Today I’m bringing you the first of a couple holiday gift guides I’m curating this year, and I thought it was appropriate to kick them off with a shop local gift guide. Some of the products featured are made right here in the Annapolis Valley, but all of them are Atlantic Canadian businesses. For some, that might be a stretch on the “shop local” idea, but I feel like Atlantic Canada is still such a small part of the country that it all feels pretty darn local to me. And I happen to have some amazing friends doing amazing things and wanted to include them!
2018 Shop Local Holiday Gift Guide
Nova Scotia Fisherman
Nova Scotia Fishman was featured in my 2017 gift guide and are back again this year for a good reason – they make amazing products!
And sometimes when you make a purchase in store you leave with a parting gift of a small bag of soap ends they have leftover from making their soap. Which is fun because it means you get to try a sample size of the different kinds of soap so you can figure out which ones you like best.
But back to their lip balms. In case you couldn’t figure it out from my post last year, or this post on the best lip care products, or the fact that I keep one of their lip balms next to my stereo any time I teach – I love their lip balms!
I have them stashed everywhere – my coat pocket, my purse, my stereo bag, in the TV room, on my desk, you get the idea! It’s one of the only lip balm brands I can count on not to upset my lips when I’m dealing with my mysterious allergic reaction (yes, I’m still waiting for allergy testing).
If you’ve got a lip balm addict on your list, grab them one of these lip balms, I’m partial to the Candy Cane lip balm, but the Maple Sugar tastes just like maple sugar (but without the calories), and the sea salt caramel is pretty yummy too.
Bonus – if you pick up a two-pack, you can keep one yourself and give the other as a gift!
Nova Scotia Fisherman is available locally in their store on Jones Road in New Minas and can be found in many local retailers (please visit their website for a full listing of locations). You can also order from their online shop where you get FREE SHIPPING on orders over $50!
Friday, November 30 from 10 am – 4 pm you can shop in their New Minas store and save the tax and try some free product samples. Trust me, if you walk into the store you’ll have a hard time leaving without something in your hand, everything smells so nice and works so well!
I’ve gotten the point in my life where I don’t want to give (or receive) gifts just for the sake of giving and getting. I want to give something that people can either use (like lip balm and soap), or something they will love, and that is where Locusart Jewellery comes in. Emily (who I’ve known since we were in grade 7!) make the most beautiful organic heirloom jewellery right here in Nova Scotia.
Emily does amazing work, and considering each piece is made by hand (not in a factory), her prices are super reasonable. These beautiful Sweetheart Studs are only $35 and are available in Baroque (rectangular); Coin (disk); Off-Round and Stick pearls.
These beauties are one of a kind and are something you’ll never find at your local mall.
And these Isis Pendants are so gorgeous, they can easily be dressed up or down giving the owner that signature style piece.
They’re currently available direct from Emily and at selected local boutiques for $175 (in 24″ or 30″ lengths) and would make for the perfect surprise under the tree this Christmas.
I feel pretty lucky to own two rings and a necklace made by my friend of 20+ years (yikes!), and I want to make sure you all know about her and maybe you can find the perfect piece for someone on your list!
If you’d like to get in touch with Emily about purchasing a piece or inquiring about other items she may have in stock send her a message via her Facebook page.
Sandy Toes Shop
The Sandy Toes Shop is a passion project for my friend Crystal who lives in Moncton, New Brunswick. As a self-proclaimed mermaid, this clothing line started as a passion project that has grown into full-on side hustle with Crystal working some of the big Christmas shows here on the East Coast, including Saltscapes and Christmas at the Forum.
With a product line that just keeps expanding, if you have a beach lover (or lobster lover) on your list, picking up something from the Sandy Toes Shop is a no-brainer. The Homard (which is French for lobster) Bound line has been a hot seller since it was first released with shirts for both men, women and children, tanks, hoodies, onesies and even a toque!
I have three shirts (two tanks and a t-shirt) from the Sandy Toes Shop and it’s my East Coast Mermaid t-shirt that I get the most compliments on.
The quality and fit of the shirt have made it one of my favorites since the day I got it, and it’s always fun to be able to rep for one of your friends! And at only $25, it won’t break the bank if you decide to buy one for all the mermaids in your life!
And I simply CANNOT wrap up this feature on the Sandy Toes Shop without mentioning the two latest additions to the shop, these adorable enamel pins:
The Pinchy Lobster Claw is, of course, inspired by the Homard Bound line and the Mer-Meow Enamel Pin was inspired by Crystal’s CMO (Chief Meow Officer) Bella. You know I need one of those Mer-Meow pins, but I’m holding out because I also want to pick up a couple “Professional Beach Bum” items at the same time!
Hen of the Woods
As luck would have it the next company in my shop local gift guide is yet another Emily that I went to school with – I couldn’t have planned it better if I tried (which I didn’t). Emily makes amazing all natural soaps and skin care products.
I’m no stranger to her handmade soaps (Chai Latte is my go-to scent), but in prep for this gift guide got the chance to try out her hemp shaving soap, and hemp and henna shampoo. Now, to be honest, I think the shaving soap is meant for the men in your life, but since Mr. Fevens is sporting a beard these days, I decided to keep it for myself and have been really enjoying using it when shaving.
Between you and I, I stopped using proper shaving cream years ago. I was tired of wasting so much packaging and product when using hair conditioner (or let’s be honest, straight up soap) worked just fine. But after just one use of Emily’s Hemp Shaving Soap, my legs felt so much softer and more moisturized, which is a pretty big deal considering we are in the middle of dry skin season. Because it’s in a glass jar and you apply it with a brush, there is no waste, and it’s easy to use.
There is lots of variety when it comes to Hen of the Woods soaps, with a scent to please everyone, including some more Christmas-y scents like WInter Pine, which you really should pick up now to use all December long to keep yourself in a holiday mood 24/7 (because you know that’s my goal!).
not only can you find something for everyone on your list, but you can curate your own selection of products to build your own basket or gift box or pick up one of the gift boxes Emily has made for the holiday season.
Emily can be found this weekend at the Cottontale Cafe Christmas Market on November 30th from 10-2, and at the Woodville Christmas Craft Fair from 10-2 pm on Saturday, December 1st but her products are available every day at Market Between The Mountains in Berwick and Stirling Farm Market in Wolfville.
My brother-in-law and his wife (the duo that brought us the ChrisiL Travel Jewellery Wallet from my gift guide a few years ago) have started a new venture, Holy T-Shirts. A faith-based clothing line offering cute graphic shirts like these:
Their products will allow the wearer to worship in style, and would make for an original and cute gift for all the Christians on your list! And if you order before December 10th you can save 20% on your order if you use promo code: GOHOLYTSHIRTS
2018 Shop Local Holiday Gift Guide
With only a handful of weekend left before Christmas, it’s time to make your list, check it twice and get shopping! Why not shop from local business owners and make their day as well as your own? Because our local makers are creating some spectacular gifts for every price point, and everyone on your list!
Go give some of these locally owned businesses some love on Facebook by liking their pages: