This past year has really been eye-opening, shifted our focus, and made us realize how quickly things can change. It has also caused us to recognize the important people in our life and treasure the moments we have with an attitude of gratitude. Amidst the upheaval that 2020 has brought, one thing I know that is important to the masses is the need to support our small businesses. They have taken such a hit this past year and are showing the Canadian way of stick-to-it-ness and not giving up no matter how hard it can get! But there have been many that have had to make the difficult choice to permanently close their doors…and I am doing all I can do help who is still standing STAY on their feet! Hence this 2020 #shoplocalChristmas Guide is here to give you some great ideas to consider for your loved ones.
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Shopping local this year is more important than ever, so in our 2020 Annual #shoplocalChristmas post, we are featuring a handful of curated businesses that can offer you some REALLY great products. I say with honestly that I have either been to these stores personally or know the owners and see all their hard work, wonderful offerings, creative ideas, and amazing services and wanted to share them with you all! Last year’s post was a great hit, so we wanted to make sure you had a new list of local businesses to inspire your gift ideas for family and friends this year.
This #shoplocalChristmas Shopping Guide is one of those that you want to add to your bookmarks and shop over and over because what they have is not just great around the holidays, but all the year through! I encourage you to like their pages, follow them on Instagram, stop at their stores because they are JUST. THAT. GOOD! All the opinions I share are my own, and there are no affiliate links in this post. Just a fantastic list of amazing businesses that I highly recommend adding to your Christmas Shopping go-to list.
In this roundup, I have asked each business to give us an idea of who they are, and also give an overview of what they offer. Then I put together some images that I am hoping will tease and tempt…and inspire you to make some creative choices in your gift giving this year and support these local businesses by purchasing their products or services. Do you have some hard to buy for people on your list? I am certain there is someone here that will meet that need… the creative options here will allow you to cross those names of that list with ease. So let's get started!
#ShopLocalChristmas 2020 Gift Guide
Kicking out Toxins with Jen at Norwex
With all the added sensitivity to the spreading of germs and cross contamination, I think our cleaning supplies have definitely come under increased scrutiny in the last few months! Want a simpler plan than scouring the city trying to find a bottle of “…..” on a store shelf? What if there was a greener way to clean and sanitize? Well, then you should meet my friend Jen from Norwex. She has sold me on the products and how well they work; and I also love that they are easy to use and safe for everyone!
And although cleaning supplies may not be the first thing you think about when considering what to purchase someone for Christmas, Norwex can provide some great ideas for that person who has everything or is hard to buy for. There are some great Holiday offers to check out so don’t just skip on down…take a look at all that Jen has to offer and I am certain these will be purchases that anyone can appreciate!
From Jen: Hey! My name is Jennifer and I'm an independent consultant for Norwex Canada. You might be thinking why or what would I give as a gift from a cleaning company for Christmas?! LOTS!!! We offer great teacher gifts, stocking stuffers and even household packages to help keep your friends and family cleaning with H2O and Norwex.
Norwex is all about sustainability, being environmentally conscious, while helping people have homes that are safe and reducing the chemical load in our homes. I was a customer for 2 years before becoming a consultant, so I know how well the product has worked in my house and I would love to help you make yours and your families homes safe havens. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at any time!
Email: [email protected]
FB Group: Kicking out Toxins with Jennifer
This next store is a gem located in the trendy Ottawa Street area in Hamilton. Lofty Ambitions offers many Canadian made products and has really worked to bring in lots of fun home decor items that would make unique and personal gifts. From Local art, colorful tea towels, gorgeous trays and toss cushions that you can’t live without, you can definitely find something for someone on your list in this amazing shop! I should also mention that she sells lamps, lighting and furniture to give your home a quick update, so be sure to check out all she has available!
From Elizabeth: Lofty Ambitions is a locally owned, contemporary home store. Our specialty is Canadian made furniture, customized to meet your needs. Our top selling pieces are sofas & sectionals, along with dining tables & chairs, plus counter stools. We also offer a large selection of area rugs, art, lighting, and decor.
We’ve got tons of amazing décor, so there are lots of giftable options. Choose from art prints, pillows, throws, trays, planters, vases, candle holders, candles, serving bowls, tea pots, baskets, and more. Can’t decide? We also offer gift certificates!
