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Shopping on State Street is a way to enjoy and support Downtown Madison, but it’s also a relaxing way to find Christmas gifts, said Little Luxuries owner Amy Moore.

“Coming downtown to shop is way more relaxed than a big box store,” she said. “It’s low-key and the staff and the customers are more mellow. If I was working in a different retail environment, I’m not sure I would enjoy it.”

Little Luxuries has been a mainstay for gift buyers since 1990. Moore became manager of the store in 2006 and took over the store in 2011 when the original owner, Janice Durand, retired. Moore said she remains committed to the shop’s focus on well-designed, unique items.

A striking coffee mug, a beautiful pair of gloves, a mixing bowl — these are items we may need or use without thinking, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be a pleasure to use, she said.

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“We look for design aesthetic combined with functionality,” she said. “I also like the playfulness of a product for both adults and children. We’re selling a product, but it’s also a small chance to play. It’s a distraction from the everyday.”

Prices range from small to splurge. Little Luxuries carries items ranging from collectible Japanese erasers for $1 to Austrian snow globes, HOBO handbags and silk and cashmere knitwear. Hair accessories are one of the items they specialize in that have a surprisingly faithful following, Moore said. It can be difficult to find adult hair accessories and they offer women a small way to add glamour to a holiday outfit, she said.

Some of Little Luxuries most popular gift items are Eco Touch gloves, small iPhone amplifiers, Frasier Fir candles, magic tricks and science kits for kids, and colorful wool socks. Novelty books such as the Breaking Bad cookbook and a line of classic literature re-vamped as children’s books are also top gift choices, Moore said. Little Luxuries staff can provide gift advice and complimentary gift wrapping.

Have an idea for a local store we should feature? Email features@madison.com.

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