More Silly (yet fun!) Interviews)!

I took quite alot of ribbing for this one, but I was really voted best wink and biggest flirt! Just ask my husband!

Touched by an Angel

Decades after Charlie's last call, memories of schoolgirl play remain

Friday, November 03, 2000

By JULIE E. WASHINGTON
THE PLAIN DEALER

Related link: Barrymore completes her mission impossible: 'Angels' is a lot of fun

Critics dismissed it as a jiggle show, but almost three decades later, women of a certain age still know how to plant their feet, point their fingers and be an Angel.

"You've got to pretend you're holding a gun and say, 'Freeze, mister!' That's all there is to it," said Christine Keller, owner of Talkies Film and Coffee Bar in Ohio City.

In honor of the millennial big-screen incarnation of "Charlie's Angels" opening in theaters today with Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu and Cameron Diaz, we asked some high-powered women in Cleveland to get in touch with their inner Angels.

We wanted them to think back to the days before Palm Pilots and NASDAQ stocks, when the most complicated decision to be made was ... which Angel are you?

Keller recalled that her blonde hair locked her into only one role when she played at solving playground crimes with two sixth-grade friends. "I wasn't able to be Kate Jackson. They would want me to be Farrah [Fawcett-Majors]," she said.

"Charlie's Angels" made its debut on ABC in 1976 with Jackson as Sabrina Duncan, Fawcett-Majors as Jill Munroe and Jaclyn Smith as Kelly Garrett. Sabrina was supposed to be the brainy one, Jill the athletic one and Kelly the sophisticated one, but that hardly mattered, since each episode tried to get the Angels into skin-revealing clothes as quickly as possible.

Fawcett-Majors left in 1977, and the cast went into revolving-door mode. Cheryl Ladd, Shelley Hack and Tanya Roberts filled in as Angels dropped away. By 1981, the Angels had hung up the phone on Charlie, their never-seen boss, for the final time.

In a television landscape populated with Rhoda, Maude and Alice, the Angels were different. Sure, they had beautiful hair and clothes, but they also carried guns and went into dangerous situations. Girls and young women of the time watched, and learned about female power.

"For that time, I do think they were good role models," said Susan Hennie, executive officer for research and technology at NASA John H. Glenn Research Center, who described the women as professional, independent team players who enjoyed their careers and were different from other female TV characters.

"They offered hope to women who believed that physical appearance, hygiene and fitness were not traits exclusive to 'dumb blondes' with male dependencies."

Although her then-boyfriend (and now husband) wanted her to look like Fawcett-Majors, Hennie said she wanted to look like Smith.

"I identified most with Kate Jackson, the smart, plain one in the business attire," Hennie said.

Jerry Sue Thornton, president of Cuyahoga Community College, was a young English professor teaching at a community college near Chicago during the 1970s. Her classes talked about the Angels in terms of media images of women.

"Kate Jackson was my favorite," very serious, bright and talented, Thornton recalled. "She felt real to me."

Jackson was a strong choice among the women interviewed in this highly unscientific sampling. Chris Link, executive director of ACLU of Ohio, said she also liked Jackson. "She ended years of discrimination towards brunettes," Link said.

Beth Schreibman-Gehring, president of Schreibman's Jewelers East in Pepper Pike, chose a different Angel. "I always would have chosen to be Jaclyn Smith. She had a lot of beauty and class," Schreibman-Gehring said.

Jackson was too brainy. "I hated that fluffy, feathered stuff Farrah was doing," Schreibman-Gehring said. "There was just no way I could ever do that. Jaclyn, I could do."

She used to practice using her eyes like Smith did on the show. "I learned to wink and flirt like she did," Schreibman-Gehring admitted. Did it work? She was voted Best Wink and Biggest Flirt in the Orange High School Class of 1977.

"Charlie's Angels" taught her more than flirting techniques. It showed her how women could be feminine and powerful.

"They had to rely on something other than violence to get out of tough situations," Schreibman-Gehring said. "I just remember feeling different after I watched it - I felt strong."

But the best thing about the Angels, said NASA's Hennie, was "their ability to leap tall buildings, run down speeding automobiles and beat up bad guys - without their hair moving!"

E-mail: jwashington@plaind.com

Phone: (216) 999-4539

©2000 THE PLAIN DEALER. Used with permission.

© 2006 The Plain Dealer. Used with permission.
© 2006 cleveland.com All Rights Reserved.


More Silly (yet fun!) Interviews)!

I took quite alot of ribbing for this one, but I was really voted best wink and biggest flirt! Just ask my husband!

Touched by an Angel

Decades after Charlie's last call, memories of schoolgirl play remain

Friday, November 03, 2000

By JULIE E. WASHINGTON
THE PLAIN DEALER

Related link: Barrymore completes her mission impossible: 'Angels' is a lot of fun

Critics dismissed it as a jiggle show, but almost three decades later, women of a certain age still know how to plant their feet, point their fingers and be an Angel.

"You've got to pretend you're holding a gun and say, 'Freeze, mister!' That's all there is to it," said Christine Keller, owner of Talkies Film and Coffee Bar in Ohio City.

In honor of the millennial big-screen incarnation of "Charlie's Angels" opening in theaters today with Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu and Cameron Diaz, we asked some high-powered women in Cleveland to get in touch with their inner Angels.

We wanted them to think back to the days before Palm Pilots and NASDAQ stocks, when the most complicated decision to be made was ... which Angel are you?

Keller recalled that her blonde hair locked her into only one role when she played at solving playground crimes with two sixth-grade friends. "I wasn't able to be Kate Jackson. They would want me to be Farrah [Fawcett-Majors]," she said.

"Charlie's Angels" made its debut on ABC in 1976 with Jackson as Sabrina Duncan, Fawcett-Majors as Jill Munroe and Jaclyn Smith as Kelly Garrett. Sabrina was supposed to be the brainy one, Jill the athletic one and Kelly the sophisticated one, but that hardly mattered, since each episode tried to get the Angels into skin-revealing clothes as quickly as possible.