However you prefer to shop this year, we have you covered. You can browse our website, then buy online with curbside pick-up. If you prefer to get a little more hands on, you can book an appointment in store. To keep everyone safe, we’re only allowing one person or group in at once, so you’ll get a private shopping experience, without the worry of crowds. Choose from 15, 30, or 75 minute appointments.
Email: [email protected]
Little Parts Play Kits
There is something about wooden toys that always pulls on my heartstrings. I love the simple shapes and the vintage aspect that reminds me of simpler times when electronics were not even on the radar. These play kits allow kids to explore, use their imaginations, and work to build their little brains using sensory play. These pegs are hand-made and hand painted, making them something your little one will treasure!
From Angela: Hand-made peg doll sets which are great for pretend play and more. Perfect for the classroom or homeschooling family. Not only are you getting a fun, hands-on activity for your children to engage in, but the opportunity to bond and teach together through sensory play and loose parts exploration.
Perfect as a stocking stuffer or a classroom gift!
These wooden pegs are open ended to inspire imaginative play. Add them to your block sets, LEGO creations, doll house or even your dry sensory bin to extend play. Multiple sets can be used to support Pre-K to Kindergarten Math Concepts and can be used as part of a loose parts or Tinker Tray where kids take the lead.
Email: [email protected]
I follow Kitchen Island on the socials and her gourmet pastries have me drooling every weekend! I can say with certainty there are people I have in mind that will be receiving these sweet treats as their Christmas gifts and I know that they will be highly enjoyed! Alex came up with this vision after having to pivot her business because of Covid, and I think anyone who has ordered and consumed her creations is happy that she made this switch! Take a look at her delectable baking and you will see EXACTLY what I mean!
From Alex: Kitchen Island is an artisanal bakery in Hamilton, expressing our love for you through creative pastry work with the best seasonal ingredients that Ontario has to offer.
One of the nicest ways to experience the spirit of Kitchen Island (all year round) is with our Assorted Pastry Box, which will lavish you in an array of seasonal pastry glory! The APB includes a rotating variety of sweet and savoury pastries designed around our weekly trips to the market, baked early Sunday morning and delivered to your door while as fresh as can be!
On top of the gift box Kitchen Island will have a Special Pre-Order dessert menu for the Holidays that will include:
- (Our famous) Emma's Apple Cake
- Chocolate Flourless Cake
- Cinnamon Twists
- Festive Cookie Platter, and more!
Local Gift Box: As many people learned the importance of supporting local and small businesses, I see this holiday season as a great opportunity to team up and showcase the awesome makers we have here in Hamilton/Southern Ontario.
Kitchen Island's "Local Gift Box" is curated with our own families in mind. We want every family member to find something enjoyable in it.
The box includes:
- cookies (sweet and savoury),
- winter spice collection,
- a candle,
and a few other items ALL of them made here, by local makers and producers. More details will be announced soon on our Social Channels
Email: [email protected]
Annah’s Hand Made Jewelry
Every woman loves jewelry, right?!?! I have known Annah for several years and watched her develop this gift of jewelry making and turn it into a business. Annah’s jewelry pieces are just beautiful! The fact that they are hand made locally and customizable and available in a variety of metal finishes really makes these pieces an ideal gift!
From necklaces, rings, and bracelets to custom work, Annah puts her heart and soul into every piece. I have the pleasure of owning a customized piece that I absolutely love and is on my most loved, and frequently worn piece of my (large) collection of jewelry! Be sure to follow her on Insta to see all that she can do! Just realize that a custom gift takes time so be sure to keep an eye out for Christmas cut off dates.
From Annah: My name is Annah and I love making jewelry. It started as a fun hobby 6 years ago and now, it's a great love and a passion of mine. I love making pieces that have meaning for people. Since I am a self-taught jeweler, I have learned a lot about myself through the frustrating times when I just can't nail down a technique. I am nowhere near to where I want to be, but I embrace the process.
I make engraved pieces and jewelry that can be passed to future generations; to accomplish this, I use precious metals (gold, gold-filled, silver). I also offer non-precious metals for people on a budget. You can shop on my Instagram and contact me for that special piece. Thank you & I look forward to working with you.
Eileen Reilly Arts
One thing you may not know about me is that I love to paint watercolors and even spent a few years teaching classes with a friend of mine. When I met Eileen, she was a photographer that loved to travel and had many amazing images from NYC, Detroit, and other urban cities, including our own. When Covid hit and she had to figure out a way to pass the time, she went back to her old hobby, watercolor art. In a few short months she has made several personalized images for clients and has now put together some great ideas for gift giving! Not only that, but she has also collaborated with other artists to create a custom watercolor paint line that you can purchase. All the info is on her Instagram page, so be sure to take a look.
