Giving local: What are your favorite 'Made in Vermont' gifts?
Finding the perfect holiday gift can be a challenge, especially one that captures the spirit of Vermont. This hour, we're highlighting unique "Made in Vermont" gifts with artisans, cultivators, retailers and experts, to help us keep things local this year.
Our guests are:
- April LaVoy with the Vermont Maple Museum and gift shop in Brattleboro
- Angela Payette, co-owner of Forbin’s Finest, a cannabis cultivator, and Forbin’s Reserve Inc., a cannabis retailer, in Barre
- Bunny Merrill, purveyor of goat milk soaps and other products from Elmore Mountain Farm
- Weiwei Wang, co-founder and director of operations and development at the Vermont Professionals of Color Network, based in Burlington
- Sandra Dee Owens, co-owner, designer and jewelry maker in Benson
Some suggestions we heard early in the show include:
- Our guest April LaVoy with the Vermont Maple Museum and Gift Shop suggests checking out the Guilford Country Store in Guilford and Brattleboro’s Galanes Vermont Shop and the Vermont Country Deli
- Darn Tough Socks in Northfield are “durable, with a lot of different weights and styles, and they guarantee their product,” says Myra in Burlington.
- Michelle of Nature Mandala suggests the Women’s Festival of Crafts. It features products made by women.
- Melissa suggests house shoes (a.k.a. slippers) from Queen City Dry Goods in Williston
- Elisa runs Vermont Dog Eats, a local organic dog treat manufacturer featuring locally sourced ingredients.
- Francesca in Hinesburg recommends books by local authors and illustrators including Nate Methot, Stephen Kiernan, Jason Chen, and Jane Lindholm and Melody Bodette (and for more book ideas, check out Vermont Edition’s recent winter book show)
More suggestions that were offered in the middle of the show:
- Randi Solin does glassblowing and Natalie Blake does clay work outside of Brattleboro at Fire Arts Vermont, where they make jewelry and have a beautiful gallery.
- Heart Grown Wild a southern Vermont business that offers hand-forged infused beauty products
- Ariel’s Honey Infusions uses botanicals and infuses honey
- Fused glass ornaments at Frog Hollow Gallery
- Postpartum Pantry makes lactation cookies, soaps and other items to help families prepare for, and recover from, birth
- Our guest Wei Wei Wang, co-founder and director of operations and development at the Vermont Professionals of Color Network, based in Burlington, encouraged looking up the BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Color business directory, including:
- Soul Simone, who makes “incredible” jewelry
- Honor Leather, which makes handmade leather bags
- Selfcare products made by Juniper Creative, including fine art by Will Kasso Condry
- JAG Productions, which highlights Black playwrights and Black productions
- Photoshoot packages with Isora Lithgow Creations
- She also recommended the African American heritage trail
- Mark emailed to suggest calendar photographer Quiet Light Photo Imagery
- Lennard emailed to share the spiraled trees made out of Vermont Driftwood
- Harmony Collective in Brattleboro was recommended as a place to find 32 local artists that the caller described as “misfit artists”
- Rachel in Essex called and suggested Harmonious Bodywork
- Plant-based holiday ice cream pies from Offbeat Creemee
- Peace of Mind Pilates in Essex giving the gift of wellness
- Gift shop in Wallingford, The Sparkle Barn, home of "a lot of small things that are perfect for stockings"
- Our guest Angela Payette, co-owner of Forbin’s Finest, a cannabis cultivator, and Forbin’s Reserve Inc., a cannabis retailer, both in Barre, recommended gifting cannabis as long as the recipient is over the age of 21 and to ensure the gift won't interrupt the recipient's path of sobriety
- Brad from Northfield suggested horse-drawn carriage rides from Third Branch Horse Logging, offering rides that are 2 miles long and take about 45 minutes
- Nomadic Kitchen was recommended for its “luscious and pillowy” marshmallows
- Cassidy in Woodstock called The Vermont Flannel Company "cozy"
- A caller suggested a donation in someone's name to a local charity or state park
- Donate a meal to Meals on Wheel through Age Well Vermont
- If you love lavender, Lavender Essentials of Vermont was recommended for its skincare products, room sprays and sanitizers
Near the end of the show, we received these suggestions:
- Our guest Bunny Merrill discussed her goat milk soaps and related products made at Elmore Mountain Farm (she also buys goats milk from the Jones Farm in north Hyde Park, and buys beeswax at Champlain Valley Apiaries)
- Caller Clare in Waterford recommended an online marketplace called the Cabot Harvest Hub, which sells items from more than 20 local vendors, including agricultural products, soaps and “beautiful, incredibly clever cards.”
- Colleen in Montpelier gave three quick shout-outs to family-owned Morse Farm two miles outside of Montpelier for their “best creemees and Christmas decorations;” the Maple Corner Community Store in Calais; and her final recommendation was Bar Hill gin and vodka made by Caledonia Spirits
- Laura in Vergennes owns lu•lu ice cream and, in addition to recommending her ice cream, she shared that the Vergennes shop will use its space to showcase other local vendors, from jewelry makers to cotton candy makers, on Thursdays from 5-8pm
- Jack called in to recommended Muriel’s of Vermont, a sweater and garment company in Grand Isle that uses wool from New England farms
- Caller Abigail in Johnson recommended Earth’s Promise Massage and Wellness in Morrisville, as well as her own self-published book, Beyond, available at the Nevermore Bookstore in Newport and the Green Mountain Bookstore in Lyndon
- Our guest Sandra Dee Owens shared her business as a co-owner, designer and jewelry maker in Benson
- Jillian in St. Johnsbury recommend shopping in downtown St. Jonsbury, which had more than a dozen new shops open since the start of the pandemic, including four new shops opening this coming weekend!
We received a few emailed recommendations we didn't have time to mention on-air, including:
- Yankee Rock Farm makes wool beanies and fingerless mittens with wool from local farms, writes Wendy
- Louise makes functional ceramics with Blue Horse Ceramic Arts
- Local rapper Robin Hartzell “will write customized raps for anyone,” Barb says
- Heather recommends watercolors from Angie King of Chirp & Whimsy and wood products from Elsa Oppenheimer
- The makers with the River Artisans Cooperative in Bellows Falls create a “wide variety of handmade items,” Roxane says
- Mara of Mara Hayes Massage Therapy in South Burlington suggests Alchemy Jewelry Arts in Burlington, which is “women-owned and amazing,” Mara writes
Broadcast live on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.
Have questions, comments or tips? Send us a message or tweet us @vermontedition.