Fawcett-Majors left in 1977, and the cast went into revolving-door mode. Cheryl Ladd, Shelley Hack and Tanya Roberts filled in as Angels dropped away. By 1981, the Angels had hung up the phone on Charlie, their never-seen boss, for the final time.

In a television landscape populated with Rhoda, Maude and Alice, the Angels were different. Sure, they had beautiful hair and clothes, but they also carried guns and went into dangerous situations. Girls and young women of the time watched, and learned about female power.

"For that time, I do think they were good role models," said Susan Hennie, executive officer for research and technology at NASA John H. Glenn Research Center, who described the women as professional, independent team players who enjoyed their careers and were different from other female TV characters.

"They offered hope to women who believed that physical appearance, hygiene and fitness were not traits exclusive to 'dumb blondes' with male dependencies."

Although her then-boyfriend (and now husband) wanted her to look like Fawcett-Majors, Hennie said she wanted to look like Smith.

"I identified most with Kate Jackson, the smart, plain one in the business attire," Hennie said.

Jerry Sue Thornton, president of Cuyahoga Community College, was a young English professor teaching at a community college near Chicago during the 1970s. Her classes talked about the Angels in terms of media images of women.

"Kate Jackson was my favorite," very serious, bright and talented, Thornton recalled. "She felt real to me."

Jackson was a strong choice among the women interviewed in this highly unscientific sampling. Chris Link, executive director of ACLU of Ohio, said she also liked Jackson. "She ended years of discrimination towards brunettes," Link said.

Beth Schreibman-Gehring, president of Schreibman's Jewelers East in Pepper Pike, chose a different Angel. "I always would have chosen to be Jaclyn Smith. She had a lot of beauty and class," Schreibman-Gehring said.

Jackson was too brainy. "I hated that fluffy, feathered stuff Farrah was doing," Schreibman-Gehring said. "There was just no way I could ever do that. Jaclyn, I could do."

She used to practice using her eyes like Smith did on the show. "I learned to wink and flirt like she did," Schreibman-Gehring admitted. Did it work? She was voted Best Wink and Biggest Flirt in the Orange High School Class of 1977.

"Charlie's Angels" taught her more than flirting techniques. It showed her how women could be feminine and powerful.

"They had to rely on something other than violence to get out of tough situations," Schreibman-Gehring said. "I just remember feeling different after I watched it - I felt strong."

But the best thing about the Angels, said NASA's Hennie, was "their ability to leap tall buildings, run down speeding automobiles and beat up bad guys - without their hair moving!"

E-mail: jwashington@plaind.com

Phone: (216) 999-4539

©2000 THE PLAIN DEALER. Used with permission.

© 2006 The Plain Dealer. Used with permission.
© 2006 cleveland.com All Rights Reserved.


How about a "Survivor" Party?!

Yes, once upon a time I actually gave interviews like this one!

More ideas for your Survivor’ party

Wednesday, August 16, 2000

By JULIE E. WASHINGTON
PLAIN DEALER REPORTER

We asked two professional party planners, Don Pushinsky of All the Rage Unlimited in Cleveland, and Beth Schreibman-Gehring of Schreibman Jewelers in Pepper Pike, to think big and give us their ideas for a fabulous "Survivor" watching party.

From the invitation to the party favors, here are ways to put your guests in an adventuresome mood.

Funky fun

Pushinsky’s party begins with guests receiving hand-delivered invitations on handmade paper stuffed inside a coconut. Tribal percussion group, live tropical birds and a sign made of bamboo and pulled skins welcome guests.

Each guest receives a shell necklace attached to a tag with space for 20 signatures. Guests will have to get all 20 spaces signed by a party guest to be eligible for a prize. A few guests will have "eliminator tags"; those people will confiscate other people’s tags and knock them out of the game.

Name tags are in two different colors to denote tribes. At various times, tribes send a representative forward to compete in activities such as bobbing for "shrunken heads" or coconut rolling.

A 24-inch volcano can light up to call the group to order for dessert. Camouflage netting and vines suspended from the ceiling can help create a rustic jungle look. Palm trees with real fronds and moss accent areas of the room.

An elaborate evening

Schreibman-Gehring felt the food should be simple and flavorful and the decor provocative.

Invitations: Start with the invitation, a construction-paper leaf stamped with bugs and then handwritten. Hand deliver each invitation rolled up in a old wine bottle. Tie the leaf invitation with raffia so that it slips out easily. (Another option is to go to any Pier 1 or World Market and get Japanese paper lanterns and write the invite on those.)

Atmosphere: The decor would be really simple. Go camp style with lots of muslin fabric (tea-stained to look grimy) draped over chairs and sofas.

For lighting, use luminarias made by filling paper bags with sand and a votive candle. She usually punches out designs on the bags with a nail or paper punch or cuts with an Exacto blade.

Make candleholders out of fruit, simply by hollowing out enough space for the candle.

For tablecloths, buy yardage of some funky snake print or animal skin fabric. Wet it, let it dry in a wrinkled heap and then shred the ends.

Make a centerpiece out of a piece of driftwood - any old tree branch will do - and some shells and candles for the buffet table. Add color by sprinkling pieces of sea glass available at craft stores.

Food and drink: Start with pina coladas or fruit daiquiri. Serve with skewered chunks of fresh fruit and cheese for an appetizer, as well as pieces of walnut chicken deep-fried and sprinkled with coconut, with a sweet pepper and mustard dip.

For fun, serve finger food for the main course. Dinner would be a simple curried shrimp with all of the normal accompaniments - raisins, peanuts, chopped coconut, sliced kiwi fruit, lime slices, banana and some assorted chutneys. Add a bowl of buttered couscous with chopped fresh mint.

Wash a head of romaine lettuce and separate it into individual leaves, (reminiscent of banana leaves) and have each guest place a scoop of couscous, curry and whatever garnishes they wish onto it, roll it up and enjoy.

A side salad of chopped avocado, sweet red pepper, cucumber and onion with a simple yogurt dressing would be excellent.

