I love to shop – even more when a store has a variety of unique items. Helen Thomas Simply Smashing of Andover offers a fabulous selection of jewelry, whimsical gifts and a wide array of home decor items including custom order rugs and furnishings.
I’ve only recently come to know owner, Lisa Schiavone (no, her name is not Helen Thomas), and have been so impressed with her passion and commitment to the arts and community.
Who is Helen?
Helen Thomas first opened in Andover Center in October 2000.The store’s name is a combination of Lisa’s middle name, also her grandmother’s first name; Helen and her husband’s name; Thomas, although not necessarily his namesake. Lisa liked the ring of the two names together and so was born – Helen Thomas. Her catchy tagline, Simply Smashing, was the perfect description of everything Lisa hoped her gift and home decor store to be – simple, smashing and everything in between.
The charm of the store is unmistakable as is the regular presence of Lisa’s mom, Cookie Gollan. Customers might find Cookie working the front of the store or running art parties for children twice a month on what’s come to be known as Fun Fridays. In many ways, Helen Thomas is as much Cookie as it is Lisa.
Upon entering the store you are greeted by a colorful selection of unique gift items such as mittens, robes, art, jewelry, pillows, candles, mugs and more.
I could spend days poking around for just the right hostess gift, home decor accessory or just something fun for me. Here are some of my favorite gift and home decor finds from Helen Thomas Simply Smashing.
But more than merchandise, I like what Lisa is doing in addition to retail sales. She has turned Helen Thomas into an art resource, an interior design services connection, and an activity center for calligraphy, painting and jewelry making classes. This Andover shop also acts as a gathering place for ladies’ nights out, cookies and cocktails, book readings and even pajama parties when the store stays open until midnight- how fun is that?
Lisa happily custom coordinates in-store events just as she does many of her customized products.
Personalization is one of the countless reasons customers love shopping at Helen Thomas. Many of the gift and home decor items available can be made to order in any way the customer desires. Lisa DiAntonio of Green Park Studios sells her line of custom printed wall art and fabric printed pillows, aprons, table runners, hand towels and more through Helen Thomas. Her items can be custom created with anything the customer would like to see printed… favorite Christmas carols, a love poem, family names, etc.
Working with local artisans like Lisa DiAntonio has become the cornerstone of Helen Thomas. Formerly an artist’s representative, Lisa Schiavone values craftsmanship and artistry. She is committed to featuring more local artists like prolific painter Stephanie Mobbs Deady and Michele Boshar whose inspirational collage art is featured above, left.
With so much to offer at Helen Thomas, Lisa does not want the experience to be about buying alone. She is continually working with local charities to give back to the community. Just last week she held a Local Artist’s Night in support of Lazarus House Ministries in Lawrence.
Looking for something fun to do TONIGHT, 12/8/16?
There are many ways to shop this holiday season, but consider purchasing your Christmas gifts at a local home decor and gift shop like Helen Thomas where special and simply smashing have a meaning all their own. Stop in any Thursday night before Christmas for holiday shopping parties – open until 9pm.
More to come in 2017
What can you expect to see from Helen Thomas in the future? To begin, more focus on interior design and home decor services. In addition to the Company C, Dash & Albert and Pine Cone Hill home products lines already available, Lisa will be working with local interior designers to bring you more of what you love for your home. The back of the store will be transformed into a design center while the front of the store will also be getting a fresh, new look with more of everything you know and love from Helen Thomas Simply Smashing.
You can shop Helen Thomas at the Andover location, below, and see more beautiful gifts, art and decor on Instagram.
Helen Thomas Simply Smashing, 90 Main Street, Andover, MA 01810, 978-475-7981
*This post is sponsored by Helen Thomas Simply Smashing with full support from 3 Olives & a Twist. Thank you for supporting the brands that help to support 3 Olives & a Twist.