Jul 30, 2014
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The Purple Frog Opens Saturday in Ridgefield

The new gift shop opens on Bailey Avenue and offers unusual items from around the world.

A delightful store named "The Purple Frog" will open its doors this Saturday at 10 a.m. The shop is located at 5 Bailey Avenue in Ridgefield, Ct. and offers unusual items from around the world.

Shelves full of an array of colorful, intricately designed products greet shoppers. Each item was carefully chosen with attention to detail, said owner Emma Hardiman, a native of England who moved to Ridgefield by way of Madrid, Spain. 

"It just felt like home," Hardiman said, as she remembered when she and her husband and two teen-aged children arrived in Ridgefield to find a home and business location.  "We loved the main street and wanted to be part of it. It was important that we find a place to put down roots," she said, "I like the people here—friendly and down to earth."

Hardiman described her store as having "a variety of merchandise." Though she prefers mostly American-made items, she carries merchandise from around the world.

"I tried where possible to get my items in the United States," she said, "but where I haven't been able to find the style I want, I have sometimes gone abroad."

The store design has an apparent organization to it—Hardiman said it may be related to her accountant background. "I'm quite structured, I guess!"

Here's a sampling of what's at the shop, by "department":

  • Students: With fancy iPhone and iPad covers, colorful headphones, and luggage tags and wallets from a trendy company named "Studio Manhattan" whose items The Purple Frog is first to carry here in Connecticut. More technology-related items coming soon.
  • Travel: There are organizers and travel books, items with a Paris theme and fair trade jewelry from "Acacia Creations" of Kenya—the only jewelry Hardiman stocks—which provides income for artists in Africa and schools too, according to Hardiman.
  • Men's: Ice rocks that don't dilute your drinks, desk items and retro style clocks from a famous London clock company called "Newgate Clocks." There is an unusual selection of cuff links, one pair has a hidden USB plug inside. 
  • Chefs: New Zealand placemats, modern ceramic kitchenware from Copenhagen, and American items with a French theme.
  • Ladies: Gifts for women and hosts, such as scarves from Vietnam, leather items from Scotland, asparagus-shaped candle tapers from Paris, France, and a special line of women's beauty products named "Bayberry Naturals."
  • Tea: Tea from a British Company and bone china mugs from the Metropolitan Opera House. 

The Purple Frog also has gifts for pets—because "Ridgefield is full of animal lovers"—and an assortment of gardening items and Ridgefield-branded merchandise. 

Hardiman's inspiration for choosing her store inventory is based on the current trend of "modern, clean lines and quality," such as items designed by John Lewis of England, she said. 

The Purple Frog currently has a large selection of Mother's Day items, cards and unique gift wrap too.  They offer a special service of ready-made gift baskets, or you can choose some items and they will make up a custom container, in-store or via phone orders.  

You will be able to order items from the website purplefrogsshopping.com shortly, or contact Emma Hardiman at emma@purplefrogshopping.com or call 203-431-FROG (203-431-3764). Store hours are Tuesday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday. Closed Mondays.

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