Model Drug, and its store with the store, the Apocathary Shoppe are an outstanding place to look for everything from beads to silver jewelry to cough syrup. If you need something practical, but dont want to head all the way out to Meijer, they will probably have it, albeit a little more expensive. But my favorite part is definitely the jewelry section- they have some really beautiful but inexpensive pieces that make perfect gifts.
Offering a huge range of gifts and home goods from Waterford to Oneida, Tower Clock Accents is a great store to find a housewarming or wedding present. I easily lose track of time at this store, because there is so much to check out for any budget- huge or tiny.
Some of my earliest memories are of trips to the Peanut Store- it has a very distinctive candy smell that sends me back every time I visit. It is family owned, and offers very high-quality chocolates, nuts, etc. But also sells some of the contemporary candy (Nerds, Snickers, etc.). One of the best features is their bulk Branch candy section, so you can pick and choose whatever you want for one flat per pound rate.
Fayes at Mira is a slightly higher-end womens clothing shop right on 8th Street in Holland. I have had very good luck finding a nice outfit for weddings and other special occasions, and so has my mom- their clothing definitely isnt skewed to just one age group. It does tend to be a little more modern than the Talbots of the world, but I have several pieces that still are in style 5 years later.
I recently ordered a birthday bouquet for my mom from Eastern Floral- usually I use internet sites, but since her birthday fell on a Monday, no one could ship for Monday arrival. Eastern Floral did a wonderful job with my budget. I gave them free reign over the design, just saying I wanted something more contemporary without carnations. According to my mom, it was absolutely gorgeous with roses, iris, tulips, etc. And it lasted for 2 weeks. I will definitely consider them again when sending to the area.
Since I purchased both my first communion dress and wedding dress at Janes, I have a long history with this store. Each time, the staff was incredibly helpful, and I wound up with a dress that I loved.
In shopping for my wedding dress, the staff went above and beyond- contacting the manufacturer to see if they would alter the design of the dress. They also were great about letting me try it one when I came back to visit my family and had friends that wanted to see it.
The store is a little on the packed side, but on the plus side, you have a large selection on well-priced dresses.
My mom has a passion for unique rock display pieces. Everything from quartz to granite. Forma Fine Crafts has helped me out of many gift brain-freezes for her, and because they have such a wide selection, they also can accommodate basically any budget. They also have a unique jewelry selection, as well as some other natural and Native American art.
Schlanderer and Sons is your traditional, family-owned jewelry store. Their great selection is only surpassed by their outstanding customer service. If you are looking for anything from a childs first necklace to an investment piece, I would certainly look here. They are more than knowledgeable and will not try to hard sell you.
The Peaceable Kingdom is the place to go if you are looking for stocking stuffers and little gag gifts, as well as some nicer home goods, toys, paper and bath goods. I have used them most often for little inexpensive toys/gifts, which they stock right in the middle of the store. You can find anything from oriental fans to wind-up cars, most of which are less than a dollar.
During my undergrad years, I think I bought nearly every birthday present at Middle Earth. They have such a great mix of jewelry, picture frames, bath stuff, classic toys and great cards. They do carry novelty gifts (whoopee cushions and other gag gifts), as well. They also have a large section of Mexican Day of the Dead art.