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SPIN Monogram & Gifts

55 Isham Rd. (Blue Back Square), West Hartford, 860-236-0530

Things have gotten personal for shoppers at Blue Black Square in West Hartford ever since SPIN Monograms & Gifts moved in. SPIN carries a wide selection of top-shelf gifts, almost all of which can be personalized by SPIN owner Marcie Humphries, who believes “everything looks better with a name on it.” You’ll find cuff clutches, bags, robes, luggage, frames, jewelry and personalized stamps, as well as variety of wedding and baby gifts and cool stuff for teenagers like texting gloves and personalized cellphone cases. Humphries monograms on site at her Isham Road store (she has two embroidery sewing machines and one engraving machine). She can engrave metal, glass and acrylic, and can embroider almost any item, as long as it isn’t too thick. Retail isn’t new to Humphries, a Michigan native who moved to Connecticut with her husband Jason in 1994 to launch their pet store franchise, Pet Supplies Plus, on the East Coast (currently the couple owns and operates nine Pet Supplies Plus stores in Connecticut). Humphries’ initial interest in monogramming began after their daughters were born. “It was the personalized gifts to the girls that meant the most and remain our favorites to this day,” she says. Soon after, Humphries invested in an embroidery machine. For years she would make monogrammed gifts out of her West Hartford home for family and friends, and even embroidered the Pet Supplies Plus logo on her husband’s shirts. In 2010 she went out on her own, opening SPIN at Crossroads Plaza in Bishop’s Corner. She moved the store to Blue Back Square, which she says is “the best place to be in West Hartford,” at the end of 2012. The name came from the daughters whose personalized gifts started it all. Stephanie Paige and Ilana Nicole, who also work in the store, combined the initials of their first and middle names to spell S-P-I-N. The perfect name for a store that puts a personalized spin on gift-giving.

—Liz Grey Godbout