By Theodore Tollefson Gifts Galore has been an independent business staple for infant clothing in the southern metro for almost eight years. Now, owner Linda Wallner plans to expand her business with …
By Theodore Tollefson
Gifts Galore has been an independent business staple for infant clothing in the southern metro for almost eight years. Now, owner Linda Wallner plans to expand her business with a new partnership with the company DotDot Smile, an online merchandising company for children’s clothes.
“I’m starting on a new journey, I’m bringing in a completely new way to sell baby clothes. I have a new partnership with DotDot Smile, and the more collections you buy, the cheaper it is. So that’s a new concept in selling clothes,” said Wallner.
DotDot Smile is an online based children’s clothing company that was founded in 2017 by Nicole and Jeff Thompson. The couple were in a rut back in 2013 that they came out of with this idea of creating a children’s clothing company with the basis of this company to share gratitude with people across the world through a basic necessity every child needs; clothing. As shared by the Thompson’s on the DotDot Smile, “With the guiding purpose, ‘to create smiles and build confidence’, DotDotSmile empowers both children and adults alike to be confident and happy with who they are becoming.” Wallner’s partnership with DotDot Smile provides her with more products beyond just infants’ age. Although baby clothes are the staple of Gifts Galore products, they are not the only merchandise available in the store. Gifts Galore also provides an array of products for Christianity milestones in Baptism, First Communions, and Confirmation as well as coffee mugs, general gift items and Christmas decorations in season.
Prior to opening Gifts Galore in Hastings, Wallner had her own business in Wisconsin Dells similar to Gifts Galore. When Wallner and her family moved to Hastings, she felt it was best to create a family owned infantwear store for the community she lived in.
“I had a business down in Wisconsin Dells and when I closed that, my husband told me I should be done and retire. I said, ‘Hastings needed a baby store.’ So I decided to come up here and open up, baby and gifts,” said Wallner.
Since her arrival, Wallner has seen business grow every year since she opened Gifts Galore in 2013. Even with a setback due to COVID-19 shutdowns and restrictions, Wallner has still been able to draw in customers from across the South Metro. “I see that it’s growing each year, because of the type of clothes that I sell. And we’re bringing people from the cities and from Rosemont, Apple Valley. And so I do believe we’re helping the downtown area of Hastings,” said Wallner.
Another key to Wallner’s success has been never selling her stores’ merchandise online. Wallner does have a website for Gifts Galore for people to find the location in downton Hastings, but feels better about keeping her merchandise in store only.
DotDot Smile is not the only merchandiser that Wallner gets her products from. Every year Wallner travels to Las Vegas, Nevada to one of the largest trade shows in the nation for children’s clothing merchandise. There is also a local trade show in Minneapolis every year that Wallner attends, but the trade show in Las Vegas always brings in the best finds for her each year.
“I just want to thank everyone that has supported us since COVID and supported us even before that since we’ve arrived in Hastings,” shared Wallner. “There’s an event going to be happening the first weekend of October in downtown Hastings. I will be displaying new clothes then. We have people modeling it and it’s truly dresses. And so it’s like I can’t wait because it’s really neat!”
Linda Wallner showcases one of the new dresses she will have in stock for customers come October. Photo by Theodore Tollesfson