Your Vancouver Island Gift Guide. This installment showcases wonderful local gift ideas for her!

 

If you have been following along during the last few weeks, you will already know that we have been compiling lists of the best of the best of local artisans. The first article features ‘Gifts for Men‘, the second ‘Gifts for Kids‘, and now, ‘Gift Ideas for Her’.

This third instalment of the Vancouver Island Gift Guide showcases fabulous stores, shops, and artisans ideal for finding that special gift for those women in your life. This list is chock-full of so many fantastic businesses, the hardest part will be to know where to start (or possibly know when to stop…shopping that is!).

 

Vancouver Island Gift Guide Part 3 – Gift Ideas for Her

West Coast Kitsch - one of the fabulous artisans featured in our Vancouver Island Gift Guide - Gift Ideas for Her.

West Coast Kitsch

West Coast Kitsch offers upcycled home decor. Each piece is hand painted on reclaimed wood and inspired by their love of graphic arts/design and all things vintage. Their products include designs painted on reclaimed wood (as seen in the image above), and furniture from recycled lumber. They also enjoy sprucing up vintage furniture.

The History

When Ashley was young her Mom made signs to sell so that there was money for Christmas presents. After her Mom passed away, Ashley wanted a memento of what she remembered most about her Christmases with her Mom. So she asked her husband, Kent, to make her a sign that allowed her to hold onto that memory.

And West Coast Kitsch began!

Kent and Ashley are inspired by the natural environment, the concept of sustainability, and simple and clean graphic design. They focus on the process of converting waste materials into art in order to reduce their environmental footprint. Upcycling is their mantra. This approach to art has to do with a strong environmental ethic, as well as the idea of rescuing orphaned items, both natural and manmade. Materials are of central importance to their work, and are chosen for both their associative meanings and their aesthetic appeal.

Price Range

The average product cost is around $30, but really large items can cost up to $200.

Where to Find West Coast Kitsch

Facebook: @westcoastkitsch

Instagram: westcoastkitsch

 

 


 

Sticks and Stone Gallery - one of the amazing artisans featured in our Vancouver Island Gift Guide - Gift Ideas for Her

 

Sticks and Stones Gallery

Sticks and Stones Gallery has a knack for setting all life’s special memories in stone. Each unique and original pebble art is created to celebrate all your memorable moments.  Sticks and Stones Gallery offers personalized, unique gifts for every occasion and everyone!

Showcased in black 8 x 10 x 1 inch shadow box frames, these unique creations are set off by navy blue, hunter green or black matting and a pearly white background to highlight the natural variations in the stones. Each shadow box encompasses a variety of beautiful materials hand picked from the inspiring shores of Vancouver Island. Angie uses special stones, beautiful pebbles, frosty beach glass, detailed shells, unique pieces of driftwood, and other beach treasures found by herself and family while beach-combing.

How it all Began

Angie’s first shadow box design was a bride and groom pebble art made for her sister’s wedding. As her sister and husband live in the California desert, Angie wanted to give them something special from the West Coast. While walking the beach one day with her family, a beautiful oyster shell caught her eye. She envisioned a tiered wedding dress, much like the one her sister was going to wear. Everything sort of evolved from that shell to create a unique, one of a kind wedding gift.

Since that time, Angie has made hundreds of shadow box pebble art pieces to portray and represent many of life’s special occasions.  These shadow boxes have been shipped all over the world!

While each piece is original, they all share an underlying theme of love, tranquility, and peace, while celebrating your special occasions. Angie comments that when she is sitting quietly creating her pebble art, she swears that she can hear what the materials gathered from our beautiful shores have to say. She finds that creating the art is definitely a treasure in itself.

Price Range

Most of the designs are between $90.00 -$110.00.

Custom orders require a 50% deposit, and may cost more depending on the nature of the work involved and materials used in the design.

Where to Find Sticks and Stones Gallery

Website: sticksandstonesgallery.com

Etsy: SticksnStone

Facebook: @SticksAndStoneGallery

Pinterest: Sticks and Stones Gallery

Twitter: @SticksnStone2

Instagram: sticksandstonesgallery

Sticks and Stones designs can also be found at Island-ish, a beautiful boutique shop on Wingrove Street in Nanaimo.

