The key to making her Valentine’s Day special is demonstrating that you cared enough to put some thought into the gift. One easy way to do that is to avoid big box and online superstores and instead shop a neighborhood boutique or gallery. You’ll find items that are much more unique. Ideally, choose something that is locally-made. You’ll not only be supporting your community, but your choice will demonstrate that you cared enough to put a little time and effort into your gift selection.

Sweets for Your Sweetheart
Once upon a time, red heart-shaped boxes filled with chocolates may have been special, but these days you can find them everywhere from convenience stores to pharmacies, and even gas stations. They are not only common, but frequently lacking in quality. Shake things up. If she adores sweets, giving her something fresh and local will make her adore you even more. Granny’s Confections makes nut brittles that will practically melt in her mouth. Perhaps she has an all-time favorite treat from Kilwins. Truffles from Gilbert are a really decadent treat for her palette.

Bling for Your Gem
Keeping in the vein of classic gifts, jewelry is almost always a hit.  Silver Loon makes a wide range of beautiful items, many of which even have a Michigan theme. Perhaps there is a special weekend or walk on a beach you want to evoke. HOMES makes bracelets that contain stones from the shoreline of Michigan. Choose one that will remind her of her favorite spot or a special moment you shared. If you’ve purchased a significant ring for her, consider accenting it with a stunning, handmade glass ringholder from Epiphany. Each is individually crafted with a wide range of colors and patterns to suit her style or décor.

Wine and Dine
Sharing a bottle of wine can definitely take an ordinary evening and make it extraordinarily romantic. Select a bottle from a Michigan winery you visited together or wish to visit. Complement your selection with a charcuterie tray comprised of Wilson or Leelanau Cheese, and meats from Alexander & Hornung or Dearborn Sausage. Alternatively, Sanders makes a collection of wine chocolates that can create a sweet sensation. If you really want to make a splash, serve up your bottle of wine with a card that tells her you’ve booked a winetasting weekend away.

Spoil Her 
Most women struggle to find balance in their lives, and especially to find a little time for themselves. Show your appreciation for all she does for you and/or your family by choosing a spa nearby and treating her to a day of pampering. Most offer gift packages, or you can up the romantic quotient by booking a couple’s massage. If hitting the spa just isn’t her style, help her take care of herself at home with body care products from Natural Red or Healthy Body Investment.

Say It with Flowers
There is a reason that blooms top the list of most popular ways to express love, especially at this time of year. The vibrant color and aromatic fragrances are a welcome addition to any home or office in the middle of winter. Unfortunately, they are also available at nearly any gas station or convenience store and through national online sellers. Picking them out there, may sometimes be a good deal, but it doesn’t make it a good decision. When you order from a local florist you will get fresher flowers that last longer. Many times you can even request that the flowers you give are locally-grown (yes even in the winter). Roses are traditional, but you can step up your game by contacting an award-winning florist like French’s Flowers to collaborate on a bouquet that is as unique as she is.

Give Her a Heart
There’s no denying that hearts are still the quintessential symbol of love. My Captured Journey makes heart necklaces in silver or gold. Chai Pottery creates hand-painted, heart-shaped bowls. You can find stunning glass reminders of your love from Glass Academy. On a more casual note, Livnfresh has a cozy hoodie design that features a heart for this holiday, and Michigan inside to make it a loveable choice all year-round.

Whatever you choose, be sure to tell her why you thought it was perfect for her. This is one holiday where the thought really does count.

Author: Lisa Diggs

Lisa Diggs is a writer, speaker, entrepreneur, business consultant, avid traveler, and founder of The Catalyst Company, LLC, Michigan Positivity Project, and Buy Michigan Now.