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‘Tis the season to shop local for unique holiday gifts

Here we are, back around to the holiday shopping season. This year we may be going “out” less, and doing more virtual shopping instead. Many local businesses have both in-store and online shopping options this season, and are gearing up to welcome holiday shoppers.

We’ve gathered details on some local businesses with interesting and unique gift ideas. Browse while you’re making your list and checking it twice.

The holidays will feel different this year. Maybe we won’t be gathering with extended family and friends. Maybe we’ll have Zoom celebrations, and conference call dinners. And maybe we’ll be missing out on watching our youngest family members grow up. But we will still create and share memories.

Capturing those precious moments in time is easy when you have a great photographer. Kaley Noel Photography is holding Holiday Mini Photo Sessions at her studio at 306 Bagot Street. Whether you want to share this year’s family portrait with grandparents and far away family, or would like a session with your bubble of besties to remember the craziness of 2020, a photography session will give you memories to treasure, and unique gifts for your loved ones.

The Holiday Mini sessions are by appointment Sundays and weekdays from November 8th through December 20th. The cost is $150+HST and you will receive 15-25 professional digital portraits. Contact Kaley at 613-583-0341, [email protected] or visit her website: www.kaleynoelphoto.com

During a year where it is more important than ever to shop and support local, The Nooks, at 208 Princess Street is the place to visit. Their downtown storefront showcases and highlights the work of Makers locally, and across Canada.

The Nooks storefront in Downtown Kingston.

The Nooks Holiday Gift Guides will launch in store and online on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020. Discover over 200 makers and their unique, handmade products.

Visit the website, https://thenooks.ca/, to shop online, and experience behind the scenes footage with exclusive Maker Experience Videos. Learn how your favorite Nooks products are made.

The Nooks is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and will be running a series of daily pop-ups where a vendor will be in-store to sell and showcase their work

If you’re looking for more artistic inspiration, visit an virtual shop full of Canadian handmade products on the ArtFest Ontario website.

ArtFest Ontario is running special events throughout the holiday shopping season. The Special Event dates are Friday, Nov. 6 through Sunday, Nov. 8 and Friday, Dec. 4 through Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, and include a daily one-hour livestream which highlights the artists work. These events also have a children’s art activity, and a guided tour of the shop.

During these events there are many special offers from the artists including discounts, gifts with purchase, free shipping and prizes. There is also a free draw for $100 Artfest Dollars that can be used in the online shop. Enter the draw here: https://yu164.infusionsoft.com/app/form/web-form-submitted48. Signing up through that link gets you a reminder email about the livestream events, and your name stays in the draw pool for all future monthly events.

Image provided by ArtFest.

“The 2020 Holiday Season is going to be different than anything we have yet to experience,” said Lory MacDonald, President of ArtFest Ontario. “Celebrating with family and close friends seems more important than ever in our changed world. Giving handmade gifts with a personal touch, feels like the right thing to do this year. The Artfest Online Shop provides a wonderful selection of beautiful, practical and engaging handmade gift ideas for you this season.”

Visit the ArtFest shop online to see what’s on offer from Canadian artists and find unique gift ideas.

Kingston is fortunate to have such a wonderful waterfront, as well as artists and makers who capture its nautical spirit. Our city is home to many boating and sailing enthusiasts who miss life on the water once summer fades and those north winds begin to blow.

Martello Alley and Martello on Brock have a remarkable selection of hand-crafted nautical-themed gifts for the mariner in your family. Whether you’re searching for wooden folk art bobs or rowboat earthenware serving dishes, you’re sure to find unique and relevant gift ideas for the boater on your Christmas list!

Image provided by Martello Alley.

Visit them at 203B Wellington Street (in the alley), or 66 Brock Street for in-person shopping, or visit their online catalog to browse their products from home.

For friends and family who love hand sewn accessories, The Plan B Collective delivers, with a selection of bags and masks in their Etsy store.

Heather and Emily Zadow are two local sisters who love knitting and sewing, as well as creating eco-friendly products. With adorable fabrics, and locally sourced wooden handles, The Plan B Collective has an assortment of drawstring and teardrop bags, coin purses and, of course, face masks.

Since the pandemic hit, The Plan B Collective has been trying different patterns for non-medical masks and say they have found an option that is great for glasses wearers. With a nose piece and a cable tie to keep the mask away from your mouth, the sisters say it is fog-free and very comfortable. Much of the fabric is locally sourced through Stitch by Stitch.

“Kingston has such a vibrant craft and artisan community and they have been struggling with the loss of in-person events,” says Heather Zadow, co-founder of Plan B Collective. “Please consider supporting local makers and shops for your Holiday gift giving.” Plan B Collective will be participating in the Mackinnon Brothers Holiday Market, being held at the farm on the weekends of Nov 27 and Dec 4, 2020.

Visit their Etsy shop for the complete collection: https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/theplanbcollective

Pure Colour Baby’s boutique at 837 Norwest Road is open for in-store shopping throughout the holiday season. They love helping customers select beautiful gifts for the little ones in their lives. Their entire collection of clothing is made right in studio, and they are working on a few new and exciting things for the season.

“Shopping local and supporting small businesses has always been important to me,” shared Lindsay Down, owner of Pure Colour Baby. “I love discovering new businesses and buying gifts for my family and friends that are handmade and unique!”

Every year for the past five years, Pure Colour Baby has exhibited at the One Of A Kind Show.

“This year, the show has been moved online, and while we miss being there in person with the amazing community of makers and artists, it’s been exciting to explore the One Of A Kind Online platform,” Down said. “To shop the show, it’s as simple as creating a customer account. You can browse all the products, create a list of favourite shops, and purchase directly from the makers.”

Pure Colour Baby also offers online shopping with local delivery, curbside pickup and shipping options: www.purecolourbaby.ca

Find them on Facebook or Instagram for updates @purecolourbaby, and check out the One of a Kind show here: https://oneofakind.balluun.com/en-us/

Ashley Thompson, of Simply New to You, has a few promotions this season for holiday shoppers. For the readers on your list, Simply New to You is offering a BOGO sale on their books: Buy one book and get the second, of equal or lesser value, for half price. Call Ashley at 613-530-5338 for information on her selection.

“Most of the books we have at the shop are in brand new condition and look like they haven’t even been read,” shared Thompson. “They’re a great gift idea for children, grandchildren, or godchildren.”

Image provided by Simply New to You.

If you don’t know Simply New to You, the small shop at 83 Aberfoyle Road opened in the fall of 2019, and offers gently used clothing, board games, books and movies, geared to children and teens. Thompson says between COVID-19 and the closure of John Counter Boulevard, the shop is struggling.

“I am so thankful that I have 12 years of business experience, and that I have another active online business that has helped alleviate some stress during the pandemic,” Thompson explained. “Simply Passionate, an online adult sensual product company, has been booming with COVID-19. I’m not sure if it’s because people have been home and spending more time together with their partners, but as we gear up for Christmas, Simply Passionate has a few packages on sale for 20% off. They smell amazing and are a great gift option for your mother, sister, or even yourself.”

This article is sponsored content. The businesses above paid a fee to be included in this article. If you would like to be approached for opportunities of this nature, email [email protected].

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