The holiday shopping season is upon us and there are so many ways to give unexpected, genuine, unique and delightful gifts from our many local shops that are thriving in the age of online shopping by offering superior service, by being quirky and by knowing their customers. Stay close to home this year and visit all of our neighborhoods to find that something special, here are a few suggestions;
Visit historic Bridge Street in Waitsfield and pop into the 4OrtyBridge Boutique. Tucked into a vintage space, this shop is where city style meets mountain luxury. You’ll find a carefully curated collection of sophisticated and fun casual wear. The big lure at 4orty Bridge, beyond the collection of fashion, is the highly personalized in-store shopping experience.
Take a short walk down Bridge Street and discover the Artisans’ Gallery. The shop is owned and operated by three partners working with 150+ Vermont artists. They offer a handpicked selection of eclectic, lively, personalized quality pieces in a bright and inviting 1830’s storefront. The gallery truly reflects the collaborative nature of our local creators
The Green Closet, a Resale Boutique, is a favorite of locals and visitors alike. Their mission is to provide a resale clothing experience like no other. You’ll find one-of-a-kind, recycled, current brands from Gap to Gucci. It’s fun and easy to find great deals on quality, handpicked pieces to add to your wardrobe. It’s a popular place and turnover is high so shoppers will find something new every day. Follow your nose to the back of the Green Closet to find Three Buds Apothecary offering botanical-based feel goods for body, soul, and home all crafted in Vermont in small batches using a unique combination of 100% USDA Certified Organic Carrier and Essential Oils. Individually hand poured made with American-grown soy, a lead-free cotton wick primed with vegetable based wax, and unique blends of premium grade fragrance and essential oils.
Right up stairs in the, well… Upstairs Marketplace you’ll find The Silver Trout, an amazing fly fishing emporium along with Mad River Candles and the Re-Sale Loft. Across the street you’ll find All Things Bright and Beautiful, a unique collection of hand painted Christmas ornaments, Santas and plush toys. No one does the holidays like these ladies. If you stroll up Route 100 (AKA Main Street) you’ll stumble across The Village Grocery. Don’t let the gas station and convenience store appearance fool you. Inside you’ll find local maple syrup, a surprisingly good wine department, whimsical metal art and a a heaping helping of local flavor. Keep strolling and you’ll come across The Mad River Glass Gallery, an incredible studio and shop featuring one-of-a-kind glass creations. A few doors down you’ll find Clearwater Sports, they have everything you could possibly need to enjoy the outdoors in every season. On the other side of the road you’ll discover Vee’s Flower and Garden Shop with beautiful gifts, flowers, house plants, flower pots and lot’s more. Don’t forget about Kenyon’s Variety, our locally owned hardware store and retail fixture. They literally have anything you can imagine. Heck, it they don’t have it you don’t need it!
Folks don’t always realize that Bridge Street isn’t Waitsfield’s only village center. Irasville is the other one. There are retail shops on both sides of Main Street). On your right (when heading south) is the Mad River Green Shops which is home to Product Think Tank. Annemarie, the owner and designer has a resume rich in clothing design. She very much wants you to consider “Who made your clothes?” You’ll notice many of her creations are named after Mad River landmarks as she designs clothing that feels as comfortable as the Valley that inspires them. Right next door shoppers will find Whippletree Designs, a custom embroidery shop that provides personalized monograms and other services. They also offer preprinted designs that are continually growing and evolving. Images of skiing, snowboarding, hiking, kayaking/paddle boarding, mountain biking, and the MRV logo are the most popular. Stroll down a few more doors and pop into the The Collection which features, well, a collection of fashion accessories, jewelry, and interior design products. They also happen to have the area’s best selection of toys, games, cards and gifts. Yvonne and her team are at your service whether it be suggesting the perfect gift, gorgeous wrapping or creating a balloon bouquet. Across the way you’ll discover Atelier 101, which is a working studio and gallery for ceramic artists Alicja Costanza and Stephanie Grace.Their hours are catch as catch can, but they are there most days except for Sundays. The Mad River Taste Place, a specialty food store offering the widest range of the best artisanal foods and beverages from Vermont, including Cheeses, Meats, Coffee, Bread, Butter, Preserves, and Chocolates. They also offer the best of Vermont Beers, Ciders, Wines and Spirits. A gift basket curated by the Taste Place is great way to send a “taste” of the MRV. Three Mountain Cafe is a few doors down, grab some coffee and a goodie and peruse a lovely section of artwork, antiques and gift items. Bisbees Hardware is right next door and they have everything you’ll ever need to fix up near anything. An old-time hardware store that prides itself on their old-time customer service.
