by Heidi Smith
When you visit Thompson’s Furniture & Gift store on Capitol Boulevard, it pays to be decisive. If you wait too long, any item you’re considering may disappear and those waiting for a re-emergence will be disappointed. Thompson’s is an established destination for shoppers who appreciate a constantly rotating selection of merchandise, particularly during the holidays.
Take, for example, the Old World Christmas Ornaments made of hand-blown glass. “A lot of people collect them,” says owner Donna Thompson. “We just got some in, but we sold half of them today.” Bestsellers in that ornament line include a blown glass pickle, sloth, passport and even a miniature bowl of macaroni and cheese.
Then there are the fun and funky practical items such as Hobo bags, wallets, telephone holders and credit card holders. One crossbody telephone holder bag, dubbed ‘Melody’ by the designers, converts into a wristlet and is made of vintage hide leather.
Recently, Thompson’s added the Brumate product line of beer and wine flute insulators. “They have these beautiful colors,” says Thompson. “Pinks and turquoises. They even have one for martinis as well as some flasks.” Brumate’s founders consistently solicit input from their clientele in order to improve existing products and create new ones that fill unanswered needs in the cold beverage niche.
On the apparel side, Thompson’s carries the Inoah collection, a series of wearable art with unique drawings and designs on each item. “They make these very cute tops that are such a soft fabric,” says Thompson. “We have some with a village on the front with a woman walking her dog.” All items are manufactured in Los Angeles.
Nordic Beach is another Southern California company that produces cozy wraps and jackets for any body type. The line is suitable for the surfing crowd but works equally well on cloudy Pacific Northwest days. Thompson’s is offering the brand’s Sherpa jackets, which Thompson characterizes as ‘very comfy.’
Those looking for accessories might enjoy the store’s display of Holly Yashi handcrafted artisan jewelry. The company is known for its use of lightweight niobium metal which is dipped into a bath of electrically charged water that permanently alters its color. Jewelry includes elements such as Swarovski crystal pearls, Bohemian and dichroic glass and hypo-allergenic metals.
Thompson’s originated in 1930 as a grocery store before evolving into an antique furniture store and eventually morphing into its current form, which combines furniture and unique gifts. With over 6,000 square feet of showroom at their disposal, owners Don and Donna Thompson have plenty of room to provide something for everyone. But don’t wait too long or the next time you visit, that item you had your eye on may have come and gone.