Dam At Waking Windows Is The Best Way To Start Your Cinco De Mayo

This coming weekend is one of the best weekends of the year in Winooski.  Waking Windows is one of my favorite festivals I’ve been to. It takes over normally quite downtown Winooski into a music lovers paradise.

 

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Photo courtesy of Allston Pudding

 

Besides having three full days of music they also have a “Dam” which is a gathering of artisans selling their eclectic handmade + vintage goods, surrounded by live music, food, and drinks.  Here’s the artistic that are going to be featured this Saturday at Waking Windows. 

LVLVTPottery

 

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Photo courtesy of Northwood Gallery

 

LVLVT Pottery is owned by a young potter named Lindsey based out of Burlington, Vermont.  Her focus on making functional and vibrant wares.

Muddy Toes Terrariums

 

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Photo courtesy of Muddy Toes Terrariums

 

Muddy Toes Terrariums began in Susan Goldstein’s backyard.  Each terrarium is one of a kind, original, and handcrafted.  The plants are carefully selected to create secret small places for imagination to roam. 

Billie Jean Vintage

 

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Photo courtesy of Seven Days

 

Billie Jean Vintage has the best looks from the roaring 20’s to the 80’s.  They do not only sell vintage clothing, but also provide retro-inspired new clothing for women and men.

Pleasant Ranch

 

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Photo courtesy of Youtube

 

Pleasant Ranch is a one-man woodworking and content – creative shop located in Burlington, VT.  Steve Hadeka creates one of a kind barware, home decor, kitchen ware and the occasional furniture piece.  Steve also plays two to four gigs a week with various regional bands.

Raegan Hough Metalsmith

 

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Photo courtesy of Moretown Artisans’ Sale

 

Raegan Hough is from Waterbury, Vermont and began your journey as a medal smith in 2008.  As someone who is not super into jewelry, I was shocked at how much I loved Raegan’s jewelry.  There is so much craftsmanship as well-being super unique.

Wings of Sin

 

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Photo courtesy of Faceboook

 

Wings of Sin started in a tiny house on top of a mountain in Vermont.  Melaney has been sewing for over a decade and started experimenting with creating things for more than just herself.  Wings of Sin is unique articles of clothing for everyone.

Mean Folk

 

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Photo courtesy of meanfolk.tumblr.com

 

Mean Folk is a Vermont brand that launched in 2014,  It’s known for good people with bad attitudes.  They sell apparel, accessories, and some of the most hilarious pins I’ve ever seen.

Found & Feral

 

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Phot courtesy of Etsy

 

Found and Feral is a jewelry company from Huntington, Vermont.  They make unique necklaces and earrings.

Hilaryannlove Studio

 

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Photo courtesy of Etsy

 

Hilary started her Etsy shop in 2010 because she loved printmaking and recently started making tiny aluminum etchings.  What started as a hobby continues to grow every year.

Grooves and Grain

 

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Photo courtesy of Grooves & Grain

 

Being raised in Vermont taught the owner responsibility of our actions, and the importance of knowing your own impact.  Her passion for environmentalism and art is what inspired her to use reclaimed leather in all their products.

Waking Windows Is A Can’t-Miss Vermont Festival

Last year I was walking my dog around and I heard music in Winooski.  Usually a pretty quiet town, I was very curious about what was going on.  I walk down the hill to see this giant music festival.  My friend and I quickly got our tickets to Waking Windows and had our favorite weekend in Winooski we had since we moved there.

 

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Photo courtesy of Waking Windows

 

Waking Windows started as a small 12 day festival at The Monkey House in 2011.  Now it has turned into a multi-venue, multi-city series of events promoting music, comedy, art, food, and drink.

 

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Photo courtesy of Live Music Daily

 

What I loved about this event is there was always something going on.  Every restaurant and shop in Winooski gets taken over by amazing music. This festival does not just have music they also feature artists, food trucks, page burner reading series, cringe! A night of hilarious Humiliation, and Karaoke.

