Occasions Gift Store, known for unique gifts and ever-changing merchandise, will open in Kentlands Market Square on Nov. 2.
The store, owned by longtime Lakelands resident Stephanie Menick, is one of several shops to open in the new development on Market Street, following Berries & Bowls and MOD Pizza. Occasions’s first location is in Potomac, Maryland. Kentlands Market Square will serve as its second location.
“I love the fact that there’s going to be tons of familiar faces, like neighbors and teachers at my kids’ school, and having the store be in the middle of that, of my whole life, is really wonderful,” Menick said.
Occasions Gift Store sets itself apart with unique gifts and gift baskets that customers can take pride in giving as presents.
The store carries a variety of items such as clothing, accessories, home gifts, baby gifts, stationary sets and other boutique items.
Occasions also caters to young teenagers, or tweens, by staying on top of popular trends like fuzzy unicorn pajamas. The store also offers gifts for a variety of occasions in life like graduation, house warmings and holidays.
One way the store aims to give items a personalized touch is by offering custom monograms, school logos and names to drinkware. Menick also offers free gift wrapping and makes a point to stay on top of recent trends so every week customers have a new array of products to browse.
“The way we put things together is something that you can’t necessarily get or buy off the Internet or in a larger type of store,” Menick said.
“I hear all the time ‘every time I come in here there’s something different,’” she added.
Menick has been in the gift-giving business for more than 18 years, starting out selling corporate gifts from her home in Gaithersburg. After running a pop-up retail store in RIO Washingtonian Center over the holidays, Menick opened the first Occasions Gift Store at National Harbor and a second in Potomac, where Menick grew up. The National Harbor location has since closed, and Menick is excited to bring her store to the family-oriented community where she lives.
“I think the neighborhood will really embrace it,” Menick said. “The whole mom and pop business is really about family and the owner working in their business. That’s what makes small businesses really special.”