 


 

Blyss by Laura - one of the amazing artisans featured in our Vancouver Island Gift Guide - Gift Ideas for Her

Blyss by Laura

Blyss by Laura offers all natural, luxurious bath products that are designed to relax and rejuvenate. What sets Blyss by Laura apart from other bath companies is her use of stunning botanicals that are designed to float along the top of your bath water. These botanicals are harvested locally, and the products are handmade in small batches right here on the Island.

Where it all Started

Laura was a brand new mom with a cranky baby whose skin was very sensitive. Like many new parents, she was desperate for a good night sleep. She wasn’t satisfied with other products on the market and thought she would try making some soothing and relaxing bath salts to use while bathing her little one. So she developed a formula of bath salts using only all natural ingredients, including her own herbs picked from the family garden, that was calming, soothing and safe for her baby. She called it Baby Blyss, and it worked like a charm! As a result, both baby and Laura started getting more restful sleeps, and her little one’s skin improved greatly.

Once friends found out what Laura was making, and most importantly that it worked, she started getting requests for different scents and blends. She experimented with different botanicals and blends and came up with original and luxurious formulas using the highest quality ingredients she could find.

In August 2015 she opened her Etsy shop and started selling her Blyssful goodies to the general public. Now her product line includes bath salts, bath bombs, bubble bars, soaps, scrubs, massage bars, shaving cream, and more!

Price Range

Products range from $4 – $50.

Where to find Blyss by Laura Products

Website: blyssbylaura.com

Facebook: @BlyssbyLaura

Instagram: @blyssbylaura

Etsy: blyssbylaura.etsy.com

You can also find her bath products at the following select locations:

  • Gifts N’ Things in Chemainus
  • Coastal 66 in Nanaimo
  • Left Coast Fashions in Ladysmith
  • The Network Hub Pop Up Shop in Nanaimo

 


 

Emily Ferris Jewellery - one of the amazing artists featured in our Vancouver Island Gift Guide - Gift Ideas for Her

 

Emily Ferris Jewellery

Designed and inspired by the all the natural elements from the West Coast, Emily creates her pieces in her central Vancouver Island studio, which is nestled in the forest on her large, rural property. Emily’s designs are combined with careful and delicate workmanship to ensure durable pieces of jewelry that can be worn everyday, or used as statement pieces to dress up a formal outfit. She uses strictly 100% recycled silver and gold to create her jewelry. As well, she purchases all the sterling silver directly from a refinery that uses environmentally responsible practices.

The Journey

Emily spent her early years living on a remote, off the grid island where she gained a large sense of community and self-reliance.  Learning from her elders, she developed a strong love and respect for nature. Foraging and exploration of the seashore and natural world became second nature to her at an impressionable age. She also grew up surrounded by a long line of talented and creative people. This natural propensity for the enjoyment of original work, coupled with long hours of concentration, assisted Emily in the development of her own unique and original honed skill set. This leads her to create original distinctly elegant designs, and the ability to inspire many through her creativity and heartwarming gift.

Price Range

While the average price is around $45.00, you can find pieces for as little as $20, or up to $150.

Where to Find Emily Ferris Jewellery

Emily sells her jewelry primarily in two local stores. The Salish Sea Market, located in Bowser, and Alcove Homegrown Living, located in Qualicum. Both stores are owned by fabulous women who are dedicated to supporting local artists.

She also has a few of her designs on her Etsy shop: EmilyFerrisJewellery.

 


 

Pine Co Crafts - one of the amazing artisans featured in our Vancouver Island Gift Guide - Gift Ideas for Her

 

Pine Co Crafts

Pine Co Crafts offers cozy and stylish west-coast inspired handmade accessories. Twin sisters, Rebecca and Naomi, work with quality yarn to create beautiful pieces that are both stylish and practical. Each item is made specially with love for their customers.