 

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Photo courtesy of Allston Pudding

 

The venues for Waking Windows are Asian Bistro, Four Quarters Brewing, McKee’s Pub and Grill, Misery Loves. CO, Mule Bar, Lucky Cloud, Nectar and Root, Last Stop Sports Bar, Winooski State Park, Scout and Co, 41 Main, The Monkey House, Waterworks, The Outdoor Main Stage on Winooski Falls way, and Winooski Methodist Church.

 

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Photo courtesy of Black Rabbit

 

The reason I say this is a can’t miss event because of the environment of the festival.  Every musician I saw last year was having the time of their life, which made the crowd even better.  The whole festival was incredibly well organized and extremely easy to get to being in the Burlington area.

 

Veestro Delivers Five Star Meals Right To Your Door

It seems like every day there are new meal prep companies.  All promising amazing food that is super convenient.  Many of the kits I have tried, but nothing compares to the experience had with Veestro.

Veestro gives you more options than any other meal prep kits.  You can choose from meal packs, a la carte, weight loss, or juice cleanses.  After you place your order in a few short days your fully prepared chef- created, hand-crafted meals arrive in eco-friendly packaging.

 

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Photo courtesy of Veestro

 

My favorite part besides the taste of their food was how convenient it was.  After having classes for 10 hours without time to take a break for lunch, these meals were extremely convenient.  Each meal took under ten minutes to make, was dairy free, and tasted better than any fancy meals I’ve ever had at a restaurant.

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Veestro is a plant-based meal service.  What I loved about this is you didn’t feel like you were missing out on anything.  Many services that are vegan tend to be for people who are hardcore, not people looking for a healthy delicious alternative.  Veestro is great for people who are looking for a way to eat more plants, but a looking for a simple and easy plan.

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For people like me who are too busy to meal prep, spend extra time in the grocery store looking for ingredients Veestro is amazing.  The meals I got were mushroom stroganoff, thai chicken stew, shr’mp jambalaya, enchilada casserole, and roasted beet and kale salad.

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It was hard to pick a favorite meal.  I’m stuck in a pickle between the Thai Chick’n Stew and the Enchilada Casserole.  Being someone who is lactose intolerant you rarely ever find a dairy-free cheese that is good.  The enchilada casserole had the best vegan cheese I have ever tried.

The Thai chick’n stew and the shr’mp jambalaya was an amazing pick me up for the cold winter days.  The biggest reason why I loved this is because Veestro made is so simple and easy to eat real food.  The kale salad was perfect for an easy lunch.  In under thirty seconds I had something to eat inbetween classes.

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Photo courtesy of Veestro

The vegan mushroom stroganoff was what interest me the most.  The reason being is normally is made with a very creamy sause and I was very courisous how it was going to taste with coconut milk.  I was happily surprised on how good this tasted because this meal is normally something that is made with both meat and dairy. My final thoughts is I would definetly try Veestro again and will continue to get meals from them for the years to come.  As a college student who tries there best to be healthy, this food serivce is amazing.

 

The Sharks Made A Giant Mistake By Not Investing in Sap!

I am always so grateful for the food I learn about in Burlington, most importantly the maple products I’m exposed to.  I learned about Sap! when I was a freshman living on campus and have been following how they are expanding their business.  Recently, I was watching Shark Tank and was super surprised the sharks did not make a deal with Sap.

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Sap offers three different beverages.  They have a maple soda, maple seltzer, and birch sparkling water.  Out of the three, my favorite was the maple soda.  As someone who never drinks soda it was a very healthy way when I wanted to drink something sweet.

There are almost half the calories of your favorite soda in a can of their maple soda.  This is a great product for people who have a sweet tooth like me but are also trying to stay healthy.

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After this summer I became obsessed with seltzer, which is why I was so surprised the sharks did not make a deal with this company.  Last summer was all about La Croix, and next summer could be all about Sap!

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Lastly, I had the bitch, which the sharks were not a fan of.  I personally believe their feelings on this drink was to make TV more interesting.  The reason is, I’m probably one of the pickiest eaters, have reviewed many restaurants, therefore I’m not afraid to say when something does not taste good.  I really liked the birch drink, I like to drink it in the morning, it’s a healthy way to start the day. 

