It’s halfway through November!
…and the secret is out: I’m not a “Christmas person.” At least not in the traditional version of what this might look like. I find the act of “obligated consumerism” odd. Plus, we have this tendency to eat too much, travel in bad weather and spend way too much time in shopping malls. A few years ago, I started with the following practices: no malls, support local, shop early. I’m not a total scrooge. I really do enjoy the act of giving and receiving gifts, I just have to do that in specific ways. I also LOVE getting our tree (I swear the REAL Santa works at Super Store on St. Margarets Bay Rd. - he’ll give you a belly ho-ho-ho and a candy cane. We always buy the most pathetic looking tree. It’s my ultimate holiday experience), watching Garfield’s Christmas and eating a feast of homemade Indian food (an annual holiday tradition in our house). CHRISTMAS IS NOT BAD. But in my humble opinion, there are ways to make it better.
We babes know what’s up!
I always make a point to “buy” a charitable donation for at least one gift (last year this was from “Plan Canada” - I bought some goats and school books for girls) and offer a give-away art prize where I ask you to share your favourite local charity and I too will make a contribution (last year this was Litters and Critters). Additionally, I look to my favourite local makers and do-ers and see who has caught my attention. What would make a unique gift? What fellow entrepreneurs can I support? When I got thinking about who this might be for Christmas 2018, I realized all of my favourite locals were women! Not shocking ;) We babes know what’s up! I thought I would share my top 5 faves (there are so many more, but I can talk and talk and talk – small numbers are for your benefit! Ha!) – I hope this helps you find that special something among these special someones…
Deeply Aware: I met Danielle and Nicole through a mutual friend. This friend raved about their macramé necklaces and I soon found out why. These hand-woven, medium length pieces are hand crafted with love, healing energy and twinkly-winks. Selected gemstones are placed in a woven pouch to keep safely against your chest. The stones are extra magical, as they are interchangeable! Simply lift the bead that keeps the macramé pouch secure and voila! Deeply Aware was inspired to create a company which brought together like-minded individuals in the community. To gather and share a safe space of healing where inclusive and accessibility are the platforms upon which the company is grown. You can find necklaces and other goodies on their webpage: www.deeplyaware.com
Dream Webs: I met Kelsie Young at a yoga retreat in Tatamagouche. I was suffering from a migraine and had been up all night throwing up. The last thing I thought I wanted to do was practice anything other than laying down, but Kelsie’s healing tools completely turned my day around. She smudged and shared and introduced me to her meticulously crafted dreamcatchers. She integrates natural elements and fibres into all of her creations – it is apparent they are designed with intention and soulfulness. Dream Webs began its journey creating authentic, Mi'kmaq dream catchers and has now grown to include Mala prayer beads and bracelets, and modern/natural wall hangings. Each piece is traditionally smudged at sunrise to cleanse and charge the energy aura. Through a combination of aboriginal culture, Ayurvedic medicine and healing crystals, and grounding pieces of Mother Nature Herself, this business has become one of my go-tos for gifts and treasures. Kelsie’s creations can be explore here: www.dreamwebs.ca
Duckish: I met Carolyn at a “Small Business for Artist’s” course she was instructing at NSCAD. She was bubbly, knowledgeable and absolutely willing to share her insider tips with me. Though she didn’t talk too much about her own product line in class, I quickly became a fan! Her all-natural skin care line for Moms and babies has taken the city by storm! The packaging, selection and product have wowed the pants off me (seriously sitting in my undies right now). Their goal is to help you avoid weird stuff in your skin care products. I recently bought a friend one of the diaper rash creams for her newborn and she told me she’d never go back to that thick, goopy-glue that was once her only option. If you’ve got mama and papa bears on your holiday list, I highly recommend this local product! www.duckish.ca
The Floatation Centre: Though I had been for a few floats before, I actually met Lindsay online. After posting my last blog describing the struggle I’ve had with my ear and health, Lindsay reached out to me to offer her float space (accompanied by her giant heart) with an otherwise complete stranger. She took the time not only to read my story but quickly followed up to offer FREE floats in one of the magical space tanks in hopes she could help make me feel better. Quite frankly, the gesture alone brought me joy that day. Lindsay founded The Floatation Centre Health & Wellness in 2015 and has been sharing the benefits of floatation therapy, meditation and mindfulness far & wide ever since. There is plenty of information out there about the benifits of floating but in my own nutshell I would say: the experience starts the moment you enter the centre. The float tank itself is hygenic, private, comfortable in a very out-of-body kind of way and unlike anything else I could compare it to. If you have any reservations, or questions they are quickly answered and accommodated. If you have anyone on your list that needs an escape or likes trying unique experiences, this is your place! Gift certificates available, too! www.thefloatationcentre.ca
Modo Yoga: The second time I met Joanna, owner of Modo Yoga Halifax, she acknowledged me by name. She must encounter hundreds of people throughout her week and had managed (bothered) to remember my name after having been to her studio just once before. I have since been practicing there for more than 3 years, on a regular basis. The studio, class diversity, instructors and fellow yogis make me feel like I’m coming home to a warm hug. There are dozens of studios in the city but Modo is always adding new improvements and pushing themselves to be the best. Maybe one of the reasons they win gold every year in the Coast’s Best Of awards! Joanna and her team have been not only supportive of my yoga practice (especially with modifying my postures during injury recovery!) but have supported me as an artist and entrepreneur as well. I have hosted pop-up art shows in their space and they even carry my yoga FLOW leggings. They embody the ideology of inclusivity and supporting others. This hot yoga studio has been both an influencer and an inspirer! www.halifax.modoyoga.com
As mentioned, I could go on and on about all of the talent in this small city. So many women have encouraged and inspired my entrepreneurial journey and I’m proud to be in the company of so many innovative minds. Happy holidays! xo