Dessert would be a wonderful fruit sorbet with a cookie on the side.

Thai iced tea also would be great with this meal, and also some sort of great beer, perhaps Singha from Thailand, or Taj Mahal from India or Fosters Lager from Australia.

Souvenirs: No party would be complete without a little favor for guests to take home. How about a shell with a sea-blue votive candle and a deck of cards to fill the evening hours on the island?

©2000 THE PLAIN DEALER. Used with permission.


How about a "Survivor" Party?!

Yes, once upon a time I actually gave interviews like this one!

More ideas for your Survivor’ party

Wednesday, August 16, 2000

By JULIE E. WASHINGTON
PLAIN DEALER REPORTER

We asked two professional party planners, Don Pushinsky of All the Rage Unlimited in Cleveland, and Beth Schreibman-Gehring of Schreibman Jewelers in Pepper Pike, to think big and give us their ideas for a fabulous "Survivor" watching party.

From the invitation to the party favors, here are ways to put your guests in an adventuresome mood.

Funky fun

Pushinsky’s party begins with guests receiving hand-delivered invitations on handmade paper stuffed inside a coconut. Tribal percussion group, live tropical birds and a sign made of bamboo and pulled skins welcome guests.

Each guest receives a shell necklace attached to a tag with space for 20 signatures. Guests will have to get all 20 spaces signed by a party guest to be eligible for a prize. A few guests will have "eliminator tags"; those people will confiscate other people’s tags and knock them out of the game.

Name tags are in two different colors to denote tribes. At various times, tribes send a representative forward to compete in activities such as bobbing for "shrunken heads" or coconut rolling.

A 24-inch volcano can light up to call the group to order for dessert. Camouflage netting and vines suspended from the ceiling can help create a rustic jungle look. Palm trees with real fronds and moss accent areas of the room.

An elaborate evening

Schreibman-Gehring felt the food should be simple and flavorful and the decor provocative.

Invitations: Start with the invitation, a construction-paper leaf stamped with bugs and then handwritten. Hand deliver each invitation rolled up in a old wine bottle. Tie the leaf invitation with raffia so that it slips out easily. (Another option is to go to any Pier 1 or World Market and get Japanese paper lanterns and write the invite on those.)

Atmosphere: The decor would be really simple. Go camp style with lots of muslin fabric (tea-stained to look grimy) draped over chairs and sofas.

For lighting, use luminarias made by filling paper bags with sand and a votive candle. She usually punches out designs on the bags with a nail or paper punch or cuts with an Exacto blade.

Make candleholders out of fruit, simply by hollowing out enough space for the candle.

For tablecloths, buy yardage of some funky snake print or animal skin fabric. Wet it, let it dry in a wrinkled heap and then shred the ends.

Make a centerpiece out of a piece of driftwood - any old tree branch will do - and some shells and candles for the buffet table. Add color by sprinkling pieces of sea glass available at craft stores.

Food and drink: Start with pina coladas or fruit daiquiri. Serve with skewered chunks of fresh fruit and cheese for an appetizer, as well as pieces of walnut chicken deep-fried and sprinkled with coconut, with a sweet pepper and mustard dip.

For fun, serve finger food for the main course. Dinner would be a simple curried shrimp with all of the normal accompaniments - raisins, peanuts, chopped coconut, sliced kiwi fruit, lime slices, banana and some assorted chutneys. Add a bowl of buttered couscous with chopped fresh mint.

Wash a head of romaine lettuce and separate it into individual leaves, (reminiscent of banana leaves) and have each guest place a scoop of couscous, curry and whatever garnishes they wish onto it, roll it up and enjoy.

A side salad of chopped avocado, sweet red pepper, cucumber and onion with a simple yogurt dressing would be excellent.

Dessert would be a wonderful fruit sorbet with a cookie on the side.

Thai iced tea also would be great with this meal, and also some sort of great beer, perhaps Singha from Thailand, or Taj Mahal from India or Fosters Lager from Australia.

Souvenirs: No party would be complete without a little favor for guests to take home. How about a shell with a sea-blue votive candle and a deck of cards to fill the evening hours on the island?

©2000 THE PLAIN DEALER. Used with permission.


Holiday Tablesettings!

I was told that several of my interviews were to be found on the internet, This is one of them from November , 2000 originally published the Cleveland Plain Dealer!

Don’t forget special table settings,

Sunday, November 19, 2000

By MELISSA KOSSLER
ASSISTANT HOMES EDITOR

 

  Turkey, stuffing and cranberries aren’t the only important Thanksgiving dishes.

There are also bowls, platters and plates to consider.

A turkey dinner and all its fixings deserve a beautifully set table, said Boo Geist, a sales associate at Potter and Mellen, a Cleveland china and jewelry shop. A well-dressed table not only complements the meal, it makes guests feel more welcome, said Beth Schreibman Gehring, president of Schreibman Jewelers East.

Take the extra time to create a beautiful table, particularly if your guests are "just family," urged Schreibman Gehring.

"They’re the ones whom it’s worth going to all that trouble for," she said.

Like your Thanksgiving menu, table trimmings require a bit of advance planning. If you’re tired of pulling out the Tom Turkey platter and salt and pepper shakers, there are other ways to set a table that says Thanksgiving.

 

Tap into the natural elements of fall and the harvest, Geist suggested. Serving pieces in greens, browns and oranges or trimmed with leaves, birds or nuts lend a fall feel to your table, she said. Chargers, or accent plates that sit under dinner plates, can give any china a fall look. Centerpieces made from fruit, vegetables or gourds work well for Thanksgiving.

Look at the colors in your china pattern and determine a fall color that complements it, Geist said. Don’t be afraid to introduce new patterns or colors onto your table. If you inherited grandma’s gravy boat, use it. The history and tradition associated with the piece will conjure up the sentimental feelings associated with Thanksgiving.

"Mixing and matching is today’s trend," Geist said.

People often are afraid to introduce new colors onto their table, Schreibman Gehring said. She suggests taking a plate to the fabric store or the paint store to see what colors it matches. Holding the dish next to a full palette will inspire new uses for color on your table, she said.