How the Business Came to Be

Rebecca and Naomi were raised in a family that valued homemade gifts and creativity. In fact, it is still quite common for the majority of their gifts to each other to be homemade. The girls started knitting later in their childhood, and a few years ago started to experiment with crochet. They had always joked about selling their creations. Last winter they decided to commit and make their dream a reality. It was an idea that has always been there, a dream resting under the surface of each blanket, scarf, toque, and slipper they make.

Born and raised on Vancouver Island, they have a love of the outdoors. And they design their products to be practical in our climate.

Price Range

Their products range from $20-$60, with most sitting around the $40 mark.

Where to Find Pine Co Crafts

Facebook: @Pinecocrafts

Instagram: @pineco.crafts

Etsy: www.pineco.ca

 


 

Remedy Essential Oils - one of the amazing artisans featured in our Vancouver Island Gift Guide - Gift Ideas for Her

Remedy Essential Oils

Brittany and Kyla handcraft aromatherapy jewelry for diffusing essential oils. They design all of their pieces themselves, and use a wide range of materials. This includes lava stones, stainless steel lockets, silver plated lockets, gemstones, Sterling silver and rose gold. The jewelry is intended for everyday use, and can be worn with or without using the essential oils. However, using the jewelry with the accompanying oils is a great way to get the benefits of aromatherapy all day long.

They also create custom jewelry pieces for clients, as well as custom lines for retail stores.

How Remedy Essential Oils Got Started

The girls started out making essential oils blends for natural remedies for things such as headaches, stress/anxiety, cleaning, and insect repellent. They love showing people natural ways to treat ailments, as well as how to clean their homes without the chemicals and preservatives that are in commercial products. Since aromatherapy has so many health benefits, the diffuser necklaces came from people wanting to be able to benefit from essential oils on the go.

Kyla and Brittany really enjoy creating and crafting new pieces, and are absolutely thrilled with the response they receive from their clientele. So much so, that making jewelry has become the main part of their business, and something they have become quite passionate about it.

Remedy Essential Oils is locally owned and operated in Nanaimo, and both Brittany and Kyla are busy moms who balance their business with their family lives, as well as their other careers.

Price Range

The necklaces range from $26-$48 in price. Their essential oil blends are around $10-$15.

Where to Find Remedy Essential Oils

Website: remedyessentialoils.com 

Etsy: RemedyEssentialOils

Facebook: @RemedyEssentialOils

Pinterest: Remedy Essential Oils

Instagram: remedyessentials 

You can find Remedy Essential Oil products in the following select retailers:

  • Departure Bay Aromatherapy – Nanaimo
  • Wild Woman Medicine Show – both the Downtown Nanaimo location, as well as the Woodgrove mall Kiosk
  • Shades of Green – Parksville
  • Radway Eco Boutique – Cowichan Bay
  • Vancouver Aquarium Gift Shop

 

 


 

Chicks and Stones - one of the amazing local artisans featured in our Vancouver Island Gift Guide - Gift Ideas for Her

 

Chicks and Stones

Callie makes one of a kind planters using succulents arranged in upcycled items gathered from all over Vancouver Island. The goal of Chicks and Stones is to give everyone in Nanaimo and surrounding areas access to something other than your typical flower arrangement. The planters, if cared for properly, should last forever. They make beautiful gifts for any occasion (baby showers, hostess gifts, teacher thank you’s, etc.) and are perfect for outdoor décor and/or centerpieces. She uses 100% upcycled planters from old wood bowls, teapots, and even high heels. She can truly plant in anything!

Where it all Began

Chicks and Stones began as a form of zen for Callie through her divorce. She has always enjoyed planting unique creations with her two young boys, now 5 and 7. So she started selling teacup planters at yard sales and got some amazing feedback to expand. Then the wonderful world of Facebook took her page to a whole new level. Two years later, Callie is happy to report that she now has over 500 followers, and does tons of custom planter orders every month…all out of her own backyard. She handpicks every succulent from the gardens of friends, and is now trying to grow a “chick factory” of her own.

