After the two years we’ve had, it is more important than ever to share and promote our favourite small businesses. We hope you’ll check them out for some last-minute shopping for others or perhaps for a treat for yourself.
Vik’s Stoneware: @vilksstoneware or www.vilkstonware.com – she’s already down for the rest of the year, having sold out quickly of my favourite SFW mugs with NSFW undertones. But she settles into a new and bigger studio in 2022. Some beautiful hand-building pieces stoneware pieces await.
Jay Soules: @chippewar or www.chippewar.com/pages/canadian-indigenous-artists – a kick ass Indigineous artist fromthe Chippewas of the Thames First Nation (Deshkaan Ziibing Anishinaabeg). His Built on Genocide instsallation was part of Artworx TO, and I have couple of his other prints.
Calm Surrender, Orono: This newly opened business has brought new life to the old bank building in downtown Orono, and quickly become a community hub for all things ethereal. I have found amazing gifts for friends and family there, and the staff is so helpful. They carry many local makers as well as ones from around the world, and offer incredible programs to feed your soul.
The Glass Slipper, Bowmanville: I am a shoe addict. Marg is my go-to woman for incredible shoes and boots, as well as unique accessories. This is the kind of shoe store I grew up with, where service and quality are the best part of the experience. The product selection is always unique and guaranteed to turn heads every time you wear them, as they truly help you find “your” shoe to suit your life and style.
Lovelace Kandles: a woman-owned small business in Toronto that makes luxury candles with beautiful scents. https://www.lovelacekandles.ca/pages/about-us
Harmony: a small shop with locations in Guelph and Waterloo. They sell beautiful jewelry, clothing and home decor. https://www.harmonyonline.ca/ourstory
Chocollata: I love our local fancy chocolate spot. They make incredible brigadeiros (Brazilian sweets). They are beautifully decorated and a delicious gift for any occasion. I’ve been known to just buy a few for me.
And their mission is an important one:
“In 2017 our “WHY” changed. Our goal now is to hire people with Down Syndrome and support Down Syndrome organizations as much as we can, a cause that is very dear and close to our hearts.” https://www.chocollata.com/about
JR Art Lab: My son has been loving his new family at JR Labs- digital arts studio. They teach all kinds of digital art to all ages. Their emphasis on inclusion and kindness has created a beautiful environment and place to acquire some new skills.
The Willows Spa & Coffee Bar: I have to give all this credit to my soon to be sister-in-law. This is probably her favourite place on earth, but I have also reaped the benefits of her love for this place. The Willows is a cute and cozy spa where you can have a yummy latte or a charcuterie board while you get pampered. Who doesn’t like to pamper themselves?https://www.thewillowsspa.com/
The Next Page Bookstore: I love reading and I’m sure most people reading this are readers too. The Next Page is a beautiful bookstore located in one of the oldest locations in Calgary; Inglewood. Quaint, cozy and full of new and old books, coffee and treats. All the things we love as book lovers. https://nextpageyyc.ca/
Markets by Dream Day: is where I did lots of my holiday shopping this year. There are so many different displays from different small businesses and makers PLUS you must stop at Roam Coffee while you’re there. https://www.marketsontario.ca/
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.