I am obviously passionate about supporting local, Canadian businesses, but my real love affair is with the wonderful people behind them. On this wonderful celebration of our 149 year old nation, I wanted to feature 10 of my favourite (yes, there’s a ‘u’ in favourite you silly Americans) Canadian Small Businesses, in no particular order, of course.
1. Little Blue Canoe // Kelly
Anyone who’s followed me for awhile knows my love affair with Kelly and her adorable shop, Little Blue Canoe. Passionate about small businesses and sending snail mail, she decided to start her own online boutique curating the best Canadian small, local goodies. She covers everything from cards, prints, baby stuff, skincare and more! I should also note that Kelly is the most thoughtful, generous human you’ll ever meet. And, Canada Day just happens to be her first birthday! Follow her on Facebook or Instagram and you just might see a surprise next week!
2. Picot Collective // Britt
I was fortunate enough to meet the radiant Britt at one of my BC workshops. She radiates goodness and light, and I was so excited to hear about the adorable shop she was opening in Victoria. Turns out, her curation of modern handcrafted gifts and goods is also available online! Be sure to check out her website, and give her a follow on instagram. Or, if you’re lucky enough to take a trip to the island, be sure to pop in to her shop in the heart of Fernwood.
3. Poppy Barley // Kendall & Justine
After struggling to find the perfect pair of boots that fit her runner calves, Kendall and her sister founded Poppy Barley: ethically made and custom fit leather footwear (and other leather goods now)! They have fabulous tutorials to help you get your measurements, but also pop up in Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto to host fit sessions. The products speak for themselves (seriously, I could live in my shoes!), but the entire Poppy Barley team is community driven, hard working and great connectors. Oh, and if you happen to be in Edmonton, you’ll definitely want to check out their boutique on Whyte Ave. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram for updates about product, community and where they are popping up next!
4. Smithery Style // Rena & Mavis
Rena and Mavis started Smithery to help women find clothes for their bodies, instead of thinking they need to change their bodies to fit their clothes. Smithery uses different letters (A, X, H etc) to help you find your shape, and guide you into flattering (and affordable!) options. I also love that they use real women as their models, and I am so excited to be one of their Summer Stylesmiths. And if you haven’t, make sure you enter my instagram giveaway to win $50 to their online shop! (Contest closes 11:59EST July 1st)
5. Peace Collective // Yanal
Peace Collective has a special place in my heart, not only because of their philanthropic mission, but because I actually had some of their stuff before Bautista made it famous. The only other time I loved something before it was cool was Adele. I am a follower. For every Peace Collective item sold, $4.00 is donated to Breakfast for Learning, giving a child two healthy meals and a healthy snack. I love how their products unite our nation, but also help our community. Win win! Plus, you can’t find a better online shop to promote Canada Day than Peace Collective! Oh, and they have a stunning instagram feed.
6. Sugar Cube // Alyssa
I don’t know if it’s the candy high, or if Alyssa is just an energetic, positive firecracker. She attended (and has sponsored) a couple of my workshops in Calgary and she is a radiant woman! Her purple candy truck gives people the same sweet smiles, but a lot less melted ice cream messes! You can have colour coordinated candy at your wedding, subscription boxes to your office, and lots more. Plus, Sugar Cube also stocks Canada from places like England, so you can order delicious goodies from her online shop. Be sure to follow the Sugar Cube on instagram to have you craving candy like I always am!
7. Present Day Gifts // Sophia
Sophia and I both completed our undergrad in Film at Ryerson, and while she still works in the industry (sets & props), we both felt passionate about starting our own businesses. She obviously has an eye for packaging, details and making things pretty, and so Present Day Gifts was born! Plus, she’s one of the most kind people I’ve met. She creates custom gift boxes filled with handcrafted, artisan goods suitable for every occasion. I love that by supporting her business, I’m also supporting tons of other small vendors, like one of my all time best friends, Marlissa, of Mai Lin Jewelry (see her bracelet in the top right picture).
8. Okanagan Lifestyle Apparel // Jaclyn & Markku
I don’t know which I love more, the beauties behind Okanagan Lifestyle Apparel, or their awesome products! If you were to look up the word community in the dictionary there should be a picture Jaclyn and Markku. They have built a loyal following of wonderful humans passionate about connections, getting outside and experiencing the beauty the Okanagan has to offer. What started as an apparel company has grown into a culture and lifestyle, and I couldn’t be more proud to have watched it blossom. And, it’s also their second biz-versary, so Happy Birthday to OLA!
9. THEIT Bags // Nicole
I can’t be the only person who’s stuffed my camera into my purse because my camera bag just isn’t quite cute enough, can I? THEIT is play on words for the popular fashion term “the it” bag, and all of Nicole’s bags are stylish and functional. I also love that Nicole is passionate about fostering a community and collaborating with like-minded individuals. You’ll definitely want to check out the website (and if you subscribe to the newsletter you get 15% off your first purchase…just sayin’).
10. Pura Botanicals // Lane
Last but definitely not least is Pura Botanicals. When I first met Lane, I thought she was the most kind, warm, gentle woman I’d met and I thought I must have just met her on a good day. I was wrong, Lane is genuinely living and breathing the brand she has created. When she became a mother she started to be more aware of all the chemicals and toxins in our products and became passionate about changing the lives of women and their attitudes on self-care and conventional beauty products. My favourite Pura products are my Clarifying Mist, Neroli Eye Ritual, Sweet Face and the Gratitude perfume she custom handcrafted for my Edmonton workshop attendees just weeks before her shop launched (who is seriously that generous?!). Another wonderful thing about Pura is their Bespoke Perfumery, where Lane herself “will conduct an in-depth scent analysis to ensure the most authentic inspiration is used to concoct a formula that will enthral your deepest, most intimate aromatic desires.”
Happy Canada Day, folks!
*All images in this blog post were lovingly used from each of their instagram accounts!