Callie can customize anything, and loves personal touches that clients ask for. She thoroughly enjoys being able to use her creativity to turn orders into something amazing. Hand painting quotes on rocks is one of her favourite things to do. Callie promotes supporting local creativity, and strives to make her creations truly one-of-a-kind!

If ever a planter you purchased begins to look sad, Callie asks that you contact her so that she can fix it for you.

Price Range

Planters range from $10-$50, depending on the size and accessories.

Where to Find Chicks and Stones

Facebook: Chicks & Stones

Email: [email protected]

 


 

Soak Essentials - one of the amazing local artisans featured in our Vancouver Island Gift Guide - Gift Ideas for Her

 

Soak Essentials

Soak Essentials Marketplace is a lifestyle boutique in the heart of Downtown Parksville that showcases handmade local finds from clothing to home décor.

The Boutique also acts as a studio for owner, Kristy, to curate her Soak Essentials Bath and Body line.  She handcrafts an array of products including lip balms, bath salts, body butters, soaps, and bubble bath (to name a few). All products are made with love and in small batches so she can ensure freshness and quality in each item.

The focus of Soak Essentials is on pure, quality ingredients which are free of parabens and phthalates, and are sustainable and cruelty free.

How it all Started

Kristy started her business in 2009 with her signature bath salts.  Even though at the time many people were selling soaps etc., Kristy noticed that there was no one selling salts where potential customers could get up close and smell them.  So, she decided to create a salt bar at the markets where people could scoop up the salts, smell them, and enjoy the experience of choosing aromatherapy salts.  After filling a gap in the marketplace, and finding success, she started doing many markets while slowly adding to her line of products.

In 2012 she decided to take a leap of faith and open a retail location.  While she continues to do the odd market, Kristy now mainly sells out of her shop in Parksville.

Kristy also teaches Beginner Soap-Making classes in the Studio of Soak Essentials Marketplace.  These classes are a great opportunity to learn how to make your own custom batch of handmade cold process soap. You get to choose the colour, scent, and additives, and the process gives you approximately 12-16 bars of soap!

Price Range

The average prices range of the Soak Essential Bath and Body line is between $4-$20.

Where to Find Soak Essentials

You can find Soak Essentials Bath and Body Products, as well as many other amazing locally made items, at Soak Essentials Marketplace located at #4-180 Craig Street in Parksville.

Website: soakessentials.com

Facebook: @soakessentials

Instagram: @soakessentialsmarketplace

Twitter: @SoakEssentials

 

 


 

Jewelz of the Isle - one of the amazing local artisans featured in our Vancouver Island Gift Guide - Gift Ideas for Her

 

Jewelz of the Isle

The designs from Jewelz of the Isle offer an opportunity to enjoy one-of-a-kind wearable art pieces. The jewelry is inspired by and evolved from nature’s colours, shapes, and unique crystal and gemstone treasures.

Where it all Began

Jewelz of the Isle was born from Tina spending many years of playing, crafting and working with a huge (and she means HUGE!) collection of glass, crystal, and funky handmade beads. She has had a life-long infatuation with crystals and stones. After realizing that she craved much more than just collecting and crafting, Tina started creating custom pieces for family and friends. This evolved into what has become a passion for sharing Mother Earth’s natural art.

All of Tina’s designs are truly infused with honor, intention, and much love. And she is humbled and thrilled that her artisan business is now growing and flourishing.

Tina is open to accommodate custom designs as well.

Price Range

Tina’s jewelry designs are priced from $15 – $150, depending on the actual crystal, gems, stones, and metals that are used. She feels very strongly about prices being honest, fair and affordable so that everyone has the opportunity to wear, enjoy and/or gift her pieces.

The feature piece shown in the image above is a Ruby Aura Quartz & Gold-filled Pendant with genuine Swarovski crystal, and retails for $56.

