Focus on Local Brands and Small Shops for 2020
2020 has been a year! This year will forever be in our history books for decades and even centuries, but part of that history can be joy. The holiday season is a time of caring and showing our love for one another. Even if you cannot be close to your loved ones this year we can still make everyone feel loved.
This year, I focused on local stores and Canadian companies. I also brought back some favourite items from holiday gift guides from previous years. As many of you may know, I always encourage experiences over gifts but who doesn’t like opening presents! This years guide has something for all ages.
Kids Toy Guide
What child doesn’t love Dough! Hello Dough is handmade in Ontario made with 100% food grade ingredients and essential oils. They have awesome colours and great wooden stamps to make shapes and create new things.
These are the coolest pyjamas! I know, I know, colouring on clothing. But I have to say, the idea is growing on me and I cant wait to give the girls a pair. They also have these very cool imagination sets that come with a coordinating stuffy! This company is based out of Quebec Canada.
Colour By Letter
Colour By Letter is a Canadian company based out of Ontario. Anything personalized is a hit in our house. The girls love pointing out what is theirs and not their sister’s! These crayons are fun and thoughtful.
I love wooden toys and when I came across Rock Blocks I couldn’t not add them to the Holiday Guide. These are awesome stacking wood ‘rocks’. Each rock is unique making stacking and building more challenging and fun. They are coloured with non-toxic natural dyes or milk paint.
This Canadian company has made it on my list a few times. This year they came out with a Lava Lip Gloss Kit. This is such a fun gift to give or receive. My girls love getting gifts that they can create something with. We have made the lip gloss before and it was a big hit! I just found out they also have an adult line of DIY kits called Earthy Good. Check Them Out.
With a long list of FREE FROM: NO Formaldehyde , NO Toluene, NO Synthetic Colours, NO DBP, NO Camphor, NO Formaldehyde Resin, NO Xylene, NO Parabens, NO Fragrances, NO Phthalates. They have awesome nail polish, make-up, and hair products. I purchased some nail polish and nail sticker art for my girls for their stocking this year!
Sea to Sky Designs
Warmth and style. Michelle is a British Columbia mom and the maker behind Sea to Sky Designs. You have to check out these very adorable handmade hats.
Destroyers of Sleep
This is another Vancouver, BC Company. I met this awesome couple and their two kids through preschool a few years ago. They make clothing for kids and adults. All the designs and screen printing is done in Vancouver. Check them out.
You can NEVER go wrong with crafts! Head to your local toy store and see what great craft kits they have this year. Kidsbooks and Kaboodles Toy Store in Vancouver have a great selection of Klutz crafts, Origami, sticker art, and coloring books.
Last, but not least, for kids: BOOKS. A child can never have enough books. Find out what your child is into these days and get some books that interest them. Anything from Scientists, Dragons, Fairy Princess or a simple Peek a boo book. Reading with your child is time well spent.
- The Big Book of Bugs by Yuval Zommer | Buy Local
- Little Owl Lost by Chris Haughton | Buy Local
- Fortress of the Stone Dragon by Tracey West | Buy Local
- My First I See You by Eric Carle | Buy Local
- Emma’s Sleep Adventure by Caitlyn Vanderhaeghe | Buy Local
Gift Guide for the Ladies
If you need ideas for moms and the ladies in your life, I am here to help! I, again, focused on local and Canadian shops. Happy shopping!
Park & Fifth
Park & Fifth is a woman owned and run company based out of Vancouver and recently opened locations in Alberta and Ontario. They make beautiful dresses for every occasion. From your daily life to bridesmaids and even wedding dresses. Their vision is ‘to offer modern women fashion forward and beautifully made pieces.’ They work hard to reduce waste by recycling fabric cut-offs and scraps for pillow stuffing and recycle what they cannot use with FabCycle.
I have my eye on a few dresses right now! And cannot wait to make an appointment and try them on. And don’t worry if you don’t know her dress size you can always get a gift card.
For a larger ticket item this Christmas, you can never go wrong with jewellery. Minichiello Jewellers is a family-run store located in Vancouver that specializes in custom jewellery. You can find some amazing pieces ready for purchase or you can create something unique. They have a wide range of items for every price point.
Fun fact, I worked at Minichiello’s when I was in university. I feel extremely lucky to have worked with Mr. Fred Minichiello and the rest of the Minichiello family and love recommending their store whenever I can. I would say 99% of my jewellery is from their store, and LOVE it all.
Spa Gift Cards
Find a local spa and purchase a gift card so she can spend the day relaxing. I know Spa Utopia and Scandinave Spa in Whistler are following strict rules to keep you safe. If you don’t feel like going to the spa you can always bring it home. Purchase some nail polish, bath salts, a face mask and even maybe a great manicure set.
The Sweet Life Apparel
A female-run clothing company from the Lower Mainland, BC. I love the graphics and saying on the clothing. This year, I purchased three snowman sweaters for the girls that is going to be their holiday outfit for photos. The Sweet Life Apparel can be purchased through their online store or in some local shops.
Last but not least Gift Baskets. This is my favorite type of gift to give. I can individualize the gift and make it more personal. This year I am including these great brands and almost all of them are Canadian and can be purchased from a local shop.
- Maison Orphée Organic Olive Oil
- Tega Tea
- Yeti Mug
- Omega Nutrition
- Studio501 Handmade Candles & Bath Salts
- Saltspring Kitchen Company
Think about the person you are purchasing for and what they love to do and what gifts they would love. Some of the women in my life have asked for a reflective cycling jacket since they love to ride and want to stay safe. Maybe finishing up some home improvements that have been on the list would also be very thoughtful (hint hint).
The most important thing to do this year is to find a way to connect with love ones. Pick up that phone!