Warm with color Color can warm up modern black dinnerware. Adding yellow, rust, taupe or red pieces will create a look that’s seasonal and modern, said Adam Norris, one of the owners of Secret Closet, a new home decor store in North Olmsted.

Often Schreibman Gehring hears from women who have grown tired of their china but are unable to replace it. Schreibman Gehring, who grew up working in the store, encourages them to consider chargers, glassware and linens to change the look. A gold charger under a plate gives the piece a formal look while a wood grain charger makes it more casual.

Glassware also can create a new look. Colored glassware can highlight a particular color in your china. Adding a festive champagne glass to the table is another way to change the mood, Schreibman Gehring said. Mix different styles and colors of glassware, she said.

"I love colored glassware. I use it all the time. It just sings," Schreibman Gehring said.

When introducing new colors, use linens to pull the pieces together, Geist said. Linens are a crucial part of the table dressing, she said.

Don’t limit yourself to traditional tablecloths, said Schreibman Gehring, who has used blankets, hemmed fabric and scarves as table covers. "I like to use a lot of color and texture," she said.

Too often the tablecloth is an afterthought, she said.

"The tablecloth is really the canvas for the whole table and so often people just have a plain white tablecloth. That’s fine. It just doesn’t create something new and exciting," she said.

Centerpieces also add excitement to the table. Geist suggests finding your table decorations outside. Cut down an evergreen bough or branch of fall leaves and nestle pumpkins, gourds, pine cones or candles around. Gather feathers and put them in a vase. Fill a bowl with bright orange kumquats. Use other fruits and a basket to create a cornucopia.

"Be a little creative about it," she said.

Once your centerpiece is in place, sit in every seat to see if it obstructs the view across the table.

To avoid the overwhelming centerpiece, Schreibman Gehring sometimes creates individual centerpieces. She’ll use demitasses filled with flowers, miniature terra-cotta plants stuffed with nuts or mini-loaves of bread trimmed in ribbon.

A glass hurricane globe turned on its side becomes a great low centerpiece, Schreibman Gehring said. Anchor it with some apples or Indian corn and fill it with greenery, pine cones or flowers.

Instead of putting a napkin on the dinner plate, consider laying a stick across the plate, said Marc Goohs of Secret Closet. He suggested a tray full of warm-colored candles and leaves, two or three decorated grapevine wreaths lying flat on the table with bowls of food in the middle and fall-themed topiaries as possible centerpieces.

If you opt for candles on your table, use unscented ones. Scented candles might fight with the food smells, Goohs said.

Homemade centerpieces fit nicely with Thanksgiving, said Schreibman Gehring, who has paid a florist to do Christmas arrangements but prefers to do her own on Thanksgiving.

"Thanksgiving is really associated with nurturing," she said. "Nobody deserves beauty and enchantment and grace more than your family does."

  E-mail: mkossler@plaind.com

Phone: (216) 999-4240

 

©2000 THE PLAIN DEALER. Used with permission.


Holiday Tablesettings!

I was told that several of my interviews were to be found on the internet, This is one of them from November , 2000 originally published the Cleveland Plain Dealer!

Don’t forget special table settings,

Sunday, November 19, 2000

By MELISSA KOSSLER
ASSISTANT HOMES EDITOR

 

  Turkey, stuffing and cranberries aren’t the only important Thanksgiving dishes.

There are also bowls, platters and plates to consider.

A turkey dinner and all its fixings deserve a beautifully set table, said Boo Geist, a sales associate at Potter and Mellen, a Cleveland china and jewelry shop. A well-dressed table not only complements the meal, it makes guests feel more welcome, said Beth Schreibman Gehring, president of Schreibman Jewelers East.

Take the extra time to create a beautiful table, particularly if your guests are "just family," urged Schreibman Gehring.

"They’re the ones whom it’s worth going to all that trouble for," she said.

Like your Thanksgiving menu, table trimmings require a bit of advance planning. If you’re tired of pulling out the Tom Turkey platter and salt and pepper shakers, there are other ways to set a table that says Thanksgiving.

 

Tap into the natural elements of fall and the harvest, Geist suggested. Serving pieces in greens, browns and oranges or trimmed with leaves, birds or nuts lend a fall feel to your table, she said. Chargers, or accent plates that sit under dinner plates, can give any china a fall look. Centerpieces made from fruit, vegetables or gourds work well for Thanksgiving.

Look at the colors in your china pattern and determine a fall color that complements it, Geist said. Don’t be afraid to introduce new patterns or colors onto your table. If you inherited grandma’s gravy boat, use it. The history and tradition associated with the piece will conjure up the sentimental feelings associated with Thanksgiving.

"Mixing and matching is today’s trend," Geist said.

People often are afraid to introduce new colors onto their table, Schreibman Gehring said. She suggests taking a plate to the fabric store or the paint store to see what colors it matches. Holding the dish next to a full palette will inspire new uses for color on your table, she said.

Warm with color Color can warm up modern black dinnerware. Adding yellow, rust, taupe or red pieces will create a look that’s seasonal and modern, said Adam Norris, one of the owners of Secret Closet, a new home decor store in North Olmsted.

Often Schreibman Gehring hears from women who have grown tired of their china but are unable to replace it. Schreibman Gehring, who grew up working in the store, encourages them to consider chargers, glassware and linens to change the look. A gold charger under a plate gives the piece a formal look while a wood grain charger makes it more casual.

Glassware also can create a new look. Colored glassware can highlight a particular color in your china. Adding a festive champagne glass to the table is another way to change the mood, Schreibman Gehring said. Mix different styles and colors of glassware, she said.

"I love colored glassware. I use it all the time. It just sings," Schreibman Gehring said.

When introducing new colors, use linens to pull the pieces together, Geist said. Linens are a crucial part of the table dressing, she said.

Don’t limit yourself to traditional tablecloths, said Schreibman Gehring, who has used blankets, hemmed fabric and scarves as table covers. "I like to use a lot of color and texture," she said.

