The holidays have arrived! They're basically tomorrow. If you are Jewish, they're actually today. In a rampant rush of consumerism, it is overwelming to try and zero in to find the right gift for your loved ones. Gifting in general is such a crazy situation, we feel like we have to buy people things and then pair that with the "sales" berading you every day, you end up loading up on things nobody needs, or even wants, becuase it's too good of a deal to pass up.
Now, I actually enjoy buying people gifts. Do I fall victim to the sales? Yes. But with that comes this feeling of shame. Why am I spending my money on all of this stuff? Luckily I am a makeup artist, and for those of you who follow my instagram know that 90% of my time and money goes to Sephora. So the answer to my previous question is "It's for work. Research and development."
As I've been navigating this gifting season, trying to be more mindful about the things I buy (I've been wildly unsuccessful, but success is not linear), I started looking at all of the local shops that are sprinkled across this city. It is obviously easy to pop whatever into your cart from the Gap, cash in on their free shipping and earn points for money off later, perpetuating the cycle. The rich man gets richer and it's all thanks to you. Wouldn't it feel better to get something for someone that not every other person you pass, also has? And know that you were making a difference for someone with a small business? Go to a shop, meet the owner, talk about what or why they've chosen to sell the things they do. It's amazing the perspective we can get just but communicating with other humans- but don't worry, if that's not for you, it is 2023 and you can still buy from local shops online.
I know we went through all of this during covid. "Support local" I think it definitely woke some of us up, I bought all of my 2020 gifts from local shops, but as the saying goes, it's hard to teach an old dog new tricks.
So in the spirit of trying to remind myself- especially as a small business owner- I just wanted to share a list of some places in Vancouver that might be worth a visit this holiday shopping season.
1. Beauty Bar - 2142 W 4th Ave
Whenever I am on West 4th, I have to stop in to Beauty Bar. The shop is filled with amazing beauty products, some you can find at other stores and some you can't, but you can be sure you will find something special for the beauty buff on your list.
2. Siista - 207 West Hastings Street Unit 1201
This is the hidden gem of hidden gems. Literally, they do not have a store front, they are instead located inside the Domninon building on Hastings and Cambie, and not even I knew existed until my friend told me about it- and I was going to an RMT in the same building. Siista is the place to find something for the trendy person on your list. They have high quality jewelry and unique fashion pieces you won't be able to find at H&M or Zara.
3. Much & Little - 2543 Main St
Another cute spot, filled to the brim with unique gifts. Much & Little has a wider variety of offerings, from barware to face cream. Candles to earrings, you could probaly find something for everyone on your list here.
4. The Coast Goods - 1302 Victoria Drive
Similar to Much & Little, Coast Goods has something for everyone, with a whole category on their website for goods made in Vancouver. You could scroll for days on their site.
5. Nuovo Beauty - 119 West Pender
You are already here, yay!
Hi, it's me. Sorry not sorry but I had to inclue my own little business on this list. If you're looking for the person who has everything, or wants to gift an experience instead of a physical item, then look no further. Treat someone you love to a gift card that can be used for makeup application, makeup lessons, hair styling, or lash extensions. Because after spending all of their time and money on everyone else, now is their turn for some pampering.
This list is only a tiny fraction of the amazing shops that fill this city, I could go on for days about the plethora of options we have...but I was writing this in hopes of not overwhelming you. The streets are littered with options, be it your hair salon, nail salon, local distilleries or cafes, take a drive or a walk and I'm sure you'll find something special for that someone special!