Plymouth’s Lindi Dillon helps clients assemble creative gifts at Fleurish.

Still Shopping for Holiday Gifts? Try a Basket.

With the holiday gift-giving season close at hand, is your shopping complete? Or are you still looking for a few special items? This time of year, even the planners among us sometimes scramble to complete our lists. But it’s not too late to get a little assistance from a professional. Lindi Dillon, Plymouth resident and owner of Fleurish in Excelsior, is always ready to help last-minute shoppers put together that perfect gift that will leave the recipient with a smile. “I feel like Fleurish is an upscale boutique experience with a very attractive price point,” Dillon says.

Dillon’s gift basket expertise goes back 19 years, when she began creating corporate holiday baskets in her home basement. After four or five years of growth, her shop moved to a Wayzata location, where they expanded into personalized stationery. Four years ago, Fleurish relocated to its current Excelsior location, where it has blossomed far beyond corporate gift baskets and personalized stationery.

A whole wall of shelves displays a plethora of locally made food items. “We work closely with all of our vendors, who are awesome. Most of them are smaller businesses, and it really is a great fit for us,” says Dillon.

Food is very popular, especially as office gifts. This year, Fleurish’s biggest initiative has been to find healthy food options. “We just found a popcorn source that’s non-GMO grain, for example,” Dillon says. “We’re focused on that to give people the option, since that’s the direction the food world is going.”

Once past the assortment of foods, you’re surrounded by cheery aprons and sleek serving dishes, classy barware and adorable baby gifts. These baby gifts are a distinctive piece of Fleurish’s offerings. They aim to fill a particular need — baby’s “first gift.” So you won’t find every size of baby clothing here. Instead, look for a distinctive outfit for the baby’s first season. Or go the extra mile and get a locally created personalized set: a onesie, bib, hat and canvas tote emblazoned with the lucky baby’s name and birth year.

With so many delightful items, it’s a good thing Dillon and her employees are experts at combining them into amazing gifts. Customers often come in with a single item to get the gift-building process started. Dillon asks for some background about the recipient and how much the gift should cost, then she finds the perfect pieces to complete a basket and wraps it all up.

“[Dillon has a] personalized service I haven’t found anywhere else. No matter how small or how large the order, you can guarantee that each one is beautiful, unique, and looks perfect,” says Jodi G. Carman Kortsha of Arbor Capital Management, LLC.

Kortsha has purchased holiday gift baskets from Fleurish since 2001, and she has only praise for the quality of the products and service. Her company sends the baskets to corporate clients, and Kortsha says Dillon has never used the same container twice in 15 years. Most of the corporate gifts are edible, and “the food is gone instantaneously — but they fight over the container.”

Tanya Carles of CBRE, whose business has used Dillon’s baskets since 2004, echoes Kortsha’s approval. “Lindi is responsible, responsive, listens to directions, and is very easy to talk to,” Carles says.

Each year, Carles and Kortsha use Fleurish’s holiday basket service, browsing basket themes online before ordering directly from the store. But Kortsha visits Fleurish for her own personal shopping, too. She says she goes there for baby gifts and housewarming gifts, always discovering new and delightful things.

Although Fleurish overflows with gift themes and ideas, holiday baskets remain a major part of their winter business. The store’s seasonal employees support the huge undertaking: college-age employees (who are sweet, polite and always on time, according to Kortsha) deliver the baskets, and Dillon’s “elves” put the baskets together. The “elves” are a group of women who work at Fleurish for four or five weeks every year, and some of them have been with Dillon since the days in the basement. “They’re amazing women,” she says.

Personalized items are also an important part of Fleurish’s stock. Even at this late date, monogramming is still available for holiday gifts. Last-minute shoppers can personalize gifts including locally made oil cloth bags, hats, glassware and maple cutting boards. Dillion says they try to accommodate all requests. “When somebody needs something, we really work hard to make that happen.”

“Customer-personalized gifts deliver an unforgettable wow factor for the recipient,” Dillon says. “When customers are really excited about the gift and excited to give it—that makes a difference to the recipient.”