Sleepwear by Christine.

20 Locally Made B.C. Gifts for Everyone on Your List

If your goal is to give unique, meaningful presents this year, turn to local makers and artisans. These B.C. products are on our holiday-gifting list.

Spout Bowls

Born and raised in Japan, Nanase Hanada now lives in Vancouver where she makes ceramics that are equal parts beautiful and practical. The many mediums she’s studied over the years—from oil painting, photography, and sculpture to ikebana (Japanese flower arranging) and Japanese tea ceremony—all influence her work. Nanase Design sells elegant cups, bowls, and spout bowls, which have a spout for pouring matcha tea.

Indigenous-Designed Clothing

Justin Louis recently opened a store in Chilliwack. It’s a first for the Indigenous designer, who hails from the Samson Cree Nation in Alberta and now lives on the West Coast. Through his designs, which have already appeared in publications such as Women’s Wear Daily and Vogue, Louis shines a spotlight on Indigenous stories. His Section 35 streetwear brand blends art and fashion in pieces such as the Direction Knit Sweater (available in both cream and olive), which pairs perfectly with the Standard Issue Carpenter and the Wordmark OG Speckled Beanie.

Traditional Whiskies

Shelter Point Distillery, near Campbell River on Vancouver Island, uses traditional Scottish methods to produce its coveted whiskies. The Single Malt is bold and warm, ideal for sipping and savouring on a stormy winter’s day, while the Ripple Rock is oaky and smooth. Find Shelter Point whiskies at BC Liquor stores.

Fresh Panettone

Patience is the key to the perfect panettone. Antise Vancouver uses a slow proofing process of 30 hours, which produces a panettone with nuanced flavours and aromas. The Limoncello is the top seller, though the seasonal flavours are popular, too. Antise also offers hands-on classes in its Gastown Pastry Lab.

Leather Bags

Erin Templeton studied shoemaking in England, then leatherwork in Australia, before returning to Vancouver and setting up shop. She sews her gorgeous but sturdy leather bags in her Chinatown studio, and she keeps longevity in mind while designing each piece. The Bucket Crossbody (which also comes in a larger version) features an exterior leather patch pocket, an interior pocket, and adjustable straps. The company also does custom orders.

Charcuterie Boards

Alexis Dodd’s father taught her everything she knows about woodworking. Now Dodd and her dad run Steelwood Design out of their North Vancouver homes. They buy old furniture—mainly from Facebook Marketplace or Urban Repurpose in North Van—then repurpose the magnificent old wood into handmade charcuterie boards and more. Instead of trying to hide the wood’s marks and scars, they highlight these imperfections, embracing the stories they suggest.

Bespoke Footwear

Photo by Sarah and Luis Valdizon.

David Shafiee, the owner of HD Russell Boots, uses premium leather and traditional techniques to handcraft footwear in his East Vancouver shop. The end result is always stunning to look at—and incredibly comfortable to wear. To see some of his past creations, visit the company on Instagram. Shafiee is also a wizard at repair, working magic to bring beloved old leather bags, shoes, and boots back to life.

Healthy Chocolates

In East Vancouver, Glow Chocolate makes sweet treats—from truffles to nut butter cups to dark chocolate barks—that taste so good it’s surprising to learn they’re both vegan and low in added sugars. Julie Beyer is a self-described gourmand with multiple food allergies, and she started the business to create sweets for diabetics, individuals with gut issues, and health-conscious folks wanting to reduce their sugar intake while still enjoying delicious chocolates and caramels. Her secret weapons? Nutritious ingredients, low-glycemic sweeteners, and a willingness to experiment. To learn about new flavours before they launch, visit Glow on Instagram.

Retro Dresses

Cherry Velvet combines vintage style with modern comfort in dresses that look cute, fit well—and have pockets! This point can’t be stressed enough: Every single dress has pockets. Sizes range from small to 3X, and the dresses are sewn in Vancouver from natural fabrics such as cotton or bamboo jersey. Owner Diane Kennedy is skilled at finding quirky prints: retro astronauts, colourful perfume bottles, vintage travel posters, psychedelic dinosaurs. The Diane – Regally Rouge – Red Paisley Dress boasts a hidden zipper in the back, shoulder straps wide enough to easily cover bra straps, and a full swing skirt that looks extra flirty with a crinoline peeking out.

Self-Care Sets

Sḵwálwen Botanicals was founded by ethnobotanist Leigh Joseph, a member of the Squamish Nation, whose aim was to create a skin-care line with Indigenous plant science at its core. The Self-Care Set includes the company’s popular Kalkáy Wild Rose Facial Oil and Mimts’ Hand Balm, along with soothing tea. When we interviewed Joseph a few years ago, she spoke about harvesting plants, creating products, and how the spiritual and the scientific intertwine.

