Laurie Langford remembers the days of her childhood when she walked by the house located at 225 Greenville Avenue in Johnston on her way to school.
For Langford, the two-floor house was captivating. Once destined for demolition, the building is now a holiday haven year-round thanks to Langford, her husband David Crogan and her staff, including Elena Sheehan and Annette Borcier.
This weekend, many of the customers Langford has acquired since she turned the aging house into Wishes Under Wrap 18 years ago, will enjoy coffee and refreshments as well as free give-a-ways every hour during her annual Holiday Open House.
Newcomers will see how Wishes Under Wrap has grown from that once quaint one-room gift shop that opened in 1994 into a two-floor, multi-room theme store. They will also learn about Langford’s “second business,” interior decorating for the holidays, which began some three years ago.
Just last year, in fact, Wishes Under Wrap was honored by Rhode Island Monthly Magazine as “The Best Gift Shop” in the Ocean State.
“The decorating has really taken off,” Langford said as she helped Sheehan and Borcier wrap gifts. “Ever since we got the bid to do Twin River Casino, we’ve been asked to decorate businesses for the holiday season.”
Since Wishes Under Wrap won that bid at the Lincoln-based casino, Langford and her husband David have landed what she calls “some impressive locations.”
“We no sooner finished decorating Twin River Casino and got a call to do Faial Restaurant in Smithfield,” Langford said. “We got a call from the Coachmen’s Lodge in Wrentham and went on to decorate that wonderful restaurant.”
Despite what has become a hectic schedule, especially since Langford and company have branched out in the decorating area, people will learn that she has not compromised on service. Moreover, Wishes Under continues to offer free layaway and free gift-wrapping year round.
“We also ship and deliver,” Langford said, adding that the store has “over 10,000 gift items.”
Langford and her staff find time to take holiday gift basket orders and orders from corporate accounts.
“No order is too small or large. We have a variety of signature items from personalized ornaments to a chocolate shop,” she said.
All of those items will be on display and available for purchase this Saturday for the 18th annual Holiday Open House at Wishes Under Wrap.
“We will actually be open until 5:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday,” Langford said. “We’ll be here until 5:30 to try and accommodate as many people as possible.”