Over the past 4 years, the holiday season has been especially exciting for me. barbbarbbarb.com would give away gifts to readers from local businesses – as a prize for reading through and entering a giveaway based on sharing and supporting local for Christmas.
I started #30in30 in 2011. The purpose of the giveaways wasn’t for free stuff (although that was a huge bonus), it was to draw attention to the quality items available for purchase a short drive from our homes. Brand names, beautiful art, curated items – all from local business owners.
barbbarbbarb.com concluded in August. December now has a missing puzzle piece for me.
I jumped at the chance to share a few of my local favourite this season. I’ve compiled a list of a half dozen or so items – well within your gift giving budget – to help you shop and support local this holiday season.
Jeneca’s dramatic and compliment-catching designs are truly a treat in Saint John. The jewellery is designed after nature, but is constantly evolving to include man-made with nature. Quartz, pyrite, cloudy diamonds and silver – any piece of hers will be a hit on your ear, arm or neck.
Two Autumns Ago
Two of my very best friends have a photo collaboration called Two Autumns Ago. It started in 2005 and has come and gone over the past few years. For $35 you can get a BEAUTIFUL 8 x 12” photo print of your favourite TAA poetry. Here’s my favorite:
Over the past 6 years or so, Sarah Jones has continued to reinvent ways to love looking at Saint John. From the water or overlooking Courtenay Bay. From above or from fire escapes. Abstract. Clean lines. Cranes. Steeples.
Jones Gallery quarterly is the current ‘brilliant idea’ to come out of 73 Duke Street. It’s an extremely simple two-step process whereby you (1) sign up and (2) receive four paintings throughout 2016.
If you’re more interested in the immediate satisfaction of buying and walking away with an original piece of art, her current exhibit of [small things] is up at the gallery.
For the fourth year, Picaroons Traditional Ales is bringing back the 12 Beers of Christmas. Starting December 12th for 12 days, Picaroons will be tapping a 360 litre batch of a one-time only brew. Capital City residents are in luck. The beer is sold in 1.89 L growlers exclusively from their brewtique in downtown Fredericton.
Don’t fret. There are perfect gift packs available at the NBLC for $11.99* featuring two bottles of Winter Warmer and a pint glass.
*Don’t quote me on that.
If you’re looking to support local but have a family that isn’t into art on the wall or pretty things on the mantle, Savage Gardens produce packs will be a HIT. I should note that I like art and jewelry and beer, but I would also squeal with delight if this gift was under my tree.
It’s sort of an awkward time of year to be pre-purchasing produce packs – but I know that Nathan and Phil will be heavy on the Farmer’s Market scene in 2016. (I’ve also heard rumblings of a pop up Christmas Market!).
Their website is http://www.savagegardens.ca/. Once spring hits their updated schedule and payment options will be on the site. In the meantime, stick $25 or $30 in an envelope with a note about supporting local and eating regionally.
Geordan Moore is the print maker behind Quarrelsome Yeti, a print and illustration studio based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. His prints are FUNNY. High-fiving broccoli and cauliflower, a fight between a Yeti and a Unicorn, as well as portraits of the Golden Girls thanking you for being a friend.
His items are available all over Nova Scotia and select locations in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Ontario. If you can’t make it to one of his stockists, you can check out his Etsy site (https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/QuarrelsomeYeti) or his Society6 site (https://society6.com/misterfalcon).
Wear Your Label
Fredericton Entrepreneurs Kyle and Kaylie created a conscious clothing line with the goal to create conversations around mental health. Sayings like “It’s Okay Not to Be Okay” and “Self Care Isn’t Selfish” immediately caught my attention.
Since meeting them, I’m in awe of their drive, passion and dedication to wearing their label – all while trying to end the stigma associated with mental illness.
Their clothing is available online (http://wearyourlabel.com/) and in Saint John at Colwell’s Fashions.
Editor’s note: There are too many great gifts that be can be found locally, and the rest of us wanted to have our say, and maybe drop a hint or two. Click through for the rest of our staff’s picks.