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Ladybug Ladybug opened its second location at 2512 J St. last November, where they sell greeting cards and gifts.
“It’s kind of your one-stop gift shop,” said Sheila Istvanick, 40, Ladybug Ladybug’s owner.
Istvanick opened her first gift card store in San Francisco’s Noe Valley at 24th and Sanchez in 2002. Since opening the store, Istvanick has had three daughters. She recently moved to Sacramento to be closer to her extended family.
Istvanick worked at Papyrus before partnering with a friend to open the first Ladybug Ladybug.
She said she really values small business and locally sourced products. From cards to gifts, Istvanick tries to find and promote local items.
“I hope to carry more local products,” Istvanick said. “We have a focus on trying to promote local products and keep the local business vibe alive.”
Ladybug Ladybug carries Trumpette socks, Slainte Bags and Susanne George gift cards.
“The people in Midtown have been so wonderful,” Istvanick said. “People come in to talk and say that they support small businesses.”
“People love to know that there’s a real person, a real human being that they’re supporting locally.”
The store specializes in cards, candles, small gifts and functional gifts like water bottles and purses.
“One of our best products is our recyclable bags and water bottles as gift items,” said Istvanick said. “Candles are probably our No. 1 gift.”
Melissa Cates, Istvanick’s cousin, left her job as St. John’s Homeless Shelter’s art program director to help run the Sacramento location.
“She took a big risk opening this store,” Cates said. “We’re hoping with Second Saturdays starting again the foot traffic will get better.”
“We try and do original stuff and change it up for holidays,” Cates said.
Cates said that Istvanick wants to focus on the Sacramento store and eventually make it the base store.
Sharon and Harry Tanovitz own Art Ellis, an art supply store down the street from Ladybug Ladybug that has been open since 1952.
“It’s a lovely little shop,” Sharon Tanovitz said. “They have a nice range of cards and fun gifts and things.”
University Art is on the opposite corner from Ladybug Ladybug at 26th and J. David Saalsaa has been the division manager there for 13 years.
“We’re happy that they’re here and hope to see more retail stores open up,” Saalsaa said.
“It’s a real joy to get a card in the mail,” Istvanick said. “It’s a thrill. It’s not an everyday occurrence.”
Ladybug Ladybug is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday though Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.