Not Your Average Hallmark Store

TVT_6042It seems that the holidays come earlier and earlier every year. As soon as the air turns brisk and before the last leaf has hit the ground, holiday music can be heard and mountains of cards are erected in every shop. The mania and savory smells of hearty food spread from store to store and home to home, and soon twinkling lights, spangled trees and boxes festooned with ribbon dot the landscape as far as the eye can see. Once all is said and done, the beauty of the painstaking decoration is difficult to deny, but there is also staleness to be found when the same items are put up year after year.

As far as supplies for this process go, there are several choices in Louisville but few seem to boast the wares of Mark’s Hallmark. Greg Westenhofer has plenty to say on the subject and even has some ideas for the oft-neglected decorating holiday of Thanksgiving. “There’s a line called Happy Everything. They do a lot of platters that you can put attachments to.” This would be a potentially great idea for that succulent turkey centerpiece come meal time.

TVT_6047In accordance with the gift-giving season, Mark’s Hallmark also focuses on giftables, especially those crafted locally. “We’re carrying Bourbon Barrel Foods, which I’m sure you’re familiar with, Moss Hill, which is a local lotion line. There’s a company called Bourbon Barrel Rehab, and they make Kentucky and fleur-de-lis signs out of bourbon barrels. We have this big, six-foot state of Kentucky sign that no one else has in the city or the state.” If unique gift-giving is the goal, it seems that Mark’s Hallmark is the place to go. In fact, Westenhofer goes on to say, “You will not find a store, in Oxmoor, or even in Louisville, that has the variety that we do.”

Mark’s Hallmark is a Hallmark store, and as such, there are some expectations as to what the store looks like. Westenhofer says that in terms of store design and layout, Mark’s Hallmark has made a complete 180. According to him, several customers have entered and claimed that they normally would not shop at a Hallmark store but would happily do so at this one.

TVT_6063“We used to play a lot of love music and Frank Sinatra. There’s nothing wrong with that, but we wanted to mix things up a little. We started playing more current, local music like My Morning Jacket. I’m trying to get some younger ages interested in our store in addition to the client base we already have.” Westenhofer goes on to say that another one of his goals is to get men interested in buying things for their homes in his store. “I’m a guy, and I want other guys to be able to walk in and see something and say, ‘That’s cool. I want to get this.’”

Several changes have been made to Mark’s Hallmark to cast a wider net, but at the same time, Westenhofer doesn’t want the store to forget its already loyal customers or lose sight of what they are as a Hallmark store. “We still carry the items that you would find at any Hallmark store such as the signature Hallmark Christmas tree ornaments. But we also have giftables, local craft items, and boutique dresses that you cannot find anywhere else in town. We make sure of it.”

Whether it’s adorning the home, dressing up for festivities, or maintaining the spirit of the holidays by giving to others, Mark’s Hallmark has the needs of Louisvillians met. Go on down and see how Greg Westenhofer and his team have made the holidays cool and fresh again. VT