The Ripley County Tourism office is located at the Welcome Center in Versailles. We share the building with Ripley County Economic Development, the Ripley County Chamber, and The Gooseberry Flower & Gift Shop. The ladies at Gooseberry have been decorating the shop and windows for their holiday open house for Small Business Saturday. I’m amazed at how they can transform a room — especially when they add beautiful flowers. I enjoy looking at pretty things so I’m doubly blessed by being able to visit the store every day. They have so many neat items — jewelry, hats and scarves, pocket trinkets, homemade soaps, candles, home décor, and figurines. I fell in love with a little bird figurine which now resides by my computer. It’s just a small thing, but there’s something about it that makes me smile each time I look at it – anytime I can add joy to my life, I’m all for it.

     We have so many wonderful little shops in Ripley County and Small Business Saturday — November 25th — is a great time to shop local and support them. Just think of the time, stress, and energy you could save by not traveling to a big box store or mall this year. When shopping local, parking isn’t usually a problem. Also, the sales staff are usually friends and neighbors and will go out of their way to help you have a great experience. If you need help finding the perfect item, many of the shops will place custom orders for you.

     I’m still uncovering some hidden gems like Monica’s Boutique. It just opened in May of 2017 and is located on US 50 across the highway from Thompson’s Outdoor Power  (I guess you could consider Thompson’s an outdoor boutique). Monica’s is open Thursday and Friday from 12-6; and some Saturdays. She’s more than happy to open by appointment if you’d like to get a few friends together for a special time. The boutique offers ladies fashions and specialty t’s in sizes small to 3X. She also has a selection of cute signs, pictures, candles, and other gift items sure to please someone on your list.

Owner Monica Siders is ready to help you find that perfect gift.

Bird in a Tree Boutique, located at 29 N Main Street in Batesville, opened about 15 months ago. Visiting with owner Lori Rennekamp was a fun experience. She enthusiastically shared stories about some of the jewelry lines she carries in the store and the causes they support. They strive to “offer an escape into an accessible world of

Owner Lori Rennenkamp behind the counter at Bird in a Tree Boutique

trendy and unique ever-changing styles. We want you to leave our store with a touched heart, an uplifted soul, and the encouragement to follow your dreams.” They have a wide array of clothing in sizes XS to 3XL, jewelry, scarves, books, and gift items to choose from. Lori was busy preparing for their holiday open house November 17th and 18th. Store hours are Tuesday –Thursday 10:30-6; Friday 10:30-5; and Saturday 10-3.

Another shop I’ve recently found is Cotton Blossoms Children’s Clothing Boutique located at 306 South Main Street in Versailles.  They just opened in June. According to owner Katherine Conover, they have boutique children’s clothing for boys and girls from newborn to 16 years. They are open Saturday 10-5 and Sunday 12-4 and by appointment. One other unique thing they offer is handmade doll clothing for 18” dolls (think American Girls).

That’s it for this week, more later…