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Not only does Sap sell beverages that are non-gmo, gluten-free, contain natural sugars, and are crafted by farmers, they are also passionate about donating 1% of their revenue to organizations working in the regenerative agriculture space.

 

 

Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Visit Vermont Juice Co. Next Time You’re Downtown

After years of following Vermont Juice Company on Instagram, I finally tried a few of their juices.  I have done many juices cleanses in the past, but nothing compared to my experience trying VT Juice Co.  The reason is they were healthy, locally sourced, and tasted amazing.  I have never this amazing of experience of healthy food tasting this good.

The juices I tried were blackout, brain boost, lemon remedy, and omega maple nut milk.  Blackout was the juice I was most interested in because I’ve never had a drink with charcoal in it.  Being a stressed out senior really made me interested in Brain Boost.  If anyone has not tried lemon remedy, it’s the only way I will drink lemonade now.  Finally, being someone who is allergic to dairy I’m always down to try new dairy free milks.

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1.  Burlington’s ONLY Cold Pressed Juice Shop

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Vermont Juice Co. was founded by a native Vermonter.  Their juice is made fresh daily each morning on site at their kitchen.  They sell their juice with zero pasterizing or processing.  They don’t only offer juices and cleanses, but also made-to-order acai bowls, smoothies, superfood bowls, wellness shots, chia pudding, and other seasonal food items.

2. Their Staff is Super Friendly

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I’ve worked in customer service since I was 14, and therefor can be a pretty bad customer service snob. Sadly, in Burlington I am rarely impressed by customer service and expesially at resturants, but when I went in their staff was all smiles and super helpful with all the questions I had.

3. Hangover Relief

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It is what it is, it happens to all of us.  A morning walk to VT Juice Co. to pick up their blackout drink is a great way to recover from a night out.  This drink was way more refreshing then I was expecting and was super enjoyable.

4. They Deliver

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Technically this point does not involve going downtown, but thats the amazing part.  Sometimes you’re just too busy to make the way down Main.  They have free delivery to UVM’s campus, and very innespesive delivery all the way to Montpelier.

5. It’s a Vegan’s Heaven

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As someone who’s stomach is not super friendly with dairy, I love to go to vegan places, expesially in Vermont.  Vermonters love their cheese and therefor I really love vegan places that serve amazing food.

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Check out VT Juice Co. at 77 Main Street, Burlington Vermont

 

If You’re Not Using Hair Bars, You Need to Read This

After finally getting my hair professionally dyed, I become a little addicted to having the most healthy hair care regimen possible.  Another, the great part about using hair bar is they are also better for the environment.  Unwrapped Life’s mission is to reduce single-use plastic in products while also making them stylish and sustainable.

Unwrapped life was started by two entrepreneurs Arden and  Hayley.  After giving birth to her first her first daughter she suffered from post- partum anxiety and developed “eco-anxiety”.  She became so worried about the disposable plastic in our daily lives and how it was going to effect our future generations.

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Hayley and Arden started looking for ways to cut plastic out of their lives, but there were very few options.  Especially when it came to conditioner and shampoo.  They started formulating and researching their own bars that work amazingly on all hair types.  They are passionate about making spreading awareness and creating amazing hair days.

The hair bars I got were The Hydrator shampoo and conditioner.  One of the best parts of this combo was how it realized how important it is to hydrate your hair.  These bars are made with amla oil and colloidal oil.  This hair duo works to treat scalp ailments, including psoriasis, rashes, excema, and dryness.

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Living in northern Vermont this hair duo is perfect for the winter time.  The cold winds and air can be very harsh to my hair.  Within a few days, I saw a difference in how my hair was feeling.

These bars are great for hair that is damaged and in need of some shine and repair.  These bars are full of vitamin B and natural polyacrylamide beta-glucan.  That acts as an emollient, the oatmeal delivers shine, moister and damage repair.  It makes your hair softer than any other shampoo and conditioner combo I’ve used.

