Azalea offers a unique selection of high-quality items and gifts for your home that have been carefully curated by owner, Lexi Persi. The goods she purchases for her store are almost exclusively handmade pieces from small companies throughout the U.S. and the world. Many of the makers and brands at Azalea are from women-run small businesses and fair-trade companies.
Lexi says, “There is something so special about buying from people who have decided to make their passion their livelihood.” As you step into Azalea, you are immediately taken by the creativity and hard work that goes into these products. Lexi enjoys establishing direct relationships with these makers. She gets to know their stories and enjoys putting a face to a company. She prides herself on giving her customers a range of unique products that they won’t find anywhere else.
The next time you’re in the shop, ask about any product and Lexi will have a special story to share with you.
Lexi grew up in Waterford and attended the University of Connecticut where she graduated with a degree in Psychology and Human Development and Family Studies. Having spent a lot of time in Niantic, it was her dream to open a business here. She has always felt drawn to small shops where every item has been hand selected. She appreciates every little detail that is so carefully considered from the ribbon used to tie onto bags to the scent of the candle that burns as you browse the store. Those were the shops that inspired her to create Azalea.
She was only out of college for a year when she decided to open her own little shop in 2017. Azalea, the flowering plant, is symbolic of remembrance or wishes of home. Lexi had always had these colorful bushes planted at her childhood homes, which made Azalea the perfect name for her business.
Though she considered many different locations for her shop, she is thrilled that she ultimately decided to open on Main Street in Niantic. Lexi says, “This is such an amazing community, and the businesses are all so supportive of each other.” She wants us to know that the love we see on social media is real. They truly want each other to succeed. She also gives a shout out to Niantic Main Street for going above and beyond for the merchants and the community. Their events are not only great for locals, but they bring so many people into town from other communities, too. They check on the business owners after each event to be sure it was successful for them.
Since opening its doors four years ago, Azalea has truly evolved. Lexi has enjoyed the learning process and considers herself fortunate to have found wonderful products along the way. As trends and styles change, she loves to look back and see the evolution of goods she’s carried. And the core values of Azalea have always remained constant.
Because this holiday season may look a little different for us, Azalea is offering pre-made gift boxes for your consideration. They’ve created a collection of 12 themed gift boxes that come gift wrapped and can be shipped directly to your loved ones for a thoughtful, socially distanced gift. They also make custom boxes and have so much fun helping customers to create a special gift for the person who has everything. These gift boxes are available in the shop as well as online.
Consider the “Bye, 2020” gift box to commemorate the crazy year we’ve all been through! Together, we can look forward to the possibilities 2021 will bring.
Azalea has implemented Covid-19 protocols to ensure the safety of their customers. They limit the number of customers in the shop at one time. Masks are required, and they disinfect regularly.
They are regularly adding products to their online shop so check in frequently. They offer free shipping for purchases over $150, curbside pick-up and local delivery.
Would you prefer a private shopping experience? Just make an appointment, and Lexi will be happy to help you find just the right item for yourself or the perfect gift for someone special in your life.
Lexi has found the support from the community during the pandemic amazing and heartwarming. Many people realize how small businesses have been affected, and they are shopping locally this holiday season. She is so thankful to everyone for their support.
Lexi hopes that her business will continue to grow and thrive in Niantic.
Visit Azalea at their website https://azaleahomect.com and follow them on social media for any change to hours or to learn about special offerings or happenings at the shop. You will always find something new and unique here.
301 Main Street, Niantic
Monday – Sunday: 11am – 5:30pm
About Our Main Street Blogger:
Joanne lives in, and loves, our community. She was looking for an opportunity to help share all that our local businesses do to make East Lyme such a special place to call home, and she is excited to contribute to our blog. Joanne brings to the role her experience from New London Main Street where she contributed content to their website, newsletters and email communications for many years.