Posted by Mary Friona – Totally Buffalo Blog
For some folks, having a small business is a way to make a living and support their family. For some it’s all that – plus a way to help the community! That is certainly the case for Deborah Tangelder of The Perfect Gift. Here’s the thing – the store has beautiful products and supports LOCAL artists – in fact, they’ve supported 50 Western New York artists over the past 13 years. At a time when sometimes it feels like women are always judging one another, always trying to top one another, Deborah prefers to go in a different direction, supporting women and their businesses. That is totally awesome. And, how it should be!
The Perfect Gift is a locally owed Gift Shop and Clothing Boutique. Since its opening in 2003 their theme is pretty simple – ‘Shop Local and Help Many’. We like that.
Each fall, they have a Gratitude Tree displayed in front of their store. Deborah says it’s about maintaining perspective, “It’s about reminding us all that we have something to be grateful for in life, and celebrating that.” Here’s how it works – The community and visitors are encouraged to fill out a tag, and hang it on the tree, with what they are grateful for. And then, before the holidays – the Gratitude Tree is transformed into the Giving Tree where visitors take an angel tag which is assigned to a person in need. Get this – there were more than 500 gifts collected this past Christmas, which meant 150 local families woke up to gifts under their tree on Christmas morning. Deborah insists it was a beautiful effort by the entire community, “Together we can make a huge difference! When local businesses, families & community work together towards a common goal for good, amazing things can happen ! We are truly blessed to be able to use our storefront in non-traditional ways. It’s as if everyone wins, because we’re all on the same team!”
I asked Deborah why the Perfect Gift gives back so much, “We each have an opportunity to make a difference in our lifetime, and we consider it a privilege to have a storefront that allows us to conduct business and help others in the way in which we believe in. God has kept us here for a reason, through recessions, physical hardships, and challenges. There is a purpose in our storefront that goes well beyond beautiful things. It’s about touching lives and hearts, and inspiring others. We can, and so we should.”
The Perfect Gift is like a gift to the community, to all of us. They’ve helped raise money for the families of flight 3407, they’ve supported Buffalo’s Cornerstone Manor Women’s and Children’s Shelter, Carly’s Club, Response to Love Center, and more.
The mission at The Perfect Gift reminds me of a Nelson Mandela quote:
“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”