Too often the tablecloth is an afterthought, she said.

"The tablecloth is really the canvas for the whole table and so often people just have a plain white tablecloth. That’s fine. It just doesn’t create something new and exciting," she said.

Centerpieces also add excitement to the table. Geist suggests finding your table decorations outside. Cut down an evergreen bough or branch of fall leaves and nestle pumpkins, gourds, pine cones or candles around. Gather feathers and put them in a vase. Fill a bowl with bright orange kumquats. Use other fruits and a basket to create a cornucopia.

"Be a little creative about it," she said.

Once your centerpiece is in place, sit in every seat to see if it obstructs the view across the table.

To avoid the overwhelming centerpiece, Schreibman Gehring sometimes creates individual centerpieces. She’ll use demitasses filled with flowers, miniature terra-cotta plants stuffed with nuts or mini-loaves of bread trimmed in ribbon.

A glass hurricane globe turned on its side becomes a great low centerpiece, Schreibman Gehring said. Anchor it with some apples or Indian corn and fill it with greenery, pine cones or flowers.

Instead of putting a napkin on the dinner plate, consider laying a stick across the plate, said Marc Goohs of Secret Closet. He suggested a tray full of warm-colored candles and leaves, two or three decorated grapevine wreaths lying flat on the table with bowls of food in the middle and fall-themed topiaries as possible centerpieces.

If you opt for candles on your table, use unscented ones. Scented candles might fight with the food smells, Goohs said.

Homemade centerpieces fit nicely with Thanksgiving, said Schreibman Gehring, who has paid a florist to do Christmas arrangements but prefers to do her own on Thanksgiving.

"Thanksgiving is really associated with nurturing," she said. "Nobody deserves beauty and enchantment and grace more than your family does."

  E-mail: mkossler@plaind.com

Phone: (216) 999-4240

 

©2000 THE PLAIN DEALER. Used with permission.


Making bridal registries FUN!

From Currents/The Chagrin Valley Times/ January, 2005

It’s such a wonderful time of the year to become engaged!  If you have, then you’re already aware with the first flush of romantic fervor and excitement that there’s SO much to be done in such a short amount of time! Choosing the date, finding the perfect place for the reception, creating the perfect atmosphere with flowers and food, and in my mind, the most important choice of all, The Bridal Registry! I remember so many times when couples became engaged in our store moments after he bought the ring that she was just glancing shyly at!  I’ve cried many happy tears, when years later, these same sweet girls, now young mothers, brought their new babies for me to hold when they came home for the holidays! I’ve always loved the fun of the bridal registry, watching our couples begin to create their lives together, listening to them talk about how they wanted to entertain their friends and families!   

It was always such fun watching them when they saw our china room for the first time, laughing with excitement as they realized that their choices weren’t limited to just the few things that they had seen in department stores or magazines! A fine gift store will have beautiful china, crystal and silver from all around the world, and many pieces of gorgeous giftware that you won’t ever see in a “big box” store!  It can be very confusing at that first glance, and I loved my role as navigator through the registry process, so that the gifts that our couples chose for themselves really reflected the two of them as well as the family that they would eventually create. Remember that the responsibility of maintaining your bridal registry is a gift for the store/s that you select and you should be treated with a lot of respect by the consultants who work there! Don’t register with a store if the sales help is unfriendly or if you are treated impatiently.  They are going to become an extension of your family for a while and you’ll, need to be able to count on them to be patient, calm and caring, especially when the wedding date begins to seem too close for comfort!    Make sure that the registry has a good return policy, so that you can take a few months to get settled into your new life without having to worry about being stuck with too many ice buckets or silver trays! Be sure to ask about the store policy for special ordering the pieces from your registry that aren’t in stock. Good stores will have a gift certificate that they will send before the gift is actually ordered for you, so that you can choose whether or not to keep it. If you are registering at more than one store, you’ll need to get a good journal to keep track of your gifts. This way, the stores you’ve chosen don’t have to deal with stocking and handling unnecessary merchandise, and you aren’t aggravated because you’ve received 3 Havilland gravy boats! Once you’ve been given a platter, or anything that you want only one of, please update the other registries quickly so that they can focus on selling all of the other lovely gifts that you want! Keeping pre-stamped thank you notes nearby and writing them as soon as you receive a gift or certificate guarantees that they’ll never become an unfinished chore!

Make sure that you understand what the policy and charges are for shipping your presents, as ideally you will want your gifts shipped as soon as the store receives them unless you have instructed otherwise. It is important to understand how they will handle any UPS tracking issues that they need to when a package is missing. Feel free to ask all of the questions that you need to, so that you understand how your registry will be handled.  Fine specialty stores are usually very busy during the bridal season, and by being as specific as possible in the beginning, you will avoid any unnecessary problems down the road.  Gift wrapping is usually complimentary, but if you are environmentally conscious and don’t wish to have your packages wrapped that’s okay too! Just make sure that the consultant that you’re working with lists ALL of your special requests on your registry so that they are not accidentally overlooked!

My last piece of practical advice is, PLEASE don’t make the mistake of choosing a store based only on heavily discounted price.  The best stores offer wonderful service, knowledgeable help and the newest patterns! Please send your guests to the store that has willingly spent so much time and effort helping you select all of your beautiful gifts.  The service that you are receiving from a wonderful store does come with a price tag but it’s really worth spending the extra percentage that you would be saving if you registered with one of the catalog discounters.  Knowledgeable giftware consultants are expensive to hire but they are so important for guaranteeing the wonderful experience that you, your husband and grandchildren will appreciate for a lifetime!

The chances are far better with a specialty store that you’ll get the level of service that you desire. When something comes in broken, or isn’t quite right, a fine store will have the experience to handle the problem. Most will bend over backwards to deliver a package personally if a guest comes in at the last minute and says “Please, can’t you somehow get it to her today?”  I can’t tell you how many rehearsal dinners I’ve taken gifts to, or how many times I ran to the engravers in the middle of the night to have something redone that wasn’t quite right and needed in the morning! Remember, you deserve the finest service that any store has to offer, but when a store has to compete with a large discounter for a sale, great service becomes too expensive for most specialty stores to provide. Because the process of planning an extraordinary wedding can be so frantic, this is one time when you’ll definitely want fantastic service!