Cross the street to explore Village Square where you’ll find Blockhouse Studio, a community pottery studios and retail shop that features a carefully curated selection of items for you and your home. Right next door is The Tempest Book Shop which offers an eclectic collection of Books- new and used, movie rentals. watch batteries (Tempus Fixit), puzzles, cards, trains and, oh yeah, homemade bread on Saturdays.
Out on Route 100 on the southern end of Route 100 a revitalized retail core is growing strong. Addison West opened up where The Store used to be , there you’ll find a beautifully curated collection of home goods, lighting, furniture, kitchen, cards, gifts, candles and apothecary, vintage items and a stunning an array of Vermont made and Vermont themed merchandise. A bit further down the road you’ll find the Mad River Valley’s newest retail shop, Mad River Outfitters. In it you’ll discover stylish apparel, accessories, gifts and more for the adventurer, the go-getter, and the true trailblazer. Mad River Outfitters carries products from tried and true brands that offer only the best in quality, price and style such as Kuhl, Fjall Raven, Kavu, Stio, Topo-Designs and Jetty.
Head over the covered bridge in Waitsfield and take a short, beautiful drive towards Warren Village. On your way check out Luke Iannuzzi Pottery where you’ll find a full service pottery studio featuring one-of-a-kind custom designs. You can also give a gift of an experience with one of his Play With Clay Pottery Classes. Then be sure to pop into the East Warren Community Market. They have lots of local food, beverage and more that make perfect gifts for everyone on your list.
As you enter the village you’ll find the “nearly world-famous” Warren Store. Most folks know about this village anchor but not everyone realizes what’s “Upstairs” at the Warren Store. In a space that once hosted community dances, you’ll find an emporium of unexpected treasures. Around every corner you’ll find delightful merchandise you simply can’t find anywhere else. From fashionable women’s and men’s clothing and accessories, and an eclectic selection of jewelry, to unusual housewares, cards, gifts, fun children’s clothing, and toys for kids of all ages. To keep things interesting, so new offerings arrive year round. Right next to the Warren Store you’ll discover Art in the Village, an incredibly colorful gallery featuring a slew of local artists. Gallery owner, Rita Ioannidis, is an artist herself who is passionate about supporting all the Vermont artists displaying their work. Right next door is Someday Boutique, Someday Boutique an upscale resale shop offering a curated collection of women’s clothing, shoes, jewelry and accessories has been hand-picked and sourced to give customers the best deals on quality goods, without having to do all the work! Stroll around to the front of the building and you’ll discover Forage and Finery featuring a thoughtful selection of handcrafted fine jewelry, artwork, herbal beauty products and clothing. While it might be a bit off the beaten path take a scenic drive up the Lincoln Gap Road from Warren Village and discover Moosewalk Studios and Gallery. There you’ll find an intimate gallery set in stunning gardens on the edge of the Green Mountain National Forest. It features the work of award winning watercolorist Gary Eckhart and the fine art photography of Roarke Sharlow. The gallery is also the studio of the two artists so it is possible to see ‘works in progress’ or to have a tour of the digital ‘darkroom’.
On the Mountain
The Mad River Valley is a “mountain town,” after all, so if you’re looking to be stylish on the slopes our ski shops have amazing mountain fashions along with knowledgeable staff that knows what works best up on the hill. At the base of the Sugarbush Access Road you’ll find the Vermont North Ski Shop, the Mad River Valley’s premier ski shop offering full service with a staff that has generations of experience to share. They also offer rental and demos ski and snowboard setups and a wide variety of hard and soft goods. Vermont North is the home of the VT North Pro Team and proud supporter of High Fives! They share the parking lot with Splinters Board Shop, Central vermont’s premier snowboard and skate shop. Travis and his team pride themselves on their unsurpassed service, knowledge and support of the local riding community. Further up the road is Alpine Options, with its abundance of hard goods, fashionable and technical outerwear, base layers and accessories from brands like Salomon, Arcteryx, North Face and Elevenate. Clearwater Sports in Waitsfield has been putting people and the outdoors together for over 40 years. They are our local Patagonia retailer and also feature brands like Prana, Mountain Khakis and Outdoor Research and their experienced crew will make sure it is the right gear for your adventure.
Wellness around the MRV
Be sure not to overlook self-care and wellness. Establishments like; Mad River Massage, Mountain Rose Yoga and Complexions. Beyond the outstanding services they offer shoppers will also find activewear fashions, jewelry and beauty needs in their retail shops. A gift certificate to any of these fine establishments is the perfect gift to indulge the loved ones on your list (or yourself).
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