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Sticker Set by itshereandthere

The Ultimate Designer’s Gift Guide to Buying Local This Holiday Season

Searching for the perfect gift for the designer in your life or looking to treat yourself this holiday season? Look no further! Here is a list of beautiful, unique gifts made by your favourite local small businesses.

1. Billy Alpaca Silk Hat by Alma Knitwear

$60 (on sale) - Shop Now

Billy Alpaca Silk Hat by Alma Knitwear

Hand-knitted with an exclusive blend of brushed, superfine alpaca and shiny silk, this simple toque is a high quality take on a chic classic that will never disappoint.


2. Sad Mag Year Subscription

$30 - Shop Now

Sad Mag Year Subscription

SAD Mag is an independent arts and culture magazine published twice a year that showcases the work of local emerging artists, designers, writers, photographers, and other creatives in the Vancouver area. Our own Natasha Campbell, program coordinator of the Foundations in Design program, sits on the board of directors. Dedicated to amplifying underrepresented voices, SAD Mag welcomes contributions from anyone, regardless of experience. Every issue is created and curated in a way that will delight any designer. 


3. Sticker Set by itshereandthere

$22.50 - Shop Now

Sticker Set by itshereandthere

This quirky sticker set made by Wilson School of Design grad Lisa Taniguchi is the perfect gift for the graphic designer in your life to put on their beloved MacBook or water bottle. The set makes a perfect stocking stuffer!


4. Mistletoe Candle by Mala

$20 - Shop Now

Mistletoe Candle by Mala

With notes of holly, pine, and spiced berries, this soy candle embodies the smell of the holidays. Mala is a brand created and run by one woman and every candle is hand-poured in small batches with clean, simple ingredients that don’t compromise on quality. Plus--a tree is planted for every candle purchased.  If you’re not sure what scent to get, look into the discovery sampler for only $14.99.


5. True North Bracelet by True Curated Designs

$169 - Shop Now

True North Bracelet by True Curated Designs

Created by KPU alumna Alicia Winnett, the True North bracelet is a delicate, limited edition bracelet made from 14k Italian gold. Inspired by a compass, it is “an homage to adventure, a reminder of the journey and the destination, a way to wear your north star on your wrist.” Net proceeds from sales go directly to BC Women’s Health Foundation. In a time of cancelled travel plans, this bracelet is the next best thing for the wanderer, explorer, or adventurer in your life.


6. Sunset Arch Vase by Rook & Rose

$68 - Shop Now

Sunset Arch Vase by Rook & Rose

This vase is a designer’s dream with its elegant, organic shape and earthy tones. Sold by Victoria-based and all-female run flower shop Rook & Rose, the vase would be perfect paired with one of their dried flower arrangements.


7. Zero Waste Gift Basket by Alisa Yao

$145 - Shop Now

Zero Waste Gift Basket by Alisa Yao

Alisa Yao is a Wilson School of Design graduate who has been embracing the zero waste lifestyle and selling products that help you live more sustainably. Her products include beeswax food wraps, yoga bolsters made from fabric waste, and pencil cases made from upcycled food packaging, but this year she’s teamed up with fellow local artisans to create a gift basket full of zero waste goodies, including loose leaf tea, whipped body butter, bamboo toothbrushes, organic fruit gummy bears, and more.


8. Pralines & Cream Fudge by Nut & Fudge

$9 - Shop Now

Pralines and Cream Fudge by Nut & Fudge

This creamy, nutty fudge makes the perfect add-on gift for anyone in your life, not just designers. Nut & Fudge is a Canadian, family-run business that’s been perfecting delicious recipes for 45 years. If fudge isn’t your loved one’s favourite, they also make a variety of Belgian chocolates, roasted and candied nuts, dipped apples, and other sweet treats.


9. Bark Edge Ambrosia Maple Cutting Board by Stinson Studios

$70 - Shop Now

Bark Edge Ambrosia Maple Cutting Board by Stinson Studios

Made from 100% solid Canadian Maple hardwood, this board is perfect for that person who experiments creatively in the kitchen or loves to arrange picture-perfect charcuterie boards. If they already have one of these, consider getting them a wooden whiskey tumbler, coaster set, or magnetic knife holder, all made with an artistic eye yet highlighting the natural beauty of the wood.


10. Cubist Post Earrings by Lana Betty

$68 - Shop Now

Cubist Post Earrings by Lana Betty

These geometric statement earrings are made from 0.925 sterling silver for everyday wear in even the most sensitive ears and their interesting design makes them a thoughtful gift option. Every design from this Gastown-based shop is distinct and thought-provoking, and uses ethically sourced gold and silver.


11. Hudson Leather Watch by Tense Watch

$339.99 - Shop Now

Hudson Leather Watch by Tense Watch

This simple and beautiful watch, like every Tense watch, is made by hand from 100% recycled or reclaimed wood in Vancouver. Their products are designed and built around the core beliefs of quality and craftsmanship. This luxury gift will make someone in your life happy for years to come.


12. Seine Pant by Allison Wonderland

$106 - Shop Now

Seine Pant by Allison Wonderland

These versatile, flowy pants are also designed by a Wilson School of Design Grad and made in Vancouver. They’re made out of 55% linen and feature details like pleats, gathers, and pockets that show the thought and care put into the design.


These are twelve great gift options for this holiday season that support local small businesses that may be struggling to stay afloat in the difficult financial circumstances created by the pandemic. Choosing to buy from small businesses and invest in quality pieces over the convenience of Amazon or Walmart is a small way you can help local artisans and spread joy this month.