offer next!
Green Table Gifts is located at 1840 E. Warner Road, Suite #115, in Tempe. The neighborhood also features a farmers market and craft booths every Saturday in the shared parking lot of this gem of a store on the border of Chandler and South Tempe. Seasonally, Green Table Gifts hosts between 30 to 60 artists and local vintage curators.
For more information, call 480-855-5620, email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit www.greentablegifts.com/ or http://greentablegifts.blogspot.com/. You’ll also find the shop on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.