Your ultimate “shop local” gift guide

This holiday season and thereafter, consider shopping from small, local Montreal businesses.

I’ve compiled an exhaustive list of Montreal-owned businesses and created this gift guide for you with ideas for anyone on your list. 

Let’s get into it!

GIFTS FOR THE FASHIONISTA:

Ionian Swimwear: Named after the group of islands in Greece, Ionian Swimwear is handmade and hand-sewn using Carvico Vita, an eco-friendly fabric from Italy. The fabric also has UV protection and is pre-washed, so it won’t shrink! (Instagram: @ionianswimwear)

Trends and Threads: Owned by Chiara Santalucia, Trends and Threads offers embroidery on t-shirts, crewnecks and hoodies ranging from $17-$60, as well as hoops for home decoration. (Instagram: @trendsnthreadss)

Ktlr: Designed by Kyara Marcoux, this Montreal brand offers tshirts, eco-friendly canvas tote bags, cozy hoodies, shoulder bags and biodegradable iPhone cases. (www.ktrl.ca or Instagram: ktlr.mtl)

All because of you: This brand carries everything from clothing to shoes to accessories. Owner Maria Alexia Hinoporos also helps women shop her line by offering already-made outfits so that women don’t have to wonder: “how will I style this?” (Instagram: @allbecauseofyouofficial)

Tatiana Rose Swimwear: This local Montreal brand specializes in made to measure swimwear and handmade loungewear. Their goal is to ensure women feel comfortable and confident no matter what they’re wearing. That’s why the designer is involved every step of the way when creating the pieces. (Instagram: @tatianaroseswimwear)

GIFTS FOR THE HOMEBODY:

Wancandles: Hand-poured and made with love in Montreal by owner Amanda Wan, these soy-based candles are scented using fragrance oils and essential oils. The candles can be topped with dried flowers, cinnamon sticks, coffee beans, candy canes, or anything that matches their scent. Wancandles will branch out in 2021 to include wax melts. (Instagram: @wancandles)

“L’entre-deux: Le journal intime d’une Montre?alaise:” This fully bilingual book about life was written by local Montreal author Alexia Hammal. It compiles hundreds of texts about love, friendship and family, as well as immigration, terrorism and societal issues. For each subject, Hammal adds her own personal and vulnerable touch. Her hope is that this book makes readers love life as much as she does. (Instagram: @alexiahammal)

Minima Basics: This Montreal-based online boutique sells minimalist, multi-functional and aesthetically pleasing desk organizers to help women transform their workspace into a dream space that motivates and inspires them, while also keeping them organized. (www.minimabasics.ca or Instagram: @minimabasics)

B4EssentialOilCreations: This business, owned by Amy Brethour, offers soy wax candles, body scrubs, bath salts and diffuser blends that help to connect people with nature and with themselves. All their products are vegan and cruelty-free, as well as void of gluten or nut oils. Scents include Lavender & Lemon, Eucalyptus & Mint, Ylang Ylang & Bergamot, and Sweet Orange & Cinnamon. Additionally, 15% of the proceeds from the “Ray” candle are donated to the Mental Health Association of Montreal. (Instagram: @b4essentialoilcreations)

J'aime Bougie: This local business is owned by a mom of 3 who is passionate about self-care and non-toxic products. J’aime Bougie specializes in luxury hand-poured eco-friendly soy wax candles scented with phthalate-free fragrance oils. (Instagram: @jaimebougie)

Inner Child Goods: These candles are made with care using sustainable resources such as upcycled ceramics, soy wax and slow burning wooden wicks. Also, the candles that are scented contain essential oils, making them healthier than store-bought ones. (https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/InnerChildGoods or Instagram: @inner.child.goods)

GIFTS FOR THE JEWELRY-LOVER:

Exquisite Jewels by K: This handmade jewelry brand for men and women uses gemstones, beads, gold/silver plated and stainless-steel materials. They make high-quality, affordable and delicate bracelets, necklaces, earrings and body jewelry. They can also personalize client pieces upon request. (Instagram: @equisitejewelsbyk)

Blush and Strand: This brand makes 100% personalized and customizable bracelets that tell a story. Blush and Strand offer 14k gold plated options as well as healing stone options. The entire collection is 20% off until boxing day. (Instagram: @shop.blushandstrand or email: shop.blushandstrand@gmail.com)

GIFTS FOR THOSE WHO APPRECIATE ART & CREATIVITY:

Aylabel: Inspired by her daughter, this mompreneur started making mask chains for children as a back to school essential. Now, she provides clients the opportunity to help her create handmade, customized, and personalized beaded jewelry and accessories for themselves and their loved ones so they can feel unique and trendy. Products include mask chains, eyewear chains, bracelets, mama jewelry sets, necklaces, and key chains. (Instagram: aylabel_2020)

