I recently visited Susan Chalmers, owner of Smitten Collectibles & Nerdy Treasures in Damariscotta, to ask her opinions on the upcoming holiday season.
When asked about her top sellers this season, Chalmers mentioned Pusheen Christmas merchandise. Pusheen, a cartoon tabby cat, comes in an array of plush toys, stickers, and other merchandise. Smitten has adorable Pusheen plush Christmas ornaments displayed on its Christmas tree and available for purchase.
Harry Potter training wands are another holiday must this year, according to Chalmers. The wands have magic spells from the Harry Potter series programmed into them, and two wand owners can even have a magic duel. Journal sets featuring the Hogwarts houses are another Harry Potter gift sure to please the Potterhead in your family.
Christmas-themed Funko Pop figures also make Smitten’s top-seller list. These special Funko Pop figures feature fan-favorite characters, like Chewbacca, Groot, and Deadpool, tangled in lights, bearing gifts, or wielding candy canes.
Are you looking for a quick and easy gift? According to Chalmers, gift cards and ecards are the ideal last minute gift from her business. Ecards are electronic gift cards that can be ordered online and emailed to the recipient at the last minute — literally.
According to Chalmers, Smitten’s gift cards are an excellent gift for friends because “fandoms are so personal, you may not know what they’re into … You like Harry Potter, but they like Star Wars.” Giving a friend a gift card from Smitten lets them choose the nerdy merchandise that tickles their fancy.
Chalmers also offers specific gift cards for Du Jardin, her homemade goods business. Du Jardin is housed in the same building as Smitten Collectibles & Nerdy Treasures and offers a variety of soaps, herbs, and other health and beauty products. All of Du Jardin’s products are made by Chalmers herself, and some of the ingredients are grown right in Chalmers’ garden.
The gift cards for Smitten and Du Jardin are interchangeable, meaning that a gift card from either business can buy items from the other business.
When asked what she’s hoping to find in her stocking, Chalmers responded, “I’m just happy my daughter is coming home from college. I couldn’t ask for more than that.”
Christmas Eve is the favorite holiday tradition in the Chalmers household. “That’s when we have our fancy Christmas dinner,” Chalmers said. Each member of the family also gets to open one present.
“Christmas Eve is the best!” she said.
Chalmers says her favorite holiday drink is “a classic champagne cocktail,” which includes a sugar cube, bitters, cognac, and champagne. Part of the appeal seems to lie in the drink’s appearance.
Chalmers explained that layering the cognac on the bottom and the champagne on the top makes a color gradient, and the sugar cube creates a beautiful spiral of bubbles as it dissolves.
In addition to answering my Christmas questions, Chalmers also talked about Small Business Saturday, which takes place Saturday, Nov. 24.
“Small Business Saturday is huge for us,” Chalmers said.
In addition to discounts on nerdy merchandise, Smitten is offering free gifts with purchase.
With a $25 purchase, customers receive a sour ring pop fashioned to look like Rudolph’s nose.
A $50 purchase comes with a Harry Potter Honeyduke’s gift set. Named for a candy store in the Harry Potter book series, the gift set includes a pen shaped like a broom, Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Jelly Beans, Jelly Slugs, and two bookmarks, in addition to the Rudolph ring pop.
For buying $100 worth of merchandise, customers will receive a tote bag, as well as the Honeyduke’s gift set and the Rudolph ring pop.
Smitten Collectibles & Nerdy Treasures is located at 2 Hodgdon St. in Damariscotta and is on Facebook at facebook.com/smittencollectibles.