  Spend a lot of time enjoying the process of registering! It is important for you to be able to walk around with the plates and glasses in your hands, living with them for awhile. If you’re leaving the store after the first time without a clear decision, a good rule of thumb is that the first plate that you remember after you’ve left will be the pattern that has captivated you!  Concentrate on choosing the dinner plate first, because if you think of the table as a blank canvas, the dinner plate will become the largest focal point in your painting! If you have them, bring swatches of fabric, pictures of your dining room or anything else that will help you convey the feeling that you desire. A great store will have consultants who know quite a lot about interior design, helping you to choose incredible combinations of color, style and texture that will allow you to create many different looks from your new set of dishes!  For example, the stunning Old Imari pattern which is very formal/traditional and frequently coupled with antique sterling, can be dressed down to an almost contemporary level for an exotic Japanese dinner by using a gilded straw placemat, chopsticks and glassware whose design mirrors the strong shapes that are found in the plate.   After you’ve chosen the plate, have fun getting to know the many crystal patterns available, and finally choose silverware or stainless to complete your gorgeous table setting! Don’t worry about it if you fall in love with more than one crystal pattern, mix them together! If you love colored crystal, it can be mixed with clear crystal to create an enchanting effect! Remember to select a gorgeous pair of candlesticks for your table because mixtures of cut and simple crystal as well as different combinations of flatware are at their loveliest by candlelight! Don’t hesitate to ask the consultant if you can take your patterns home overnight, so that you can get to know them for a bit without distraction.  Most stores will happily let you do this, with the agreement that they are returned unharmed the next day. After you’ve completed your registry, all that’s left  to do is wait with happy anticipation for the first gifts to arrive, and once your wedding day has come and gone, the two of you can spend many quiet romantic dinners together ,  mixing new traditions with the old , creating the perfect blend of family!

      I’m wishing you a wonderful life together filled with all of  the joy and breathlessness that a great marriage can bring!


Inspired Gift Giving!

Originally Published in The Ohio Bar Journal(Lawyers not Bartenders!)/2001

Well the holidays are swiftly approaching and stores are filled once again with people wishing to create a bit of magic in their lives through the time honored custom of gift giving! Many times I found that choosing the right gift was confusing for my customers, and my goal was always to create an environment such that all who shopped at  my store were thrilled and inspired by what they saw. I’ve discovered in this age of mass marketing and mail order that there is a renewed hunger for the tactile experience of purchasing a lovely gift! Although the the experience of internet shopping can be alot of fun and really convenient, the very personal experience of being well served in a beautiful store filled with gorgeous gifts can't be denied. Yet sadly, the thought of shopping during the holiday season fills many hearts with dread, but I truly believe that gift giving during the holidays can be the most fun experience of all!

The vision of any great store hasn’t been fully expressed unless it’s customers feel cared for, understood and related to in a way that satisfies the heartfelt desire to create the gift of an experience, through the giving of a present, whether the recipient is a business acquaintance or a close intimate companion. I know that my choice of the word “experience” in relationship to gift giving may be confusing for some, and yet for me that is precisely where most retailers today fall short. It’s as if they don’t see the tremendous opportunity that they have to serve their community through the simple act of bringing elegance into the world through the wonderful gifts that they sell. It is my desire to create for you a new “experience”, one that is based on the quality of service, and the nurturing of beauty and uniqueness, all things important for sustaining our creative lives. I believe that price comparison shopping and mass market retailing are the by product’s of a society starving for substantive experiences and joyous moments.  Really great stores have beautiful gifts at prices to suit every wallet! There is (and always will be!) something quite exquisite about a hand selected gift from a specialty store, chosen with care, then beautifully wrapped and delivered! Some of my best memories of our store are of Christmastime, when our wrapping room looked like Santa’s workshop, with all of our customer’s running back to request special gift papers and fancy bows! These aren’t experiences that you can have anywhere else other than a jewel box of a store, where the help knows you by name and just how many cubes of sugar that you like for your tea! A wonderful store becomes the lifeblood of its community, constantly giving back, always there when a customer needs a donation for a cherished organization, or an advertisement for a school football calendar! 

The very act of purchasing a wonderful gift for someone that you love in a fabulous store is filled with a sense of renewel for the relationship, excitement and creativity! 

For instance, when a young man wishes to purchase a piece of jewelry for his fiancé, he isn’t the least bit interested in the cut ,color and clarity of the diamond that he is purchasing, or the weight and carat value of the gold that it’s set in. Those are simply the facts, and any GIA trained gemologist can produce those details. They aren’t the most important thing and selling as if they are just cheapens his experience.  What’s really at stake for him are the tears in her eyes as she opens his gift, and the possibilities that he’s created for their life together. He’s got it all planned ..He’s asking her to marry him at Christmas, her favorite time of the year and he wants to pick the piece of jewelry that really reflect his feelings for her and his dreams of her response.   If he doesn’t feel as wonderful purchasing it as he does giving it then he’s missed out on an important part of the whole experience. I always felt that if every customer that came into our store didn’t feel as wonderful through the act of giving as they do receiving that we hadn’t done our jobs. 

I have heard it said that the specialty store is outdated, a relic of the past from a lifestyle  that exists for few anymore, and yet people flock to Europe, hungry for this sort of shopping experience! The gorgeous boutiques on the streets of London or Paris continuously give us

us wonderful examples of merchandising. They are lovely to explore, and their seasonal merchandise, always beautifully presented, is a joy to the eye and a truly engaging experience for the customer. Maybe, what we enjoy so much about these stores is that they maintain a natural relationship to the rhythm of the seasons, not the artificially induced shopping cycles that we have created in this country.   I really believe that this is the way that a store offers the most significant value to its customers. By keeping the atmosphere relaxed and closely aligned to the natural patterns of our lives, we stay happier and less frantic, and more able to enjoy the true essence of the holiday season!