Cozy Cardigans

The right button-up sweater works equally well in the office or on the couch, preferably in front of a crackling fire. Versatile and cozy, the relaxed-fit Lynn Cardigan from Paper Label is made from a mix of merino wool, recycled nylon, and alpaca. The Vancouver company uses sustainable fabrics in its timeless sleepwear and loungewear.

Printed Clutches

Find adorable little clutches screen-printed with the names of Whistler ski runs, East Vancouver neighbourhoods, Bowen Island beaches, and more at Riding the Pine. Constructed in Canada, these clutches are made from linen and have patterned cotton liners. Also check out the company’s cute cloth napkins, tea towels, pillow covers, and dog bandanas. The pair behind the products are David and Kaoru Coates, who met at Emily Carr University when Kaoru was studying ceramics and David was learning graphic design.

Lip Balms and Tints

Made in Vancouver, Aralea lip balms and tints leave lips feeling moisturized but not waxy. Each one is infused with organic, vegan vitamin D3—a decision that Christina Louey, the company’s founder and CEO, made to help her ailing father get enough of the important vitamin without having to pop another pill. Many Canadians don’t get sufficient vitamin D, especially in wintertime.

Art Prints

Mikayla Hong is the self-taught illustrator behind the popular Artbedo Instagram account and online store. Her whimsical drawings, which capture Vancouver neighbourhoods, local businesses, Asian foods, and more, are available as prints from her website. In our recent interview with Hong, she discussed her work, her identity, and how Vancouver is changing.

Silk PJs

Designed for lounging in style, the glamorous Gatsby Peacock Pajama from Christine is crafted from Italian silk charmeuse. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the beloved Vancouver brand, which specializes in elegant silk lingerie, loungewear, and sleepwear.

Inspirational Decks

Vancouver artist Zoë Pawlak recently launched the stunning Vessels and Muses Oracle Deck and Guide Book, an apt gift for anyone trying to channel their potential or seeking deep personal insights. Each of the 40 cards features an image of a Pawlak painting along with a word, such as Justice, Grace, Focus, Discernment, and Forgiveness. The accompanying booklet explains the meanings of the cards and includes journal prompts.

Travel Jewellery Cases

Monos uses vegan leather to make travel jewellery cases that are compact and versatile. A modular design means the earring panel, ring tray, and small pouch can be removed, making room for larger items such as a watch or bracelet. Based in Vancouver, Monos is known for designing timeless-looking luggage and travel accessories.

Refillable, Sustainable Beauty Products

Fed up with the amount of plastic packaging and other waste in the beauty industry, former makeup artist Melodie Reynolds founded Elate Beauty with the intention of doing things differently. Now the Victoria company sells clever sustainable items such as the Essential Palette, a refillable cosmetics case made from bamboo. Strong magnets hold in place whatever combination of eyeshadow, brow balm, blush balm, and pressed foundation the customer chooses. Other popular items include the Better Balm tinted lip conditioner (packaged in a recyclable glass jar with a compostable bamboo lid) and the water-resistant Essential Mascara (with its recyclable glass tube and washable, reusable silicone wand).

Okanagan Wines

Culmina Family Estate Winery in Oliver has teamed up with Vancouver artists Mega McGrath and Tara Lee Bennett to create a set of 10 limited-edition holiday cards, the perfect accompaniment to the 2017 Hypothesis red blend, or perhaps the 2022 Saignée rosé, or even the 2020 Decora riesling.

Inuit Art

At Our Winter Home by Kakulu Saggiaktok.

The Museum of Vancouver is holding an online auction to raise funds for exhibitions, education, and public programming. Until December 15, individuals can bid on six prints by Kakulu Saggiaktok, Kingmeata Etidlooie, Pudlo Pudlat, and Mary Samuellie Pudlat, who all belonged to the West Baffin Eskimo Cooperative in the world capital of Inuit art, Kinngait (previously known as Cape Dorset). Also in the auction is a behind-the-scenes tour of the MOV with the museum’s director of collections and exhibitions, Viviane Gosselin.

More Ideas

Find local gifts galore at Make It Vancouver (December 7 to 10 at the PNE Forum), the Made in the 604 Pop-Up Market (December 16 and 17 at Heritage Hall), the Vegan Holiday Night Market (December 7 at The Waldorf Hotel), and The Polygon Gallery’s Annual Holiday Shop (to January 7). Plus several huts at the Vancouver Christmas Market (to December 24) sell items made by local artisans.

For more holiday-shopping ideas, read some of our wishlists.


Post Date:

December 4, 2023