From Eileen: I'm a Hamilton artist who specializes in watercolour. I do commission work such as house/business and pet portraits starting at $80 for a 7.5 x 9" work. I've also been doing small Hamilton vignettes of important or iconic places and businesses in Hamilton (2.5x3.75 originals $15 each, prints $5). And if you're a watercolour artist, I also make handmade watercolour and other art supplies.
Email: [email protected]
Stylist at Sidenote
I love fashion, I love great deals, I love thrifting, and Shannon at Sidenote Boutique offers the best of all these put together! During the lockdown, Shannon’s frequent posts of items she had available kept me shopping and with porch pick up and deliveries for purchases over $50, she was able to help people get what they needed when they couldn’t visit a store.
Well, now she has moved everything online, so it has made shopping even easier! Clothing, accessories, designer purses, and lots of great finds are a part of Shannon’s boutique. But even more than that, her personal shopping services would make an excellent gift! Not sure what to tell your partner to get you for Christmas? Point them in her direction to get some professional advice on how to organize what you already have in your wardrobe or for a personal shopper to help you choose what works for your body type. Out of the box ideas, but she can help you with your wardrobe in a very personalized way…and who wouldn’t love that?!?!
From Shannon: I offer wardrobe transformations where I will come to your living space and recreate fresh looks with what you currently own, reorganize your clothes and leave tags on your hangers as reminders of how to pair your item(s).
Personal shopper: I am here to help you move forward with looking good and feeling fab! I am your personal fashion sidekick, and I can match your personal taste with the right styles, and your budget with the right buys. I will come shopping with you and show you how to save time, money and energy when shopping, giving you more options that work for you and are versatile, classic and that you will actually wear.
I offer these services in packages that can be also purchased by gift card & they make really great gifts because sometime people don't want to invest back in themselves.
Visit us at our online store where I have curated gently used items, that also make great gifts! Be sure to visit us online for all your Christmas needs!
Bella Casa Interiors
This year we are joining the roundup of gift ideas and offering something new for a limited time only! With all of us spending more time in our homes and doing little tweaks of our spaces as budgets allow, we are offering a Mini-Virtual Consultations Gift Card so you can tackle those projects with confidence.
These Mini-Consults are perfect for your significant other, close family member or friend who you know could use a designer for a mini session of 30 minutes. Maybe they need help with finish selections and making those final choices, or perhaps they want to refresh a room but don’t know where to start. If someone will be moving into a new home, or is struggling to figure out what looks best where, then we can answer their Design Dilemmas!
Mini-Consults will be offered at $150 +HST with $10 of every purchase being donated to The Hamilton Dream Center to help families in our city. Launch Day is BLACK FRIDAY and more info will be shared in the coming week...BUT... also look for a special Black Friday Promo!!! Be sure to follow us and stay in the loop! There is a process to make these Mini-Sessions a success, so if you are interested, send us an email and we can provide you with all the information you need to make this Gift Card offer the best gift EVER!!!
Email: [email protected]
So, there you have it! Lots of new places to see, products to try, and unique services to give you some great #shoplocalChristmas ideas! As a small business-owner myself, supporting the businesses in our great city of Hamilton is very important to me and I and am making a conscious choice as a person and as a business to do what I can to boost the local economy. The online mega-stores will always be there, but these local shops NEED us this year more than ever to survive the challenges that 2020 has brought our way.
And what I really love about the Gifts and Services offered in this Christmas Guide is that the offerings are so personal, they are gifts that will keep on giving and not just be a trinket that they will “throw in a drawer” and forget about.
Handmade piece of jewelry? They will treasure it for a lifetime.
Wardrobe and Closet makeover, they will be thanking you every time they walk out feeling like a million bucks!
Tasty treats on a Sunday morning? Well, you may just be helping them start a new tradition.
So, lets #shoplocalHamilton this year and support all the small businesses in our city while offering the precious people in our lives gifts from the heart.
If I may ask one thing, would you please share this #shoplocalchristmas Gift Guide on your social channels? I want to give every opportunity to these businesses to increase the people they can touch with their gifts and talents. Every little bit helps and if we can bring new clients their way, then the more we will be helping our city and these families to move forward in the best way possible.
Happy Christmas Shopping everyone and thank you for your support!