There has never been a better time to support a local business. With flood tragedies, international shipping delays and fuel shortages, it’s the perfect time to stay close to home and find unique gifts from service providers and entrepreneurs in our own neighbourhood this holiday season.
Art and Fashion
Glass artist Debbie Hungle works out of her home creating has gorgeous fused works and stained glass. From ornaments to candle holders to jewelry and decorative panes – her work captures the season. If you are lucky you might be able to book a workshop and create your own works of art under her careful guidance. She also offers gift certificates – perfect for custom work or for a future workshop. You can learn more at www.debbiehungle.com. Our picks are her curvy scenes – perfect for putting a candle behind.
The handcrafted creations from Plunger Cove Studios are more art than toys with the perfect amount of whimsy. Inspired by the reclaimed materials themselves, each boat or ‘bot is one of a kind. The playful creations will be the perfect addition to a mantel or nursery shelf. It really is hard to choose one, the robots will inspire future creators but our pick is the classic Westcoast Tug.
The perfect kids’ Tee can be found at Wren Wood & Co. local mom’s Sherry and Natalie have put together the cutest Westcoast Friends Collection. With bears, beavers, wolves and otters embracing modern Canadiana, your tot will bring a smile to all who sees them. You can find them online or on Lonsdale at Monika’s Art Boutique. Our pick – it’s hard to choose, the Adventurer is great but the Gamer takes it.
For the quick pick head over to Bella Gia. Pam and Gianna have done the work of sorting through trends to capture a sophisticated vision of home and fashion. This season their fashion picks highlight cozy knits while their home decor focuses on creating a warm ambiance with beautiful candles and elegant linens. Our picks – with the editing done, their offerings all look like winners but the Holly Berry Embroidered Table Runner looks timeless enough to be a beautiful family tradition.
Stepping into the world of Instagram collections Popcycle Kids curates a collection of vintage, retro and pre-loved kids clothes. Sisters Brittany and Alix founded Popcycle as they looked for the bold patterns and over-sized styles of the 80s and 90s for their own kids. They added to their collection each Sunday. Our pick – follow them on Instagram to snag their latest release. They offer free local pick up.
Local writer and artist Jenn Ashton is a captivating creator. From felted hats to wood ornaments and a range of paintings and drawings. Her bold colours are joyously whimsical and her portraits dynamic. Also a writer, Jenn has her first book People Like Frank available now. Our pick is her book – this is a time to cozy up and immerse yourself in her collection of stories.
We just discovered Lynn Valley’s own Fiona’s Handcrafted Soaps. They are lovingly made from 100% natural, plant-based oils, and over 30 essential oils, and fragrance oils. These are little works of art in a functional daily-use product. Fiona began working with soap to find a gentle alternative to mass-produced products for her mother as she battled cancer. The results are handmade, hand-cut pieces. Our pick: either the Hot Chocolate & Marshmallows or Nanaimo Bar because they are the perfect stocking stuffer for a tween or teen who needs to wash.
If you aren’t quite sure what to pick, the Ecology Centre has in the past year or so stepped up its gift game. If you want to share a piece of North Vancouver there are beautiful gift selections from First Nations businesses supporting Indigenous artists. If you are new to the area there are guides and children’s books to learn all about our local habitat. Our pick is for the history buff: the centre is offering the recently republished Early Days in Lynn Valley by Walter Draycott. We have a second pick, the perfect gift offering less stuff and more family time: an Ecology Centre Membership which offers discounts on camps, the gift shop and birthday parties.
Another gift of time is to support local family business Pasta Padella. Their pasta and risottos are made in Italy and quick frozen. You can give yourself or a loved one the gift of time by picking up these dishes and having a meal ready in just 10-15 minutes. You can find Pasta Padella online (free local delivery with a $29 purchase) or at Lynn Valley Meats. Our pick: the risotto with butternut squash.
As we celebrate our second year in a pandemic, we have all learned to lean in and value those close to us. Local counselling psychologists Jordana, Shannon, and Christina have created an interactive card game to explore core values. Players examine and challenge their values by choosing between Val-You cards until they are left holding the three cards that represent what is most important to them in life. it can be played among friends and family or used as a tool by a variety of professionals in diverse settings, including counsellors, teachers, occupational therapists, managers, and within human resources departments. Check out the Val-You game.