Friday, November 30, 2012

Buying local, buying Canadian & buying handmade

With all the snow we've been getting in Saskatoon, coupled with temperatures in the high-negative double digits, it's very tempting to just stay inside and hibernate. My favourite thing to do when it's blustery out is to curl up by the fire with a good book, a blanket and mug of hot chocolate.

I still have some Christmas shopping left to do, so I had toyed with the idea of buying the rest of the gifts online to save time. You can't beat the convenience. You don't have to drive or walk around in bad weather, search desperately for parking, or pay for gas or said parking. But, at the same time, it's important for me to shop locally. I want the cute boutiques in my neighbourhood to always be there, so I know I need to support them. It's these independent shops that bring character to my neighbourhood. I don't want my only options in the future to be Sears or Wal Mart *shudder.*

So I've taken a walk down Broadway and picked up a few pressies. Of course, I can't mention what I bought, so instead I'll mention something that would've become a "to me from me" gift if I wasn't trying to stick to the austerity measures I'm following now that I'm freelancing.

The Better Good sells a beautiful line of pottery by Saskatoon ceramic artist, Cathy Terepocki. I love the intricate designs and I can't decide which one is my favourite - the bee, the sailboat or the bicycle. I first noticed Cathy's work back in Ottawa - her ceramic jewellery is sold at both Flock and Workshop Boutique.
Another great gift idea I recently stumbled upon (albeit online) is Geoffrey Lilge's cutting boards. This doesn't fall under my definition of local (he's based in Edmonton) but it's still Canadian and all of his cutting boards are handmade to order. There's something so gorgeous about the simple organic shapes. They're almost too beautiful to cut on, but they would make a great charcuterie board.
Shopping on Etsy is another great way to support Canadian designers. The site has an option to search by location so you can see all the designers in your neck of the woods.
My mom made me a beautiful blue infinity scarf a few years ago that I wear all the time. I'd love to have another in a different colour and found a Regina knitter on Etsy who makes cosy infinity scarves in all colours.
I'm not perfect. I did buy a few things on Amazon for Christmas due to the convenience and because I didn't think the items would be easy to find locally. However, I'm committing to buying the rest of the gifts on my list as locally as possible. As my local shop says, "I'm doing it for the better good."

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