After celebrating Small Business Saturday last month, I've been making it my personal mission to shop local businesses as much as possible. The Guilford Green is truly a mecca of small businesses, all with something to offer customers.
Determined to check out the local supply of potential holiday gifts, I went door to door chatting with Guilford Green store owners or the managers on duty to find out what they recommended for Holiday gifts. This is what they had to say:
Paddywax Bamboo and Green Tea Soy Wax Candle
What's so great about it? These eco-candles are hand poured in the USA and have been "selling like crazy," according to the store owner. "They burn 50 hours," she continued. "And, the glass container is made out of recycled wine bottles."
Stretch Tank Tops in assorted colors
What's so great about it? These cute tops have been flying off the shelves. They're perfect to wear under just about anything, and can be dressed up or down.
Men's Organic Line
What's so great about it? This line of Menswear is made of a sustainable cotton, and all the materials are eco-friendly.
Le Cadeaux Dinnerware
What's so great about it? This line of melamine dinnerware is absolutely stunning and extremely high quality. It comes in a variety of colors and patterns. It is perfect for someone who loves to picnic outside or just wants to stock their kitchen with durable plates.
Winter Hat with Built in Headphones
What's so great about it? This adorable winter hat is warm and toasty and it has built in headphones so you can connect you iPod right to it without having to freeze you're ears off!
Ann Lightfoot Jewelery
What's so great about it? This collection of jewelery is displayed prominently in the store. The pieces are handmade by the artist, who lives right in Old Lyme.
Butter Nail Polishes
What's so great about it? These little nail polishes are perfect stocking stuffers and have been showing up in countless beauty magazines
Trudy's European Shoes and Accessories
What's so great about it? These comfortable accessories keep anyone warm.
Stretchy fleece-lined leggings
What's so great about it? This is what the e-list had to say about this great item: "Everyone needs a pair of these ridiculously cozy, super stretchy fleece-lined leggings. Three sizes (so they actually fit) and four colors: eggplant, charcoal, sable and black."
Barefoot Dreams products
What's so great about it? "This is by far our #1 best seller," said the boutique's owner. "They are revered for their coziness and plushness. We sell their blankets and bathrobes, zip up hoodies, baby products, and more." I felt the blankets, and wow, she wasn't kidding about the cozy factor; so soft!
Susan Roberts Jewelery
What's so great about it? The beautiful pieces are hand made by a mom in Branford and the store has carried her items for years.
Areaware's Alarm Clock/iPhone Charger
What's so great about it? I spotted this selection on the e-list. This is what Erica had to say: "There are so many clever, modern gifts for everyone on my list at Mix, that it was tricky to choose just one for this article. But I've been searching for a local spot to pick up Areaware's alarm clock/iPhone charger and, voila, there it was! Black or white for iPhone, $35. (And pick up aCorkcicle or two - the perfect hostess gift - while you're there.)"
Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust
What's so great about it? Ok, this was my pick, because I think Ina Garten's cookbooks are amazing, and so easy to follow. I spotted this cookbook through the window and it drew me right in the store. The book shop offered so many options, there were too many to list!
Some last notes as you make your way around the Green:
- If you're looking for a gift for any kid, and even some adults, you are guaranteed to find something great at The Purple Bear.
- If you're looking for a gift for pretty much anyone in your life, Page's Hardware is a must. They have everything from a KitchenAid Mixer for the cook in your life to woodworking tools for the carpenter you know. If you're looking for someone who's hard to shop for, this is the place to go.
- If you're attending a Holiday get together, Cilantro Specialty Foods offers trays of cookies, either small or large, to bring as a hostess gift. (Some chocolates from The Village Chocolatier would work well too.)
- Check out the e-list for some other great hot shopping spots. They just put out their awesome Holiday Gift List from stores across the shoreline.
There's tons of other great stores around the Green, and everywhere else in Guilford, what are your favorite products they sell? Tell us in the comments!