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Two local businesses team up to offer unique holiday gift ideas highlighting Redmond
Two western Washington businesses are teaming up to give Redmond residents a unique gift idea for the upcoming holiday season.
For the second year, high-fashion tableware company and Seattle-based Rosanna Inc. and local drugstore chain Bartell Drugs are offering a series of mugs featuring 14 neighborhoods throughout the Puget Sound area, including Redmond. In addition to the mugs, this year's product line has expanded to include a six-inch square decorative serving tray and holiday ornament featuring each neighborhood.
Rosanna Chief Executive Officer Rosanna Bowles said the project began as a way to celebrate the many different neighborhoods in the Pacific Northwest. She said they joined forces with Bartell because the drugstore chain is neighborhood driven.
Bowles said the project is a way to bring people together within their communities and capture the neighborhoods' essence.
"It's very much celebrating the character of each neighborhood," she said.
To celebrate Redmond, Bowles said the products feature the city's natural beauty as well as its high-tech industry. She said the juxtaposition of these two elements are what make the design.
"The nature's gorgeous, but it is the capital of the world for high tech," she said. "That's what makes it so interesting … That's the quirkiness of it."
The product design also highlights Redmond as the bicycle capital of the northwest as well as some of the city's staple events such as Derby Days and the summer concert series at nearby Marymoor Park.
Bowles said in designing the products, she and her team visited the different neighborhoods, which also includes Bellevue, Snohomish and Tacoma and Seattle neighborhoods such as Ballard, Wallingford, the University District and Capitol Hill. The product line also offers a larger 8-inch by 12-inch serving tray featuring the Seattle neighborhoods.
Howie Cohen, general merchandise buyer at Bartell, said in addition to the product line, the number of neighborhoods featured has also expanded this year. Both he and Bowles said they received calls last year from people asking why their neighborhoods weren't represented.
The mugs and trays have been out for a few weeks and the ornament for a little more than a week and Cohen said he has already received few calls from unrepresented neighborhoods.
"It will go up as we get closer (to the holidays)," he said with a laugh. "I can promise you."
To further solidify the sense of community, Bowles said they are having a competition among the neighborhoods. She said Rosanna and Bartell will donate a park bench to the neighborhood with the highest sell-through rate for its products.
Cohen said all of their Bartell locations — even those not in or near the 14 represented neighborhoods — will be selling products representing all neighborhoods, so the competition will be based on the actual products. For example, if a person buys a Redmond mug from a Bellevue Bartell store, the sale would go to Redmond.
All mugs, trays and ornaments are on sale for $7.99 and the larger Seattle tray for $17.99.