Finally, I wanted to test how well this product works on different hair types.  My hair is pretty frail and thin.  On my hair, it worked great to give me more shine and help with my damaged ends.  But, I wanted to see how it would work on my two roommates hair.  My one roommate  has super thick hair and my other roommate has curly hair.

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After letting them use the product for a few day they saw nothing but improvements on their hair.  Being in Vermont, which is super concerned with the health of our environment, they also loved the social impact of the product.

This Ethical Bandanna Company Is Changing the Game

My two biggest loves in this world are food and dogs.  Living in an area were adopting is very relevant and a large part of the community, I always look for small companies that I can support that are also supporting various dog foundations.  This is how I found the bandanna company Cheifs that creates ethical and super chic bandannas.

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Cheifs was launched in 2017 in Los Angeles.  The created a well crafted bandana that any age, gender, or species could wear, while also supporting amazing causes that are important.

Orange Chief – Austin Pets Alive

IMG_2561.jpgTheir limited edition orange Chief was designed to raise money for Austin Pets Alive.  Each bandana helps find a shelter for a dog in need.  My favorite part about this bandana was the little paw prints representing the cause.

The OG Chief – Toys for Tots

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Their black and white Oxblood Chief is designed to raise money for Toys for Tots.  My favorite part of this bandana was the contrasts of the Oxblood hem. Being a college student, being broke, and living in a cold area I used it to surprise someone with a night of indoor camping and this bandana was perfect for the surprise.

The Vintage Cheif

IMG_2573.jpgThis bandanna has my  favorite color combination and also gives back to Toys For Tots.  One of my favorite things to do with bandanas is use them to decorate my apartment.  These bandana are so unique and they’re made with a fabric that is more silky soft then your typical bandana.

I Got A Sexist Email From A Local Business and I Am Not Going To Stay Quiet

I started Don’t Be Common Fashion when I was 16 because I saw an issue in the fashion world;  I hated how people were judged by showing who they were through their clothing.

Don’t Be Common Fashion started five years ago, and has since evolved into a business that I am very proud of.  I have worked with many companies – I work with large companies, ethical brands – and being a student in Burlington, I love to reach out to local companies and create partnerships.

The best way as a blogger to expand your base is to work with other companies. You gain more followers by blending platforms with other businesses to reach a novel audience.  I worked with companies with both fewer and more followers than me. I have even worked with  brands that are not my target audience.

Working with varied brands is successful because my target audience is millennials and millennials love learning about new brands.  They are intrigued by the stories behind companies. Therefore, instead of just highlighting how amazing the products are I share the story behind the brand. As a result, the brands I’ve worked with have had positive experiences.

Rarely, I have a negative experiences working with brands. A recent response I received, grossed and creeped me out more than any other response I’ve ever read.  As a blogger, I am always reaching out to companies, to try to expand my reach and also theirs. When I send out press emails, there is a larger chance I get a no rather than a yes, but even when I get a no, the response is normally positive about the business I created.

Then, I got this response:

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Before getting this email, I sent my press statement to this Burlington business. As a college student, my Instagram is one way in which I collect a meager income to live my life; it’s not something that’s a joke.

I was initially unsure how to react to this business owner’s comments. I showed the email to a few of my friends. Some of them work at ski shops in Burlington and are familiar with the environment at this particular business. This business has no females working there and had previously had a job posting promoting themselves as a “Great place for you to talk bad about your girlfriend”.

This brings me to the “@buttsnorkler” suggestion.  I had no idea what this Instagram was, but if you search it on Instagram it is a bunch of pictures of some bare butts.  A connection of mine asked the owner of this business about his response, and it was ” Her Instagram is all about sex, therefore she was asking for this response”. While I do not deny that I have one picture of a bare butt on my Instagram page, the irony of this business owner’s comments was clearly lost as I was using it as a vehicle to discuss the phenomenon known as “slut shaming”.

Here’s a comparison of my Instagram and the Instagram this local business owner believes my photos are a good fit for.

