Lisa Walsmith, longtime owner of the multi-faceted All Wrapped Up gift shop, P.O. Box, shipping facility, notary, satellite office for the Mill Valley Chamber and much more, was a cornerstone of the downtown Mill Valley retail scene. Walsmith, who was honored at the Spirit of Marin Awards in 2014, passed away in November 2021, leaving our community with one less Mill Valley treasure of a business and a person.
In the aftermath of that loss, and without family to step in to run the business and/or to sell the inventory, Elenna Nee, the daughter in law of Roy Nee, who owns the Mill Creek Plaza building at 38 Miller Ave. that contained All Wrapped Up for many years, decided to organize a massive fundraiser that both leveraged the store’s sizable remaining inventory and south to benefit a trio of Marin nonprofit organizations. To do so, Nee has teamed up with the vaunted Southern Marin Mothers Club.
The sale is set for Saturday, September 10th (10am-4pm) in All Wrapped up’s space in the Mill Creek Plaza building at 38 Miller, offering deep discounts on gifts items like candles, children’s toys, books, cards and wrapping materials.
All items are 50% off or more. Cash, check and PayPal accepted. All proceeds go to Marin Foster Care Association, Sensitive Santa and the Postpartum Support Center.
In accepting her Spirit of Marin Award in 2014, Walsmith said, “The reason why I’m here 26 years and was voted Mill Valley’s business of the year is because of my customers and this town – they keep coming and coming – they’ve been extremely loyal to me, and I’m so grateful for that.” A few weeks after receiving her honor, Walsmith hosted a celebratory party in the parking lot outside her shop featuring food from her neighbors Boo Koo and Balboa Café, live music and much more.
Walsmith, who grew up on Long Island in New York, moved to the Bay Area more than 30 years ago, having come out here to visit a friend from home who’d just moved here and fallen in love with the area. She lived on a houseboat in Sausalito for one year before moving to Mill Valley, which she never left.
Walsmith’s business spawned from a large printing services business in the back of her building called Business Works, a tiny piece of which was a contract postal unit, which provides postal services at locations other than a post office. The owner of Business Works wanted to divest herself from that portion of her business, and Walsmith’s action and vision went to work. She jumped at the chance to take over the contract postal unit.
“That was the first day of the rest of my life,” Walsmith says.
From there, Walsmith continually looked to expand and diversify her business, slowly moving her operation closer to the front of the building and expanding into adjacent spaces. When Mohammad’s Rug Gallery closed eight years ago in the storefront space – two years after the Postal Annex opened across the street – Walsmith’s vision and action took over once again. The move, coupled with Walsmith’s purchase of a Chevy Suburban that she turned into a mobile billboard ad for All Wrapped Up, allowed her to grow her business to fit into her new space.
Walsmith’s pitch to gift buyers was always clear: you can walk in the door needing to buy Aunt Jane a birthday present, find the perfect gift, have it wrapped for free and then ship it from there to anywhere in the world. She made herself an integral piece of the fabric of Mill Valley, sponsoring fundraisers for Kiddo!, the Mill Valley Schools Community Foundation, the Mill Valley Little League, Tam High Boosters and the Strawberry Seals, among others.
The fundraiser is set for Saturday, September 10th (10am-4pm) in the former All Wrapped Up space at 38 Miller Ave. in the Mill Creek Plaza building.
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Oh, my gosh, I am so sorry to learn of Lisa’s passing. She was way too young. I loved her merchandise, always finding what I needed; I loved making her laugh. She was a thorough professional and had great taste in what she bought for her shop. My condolences go out to her son, her family & her friends. We will definitely take part in the sale.
All Wrapped Up was always a treasure box to enjoy. Even if one was simply stopping in on a bleak rainy day to buy stamps. Lisa was the consummate taste setter of Mill Valley cool.
So sorry to hear that Lisa passed. She was a gem in the community. She helped me so much over the years with my business as a musician taking care of my mailings and more. I will miss her.
As a former foster parent and founder of the Marin Foster Parents Association in the late 1960s, and as a long-time Box renter since before Lisa took over the business, it is wonderful to learn how the proceeds from the event will be directed — to protect children. This decision reflects Lisa to the core. A kind, kind human being. I miss her and I miss our visits when I would come in to pick up my mail.