This holiday season, try to shop in stores that care about you, and the experience that   you’ll have sharing yourself with people through the gifts that you choose! Remember, that the gifts that you choose this holiday season or anytime will always convey the essence of you, the gift giver! Gift giving in its purest form is artistically inspired by love and the desire to provide for the recipient a special moment of beauty and timelessness. It is my wish for you this season that your needs for a truly relaxing and wonderful gifting experience are met with elegance, beauty and enchantment, through stores that continue the tradition of providing for you , the customer, all of the quality and expertise that you desire, along with LOTS of fun!

If you remember to request the service and style that you deserve, you will create a space where the exceptional can occur and the possibility of extraordinary retailing and inspired gift giving will continue to exist in the world, through the vision of stores who are committed to  providing you with quality and joy for many decades to come!

Glad tidings to all of you, my best wishes for a sensational New Year! 

   


Making bridal registries FUN!

From Currents/The Chagrin Valley Times/ January, 2005

It’s such a wonderful time of the year to become engaged!  If you have, then you’re already aware with the first flush of romantic fervor and excitement that there’s SO much to be done in such a short amount of time! Choosing the date, finding the perfect place for the reception, creating the perfect atmosphere with flowers and food, and in my mind, the most important choice of all, The Bridal Registry! I remember so many times when couples became engaged in our store moments after he bought the ring that she was just glancing shyly at!  I’ve cried many happy tears, when years later, these same sweet girls, now young mothers, brought their new babies for me to hold when they came home for the holidays! I’ve always loved the fun of the bridal registry, watching our couples begin to create their lives together, listening to them talk about how they wanted to entertain their friends and families!   

It was always such fun watching them when they saw our china room for the first time, laughing with excitement as they realized that their choices weren’t limited to just the few things that they had seen in department stores or magazines! A fine gift store will have beautiful china, crystal and silver from all around the world, and many pieces of gorgeous giftware that you won’t ever see in a “big box” store!  It can be very confusing at that first glance, and I loved my role as navigator through the registry process, so that the gifts that our couples chose for themselves really reflected the two of them as well as the family that they would eventually create. Remember that the responsibility of maintaining your bridal registry is a gift for the store/s that you select and you should be treated with a lot of respect by the consultants who work there! Don’t register with a store if the sales help is unfriendly or if you are treated impatiently.  They are going to become an extension of your family for a while and you’ll, need to be able to count on them to be patient, calm and caring, especially when the wedding date begins to seem too close for comfort!    Make sure that the registry has a good return policy, so that you can take a few months to get settled into your new life without having to worry about being stuck with too many ice buckets or silver trays! Be sure to ask about the store policy for special ordering the pieces from your registry that aren’t in stock. Good stores will have a gift certificate that they will send before the gift is actually ordered for you, so that you can choose whether or not to keep it. If you are registering at more than one store, you’ll need to get a good journal to keep track of your gifts. This way, the stores you’ve chosen don’t have to deal with stocking and handling unnecessary merchandise, and you aren’t aggravated because you’ve received 3 Havilland gravy boats! Once you’ve been given a platter, or anything that you want only one of, please update the other registries quickly so that they can focus on selling all of the other lovely gifts that you want! Keeping pre-stamped thank you notes nearby and writing them as soon as you receive a gift or certificate guarantees that they’ll never become an unfinished chore!

Make sure that you understand what the policy and charges are for shipping your presents, as ideally you will want your gifts shipped as soon as the store receives them unless you have instructed otherwise. It is important to understand how they will handle any UPS tracking issues that they need to when a package is missing. Feel free to ask all of the questions that you need to, so that you understand how your registry will be handled.  Fine specialty stores are usually very busy during the bridal season, and by being as specific as possible in the beginning, you will avoid any unnecessary problems down the road.  Gift wrapping is usually complimentary, but if you are environmentally conscious and don’t wish to have your packages wrapped that’s okay too! Just make sure that the consultant that you’re working with lists ALL of your special requests on your registry so that they are not accidentally overlooked!

My last piece of practical advice is, PLEASE don’t make the mistake of choosing a store based only on heavily discounted price.  The best stores offer wonderful service, knowledgeable help and the newest patterns! Please send your guests to the store that has willingly spent so much time and effort helping you select all of your beautiful gifts.  The service that you are receiving from a wonderful store does come with a price tag but it’s really worth spending the extra percentage that you would be saving if you registered with one of the catalog discounters.  Knowledgeable giftware consultants are expensive to hire but they are so important for guaranteeing the wonderful experience that you, your husband and grandchildren will appreciate for a lifetime!

The chances are far better with a specialty store that you’ll get the level of service that you desire. When something comes in broken, or isn’t quite right, a fine store will have the experience to handle the problem. Most will bend over backwards to deliver a package personally if a guest comes in at the last minute and says “Please, can’t you somehow get it to her today?”  I can’t tell you how many rehearsal dinners I’ve taken gifts to, or how many times I ran to the engravers in the middle of the night to have something redone that wasn’t quite right and needed in the morning! Remember, you deserve the finest service that any store has to offer, but when a store has to compete with a large discounter for a sale, great service becomes too expensive for most specialty stores to provide. Because the process of planning an extraordinary wedding can be so frantic, this is one time when you’ll definitely want fantastic service!

