NOT AMAZON – a list of my fave online small shops

Being from a family of small business operators, as well as owning one ourselves, I understand how important it is to show support and shop small, especially right now. I always try to do at least 75% of my Christmas shopping via small businesses, either locally or online. I love supporting small shops because I know I am not just supporting an individual or family finically, but I am also supporting their dream. With just a couple Saturday’s to go before Christmas, I wanted to share a few small businesses that I purchased some sweet gifts from this Christmas. Really great for any occasion, anytime of year.

KIDS:

Love by Jackie is a sweet shop I stumbled upon via Instagram. They have the most darling kids cloths. Their knits are so cozy and chic. They are made from alpaca and silk. I got Elle and Ivy each one with a matching knit headband. I picked natural for Elle and Peach for Ivy. The sizing works so that they will get several seasons, so they will get lots of wear out of these pieces. You need to check them out – such a sweet luxe shop with quality pieces to pass down.

Next up is Mini-Cycle, a cute Canadian boutique based out of Montreal. This small business is owned by a mom with a cool concept. She offers a uniquely curated array of quality baby and kids fashion at all price points. There is a recycled section, where you can buy pre-loved quality brands and there is also a pre-cycle for new pieces from tried and tested quality and sustainable brands. I purchased Ivy a sweet pair of booties from the pre- cycled shop and I love the brand and quality. I will be back for more!!

For beautiful bows and accessories for baby girls, you have to check out BebeTheory on Etsy. I just love their bows for Elle & Ivy. They are SO pretty and many can also be personalized or monogramed.

Happy Lab Toys makes the sweetest personalized lovie’s and dolls. I had purchased a bunny lovie with Ivy’s name on it when she was a baby. She still sleeps with it. It’s the type of gift she will have as a keepsake. I have also been trying to score a doll, but every time they drop they sell out immediately. You can also email her for custom order, chichis what I did for Ivy this Christmas. It’s slightly more expensive than the dolls she makes and sells, but well worth it when you think of the work that goes into these beautiful creations. These are heirloom dolls – totally timeless.

HER:

For my all time favourite small business to find Luxe handbags and accessories, you need to check out Julia Rose Boston. If you’re not on Instagram, you can also find them on Facebook. I just love watching them unbox all the beautiful designer bags, which are mostly new, but also some great condition pre-lvoed pieces. They authenticate everything and prices are always under retail! This has been my go-to for a few investment pieces lately. Men, if you’re reading this, if your wife, girlfriend or mom love designer handbags, this is the place to find them. The girls are so helpful, they can basically help you find whatever you’re looking for!

Another brand I love is Smythe. This is a Canadian brand that has been seen on style icons such as Dutchess of Cambridge and Duchess of Sussex. Their blazers are so beautiful and top notch quality. I have a few that I have worn season after season. A great blazer is such an important wardrobe stable and Smythe is one of my faves.

For customizable jewelry, check out this shop on Etsy. Maple Lane Jewlrey is made in Toronto. It’s very economical and perfect for a special gift for your friend, family or children. Makes a great stocking stuffer too!

For womenwear check out The Frankie Shop, which has imeccible quality pieces for very fair prices. Great for the minimalist and pieces are classics you can wear season after season. One of their top selling pieces is the Eva padded shoulder muscle tank that has sold out over and over again.

Another great stocking stuffer for girls (young and old). Is the scunchie. Check out LOOP Lifestyle. I personally love this brand, which I own several of their designs. Great price for a great product.

If you’re looking for amazingly curated quality bras, panties, you need to check out Elle Mio. They are a family run boutique with 3 locations in the east coast. Its the best place to find undergarments. If you’re in the area they will do a complimentary fitting, but you can also order shop and order online.

HIM:

Check out Nice Laundry for stocking stuffers for the guys in your life (I did this for Andrew last year.) The make a sock box of monogramed socks. They are supposed to be the most comfortable socks in the world and Andrew is VERY fussy abut his socks and liked these!

For menswear, a great brand to check out is Evan Kinori. Based out of California, he makes all his designs with sturdy natural fabrics. He is known for quality pieces without all the logos.

Another small business (which is local to me) that I love to gift shop for my husband (and also treat myself occasionally) is Robert Simmonds. They curate quality pieces by brands men love. For the luxe lover, this place is awesome. I have a hard time getting out to shop with the kids and so I usually text one of the girls I know there, she sends me photos of things she thinks I will like for Andrew and I pay over the phone and pick up. They also ship. Side note, they do the most beautiful complimentary gift wrapping at Christmas.

HIM or HER

Nova Scotia Crystal has beautiful pieces perfect for the hostess. I am from nova scotia, originally, so I just love the idea of sending this as a gift to people that have moved away from the east coast. It’s like a little piece of home.

Covid and the winter months has many of us investing in lounge wear and pyjamas. If you are into luxe pyjamas check out the family owned, Sleepy Wilson. We picked up a few pairs for Elle this Christmas and the boxing and quality is beautiful. They carry children’s sizes 3+ and both men’s and women’s. Check them out if you’re in the market for luxe and quality sleepwear.

For the person who loves to smell good, I highly recommend Floris London. It’s one of the world’s oldest family run perfumers. I had the privilege to travel there and create my own bespoke perfume (which was a Christmas gift a few years ago). This is a great gift recommendation for the person who loves to receive experiences. It was one of the most amazing activities Andrew and I have shared together (which says a lot)! With travel restrictions, this might be hard to execute at the moment, however, if you want to try a new scent for him or her, I highly recommend Floris. They are family run and appointed by the Queen, which is a pretty amazing accolade.

Another great shop for stocking stuffers is Rustik Soap Co. They create natural vegan skincare that is handcrafted in Canada. Their soaps are so nice. They smell beautiful and just look so pretty in a soup dish. I’ve also used some of their body balms on my girls. Elle loves their soap also (she is obsessed with scents and soaps).

Last, but certainly not least is In Hattie’s Attic. This Etsy shop designs the most beautiful Old World Santas, crafted from quality up-cycled furs and luxurious fabrics. They also can do custom orders (although this option is no longer available for 2020), they will be taking orders the new year. You can also send them your mother or grandmother’s fur coat and have them use it to create a custom design (or several customs for family members). My siblings and I each have a small Santa made from my late father’s favourite wool sweater – such a treasure.

Well, that is my round-up list of fave small business you can shop online. Some are good old faithfuls and others are new brands I’ve recently discovered, but all curate or create amazing quality goods that will make the perfect gift for someone special and are NOT AMAZON. I am about 70% of my shopping completed. I still plan to head downtown and purchase some odds and ends to complete my list. Don’t forget, you can also never go wrong with gift cards to great local restaurants, spas and other local businesses that offer products and services. I always incorporate these into my gifts as well. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season. Merry Christmas to you and yours and happy shopping!

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