Whether you're scoping out a stylish gift for a loved one or treating yourself to something spectacular to don at your next festive gathering, these dynamic downtown areas are filled with local gems waiting to be explored this holiday season. Pour yourself a hot chocolate and get your list ready—we're going shopping.
It's truly hard not to feel the holiday spirit while strolling the heated sidewalks of Downtown Holland. Boasting over 100 locally owned shops and restaurants, the area is bursting with opportunities to shop and spend local.
If you're perusing clothing racks with social and environmental impact in mind, be sure to venture to Frances Jaye, which offers shoppers a refreshing plethora of goods ranging from simple and understated to eclectic and edgy.
Need a gift or two for the men in your life? Glad Rags has you covered. The store offers styles perfect for transitioning from business casual to a night out, and brands like Johnnie-O, Barbour, Peter Millar and Tommy Bahama. Women's goods also abound, including faux fur coats, handbags and soft scarves.
Not sure what's on-trend at the moment? Simply step inside jb and me and all will become clear! From plaid shackets and chunky boots to joggers and ribbed sweaters, you'll be hard pressed to leave without a fashionable find (or four).
Natural beauty and bustling activity meet in Ada Village. This emerging favorite for many has much to offer and is still growing! Located only 13 minutes east of downtown Grand Rapids, holiday shopping in Ada Village makes for a great afternoon outing with friends.
Sweating it out has never looked so good, thanks to TO & FRO Activewear. Founded by a female military veteran, TO & FRO brings popular brands like Free People Movement, Alo Yoga, Hunter and Sorel to the forefront. No matter what you're in the market for, one thing is for sure: You're going to leave comfortable.
Serving West Michigan and beyond for the last 16 years, Gina's Boutique offers shoppers a thoughtfully curated collection of on-trend threads. A lux velvet cocktail dress for that work holiday party? Check. Some 90s jeans with a crossover waistband for your cool-girl niece? They've got it.
Outdoor-minded shoppers will feel right at home inside Beyond of Ada, which has an array of high quality, fashionable women's, men's and children's clothing and accessories. Shoppers will find brands sure to compliment any adventurous spirit, including Birkenstock, Canada Goose and Patagonia.
Be sure to also drop in at Laurel & Jack for statement pieces and stocking stuffers, and Skin CoLAB for high-quality skincare products and gift cards for a variety of luxury aesthetics services.
DOWNTOWN AND UPTOWN GRAND RAPIDS
Grand Rapids has no shortage of stellar retail establishments. Sprinkled throughout almost every neighborhood are locally owned and operated boutiques and storefronts offering unique and handmade goods suitable for anyone on your list.
Having just celebrated its one year anniversary, Basic Bee Boutique is ideal for finding fashion forward pieces not often found elsewhere in West Michigan—from great street style pieces to dressy options for special occasions. This holiday season, shoppers could find an array of size inclusive knits, cozy gift items, slippers, loungewear, sleep masks, in addition to locally-made body care.
Elegant and minimalist styles are the name of the game at Dime & Regal, a fine jewelry shop & studio carrying pieces handcrafted by mostly local women artists. Shop for simple studs, birthstone designs, layered necklaces and chains, as well as high end fine jewelry made with rare stones and solid gold.
If sustainability is top of mind, Clothing Matters is a must-visit. Since 1996, the store has featured over 100 local, regional, and international designers, with a focus on responsible manufacturing processes and eco-friendly apparel. Don't forget to also swing by Fresh Apparel for cute graphic tees and crewnecks, and Gemini Handmade for quality leather totes and fanny packs.
Found nestled amongst the natural ambiance of the Rogue River about 15 miles north of Grand Rapids, Downtown Rockford is a holiday shopping destination full of small-town charm. With more than 25 retail shops lining seven city blocks, your options are truly vast!
For clothing and jewelry that radiates a "one-of-a-kind" feel, save a spot on your list for some goods from Jade. A boutique that prides itself on stocking products that are different from big box retailers, Jade is ideal for shoppers looking for the perfect accessory gift, whether it's a Secret Santa present or a hard-to-please in-law.
Witty gifts and trendy (yet wearable) apparel is always on at LA Miller. If your list includes faux leather, sequins, and holiday graphic tees and sweatshirts, you've come to the right place. Don't forget to bundle up with some Haute Shore gloves and hats!
Also worth keeping in mind: Gild the Lily for quality second-hand goods; Paperdoll Boutique for unique and affordable apparel and gifts; and WAR Chest Boutique for handcrafted items that help provide at-risk women a living wage.
Written by Sarah Suydam, Managing Editor for West Michigan Woman.
This article originally appeared in the Dec/Jan '21-'22 issue of West Michigan Woman.