 

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Recently, it feels like  every day there’s a new high-profile celebrity that is brought up on sexual harassment or assault claims.  When I received this email, I needed to figure out the best way to respond – in a way that I believed would create the most poignant impact and create something that could help someone else with an experience similar to mine.

Coming forward about being sexually harassed or sexually assaulted is not an easy thing to do.  When I was younger, I had a job and the male employees acted very inappropriate towards me, and I had no idea what to do about it, and didn’t have the voice to speak up about it.

The fact this this person who owns a business, is very involved in the Burlington community, saw no issue with the comments he made, disgusted me. Being in the position I was in, I felt writing this was the best way to speak out against sexual harassment.

I couldn’t just move this email into my trash and not say something that could benefit someone who has, had, or will have a similar experience to mine. My little cousins read my blog, and in a few years they will be entering the workforce. I want them, and others their age to feel powerful to stand up for themselves if they ever are in a position like this. Sadly, we don’t live in a perfect world and sexism is something that exists. I don’t want any of my readers to feel like it is not okay for them to stand up to someone or feel isolated in their situation.

The social media campaign “#METOO” showed how many people are affected by sexual assault and harassment.  I want the people who read my blog to know that sexual harassment is something that they can stand up to themselves, not let anyone make themselves feel less than, and remind them, that they too have a voice that can speak out against sexual harassment they may suffer.

 

My Top 5 Chic Ski Essentials So You’ll Look Cute While Hitting the Slopes

Ski season is finally here, which it being my last winter in Vermont, I’m pretty pumped about it.  Skiing can be fun, but nothing is fun about being cold and also not looking cute.  My years of going to the slopes and my knowledge of amazing brands will give you all you need to look amazing this winter.

1. Patagonia jacket

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You can’t be chic skiing without a cute jacket.  Patagonia jackets are well made, warm, and are also a great ethical company.  One of the best things about Patagonia is they have a warranty on all their items and if you happen to crash during your run, your jacket is protected.

2. Krochet Kids Hats

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Photo courtesy of Pinterest

Krochet Kids works with women who are living in poverty-stricken areas.  Their hats are extremely well made and warm.  Buying one of their hats is supporting women build a future for themselves.

3. Hot Chilly’s Fiesta Leggings

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Photo courtesy of Pinterest

There are so many base layers for skiing and no layer has every been warmer than these leggings.  I literally keep them by my bed and put them on before I take my dog for a walk every morning.  They have wonderful prints for every style.

4. Sorel Waterproof Wedges

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Photo courtesy of Pinterest

A few weeks ago I was getting my hair done and my hairdresser mentioned these boots.  Not only are they extremely cute, they’re also waterproof and perfect for the winter months.

5. Cowl Vermont Knitting Company

IMG_2697.JPGVermont Knitting Company is a partnership between Leslie and Kelsey, and they make some of the warmest knitting accessories.  I have their luxe cowl, which I love for the winter months because it keeps my neck extremely warm.

Last Minute Burlington Shopping Guide

After a very stressful semester, you have no idea how excited about Christmas I am, and one of my favorite parts of Christmas is getting people the perfect gift.  Being someone whose dream is to one day own her own business, I love supporting local businesses in Burlington.  I find myself very lucky to be surrounded by amazing small businesses.

For the coffee lover on your list…

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Photo courtesy of speederandearls.com

Speeders & Earls began roasting coffee in Burlington’s South End in 1993.  Over the past 20 years, they quickly have grown.  I don’t think I go to class without seeing multiple Speeder & Earl’s cups.  Speeder & Earl’s has multiple gifts for your coffee lovers.  As a self-described coffee snob, nothing is better than a travel mug and Kona Blend Coffee which are delivered from Hawaii.

For the vintage lover on your list…

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Photo Courtesy of Downtown Threads

Downtown Threads started in 2010 with the purpose of keeping money locally and supporting eco-friendly shopping habits.  Downtown threads has the best selection of consignment, new, vintage, and local artist creations.  This holiday season their store is featuring local artist merchandise.  They have a special deal this holiday season (December 23rd & 24th) and will be offering 25% off a purchase of $40 or more.

