Dr. Jen P. – Wendy Sinclair -She is such an amazing artist out of Toronto and has started to create beautiful hand-painted mugs, teapots and bowls. Her line art and poetry are also pretty special. https://www.instagram.com/righteous_art_babe/
Deirdre Crampton at Oliverrosedesigns. She sources amazing vintage and second-hand clothes and gives it tender loving care before it finds its new owner. Based in Toronto. https://www.instagram.com/oliverrosedesigns/
Softhouse Shop – https://www.facebook.com/softhouseshop. Another great little vintage clothes spot with pop ups in Toronto’s east end. They also have lovely little art pieces for the home, created by one of the owners. https://www.instagram.com/softhouseshop/
Lauren – Papa Love Vintage https://www.facebook.com/papalovevintage is a curated selection of bright, gender neutral vintage with a focus on sustainability and zero waste. Papa Love style is a hybrid of streetwear and one-of-a-kind ‘stand-out’ pieces. Shipping Worldwide via Canada Post, local Toronto Delivery available. I love their products and I’m obsessed with their Instagram page. Founder, Kezi, is a love-spreading human and they donate a portion of their profits to Black Legal Action Centre & The Bail Project. https://www.instagram.com/papalovevintage/
Kihew Journeys – FB: https://www.facebook.com/kihewjourneys Wet’suwet’en Two-Spirit artist who primarily focusses on beadwork as a medium. Their beaded jewelry is gorgeously crafted and beautifully envisioned. I have a few pieces which make me feel strong and beautiful when I wear them. Jean Baptiste, the artist behind the work is also a brilliant poet and the kindest of humans. https://www.instagram.com/kihewjourneys/
Fancy – Heavenly Pet Art is run by an old high school friend of mine. She makes pet portraits and let me tell you she is AMAZING and seriously talented. She recently did a memorial portrait of our Brownie dog that passed a couple of months ago. I cried when I opened up the package and saw it. She’s booked up for the holidays but it taking orders for 2021. https://www.instagram.com/heavenlypetart/ Etsy: https://etsy.me/2Cql6UO
Michelle S-B – facebook.com/clippomasksclippo.ca I totally love what Clippo is doing. Started by a local (Brooklin, ON) Mom years ago, Clippo reinvented itself in response to the pandemic. Alex Thom had a vision to create quality masks for people to wear that show their personality, all while ensuring her seamstresses earn a living wage of at least $18/hr. The whole team is local to Durham region, and the masks are amazing!!
Whitby Soap Company – facebook.com/thewhitbysoapco makes the BEST bathbombs in the world. I adore them – all of them! The scents are wonderful, the colours are vivid – and most importantly they do NOT stain the tub!! There’s nothing I hate more than having to clean the tub after I’ve just been relaxing, you know? Added bonus: my skin feels ahhhhhmazing afterwards. You’ll love them too, I’m sure! Safe for my kids very sensitive skin too, which makes me just everso happy. https://www.instagram.com/thewhitbysoapco/
Deb – Natalie Miller – She is a potter I know named Natalie Miller (also in Bowmanville, ON). She has an online shop and sells out almost immediately every time she has a release of new pieces. https://www.instagram.com/fledglingstudios/
On 2nd Thought Upcycling. Carolyn Scatterty is a fabulous designer/seamstress who works entirely with re-purposed fabrics of all kinds. She has pieces in Markets By Dream Day in Bowmanville, as well as Poho Boho and The Nooks in Port Hope. Not only does she make FAB unique pieces…she is combatting the carbon footprints of fast fashion and reducing the amount of textiles in landfill!! (and…she makes the most AWESOME masks!) https://www.instagram.com/on_2nd_thought_upcycling/