  Spend a lot of time enjoying the process of registering! It is important for you to be able to walk around with the plates and glasses in your hands, living with them for awhile. If you’re leaving the store after the first time without a clear decision, a good rule of thumb is that the first plate that you remember after you’ve left will be the pattern that has captivated you!  Concentrate on choosing the dinner plate first, because if you think of the table as a blank canvas, the dinner plate will become the largest focal point in your painting! If you have them, bring swatches of fabric, pictures of your dining room or anything else that will help you convey the feeling that you desire. A great store will have consultants who know quite a lot about interior design, helping you to choose incredible combinations of color, style and texture that will allow you to create many different looks from your new set of dishes!  For example, the stunning Old Imari pattern which is very formal/traditional and frequently coupled with antique sterling, can be dressed down to an almost contemporary level for an exotic Japanese dinner by using a gilded straw placemat, chopsticks and glassware whose design mirrors the strong shapes that are found in the plate.   After you’ve chosen the plate, have fun getting to know the many crystal patterns available, and finally choose silverware or stainless to complete your gorgeous table setting! Don’t worry about it if you fall in love with more than one crystal pattern, mix them together! If you love colored crystal, it can be mixed with clear crystal to create an enchanting effect! Remember to select a gorgeous pair of candlesticks for your table because mixtures of cut and simple crystal as well as different combinations of flatware are at their loveliest by candlelight! Don’t hesitate to ask the consultant if you can take your patterns home overnight, so that you can get to know them for a bit without distraction.  Most stores will happily let you do this, with the agreement that they are returned unharmed the next day. After you’ve completed your registry, all that’s left  to do is wait with happy anticipation for the first gifts to arrive, and once your wedding day has come and gone, the two of you can spend many quiet romantic dinners together ,  mixing new traditions with the old , creating the perfect blend of family!

      I’m wishing you a wonderful life together filled with all of  the joy and breathlessness that a great marriage can bring!


Inspired Gift Giving!

Originally Published in The Ohio Bar Journal(Lawyers not Bartenders!)/2001

Well the holidays are swiftly approaching and stores are filled once again with people wishing to create a bit of magic in their lives through the time honored custom of gift giving! Many times I found that choosing the right gift was confusing for my customers, and my goal was always to create an environment such that all who shopped at  my store were thrilled and inspired by what they saw. I’ve discovered in this age of mass marketing and mail order that there is a renewed hunger for the tactile experience of purchasing a lovely gift! Although the the experience of internet shopping can be alot of fun and really convenient, the very personal experience of being well served in a beautiful store filled with gorgeous gifts can't be denied. Yet sadly, the thought of shopping during the holiday season fills many hearts with dread, but I truly believe that gift giving during the holidays can be the most fun experience of all!

The vision of any great store hasn’t been fully expressed unless it’s customers feel cared for, understood and related to in a way that satisfies the heartfelt desire to create the gift of an experience, through the giving of a present, whether the recipient is a business acquaintance or a close intimate companion. I know that my choice of the word “experience” in relationship to gift giving may be confusing for some, and yet for me that is precisely where most retailers today fall short. It’s as if they don’t see the tremendous opportunity that they have to serve their community through the simple act of bringing elegance into the world through the wonderful gifts that they sell. It is my desire to create for you a new “experience”, one that is based on the quality of service, and the nurturing of beauty and uniqueness, all things important for sustaining our creative lives. I believe that price comparison shopping and mass market retailing are the by product’s of a society starving for substantive experiences and joyous moments.  Really great stores have beautiful gifts at prices to suit every wallet! There is (and always will be!) something quite exquisite about a hand selected gift from a specialty store, chosen with care, then beautifully wrapped and delivered! Some of my best memories of our store are of Christmastime, when our wrapping room looked like Santa’s workshop, with all of our customer’s running back to request special gift papers and fancy bows! These aren’t experiences that you can have anywhere else other than a jewel box of a store, where the help knows you by name and just how many cubes of sugar that you like for your tea! A wonderful store becomes the lifeblood of its community, constantly giving back, always there when a customer needs a donation for a cherished organization, or an advertisement for a school football calendar! 

The very act of purchasing a wonderful gift for someone that you love in a fabulous store is filled with a sense of renewel for the relationship, excitement and creativity! 

For instance, when a young man wishes to purchase a piece of jewelry for his fiancé, he isn’t the least bit interested in the cut ,color and clarity of the diamond that he is purchasing, or the weight and carat value of the gold that it’s set in. Those are simply the facts, and any GIA trained gemologist can produce those details. They aren’t the most important thing and selling as if they are just cheapens his experience.  What’s really at stake for him are the tears in her eyes as she opens his gift, and the possibilities that he’s created for their life together. He’s got it all planned ..He’s asking her to marry him at Christmas, her favorite time of the year and he wants to pick the piece of jewelry that really reflect his feelings for her and his dreams of her response.   If he doesn’t feel as wonderful purchasing it as he does giving it then he’s missed out on an important part of the whole experience. I always felt that if every customer that came into our store didn’t feel as wonderful through the act of giving as they do receiving that we hadn’t done our jobs. 

I have heard it said that the specialty store is outdated, a relic of the past from a lifestyle  that exists for few anymore, and yet people flock to Europe, hungry for this sort of shopping experience! The gorgeous boutiques on the streets of London or Paris continuously give us

us wonderful examples of merchandising. They are lovely to explore, and their seasonal merchandise, always beautifully presented, is a joy to the eye and a truly engaging experience for the customer. Maybe, what we enjoy so much about these stores is that they maintain a natural relationship to the rhythm of the seasons, not the artificially induced shopping cycles that we have created in this country.   I really believe that this is the way that a store offers the most significant value to its customers. By keeping the atmosphere relaxed and closely aligned to the natural patterns of our lives, we stay happier and less frantic, and more able to enjoy the true essence of the holiday season!

This holiday season, try to shop in stores that care about you, and the experience that   you’ll have sharing yourself with people through the gifts that you choose! Remember, that the gifts that you choose this holiday season or anytime will always convey the essence of you, the gift giver! Gift giving in its purest form is artistically inspired by love and the desire to provide for the recipient a special moment of beauty and timelessness. It is my wish for you this season that your needs for a truly relaxing and wonderful gifting experience are met with elegance, beauty and enchantment, through stores that continue the tradition of providing for you , the customer, all of the quality and expertise that you desire, along with LOTS of fun!

If you remember to request the service and style that you deserve, you will create a space where the exceptional can occur and the possibility of extraordinary retailing and inspired gift giving will continue to exist in the world, through the vision of stores who are committed to  providing you with quality and joy for many decades to come!

Glad tidings to all of you, my best wishes for a sensational New Year!