NOTE- This post was written when the blog was known as gracieandjess.com ~ Written by Jess + @gracielovekin
Before you check out our choices for our first ever local gift guide, (guys, there were so many deserving brands, companies and products!) please read some of the reasons why shopping local is so important.
Why should you shop local?
It’s the best decision for the Canadian economy! When you shop local it promotes up to 70% more local economic activity (per square foot) than shopping at big box retail stores.
It creates choice and diversity. A single local shop likely stocks a small selection than can be found online or at large chains, a multiplicity of independent retailers creates great diversity. When thousands of shops serve the preferences of their customers tastes (and reflect different owner’s interests), market opportunities are created for a wide variety of goods and services.
You benefit the environment! According to independentwestand.org:
“Shopping locally helps cut down on processing, packaging and transportation waste, leading to less pollution. Overall, buying local is a chance to support the growing Maker Movement, meet talented artisans and small business owners who take great pride in their work, experience handmade, one-of-a-kind and meaningful gifts and support your community.“
It creates local jobs + nurtures community. Want to get really nerdy with stats? Read below:
- An average of 130,000 new small businesses are created yearly – but only 35% survive 5 years.
- 98% of Canadian businesses have fewer than 100 employees, 55% have fewer than four, and 75% of all businesses in the country have fewer than 10.
- Small businesses account for between 60-80% of all jobs created in Canada.
- On average, small businesses with fewer than 100 employees contribute about 51% to Canada’s GDP.
- Studies show that entrepreneurs with education in entrepreneurship, or previous entrepreneurship experience, have an 80–90% chance of success with a new business.
You invest in entrepreneurship: Creativity and entrepreneurship are what many economies are founded upon. Nurturing local business ensures a strong community.
You made your community a destination. I never thought of it this way, but it’s true! The more interesting and unique your community, the more you will attract new neighbors, visitors and guests. This benefits everyone!
Church House Studios – The most beautiful signage come from the creative hands at Church House Studios! Having a few pieces ourselves, we love their style and affordability! Customizable pieces are available if you don’t see exactly what you’re looking for, but you’ll most likely find what you’re looking for and more!
Fluke Craft – A dream fulfilled. This business is a labour of love and creativity. Everything, owner Lee, touches turns into the most magical creation. We love her and we love Fluke Craft! Lee recently opened up her dream studio on John Street in Port Hope, offering classes and a fantastic shopping experience.
Infused Creations – Nothing makes me more upset than when I run out of infused creations soap for my shower. Nothing. Her products are incredible and smell divine. Lauren has grown her business over the past
The Social Pops – There is no one sweeter (pun intended) than Shannon. Her lollies and other tasty treats are an addictive habit. One habit I will never quit! Shannon is currently taking a break from her biz to heal and take care of herself, but we cannot wait until she’s healthy and back at it!
East 18 Decor – A beautiful selection of handmade door mats, Christmas cards and other creations, East 18 Décor actually turns your kids handmade drawings or art work into frameable wall art. SIGN ME UP!
Meraki Hair Salon – Meraki is always a good idea! Meraki is one of the busiest salon’s in Cobourg because they are so good at what they do. They offer full salon services, aesthetics by Karen and offer great men’s cuts as well as custom hair treatments and even hair extensions. Get a gift card for whomever you’re gifting too. They can get their hair done on you! Jess – My Mother in-law has done this for me & it’s one of my favourite gifts! We totally recommend Meraki Hair Studio, as it’s our personal fav!
Quinn’s Blooms & Greenery – The most beautiful blooms in town. Quinn’s doesn’t settle for ordinary blooms, they’re always stocking the most beautiful and unique sprigs of happiness! They also stock house plants, vases, succulents, home décor, fairy houses and so many more things I didn’t list.
Holly Woods Studio – One of our favourite gals runs her own mini (I say mini because it’s so cozy inside) salon offering pedicures, manicures, facial treatments, eye brown treatments and make up services. Holly does it all. A gift certificate from Holly is NOT a bad idea.
Smithery Style Session – Have you heard of Smithery? Well if you haven’t it’s this awesome online shop / studio that focuses on learning you body shape. That way you can easily feel confident in knowing what looks the best according to your shape! They offer many different types of style sessions. We think this would be a great gift for any woman in your life that enjoys clothes! Isn’t that like all of us?!
Nourish Boutique Spa – One word…FACIAL! Oh my goodness, the Forest Facial is incredible! If you haven’t had a facial lately, or have never had one, what the heck are you waiting for? 2020 is the year for you, and I know that Jess and I will be visiting Nourish again in the early spring to enjoy another facial! Because, as we’ve learned, you should schedule a facial every season. Nourish is an award winning, all natural spa located in Cobourg. It was the most relaxing and truly nourishing experience. They offer gift certificates that you can buy for your bestie, Mama, sister or hubs!
Mat & Sara Photography – Give the gift of a photography/laughter/comfort/joy with a session with one of Cobourg’s best! Sara and Mat will not only take great pictures of you and your family, but they’ll make you laugh and they’ll be your best friends.
Ativo Skinace Brush Cleaner – This brush cleaner is amazing, actually all of Ativo Skincare’s products are amazing! We chose our favourite product from their line and we think it would make a very thoughtful and great gift for a friend or a nice stocking stuffer/Secret Santa gift for any girl in the office. Because we all know that cleaning your makeup brushes can slip your mind from time to time but it’s a truly important step in your makeup routine! Think about all the nasty bacteria that can linger on those brushes if you don’t give them a good clean. YUCK! Give the gift of a clean brush/face!
Denise Boutique is a clothing boutique that has it all! There are so many gift ideas for your friends/loved ones packed in their shops or on their website. K’pure Naturals, a skincare brand which they sell is a fantastic line of all natural products that anyone would love! You could also gift someone a new wardrobe…the brands which they carry are Maybe a new sweater? You can’t go wrong!
Bluboho – Every girl loves simple jewelry! I (Jess) have the everyday hoop in size extra extra small in gold & to be completely honest with you I haven’t taken them out yet. They are so comfortable to wear/sleep in! You seriously can’t go wrong with these earrings. All you have to know is their favourite colour to wear…silver, gold, or rose gold!
Lululemon – Okay, so we know this is not a small independent retailer. But they’re Canadian we are loving this one anyway! Lululemon makes it super easy to send someone you love a gift card! Yep it’s that easy! You can do it all online & they will receive an email! This is a comfy and great last minute gift idea if you need one!
Casa Alma – Offering online shopping, in store shopping (at Gilmer’s Home Hardware in Port Hope) as well as in home home décor services, Casa Alma is a great gift idea. Trust us, just go. You won’t regret it.
So we totally realize that there are so many more small businesses we could have included in this post! But we wanted to make it short & sweet. Personally, both Gracie and I aren’t huge gifty people so these are a list of some of the places we would hit first! When we do gift give, we are usually small and thoughtful in our approach.
We hope you enjoyed it!
Gracie & Jess