The new AnnSandra is sleek & spacious,
while remaining warm & familiar.
By: M. Callahan
Nestled snugly along a curve in John Marr Drive, AnnSandra, a premier gift shop, will soon complete their expansion to a showroom of almost 7,000 square feet. In conjunction with their physical growth, a new face has emerged on AnnSandra’s management team. Tracy Davidson, a graduate of Hofstra University, first worked in Public Relations in New York City. Now, she is helping to guide AnnSandra’s development by adding the social media knowledge, and product desirability of Generation Y.
Sandi Davidson, owner of AnnSandra, is proud to have her daughter onboard. Indeed, Tracy is the third generation who has played a role in the development of this sensational retailer. Lloyd Raport, Sandi’s father, built and developed this site into a well utilized shopping center in 1967. Over the past two years, Lloyd has project managed the expansion of AnnSandra in coordination with their next door neighbor, The Party Company. Keeping both stores open in a revolving progression of work, has required a masterly skill of juggling; which was accomplished with no inconvenience to their customers. And, all the while, the job site was clean, each and every day, without a single pile of rubble for customers to endure. For that alone, Lloyd needs to be thanked, along with Fred Carey, who has worked with the family in various retail enterprises since 1976, and has been the manager of AnnSandra for the past twenty-three years.
During the expansion, Fred has been overseeing daily onsite operations; always with a smile. He is undoubtedly the most beloved person in Annandale retail. His helpful, can-do attitude imbues confidence, as well as loyalty, in both staff and customers. Sandi enthusiastically acknowledges that AnnSandra has been enriched by Fred’s exceptional management talents, and gracious personality. “I have never had a moment of worry since the day Fred took over as manager.”
From the beginning of AnnSandra in 1980, both of Sandi’s parents, have been strong supporters. Sandi’s mother, Jeanne, has helped on the sales floor, in administration, and with product expansion. When Tracy was asked what she enjoyed most about her role at AnnSandra, she did not hesitate for a second, “Working and learning from my mother, and joining her on buying trips. The best trip also included my grandmother.” Tracy expressed a huge satisfaction in helping to serve the needs of customers, and providing a personal shopper service to an ever growing number, including former associates in New York.
AnnSandra has justly earned their loyal customer base, who have closely followed the addition of each new display that will occupy the expanded space. Sandi explained that, “We listen to our customers needs and wants, and provide them with a constantly evolving selection.” Sandi, and all her team, have chronicled the requests of their customer, and have met them by expanding many existing product lines while bringing in a growing number of new and terribly charming lines, not seen here before.
Over the years, AnnSandra’s has become a major destination store withstanding the test of longevity, while helping to enhance Annandale’s retail reputation. Annandale residents think of AnnSandra’s as their own, but customers travel from all over the Washington Metro area to enjoy what Annandale has conveniently appreciated in her own backyard. By mid-April, we will all be able to explore the fully remodeled, and magnificently stocked new space.
WHAT’S NEW AT ANNSANDRA
The new AnnSandra is sleek & spacious, yet holds onto the warm & familiar. The expansion creates permanent homes for their major product lines, while allowing more elbow room between displays. New merchandise will be added within each line, but customers will know where each of their favorite manufacturers can be found.
The Baby Section has already welcomed a child’s size baby grand piano, a larger selection of hooded towels, security & receiving blankets, cutting edge Mudpie Baby Accessories, and both Gund and Jellycat stuffed toys. Not to be missed is the most charming collection of faux fur jackets for the fashion forward toddlers, and a rocking horse certain to provide years of enjoyment and memories. The traditional gifts are observed in the form of numerous styles of silver and pewter baby cups, plates, and flatware, with engraving available; as well as sets of children’s china in Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit and Bunnykin patterns.
The Bridal Registry
The best selection of china in the entire Washington area will be part of the enlarged bridal registration section. Mothers, who were registered here as brides, are now bringing their daughters to register. Why? Quite simply, AnnSandra listens to their brides, and offers the best access to the broadest china, crystal, & flatware selections, both casual and formal, in many price ranges. Bridal registries will be going online, but you can also let your fingers do the walking with top notch phone service available on all registries, and gift orders. AnnSandra brides enjoy some special perks, such as complimentary merchandise upon reaching certain registry benchmarks. For their bridal showers, AnnSandra has an exquisitely gowned bridal mannequin, and parasol of cutwork Madeira linen, they may borrow. It makes a striking shower decoration.
And speaking of decorations, between AnnSandra and The Party Company next door, you will find everything you need for entertaining. The Party Company now rents (at very reasonable prices) tables and chairs for showers and gatherings; sells sculptured balloon centerpieces that are quite amazing; and, everything you will need to set up a candy bar.
Waterford Crystal commands a prominent place with AnnSandra displaying the largest selection in the Washington area. Each year, AnnSandra hosts a special Waterford event offering complimentary hand engraving by a Waterford Master Engraver, and specially priced event pieces for your gift giving.
Men’s gifts are being relocated to a more visible area with glorious coffee table books on favorite hobbies, Tumi luggage, and practical Barware, to mention just a smattering of the line.
The Tasting Bar
A gorgeous granite countered Tasting Bar (see page 17) has been built, surrounded by kitchen products. All Clad & Le Creuset cookware, cookbooks, trays and serving bowls from Calaisio, perfect for outdoor entertaining, and gourmet consumables from Stonewall Kitchens & Bella Cucina are displayed in their natural kitchen environment. For special events, Tastings will be conducted. (Not to be confused with cooking classes….NO cooking classes will be held.)
Besides being an authorized dealer of every line they carry, AnnSandra takes pride in searching out especially good buys to pass on to their customers. In the foyer of the store is their much beloved Lobby where merchandise is offered at a 50% discount or better. The Lobby will remain.
If you are looking for any major tabletop or gift line, AnnSandra will most likely carry it. Yet, AnnSandra's is not just for brides and family gifts. If you are looking for awards for golf or tennis tournaments, AnnSandra will have many options. If you are looking for corporate or retirement gifts, or one for a congressional staffer, look no further. AnnSandra has a wide selection. Their special order department, directed by Fred, will take the pain out of decision making and provide you with the finest ideas and merchandise available in the marketplace. Complimentary store gift wrapping is available on all gifts over $10.00, or their exquisite custom wrapping can be ordered along with shipping services at very reasonable prices.
4417 John Marr Drive
Annandale, VA 22003
703-354-2110 . www.annsandra.com
Thirty-Three Years & Three Generations Create a Premier Retailer in the Heart of Annandale