Where to Find Jewelz of the Isle

Website: jewelzoftheisle.ca

Etsy: JewelzoftheIsle

Facebook: @jewelzoftheisle.ca

Instagram: @jewelzoftheisle

Jewelz of the Isle designs are also available locally at the following Nanaimo retailers:

  • Breze Salon & Day Spa (Country Club Mall)
  • Lobelia’s Lair (Old City Quarter)

 


 

Hot Chocolates - one of the amazing artisans featured in our Vancouver Island Gift Guide - Gift Ideas for Her

Hot Chocolates

For the past 30 years Hot Chocolates has been handcrafting truffles, chocolates, nut barks and novelty chocolates for every season. They pride themselves on a fantastic chocolate taste experience with a beautiful presentation.

The History

The late Sherry Marshall Bruce and her Mom Deanna Stewart were creating truffles and small chocolate bites as an extension of a cafe they operated on Denman Island. Although they found the cafe business pretty exhausting, they had received much love and support from the truffles they were offering. So in 1986 they gambled and established Hot Chocolates in Downtown Courtenay in a 400 sq foot space. They traveled back and forth from Denman Island for a couple of years until the commute and it’s delays wore thin. They then decided to make the move to Courtenay.

In 2006 Sherry and husband Jorden Marshall expanded and created Cakebread Artisan Bakery alongside Hot Chocolates. Today Michele Henry is GM and Head Chocolatier, Ian Harris leads the Bakery, and Arlene Wallace still takes your phone order and anchors the office.

The creative and enthusiastic team that creates your chocolate and bakery experience approaches 50 woman and men from the Comox Valley.

It is good to note that Hot Chocolates is much more than a beautiful store that sells hundreds of hand-crafted chocolates. They also have 24 flavours (seasonally) of house-made gelato and sorbetto, and even a full-service cappuccino bar. On the bakery side, they have an assortment of breads, cakes, and other baked delights, as well as a fantastic selection of oil and vinegar (which you can taste test).

Price Range

For as little as $5, Hot Chocolates helps their clients enhance their traditions and say thank you, I love you, Happy Birthday, etc. As we all know, chocolate fits all occasions.

Where to Find Hot Chocolates

Their products can be purchased in store at 368 Fifth Street, Downtown Courtenay, or online.

They have ongoing relationships with a few markets and stores on Vancouver Island, Hornby and Quadra Island, however their products are delicate and a challenge to ship. So mostly they cater to clients directly in the shop, and/or over the phone or internet.

Website: www.hotchocolates.ca

Facebook: @HotChocolatesCV

Twitter: @HotChocolatesCV

You can find fantastic reviews about Hot Chocolates on both TripAdvisor and Yelp.

 


 

Backwoods Soap and Candle Co - one of the amazing artisans featured in our Vancouver Island Gift Guide - Gift Ideas for Her

Backwoods Soap & Candle Co.

Backwoods Soap & Candle Co. specialize in soy candles, natural cold processed soap, bath bombs, and other bath treats. All of their products are handmade in small batches by Jackie and Christina – two sisters living in the Cowichan Valley.

The Business Evolution

In 2013, Jackie started making soap for her own use, and also to give away as gifts for Christmas. The following Spring she started experimenting with making candles. And due to the many people who compliment her on how nice her house smells, she hasn’t stopped since. The majority of their candles are made in mason jars to stick to a rustic décor theme.
While being creative and innovative they are able to produce products and scents that are exciting and beautiful at the same time. Their bath products use essential oils which allows you to benefit from aromatherapy too.

Price Range

Their products start at $4 and go up to $20.

Where to Find Backwoods Soap & Candle Products

Website: backwoodssoapandcandle.ca

Facebook: @backwoodssoapandcandleco

Instagram: @backwoodssoap

Twitter: @backwoodssoap

Etsy: Backwoodssoapcandle

Backwoods Soap & Candle Products can be found at the following select retailers:

  • Blue Poppy Garden Boutique (Nanaimo)
  • Left Coast Fashions (Ladysmith)
  • Russell Farm Markets (Crofton)
  • Whippletree (Duncan)
  • Loonie Bin (Lake Cowichan)
  • Freestyle Salon (Cowichan Bay)
  • Great Greens Farm Market (Cowichan Bay)

 


 

I hope this list of creative artisans and their beautiful wares inspires you to shop local this Christmas, as well as throughout the year!