For the person who’s always cold on your list…

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Photo courtesy of Twitter

Whim was founded in 2007 by Melissa Desautels, focusing on casual chic, it’s your one-stop for jeans & tees.  Whim has so many great gift ideas, but my favorite would be a Shit I Knit Hats.  I cannot describe how amazing these hats are, I wear mine every day, and would feel naked without it in Vermont’s winter.

For the bohemian home lover on your list…

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Photo courtesy of Tangerine

Tangerine is owned by a 5th generation Vermonter Megan O’Brien, growing up in Burlington she knew trends tended to be a little expensive.  She wanted to start a business that was something young professionals and college students, who don’t have a lot of disposable income to spend on fashion.  This planter is perfect for the bohemian goddess on your list who needs a planter for her succulents, also it is made in America.  This holiday season they are offering buy one scarf get one 50% off and 30% off the sale rack.

For the boot lover on your list…

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Photo courtesy of Dear Lucy Shoes

Dear Lucy Shoes probably has the best selection of shoes I’ve ever seen in a small business and I’ve never wanted a trust fund more walking through that store.  They have a great selection of slippers, sneakers, and my favorite their Frye boot collection.

For the bag-obsessed on your list…

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Liebling on College Street is the perfect place to get a chic bag for the person on your list can never have enough handbags.  Their collection is great for the fashionista you need to impress with your stylish gift choice.

For the guys on your list….

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Photo courtesy of Warner Supply

Warner Supply is probably the only store you have to stop to find the perfect gift for the guys on your list.  They have a great selection of Runamok Maple, Zeus Beard, Coal hats, Redwing boots, Ranger Station candles, and many other amazing gifts.  It’s the perfect place to get your babe a cute flannel you secretly plan on making yours in the future.

The gift for the person on your list who loves goods with a story….

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Photo courtesy of Common Deer

Common Deer stocks their shelves with goods that are full of story.  Focusing on Made In America and small batch manufacturing.  Their manufacturers employ thousands of American workers and support thousands of families.  Inside their store, they have a gift for just about everyone on your list, including your furry friends.

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Photo courtesy of Common Deer

My favorite items from their shop are their Woolrich blankets, a perfect gift for your mom.  American made slippers that will make you never want to put on real shoes.  A local inspired pint glass for the IPA lover in your life.

For the person who loves a splash of color in their life…

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Photo courtesy of Old Gold

Old Gold opened 40 years ago, selling military surplus and used clothing, today the store houses an extensive inventory of new costumes, accessories, formal wear, cowboy boots, and much more.  Recently they just got in tons of accessories, but these berets are perfect for New Years! They also have berets without sequins, but get there before I buy the gold one.

For the juice lover on your list…

 

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Photo Courtesy of Vermont Juice Co.

 

Vermont Juice Co. is the only place in Burlington to get fresh cold pressed juice.  They’re founded by a native Vermonter and addition to juices and cleanses, they offer made to order smoothies, acai bowls, super food bowls, wellness shots, chia pudding, and other seasonal food items.  This holiday season they are offering deals on their Cold Pack cleanse and their DIY nut milk gift kits.

For the person, you have no idea what to get…

 

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Photo courtesy of Birdfolk Collective

 

Birdfolk Collective is technically not in Burlington, but it is my favorite store in the area, for many reasons.  The reason I titled this “The person you have no idea what to get” is because I went into Birdfolk a few weeks ago, with no idea what to get someone.  Within minutes I found the perfect gift.  This store has an amazing collection of items, that are perfect for the person you are still struggling to find the perfect gift.

For the Jewelry lover on your list…

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Photo courtesy of Rackk & Ruin

Rackk & Ruin was founded by Molly Conant who in 2009 experimented with natural materials including, feathers, leather, metal in her jewelry.  I started following Rackk & Ruin on Instagram a few years ago and become obsessed with their unique pieces and stumbled upon their Pine Street shop and now every time I have a hair appointment I have to go in because their shop has an ever-changing assortment of treasures.