At a time when we’re carefully considering our purchases, every gift we select should be extra-special and meaningful. We shopped for every lifestyle and budget all over town for gifts that are sure to bring joy—and value—that far exceed their price tags.
Pure Bravado Follow your nose to Juno & Jove, where Baxter of California’s new men’s fragrances, Bravado 2 and 3, seduce customers with incredibly sexy scents and radical but gorgeous packaging ($80 for 100ml). Juno & Jove, 100 Central Ave., Sarasota (941) 953-9500.
Rosy Future That would be yours with the gift of this Italian-made rose gold necklace with 3.06 diamonds ($10,425). She’ll be your BFF with matching earrings (1.68 diamonds, $4,185). McCarver & Moser, 482 John Ringling Blvd., St. Armands (941) 388-3666.
Ring in the Holidays with a new collection of whimsical, animated bijoux from Queens’ Wreath Jewels, including this mystical unicorn ring ($575) in white enamel with accents of orange sapphires. Queens’ Wreath Jewels, 1310 Main St., Sarasota (941) 365-2027.
Age of Elegance Kenny Ma bags conjure images of chic supper clubs and dancing the night away. Every bag is studded with Swarovski crystals, has a self-lining and comes with a coordinating table hook for retro flair ($1,056). Envie Home Decor, 1411 First St., Sarasota (941) 366-7027.
It’s a Wrap! Magaschoni’s cashmere wraps are luscious, the colors irresistible, and they’re foolproof gifts (one size fits all). The classic wrap ($178) goes with everything from jeans to sundresses; the ruffle wrap ($378) is pure glam. L. Boutique, 610 S. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota (941) 906-1350.
Modern Mariners Watches by Techno Marine ($200 to $2,000) are Swiss chronographs with a modern edge. The styles are unisex, and bracelets can be switched out from a choice of fashion colors and fun materials from gel to ceramic. Coffrin Jewelers, 1829 S. Osprey Ave., Sarasota (941) 366-6871.
Circus City Charles and Ray Eames once considered giving up design to join the circus. Perhaps that’s why Vitra’s plastic reproduction ($290) of their 1945 original wooden toy is coveted by kids of all ages in Sarasota. Home Resource, 741 Central Ave., Sarasota (941) 366-6690.
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Pick up the perfect hostess gift: a candle, votives or scent diffuser from the Aquiesse collection of home fragrances at Sarasota Collection Home Store, 622 Central Ave., Sarasota (941) 955-8313.
Carry home Chinese Takeout, an evening bag replete with chopsticks by celeb designer Katherine Baumann. Shrode Jewelers, 1433 Main St., Sarasota (941) 365-4234.
Stock up on last-minute gifts like great silk jewelry and make-up bags (from $25) crafted at training centers for land mine victims in Cambodia. Main Street Traders, 1468 Main St., Sarasota (941) 373-0475.
Putting on the Ritz
Etro’s 100 percent silk bowties (paisley, $98.75) come in a variety of colors and patterns—the epitome of macho glamour on steroids. The Met Fashion House Day Spa & Salon, 35 S. Boulevard of Presidents, St. Armands (941) 388-1772. (941) 388-1772.
Gift of Health Silver beads on the Count Me Healthy bracelet ($88) are used to count calories and drinks of water when dieting or cigarettes when quitting. There’s even a Mommy & Me style (to count baby feedings, pre-natal kicks). The Met Fashion House Day Spa & Salon, 35 S. Boulevard of Presidents, St. Armands (941) 388-1772.
Who’s in store?
Patrice Viles knew from an early age she wanted to be an artist. “I just didn’t know I’d apply my training to jewelry design,” she confides. The daughter of a U.S. diplomat, Viles was born in Vienna, Austria, studied painting as a teenager while living in Kathmandu and as a young adult in Paris. So what’s an international jet-setter doing with a studio tucked away in Sarasota’s Northgate Industrial Park?
“I started by making jewelry for myself. People would come over and say, ‘Would you make a piece like that for me?’” she recalls. From a home studio in a small Texas hill town, distribution grew to six continents. “I had so little time for design that I hired a school friend who lived in Sarasota to handle the business from here,” she says. “When he moved away, I kept everything here. My staff is great; I could never replace them.” What’s more, she gets to visit her favorite Sarasota beaches seven times a year.
Can’t live without “Being immersed in water: swimming and sailing,” says Viles. “I’m fascinated by sea life.” And it shows in bejeweled specimens like a gold-plated brass necklace with shells and starfish on vintage Bavarian Glass, at top ($162).
What this town needs “Sarasota needs to let more people know it’s a great place to run a business—my staff is exceptional.” Jewelry like the gaspeite and Dolomite coral bracelet below ($144) is produced here and distributed to 40 countries.
Must-do’s in Sarasota “I love so many things: the beach, Ophelia’s on the Bay, and at Cork and the Bottle Shop on St. Armands, the wine is wonderful, and I’ve never ordered anything I didn’t like.” We love her genuine fuchsia jade necklace with dragonfly pendant ($148). Patrice, Inc., 1747 Independence Blvd., (941) 359-2577
High-intensity fashion meets low-energy consumption with the painted Poppies Pendant ($1,406) by Agnes & Hoss, a hip young design firm known for rich vibrant color. Made by Stonegate Designs, it’s part of an innovative new collection at Light Up Your Life, 1620 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota (941) 330-0442.
Fashion icon Missoni just launched its home collection in the U.S., and Home Resource is the only store on Florida’s west coast where you’ll find their exclusive bed linens, throw pillows, rugs and draperies—and signature Missoni prints (round floor cushion $490; cylinder pouf $358). Home Resource, 741 Central Ave., Sarasota (941) 366-6690.
The Calvin Klein aesthetic is on display in a new 1,200-foot loft shop at The Sarasota Collection, the designer’s only authorized dealer in the region. Look for everything Calvin from bedding, table fashions, accessories and rugs to furniture like the gold leaf sleigh bed (queen, $9,000). The Sarasota Collection Home Store, 622 Central Ave., Sarasota (941) 955-8313.
Crystal quartz gifts to melt her heart.
Big, bold statement necklaces are back, this time in icy quartz—the essence of cool. Go glam with Judith Ripka Couture’s mint quartz enhancer; add a matching quartz and diamond 18K gold necklace (Tilden Ross, 410 St. Armands Circle, (941) 388-3338). Go au naturel with a stalactite of a necklace in jagged rock crystal ($325 at Kelietza, 602 S. Pineapple Ave., (941) 312-5403). Look like Alicia Silverstone or Hilary Duff in white quartz beads from celeb designer Lori Bonn ($335 at Envie Home Decor, 1411 First St., (941) 366-7027). Shine brilliantly in a collar of quartz, semi-precious stones and freshwater pearl clusters ($225) by Lana Shelden of Soji (The Met, 35 S. Boulevard of Presidents, (941) 388-1772). Return to Edwardian days, when the 25-carat green quartz on this necklace ($660) would have been thought to reflect mystical pools of light on the skin (Coffrin Jewelers, 1829 S. Osprey Ave., (941) 366-6871).