Local gift shop owner provides holiday tips
By MELODY KARPINSKI / Santa Rosa Correspondent
Carol Prezel knows a thing or two about ribbon. Her Santa Rosa shop, Carolina & Co., carries perhaps the widest selection of ribbon in the county including European imports.
“I’m just obsessed with ribbon,” said Prezel, a longtime Santa Rosa resident. Prezel, a certified floral designer, gained much of her experience during her 16-year ownership of a San Francisco floral design studio. Some of her clients included Polo Ralph Lauren and Saks Fifth Avenue.
Upon leaving her studio, she became a corporate designer for Winward International, a botanical silks company based near San Francisco. While at Winward, she created floral and décor displays for the likes of Gumps by Mail and Smith & Hawken.
Growing tired of the continued travel her work brought her, Prezel decided to step out on her own, opening the Railroad Square-located Carolina & Co. in 2007.
Ribbon is just one of the unique items her store carries. Another main feature of the shop is embroidered monogram work, and the shop carries dozens of items that can be monogramed in house.
“I wanted to make this store a destination store,” said Prezel. “I like taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary.”
Earlier this year, Prezel participated in the wedding preperations for celebrity chef Robert Irvine, whose wedding was aired on a Food Network special called “Wedding: Impossible.”
Prezel enjoys helping people find personalized and unique gifts. “With the busy lifestyles we all lead, selecting a personalized gift shows the recipient that you are giving them the gift of thoughtfulness and time,” she said.
In preparation for the holidays, Prezel offers three tips for holiday décor and gift wrapping:
1. Ribbon Work: When decorating the tree, mantel or staircase, choose a ribbon or selection of coordinating ribbons that will add great color and texture. Mixed patterns add a lot of interest and depth to your decor. Place the ribbons first before adding any other decorative elements to avoid covering and hiding the interesting accents.
2. Faux or fresh flowers: Combine both fresh and permanent floral materials to create your holiday designs. They will last longer and visually will be more interesting. Use old glass ornaments secured to a wood pick or hyacinth stake inserted into your designs to add that festive touch.
3. Gift Wrapping: When wrapping gifts for members of the same family or group, use the same ribbon or wrapping paper or an embellishment (like a fun ornament) to distinguish the family or group. I always try to carry a lower price-point ornament that might be affordable with this idea in mind. It’s fun and really creates interest.