Over the Rainbow Crayons: What first started as an art activity at home to save broken crayons has transformed itself into a small business! Over the Rainbow Crayons offers safe, non-toxic and fun uniquely colored Name Sets, Minis Collection, Alphabet sets and Math Facts. Most recently, Over the Rainbow Crayons has been creating number and letter packages for teachers to use in their classrooms or for parents to introduce during homeschooling. (Instagram: overtherainbowcrayons)

Shannon Snyder Art: When not working full-time as an ICU nurse and nursing instructor, Shannon Snyder runs her business from home where she adds beautiful alcohol ink art to mugs, coasters, ring dishes and tumblers. She also does wall art in a variety of mediums such as acrylic paintings, alcohol ink painting as well as resin art. (Instagram: shannon_snyder_art_

Wallcandy: This business specializes in prints on Canvas & Acrylic plexiglass. In addition to their affordable pricing, Wallcandy offers art in almost any size and material their client wants.  Their art styles include pop art, street art, mixed media, digital art, fine art, photography and sculptures. (BuyWallcandy.com or Instagram: @mywallcandy)

GIFTS FOR THE BEAUTY & SKINCARE LOVER

LISA NOTO natural cosmetics: Founded in 2013 by wellness enthusiast Lisa Noto, this local business offers natural cosmetics with plant-based ingredients, vegetable oils and vitamins that care for, protect and regenerate skin. The eco-conscious process respects the planet and those who inhabit it. (Instagram: @officiallisanoto)

She glossed up cosmetics: This all-organic, vegan and cruelty-free brand sells a variety of lip products such as handmade lip gloss, lip scrubs and lip tints. All the products are infused with enriched essential oils which leave lips soft and hydrated. (Instagram: @glossybysb)

LUMARA: This woman-owned natural beauty and wellness company offers an array of handmade products, from bath products to skincare, made with natural and vegan ingredients. All products are scented by 100% pure essential oils, and some are even infused with the energy of crystals. LUMARA’s goal is to bring back the sacred aspect of beauty rituals that got lost over time, to awaken our senses and to reconnect to our bodies and to our souls. (www.etsy.com/shop/LumaraMTL or Instagram: @lumaramtl)

Mali Label: Owned by Leelo, a hairstylist & salon owner, Mali Label specializes in handmade oversized scrunchies. The scrunchies are made of quality fabrics such as satin, sheer, spandex & bamboo. In addition, Mali Label also has hairclips and oversized bows. (Found at Atelier Leelo Glam or Instagram: @mali.label)

Soaped Up Shoppe: These eco-friendly, vegan and palm-free soaps and skin care products are as gentle on the skin as they are on the planet. Soaped Up Shoppe has recently expanded production to also include holiday bundles, body butters, lotion and shampoo bars as well as a “baby” skincare collection. (Instagram: Soapedup_shoppe or Facebook: Soaped Up Shoppe)

Opulent Bliss: This local business is an all-natural and affordable lip care brand that uses gluten-free, cruelty-free and vegan ingredients. Currently, they offer glosses and lip scrubs, but new products are on their way. Clients love Opulent Bliss lip products because they aren’t sticky, and they keep lips smooth. (Instagram: @_opulentbliss_)

Sunnaquebec: This business offers a variety of high-quality, natural, organic and safe ingredient beauty and lifestyle products. Some of their most popular products include sunless self-tanners, natural teeth whitening kits, and sanitizers. (Instagram: @sunnaquebec)

GIFTS FOR THE FOODIES:

Ceesonings: Owned by Cierra Paris, this business sells homemade seasonings, Trinidadian hot pepper sauce and candied pecans. Inspired by her father, a self-trained chef, Paris’ love for discovering new recipes lead her to start Ceesonings. The hot pepper sauce pays tribute to her family’s Trinidadian roots, as it is her grandmother’s recipe and has been used in their family for over 50 years! (Instagram: ceesonings.mtl)

Kookies by K: This home business, run by Kayla, offers a variety of gourmet cookies. All cookies are made by hand on the day of pickup/delivery, so they are always fresh. Boxes range from 12 to 24 cookies, and cookies are available in several different flavours including Nutella, s’mores, triple chocolate and more. They’ve also recently added e-giftcards! (Instagram: @kookies.by.k)

Have an idea, but want it to be customized?

Belle Design Mtl: This local business situated in Cote Saint Luc specializes in custom, personalized giftware; from birthday gifts and loot bags to apparel and Judaica. Embroidery is also an offered service. Sought after gifts this holiday season are the “color your own” aprons and pillowcases. (Instagram: @belledesignmtl or email: belledesignmtl@gmail.com)

Melissa Migueis is enrolled in Communication Studies at Concordia University. In the near future, she also wishes to pursue a certificate in Holistic Nutrition to merge her passion for media with health and wellness. For daily inspiration & motivation, and for everything "wellness" related, you can follow her at @_livewellwithmel_ on Instagram! 

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