We all enjoy sprucing up our living space with something new every now and then, so why not gift someone special in your life a locally made item for their home this season? Here’s a list of some around-the-house items created by amazing local talent here on the East Coast.
(Fredericton, New Brunswick)
Based out of the Maliseet First Nation Community in Fredericton, Soulflower herbals aims to produces sustainable, hand-crafted, all-natural body care and wellness products. Their list of body care products includes lip balm, shampoo & conditioner, skin moisturizer, salves, facial oils, solid perfumes, bars of soap. They also sell items to use around the house, like room sprays, burnable bundles of cedar & sweetgrass, soy wax candles and more. And everything smells amazing. There is no doubt you have someone in your life who likes to smell nice, so why not hit two birds with one stone and contribute to this local business while you are out shopping for gifts this year.
Soulflower herbals products are sold at the Fredericton Boyce Farmers Market every Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., the Metepenagiag Heritage Park Gift Shop (Red Bank), Beaverbrook Art Gallery Gift Shop (Fredericton), Aura Whole Foods (Fredericton), The Woodsmens Museum (Boistown), Fundy and Kouchebouquac National Parks, and the Heron’s Nest Cottages (Charlo).
Denise McLean Pottery
(Harvey/Saint John, New Brunswick)
Have someone in your life with an eclectic mug collection or a love for handmade items? Denise MacLean makes homemade mugs, cups, plates, bowls, teapots and more straight out of Harvey, New Brunswick. Her designs carry themes of animals, nature and the outdoors and are always eye catching. And let’s be honest; nothing says cozy Christmas hot chocolate like a handmade mug.
You can find Denise’s pottery at Buckland Merrifield Gallery in Saint John or you can contact her through Facebook to place an order and have it shipped.
Know someone with an eclectic mug (or cup) collection, a love for handmade items and saucy personality? Saucy Pots out of St. John’s, Newfoundland has you covered this holiday season. Cups, shot glasses, mugs, plate and more can now express the saucy attitude of your gift recipient for them. And, even better, the sayings are all classically Newfoundland. Celebrate your heritage, enjoy a drink and get saucy all at once.
Saucy Pots can be purchased in maker Erin Callaghan St. John’s shop at the Quidi Vidi Village Plantation in St. John’s.
Steve Jones Yo!
(Saint John, New Brunswick)
Not only does Steve Jones Yo create stunning bowls, cutting boards, furniture, earlobe plugs and more with his bare hands, but he makes them using old skateboards. The striped pattern the skateboards create in the pieces is not only stunning and unique, but also gives retired skateboards an opportunity for new life, instead of a date with the trash can. In the words of Steve himself, he aims to “immortalize [the] stories” of the skateboards, which get the blood, sweat and tears of the skaters poured into them.
For purchasing inquiries visit Maritime Mercantile in Saint John, or contact Steve, yo!
Then and Now
Do you have someone in your life who has a passion for history? Photographer Len Wagg’s book Then and Now may just be the perfect gift. The book showcases photographs from places across Nova Scotia, both current and from the past. Wagg took 50 photos by Wallace MacAskill, one of Nova Scotia’s foremost photographers from the early 20th century, and recreated them in colour to showcase how the province has changed (and how much has stayed the same) between then and now. The 100 photographs in this book are also captioned with short anecdotes about the significance of the images and how Wagg found the locations of MacAskill’s original work. This is the perfect coffee table book and the perfect gift for any proud East Coaster.
Jill Higgins is an exceptional artist. She’s thrived in her work as a live artist, going all the way to the Art Battle nationals, and her less combative work stands out like Tom Thomson’s colourful cousin. For anyone who doesn’t have $1000 to shell out for a painting, Higgins has a line of Christmas ornaments available so you can be festive and frugal. You can find them at Handworks Gallery in Saint John.