Visions of sugarplums and more at Roger’s Gardens Christmas Boutique
Visions of sugarplums as well as frosted gingerbread and peppermint swirls are all part of Roger’s Gardens Christmas Boutique this year.
“When you walk through the front of the gallery this year, it is meant to make you feel like a kid in a candy shop, where you are surrounded by choices and treats,” said Hedda Staines, vice president and head merchant for the Newport Beach nursery.
The boutique centered on the end-of-December holiday opens as “The Witching Hour” wraps up. That’s the theme of this year’s Halloween boutique at the store, where a clerk said customers have already bought up 90% of the scary-season decor.
The Christmas Boutique has been a holiday tradition at Roger’s Gardens for more than 30 years and draws more than 1 million visitors between October and December. The one-of-a-kind boutique features a curated collection of unique home and garden treasures for the season.
Staines, holiday and home decor buyer Crystal Pittman and their team of visual merchandisers spend the entire year planning and preparing for the boutique, choosing a theme 12 months in advance.
“We have a combined group of really talented people,” said Staines. “Our buyers, our marketing department and visual merchandisers all contribute ideas.”
Such advance planning means while shoppers are enjoying this year’s boutique, the team is already busy on planning next year’s theme.
“Right now we are talking about Halloween and Christmas for 2024 and even 2025,” said Staines. “Sometimes there are ideas that we are so excited about, that we want to flesh out, and we can’t do it all in one year.”
The 2023 theme, “Christmas Confections,” focuses on holiday sweets, with the boutique styled as a whimsical candy shop dreamland.
“The entrance is designed to feel like you are entering a candy store; we have little windows on each side with candy jars,” Staines said. “Then when you get into the space you have all these options.”
Merchandise and products are globally sourced, sometimes discovered on the buyers’ annual visit to Europe. It isn’t unusual to find treasures like hand-turned wooden nutcrackers, German Santas and Polish glass ornaments.
Three weeks ahead of the boutique opening, a team of seven visual designers works to assemble the space, which includes 21 themed trees decorated with roughly 800 curated ornament styles. Curated tree themes in the confection category this year include a candy cane collection, a gingerbread icing collection, a bon appetit collection and a champagne dreams collection. The team also arranges and displays more than 3,000 unique products for purchase within the boutique.
While Staines said her team works together to make sure the display is impressive, it is also important for the decor to feel attainable.
“We wanted it to feel really accessible, but also inspirational,” said Staines. “We wanted it to still feel like something you could execute at home.”
Staines knows not every homeowner will update their entire holiday home look each year.
“The number of customers that do a completely new look every year is really minimal,” said Staines. “Everybody is always evolving their own assortment.”
Staines said many families have holiday decorations that have been passed down through the years just like other traditions of the season. It is hard to replicate that connection, and Staines said the boutique is not meant to replace those favorite items but enhance them so new generations can tell their own family story.
“Christmas is an incredibly emotional holiday for many people, and you are always working with your family decorations and heirlooms pieces,” she said. “There are things that you own already that are never not going to come out every Christmas.”
The Roger’s Gardens Christmas Boutique is located at 2301 San Joaquin Hills Road in Corona del Mar and open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
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