To cure the winter blues, nothing excites quite like spring shopping. St. Croix Valley residents don’t have to go far to find spring inspiration along Hudson’s Main Street and throughout the business community.
“Spring is my absolute favorite time of year. I enjoy the new beginnings of the season outside, with the green leaves and blooms, and I love seeing more people walking down the streets of Hudson again,” says Sandee Madigan, owner of downtown boutique Dilly Dally. “As tourism in our town continues to grow, more and more people are having lunch here, seeing the sights and going shopping. In fact, one of my favorite things about being a shop owner is talking to visitors and finding out where they’re coming from.”
Dilly Dally prides itself on being a small shop with a large variety of local merchandise. “We carry a little something for everyone on your list,” Madigan says. In addition to unique kitchen gadgets, cookbooks, soaps and fragrances, she also offers women’s clothing and accessories, and those who have visited lately might have noticed a recent expansion in the shop’s baby section. “I just became a grandma, so my baby department has exploded!” Madigan says with a laugh. “It’s been great having a granddaughter to inspire me to find items for newborns and babies who are celebrating their first birthdays, as well as little gifts for older siblings.”
For Easter, Madigan recommends items for children’s Easter baskets, such as plush JellyCat brand animals. Mother’s Day shoppers might be intrigued by Dilly Dally’s inspirational wall art, the Kelly Rae Roberts line of crosses or Pandora jewelry.
Another gift shop that is delighted by the arrival of spring is Lavender Thymes, a Hudson staple for the past 30 years. “It’s a gift store on one side and a clothing boutique on the other,” owner Michele Lindemann says. In addition to women’s clothing, she offers American-made gift ideas for everyone from wine and food enthusiasts to dog lovers to those looking for something special for children and others in their lives.
In spring, Lindemann says people are typically looking for items that feel fresh, whether it’s for their wardrobe, their home, or simply a special item that offers a pop of color or a fresh scent. “This year, I anticipate we’ll see a lot of pastels, particularly spring blues and a new coral tone,” she says. “Orange also continues to be popular after a long winter.”
For spring baby showers, Lavender Thymes carries Sozo brand bunting, blankets and hats that feature little creatures such as ladybugs and caterpillars. “We’re also excited about an exclusive baby line from France that we’ll introduce this spring,” Lindemann says. “The gifts include coordinating blankets, hats and bibs that come in beautiful colors, including white and blue-green, or a light coral pink.”
Both shops offer complimentary gift wrapping and are happy to assist customers with personalized gift baskets.
Lindemann and Madigan aren’t the only business owners eager to embrace the new season. Nearly 80 additional Hudson-area businesses are leaping into spring by participating in the city’s 13th annual Spring Showcase Business Expo. The Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau is hosting the event, which is free from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 29 at the Hudson Sports & Civic Center. It’s a family-friendly community business expo offering information about area services and products, live entertainment, product samples, drawings, kids’ activities and prizes.
Andrea Jorgenson, director of communications and programs at the chamber, says the expo is an opportunity to meet business leaders during an event enhanced by entertainment and family activities. “This is a vibrant community with scenic views as well as plenty of happenings,” she says. “Whether hiking Willow River State Park, shopping and strolling the historic downtown or dining outdoors, Hudson offers amazing ways to celebrate spring.”