Heather Rippy’s careful attention to detail is evident in every corner of her charming shop, for which she handpicks the beautiful array of wares. Rippy believes in supporting local makers and artisans, and these adorable hand-painted oyster shell dishes are a perfect example of that. Created by Lakewood Ranch resident Sandy Vansant, they come in an assortment of sweet designs.
Alina Walicki’s stunning shop of bath and body products focuses on her own brand, Allini, which she crafts in small batches to ensure quality and freshness. Allini soaps are free of detergent and chemicals but contain an overload of colorful fun. The bar soaps are like little works of art, and the bath truffles look good enough to eat. Pack ‘em into an adorable cosmetic bag with a bath sponge and you’ve got a gift sure to provide indulgent relaxation.
Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium
1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota; 941-388-4441; Mote.org
Did you know that a percentage of sales at Mote’s gift shop benefits Mote Marine’s programs? It’s a wonderful place to pick up gifts for all ages — from baby to Grandpa — including shirts, hats, jewelry, and toys, games and stuffed animals that will make you wish you were 6 years old again.
Gidget’s, in the Siesta Key Village, is not your typical beachy souvenir trinket place. The merch in this upscale shop has substance. Look for pieces of original art like this “sea-glass” fish wall hanging created by a Florida artist.
You can’t go wrong at Mercantile. Divine Italian linen dresses are available in myriad styles and are all one size, eliminating that guessing game. The home décor offerings are equally foolproof. This wood tray holds an assortment of nine gorgeous glass candleholders, which could also be filled with shells or other tiny treasures.