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If you’re looking for a special holiday present for the woman who has everything, or if you want to jazz up your own holiday style with some serious, one-of-a-kind bling, Lauren Craig, owner of Eccentrics by Lauren fashion accessory boutique in Carterville, can help.

“I’m always doing research to find the latest gifts and fashion accessories that no one else in the area offers,” Lauren says. “I try to offer one-of-a-kind, fashion-forward items and a variety of brands, so that customers can always find something unique. But, merchandise at Eccentrics moves very quickly, so if you see something you love, you’d better grab it, especially if it’s one-of-a-kind.”

Lauren has had a passion for fashion and the retail industry ever since earning a degree in fashion merchandising at Southern Illinois University and then working for large retailers CHANEL in Tampa, Fla., and Four Seasons in St. Louis. In 2010, she realized her dream of opening her own boutique of women’s fashion accessories, online on Facebook and at www.eccentricsbylauren.com and in a storefront located upstairs inside Your Jeweler on Illinois 13, just south of the Carterville crossroads.

Large, chunky handbags in vivid colors and metallics line the wall along the carpeted staircase that leads up to Eccentrics and its unique mix of sparkling costume jewelry, scarves, handbags, belts, hats, faux fur, bath and beauty products and more. However, it’s Lauren’s dazzling smile and warm personality that gives Eccentrics its welcoming atmosphere and makes it the perfect day out shopping experience for women of all ages. Many customers bring their outfits into the store, so Lauren can help them choose the perfect accessories to accent their personal style.

“I love to see how happy and excited they get when they find the fabulous piece they’ve been looking for,” she says. “Also, it’s the best feeling when I see a customer out somewhere in accessories that I helped them put together.”

Eccentrics accessory tips for holiday style

Lauren emphasizes that accessories are necessities, not just add-ons, for every woman to create a signature style all her own at the holidays and year ’round. Many of the one-of-a-kind accessories at Eccentrics have been showcased in popular fashion magazines and others, such as “O, The Oprah Magazine.”

“Accessories can pump up your favorite outfits from so-so to amazing,” Lauren says. “Layer on scarves, necklaces, or anything that makes you feel beautiful and confident. Mix metals, clash colors or stack bracelets to turn your arm into a bangle bar. Wearing accessories you love and that express your unique personality can make you feel beautiful inside and out.”

This holiday season, Lauren suggests starting with a classic black dress that you can transform from an at-work outfit to evening attire just by changing your accessories from conservative chic to major bling. It’s an easy and low-cost way to stretch your fashion budget and still sparkle at holiday events.

“Another big holiday trend will be colorful handbags, especially a red show-stopper look to add shine and color to an outfit,” Lauren says. “Huge chunky necklaces and brooches will also be big. Yet another huge trend for fall and winter is layering necklaces and bangle bracelets. More is fashionably more, so don’t be afraid to accessorize!”

And, what about the gift for the woman who has everything?

“I would recommend that you look for accessories that fit her personality and unique style,” Lauren says. “Is her style classic chic? Or, would you describe it as bold with a little sparkle? At Eccentrics, we have something for everyone and at all price ranges. My goal is to have something different and unique every time you shop Eccentrics, so holiday shoppers can expect a new experience every time they come in to find the right gift.”

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