Owner: Lois Ross
Address: 119 West Seneca Street, Manlius, NY
“You will find something here for everyone on your list,” according to the owner of Dazzle Boutique & Gifts, Lois Ross. She is absolutely right, and you won’t go broke, either.
Years ago, I visited Dazzle for the first time with my kids, after they had earned free cupcake-shaped erasers and coupons to the store through the Manlius Library Summer Reading Program. My daughter fell in love with the whole store, my son had fun looking at the toys, and I ended up walking out with several gift items for surprisingly good prices.
The store has since moved to the Tops Plaza, and there is a second location at the SUNY Upstate Community Campus. Chatting with Lois on my most recent visit, I learned a great deal of new information that cements Dazzle as a Local Treasure.
First, Lois is the designer of the Lolo by New Dimensions jewelry. She sells her products all over the country, but at Dazzle, she sells the jewelry for wholesale prices. Due to space limitations, I am physically unable to show all of the jewelry here, but this is just one display case below. It’s fun, stylish, and inexpensive.
Lois also designs several other apparel items available in the store, including a purse in a similar design to Bao Bao purses, which were retailing for only $38 each at the time of my visit (contact the store for updated pricing). For the budget-conscious, there is a 50% off clothing rack in the back. Towards the front of the store, there are plenty of women’s clothing items, many of which are by L.I.B. (made in New York). If I weren’t focused on purchasing items for other people, there were several items I would have picked out for myself.
Second, the back of the store is where you will find Dazzle’s wide selection of Fayetteville-Manlius Hornets gear, which is available year-round. I am not aware of another place that sells this variety of school pride items for F-M throughout the year: shirts, hats, mugs, socks, key chains, stadium seat cushions – you name it, it’s there.
Third, Dazzle tries to carry a wide selection of products that are Made in the USA, including Little Dishes; C.C. hats; Punch Studio notebooks; pottery from Birdsong Ceramics (made on Martha’s Vineyard by ceramic artist Helayne Cohen); and one of my favorites, Wax Pottery from the Habersham Candle Company. These wax bowls are great for people who either cannot or prefer not to have candles burning in their house/apartment, but want a pleasant, natural scent (and this is coming from a person who cannot tolerate most scented candles – migraine city!). I am showing a picture of my favorite below, the sunflower bowl, but Dazzle also has several holiday-themed bowls on display that are quite beautiful.
Furthermore, Dazzle offers the opportunity to host fundraiser parties for sports teams or other organizations, which they do on a regular basis. Ten percent of the proceeds on the day of the event go back to the organization.
The assistant manager, Lori, gave me a thorough tour of some of their most popular items, which will be of interest to many of my readers: Spongelle Body Wash Infused Buffers; C.C. hats; Dionis goat milk lotion; Cottage Garden bath bombs; blanket scarves; Mixologie roll-on perfumes; Duke Cannon Supply Company soap (which donates a portion of its proceeds to veterans’ causes); among others.
Next, I should definitely highlight the decent portion of the store dedicated to kids: several large shelves full of sparkly journals, pillows, and purses; stuffed animals; accessories and jewelry; multiple varieties of slime; jump ropes, bouncy balls and other toys. It’s a great place to pick up a grab bag or Secret Santa gift. The shelf shown below is only a portion of what’s available. If nothing else, the kids’ section will keep your kids entertained while you shop for other people on your list.
Finally, Dazzle has a nice men’s area, and I would like to highlight a few items that stood out (though there are many other items that would make good gifts). Before my recent visit, I had never seen the Hammered Bottle Opener and Ice Crusher – a hammer, bottle opener and ice crusher in one that is visually appealing and sturdy. A mug that reads, “This is what an awesome Dad looks like,” or a flask with the Ogden Nash quote, “Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker.” In addition to the Duke Cannon soaps mentioned earlier, there are signs, money dishes, leather-bound journals, wallets, picture frames, and other interesting items.
A few other quick notes: Dazzle has a coffee dispenser for customers at the front of the store, and customers are welcome to help themselves. Next to that, you will find a container of small candies for those who would like something sweet while shopping. Dazzle’s new location has ample parking and is located in the Village of Manlius on Route 173.
If you are heading to or through Manlius, Dazzle is definitely worth a stop.
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