I love Essential Alternatives. If I need a gift for someone, whether it is my mother, a friend, or my fiancee, this is my first(and usually only) stop. Every room in my house has at least one item from here and there are still quite a few things I want. Carol does a great job of mixing items from Vermont craftspeople with items from all over the world. You'll find watercolors by local star Peter Huntoon, a huge selection of from simple studs to multi-strand pearl necklaces, tons of wall sculptures, unique picture frames, candles, and lots of ceramics. This is also the only place I know to get a really nice jewelery box. Even better, the inventory is always changing. The prices are very reasonable, another reason this is my favorite gift store.
Pros: Great Selection, Local crafts, Location, Prices