Stacey – Malas by Anita https://www.facebook.com/malasbyanita – Anita is based in East Toronto and handmakes the most gorgeous crystal Malas. I have always been drawn to the beauty of crystals for their soothing and eye-catching colours, but from the beginning of the pandemic, I have learned how I could use them in Malas (necklaces), as meditation or prayer beads; they keep my mind focused and clear from mind-racing thoughts. Anita does custom orders and ships, and with her extensive knowledge about gemstones and crystals, we have collaborated to design malas based on my needs (strength, self-confidence, better communication, anxiety, etc.) and based on colour. The results have been beyond anything I could have imagined and Anita is such a lovely and kind person that I attribute her as part of my journey to wellness. Please follow her and consider her wares for a gift for yourself or a loved one. https://www.instagram.com/malasbyanita/ Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/MalasbyAnita
Knots of Love – https://www.facebook.com/kol.macrames I never dreamt that I would be promoting macrame in my lifetime, but here we are. The beautiful art of knotting natural fibres into plant hangers, Christmas ornaments and other decor, has made its comeback in 2020. My friend Shannon has picked this hobby up and turned it into a lovely little business here in Bowmanville. Please check out her accounts and consider ordering as a gift. https://www.instagram.com/knotsoflove.macrames/
Geissberger Farmhouse Cider https://www.facebook.com/farmhousecider1 – I can’t help it. Living in Bowmanville, we are surrounded by apples and I’m not complaining about it. Every October through Christmas, I am in heaven with the easy access to natural apple cider and the Geissberger Family has developed the perfect way to buy it (in 3L or 5L) so that you can store it easily and make it laaast. No artificial additives, no water, no sugar or no colours added. The cider is packaged in a unique Bag-in-Box that if unopened, has a shelf life of 1 year. Once the pour-spout-valve is opened, it must be enjoyed within 3 months (refrigeration still not required) – you can leave it on your counter or chill in the refrigerator. There is nothing sweeter and in my opinion, tastes like sunshine. But the absolute favourite way to enjoy it in our household is to make mulled cider, simmering on the stove throughout the holidays, filling the house with the most delicious scents. It is THE PERFECT GIFT for teachers, family and friends. The Geissbergers have a little shop in their home in Hampton, or they will deliver or ship. Please contact for details. https://www.instagram.com/farmhouse_cider/
Liza – Cadette Jewelry https://www.facebook.com/cadettejewelry Alison hand makes all her jewelry from her Toronto based studio. She continues to make each jewelry piece by hand and thus reduces the waste and pollution created by machine built jewelry. This is a pricier option but she makes beautiful pieces! https://www.instagram.com/cadettejewelry/
Allie – Galivan Acres Farm https://www.facebook.com/GalivanAcresFarm/— small farm run by my friend’s brother and sister-in-law in the Niagara Region. Lovely people! She makes soaps, lip balm, jams, honey from their own bees! https://www.instagram.com/galivanacresfarm/
Amanda – Indigenous Face Masks – For every mask purchased, they send a mask to an Indigenous child or youth in our Indigenous communities. Owners and operators are from the Kashechewan First Nation and based in Ottawa Ontario. https://www.instagram.com/indigenousfacemasks/
Ms. Devine – ‘Find the Words’ Cards – There are certain times in life where we can’t and don’t have the words for others going through something traumatic or hard. This is my go to for those situations “Find the Words” Cards. They are cards that give comfort when you don’t know what to say. These cards were created by my past counsellor and friend, Shannon Moroney. Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/FindtheWordsCards
Steph – I haven’t shopped much on Etsy this year. I have someone that lives in my neighbourhood in Mississauga that has been making masks since March. These are hands down the most comfortable masks that I own. Amazing quality. She has been volunteering her own time and materials to make masks for essential workers since March. When PPEs weren’t readily available, she was working around the clock making masks for hospitals. Facebook: Kay Mara. She’s crazy talented.
I’m trying my best to pay it forward by dealing hope and sharing stories & tips on caregiving and how to survive hard things. I blog a lot about single parenting my adult twin sons who both have autism, and the challenges we face in surviving the everyday challenges and planning for a future full of unknowns.