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Posted: September 24, 2015 LuElla's Gift Galleria brings splash of color to Water St.

t's been a gift shop in previous times, and it is once again.  The shop at the corner of Third and Water Streets is the former home of the gift shop called  Thistledown. When it closed, interior decorator, Kathy Ayres, opened LuElla's Gift Galleria in its place in the late spring 2014. Take a step inside and different flashes of color will pop. Unlike other gift and furniture shops in Eau Claire, LuElla's contains merchandise from brands like Lillian August.

"It turned out to be a little more than I thought it would be," Ayres said, "this is a little bit ever-changing."
Ayres also runs her own interior design business and LuElla's began as a place for her to meet with clients to keep business separate from her home. She said she went ahead with opening the shop, no

"It just has a lot of good karma and it's a good location," she said.t truly knowing what she wanted to do with it.
After running the furniture shop, Inside Lines, for 25 years, Ayres said a lot of people encouraged her to open LuElla's. Her shop is known to provide all sorts of colorful and cute objects, from rugs, fabrics, coverings, furniture, wedding and baby gifts. LuElla's offers the option of doing a bridal or baby registry as well.
Linda Fitzgerald, a friend of Ayres who works in the shop, said people often stop by out of curiosity.   She is a retired speech therapist, who saw helping out at the shop as a great way to keep busy.
"It's been fun to be in the environment," she said.
LuElla's is open 12 to 4 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Part of that is due to Ayres also managing her other business and part is due to her health, as she is battling breast cancer.
 "You want to be able to keep living," Ayres said, adding people being positive about her and her business has been "the best medicine there is."

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