Looking to impress your new romantic interest with a distinctively tasting wine in an eye-catching bottle? How about a Mercury Head Cabernet Sauvignon by Orin Swift?
Does a man you know favor pocket knives? Surprise him with a William Henry creation.
Want to give your spouse a large-scale gift? Try a BMW 5 Series or a Mercedes Benz E Class. Or a more discrete gift for that same husband or wife? Perhaps you should opt for a luxury scarf.
Indeed, distinctive high-end retail items — often bought as gifts — are gaining popularity within the Nashville market.
“Gentlemen are buying more cufflinks and other accessories now [compared to a few years ago],” said Bill Sites, co-owner with wife Cyndi of Green Hills-based Ward-Potts Jewelers.
And fedoras, suspenders and bow ties are just three of many examples — as are the aforementioned William Henry pocket knives.
Sites said jewelry designer Gurhan has introduced a new line of organic looking sterling silver and 24-karat yellow gold.
“It’s our best selling designer jewelry line right now,” Sites said. “[Gurhan Ohran, of Turkey] developed the line all in 24-karat gold. To make it durable enough to wear every day, every piece of his jewelry has a hand-hammered finish.
“He takes an ancient coin, gets inspiration and works from there,” Sites added.
Sites said Ward-Potts has carried Gurhan jewelry for about four years, with the creations ranking among the store’s most popular gift items.
“It is significantly different [than most other jewelry] because of the hand-hammered texture and the purities of the metals he works with. It has a distinctive look.”
“Distinctive” is a key word among those Nashville-area retailers who stock items that make for memorable gifts. It’s one thing to buy your spouse a car but a very different matter altogether to surprise that spouse with a high-end luxury vehicle. “More often than not cars are great gifts,” said Brandon Broadwater, general manager of Brentwood-based Cox & Co. Motorcars. “Many of our customers purchase for their spouses. We have had several for Valentine’s Day.”
Of course, a gift from Cox & Co. Motorcars is not your conventional automobile, as the company sells Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mercedes and Porsche.
Though the world of expensive motorcars and fine wines may be incongruous in some respects, those looking for a gift of the grape can be every bit as discriminating as folks seeking wheeled machines. Richard Jett, manager of Bud’s Liquors & Wines in Green Hills, said customers enjoy both the eye-catching packaging and distinctive tastes of Orin Swift Cellars.
“The company makes a lot of esoteric, even dark, wines,” Jett said. “We get them at different times of the year and they sell from $39.99 to $89.99. They are awesome lines. I like the labels.”
On that theme, Orin Swift offers Mercury Head Cabernet Sauvignon, which comes in a black bottle with a mercury head dime attached to it.
“All their wines are very different and in high demand,” Jett said. “We have people who wait for them [for months].”
Janice Elliott, designer buyer for both the Nashville and Birmingham Gus Mayer stores, said Celine handbags are extremely popular, including as gifts. Many of the handbags can be purchased in bold, bright colors.
“Women are into handbags,” Elliott said. “We still have black and neutral colors but brights are popular. [Bold, bright colors have] become more mainstream.”
Five years ago, that would not have likely happened. For example, this past spring saw many customers buy Celine handbags in hot pink and orange.
Elliott said fashion furs are also popular gift items.
“Some furs are almost even sportswear-oriented,” she noted, adding that fur vests and fur scarves are in demand.
“Fashion furs are where the action is,” Elliott said. “It’s been in the last couple of years that we’ve seen this.”
On the gift theme, Elliott said the store works with women buying for mothers, aunts, daughters, etc.
“We do see some women buying for other women,” she said.
Elliott said Gus Mayer has for about 18 months offered in-store jewelry designer Lisa Aronow, who creates handcrafted jewelry in 18K gold and sterling silver.
“She will do custom pieces and has been a nice addition to the store,” Elliott said.
Another gift item to emerge in popularity during the past two years or so are scarves.
“Scarves are evolving into capes and ruwanas,” Elliott said. “It’s a natural progression.”
And that progression is part of a larger evolution as Nashvillians’ tastes become more broad, discriminating and cosmopolitan. Cox & Co.’s Brandon Broadwater said clients who purchase cars as gifts are very straightforward.
“They say, ‘I’m looking for a gift for my spouse,’ ” he said. “They don’t beat around the bush.”