By Scott E. Kinney, Atlantic News Staff Writer

Atlantic News, Friday, November 10, 2006

[The following article is courtesy of Atlantic News.]

WELCOME — Edie Argo (pictured) can help you choose the perfect present at her shop, Present Perfect. The store recently moved to downtown Hampton.
[Atlantic News Photo by Scott E. Kinney]

HAMPTON — Ever-changing.

That is one way to describe Present Perfect, a store of items infrequently found elsewhere.

“I always said it would evolve,” explains Edie Argo, proprietor of the small shop. “I’m always looking at new distributors and new product.”

She is also always visiting other gift shops to ensure that the products she sells are unique to her store.

“I’m not the wholesale distributor’s dream,” she says with a laugh.

But, what may be bad for the wholesale distributor is good for the customer, especially the one that is looking for just the right gift.

Eclectic might be another way to describe the business.

Present Perfect stocks furniture, but it’s not a furniture store. It also sells clothing, but it isn’t a clothing store. There’s a variety of items through out the store, from wall hangings, to piggy banks, to jewelry and candles. There is also a mix of imported items along with products created by local artisans.

Perhaps it’s best to allow Argo to describe the store in her own words.

“It’s an eclectic group of old and new,” she explains. “I like it when people say this reminds me of… We all need our senses appealed to and I’ve stimulated someone’s senses if I can get them to come in and spend more than 10 minutes looking around.”

The shop is a far cry from her previous employment – strategic planning for the managed care division of Travelers Insurance Co., now Travelers City Group, and prior to that in the corporate internal audit department, specializing in auditing of computer systems.

“It’s something that I’ve always wanted,” she says. “This is sort of a vision I’ve had since the fourth grade.”

Argo recently moved her three-year-old business from Rye to downtown Hampton, where there is more room to grow as well as a more prominent location.

“It’s a bigger space,” says Argo. “I was really tucked away. I’m glad I’m here.”

Argo pays little heed to the idea that, historically, retail businesses have a difficult time in the area.

“If you give people a reason to go some place they will,” says Argo. “But, there has to be a reason to come. We just need to make a concerted effort to let people know that the obstacles that are there, aren’t really there.”

Present Perfect is now conveniently located downtown at 457 Lafayette Road, Hampton. To reach the store call (603) 926-3340.