The Top Notch Gift Shop Story

The Top Notch Gift Shop Story

Cara Chatellier

As you may have seen in the Top Notch Gift Shop story, the online retailer of gifts for every occasion all began with married couple, Michele and Michael Carr. Back in 1999, they were sitting around with friends discussing the ‘new’ boom of online mega-retailers.

“We were hearing the same things over and over from friends, family, coworkers, everyone. Each person seemed to have a story about their unique frustrations with online stores,”  Michele Carr, co-founder explains.

The complaints seemed to range from terrible selection to poor quality, bad service, and more. These stories were especially difficult to hear for Michele’s husband and co-founder Mike, who had retail in his blood. Mike is a third generation owner of exclusive menswear stores in Los Angeles. He said,

“I know how retail should be, and it seemed these web-stores were doing everything wrong.”

So Michele and Mike began thinking. Mike had his deep retail roots, and Michele had her internet savvy and a background in Business Administration and Accounting.  The wheels started turning and they thought, “Hey! We could make our own online store!” And, just like that, Top Notch Gift Shop was born.

Gifts Galore

Top Notch was built to provide a better experience for those who weren’t finding what they wanted at the big online retailers. They were built on providing quality gifts, with a personal touch.  When browsing through Top Notch Gift Shop, you will see gifts for everything from a baby shower to a retirement party and more. Top Notch also prides themselves on their unique gifts.

“There are items on our site you can only find here! We love those items because it’s truly a rare find. The recipient knows they are getting something rare and special,” says Michele.

In addition to unique items, they also have a wide variety of items you can personalize, from bathrobes to margarita pitchers, canvas signs, pillows, and photo frames.  Mike says, “we want people to smile and feel special when they open our gifts, that’s why we’re doing this. To celebrate every day.”

Family Service

With everything automated and computerized these days, service has fallen by the wayside for many online retailers. Michele explains,

“unlike some of the big guys—every single order is looked at by a human being. We’ve had some personalization requests come in and if something looks a little off, we always call the customer directly and speak with them.  Your order isn’t sent into a vacuum, this is a family business and we treat our customers as such!”

Mike goes on to explain, “when you call our customer service line, you speak to an actual person who can take a look at your order and help you. It’s not an automated system that will leave you waiting for hours, we want to make sure you have the best possible experience.”

The Mission

Since the day Top Notch started, they have been helping people from all over the United States and beyond, find gifts to make them smile. And that’s what they want to continue doing. Michele says, “basically, we deliver smiles and happiness to our customers, what could be better than that?” Well, that’s hard to argue.