 

 

 

348 Comments

  1. Cecile pelletier Reply

    Wow! I finally found the comment space! Thanks for patiently seeing me through to this spot! Anyway, no I have not tried any of the above neat products but will try to visit them next time I am in the area. Thanks, and keep up the very interesting blog, I really enjoy hearing about our Island’s remote spots and all the details of your adventures.

    • Kim Reply

      Yay! I am so glad you were able to leave a comment! Thanks so much Cecile, I enjoy giving people ideas to create their own adventures.

  2. I have seen some of these vendors at the Local Craft fairs I enjoy going to in Nanaimo at Christmas time. Thank you for the opportunity to learn more about them.

    • Kim Reply

      It was my pleasure Iris! I had a lot of fun learning more about each artisan too, and am happy to share it all with you.

  3. Such great Christmas ideas! The sisters/moms/cousins in my family are about to be spoiled this year!

    • Kim Reply

      I am sure they will be overjoyed because of it! Thanks Melanie!

  4. Susana Michaelis Reply

    I have visited many of these vendors at the many Craft Fairs I have attended this year! I also love Lobelia’s Lair downtown. A great idea to showcase these great products!

  5. Sandy Neave Reply

    Can’t wait for the sun to rise tomorrow so I can do some shopping and purchase a few of the items on the above list!

    • Kim Reply

      That is great to hear Sandy! Enjoy your shopping trip today!

  6. Sue Vranjes Reply

    What lovely choices, most of them new to me. Hot Chocolates on Fifth is our go to, guaranteed to please, all occasion gift stop in Courtenay. Long time favorite of mine and everyone I know!!

    • Kim Reply

      I am so glad to hear I introduced you to some fantastic shopping choices! And yes, Hot Chocolates is wonderful!

  7. Shawna Bowlby Reply

    I had no idea there were so many great local companies. I will definitely be making some purchases for Christmas gifts, maybe even a gift for myself 🙂

    • Kim Reply

      Yes, we are so lucky to have so many talented artisans and unique shops to choose from! I think getting something for yourself is definitely in order. 😉

  8. Great idea for Giveaway. I bought a diffuser necklace for my mom for Remedy Essential Oils. They have such a great selection. Need to buy one for myself. 🙂

    • Kim Reply

      Thanks Kristen! Oh you really should…or perhaps pass the information along to someone you know who will be buying you a gift this Christmas. 😉 I bought a diffuser necklace from Remedy Essential Oils for myself at the Etsy show in September, and absolutely love it! I recommend them to anyone who admires it.

  9. Thank you, Vancouver Island View! What a great contest! I have frequented Lobelias Lair, susceptible an inspiring store????????????

    • Kim Reply

      You’re welcome Bernie! I have to admit, that is one of the stores mentioned in this article that I haven’t been into yet. According to all the comments quite a few people love it, so I am definitely going to have to check it out. Best of luck in the giveaway.

  10. I love Soak’s bath salts, especially the revive and aches and pains ones. So many wonderful local brands in this, thanks!

    • Kim Reply

      I haven’t tried that one yet, but I did just buy it the other day while I was in there (because I liked the scent). Glad to know I chose a good one!

  11. Janet lawson Reply

    So many lovely items in this basket. Thanks for the opportunity!

  12. Leah Johnston (Mestdagh) Reply

    Wow that’s an amazing gift basket to share with all my favourite girls!

    • Kim Reply

      Awe, that would be such a great idea. I’m sure they would appreciate it! Best of luck in the giveaway.

  13. Bonnie Morgan Reply

    There are so many unique gift ideas for so many unique people on my “to buy for” list. I will have a tough time just buying for these people and not adding a few for myself.

    • Kim Reply

      Ha! Yes, I had that problem too. I may have indulged just a little. Have fun!

  14. Amanda Wagner Reply

    I love shopping local! Soak Essentials is one of my all time favourites, excited to check out some of the other locals 🙂

    • Kim Reply

      That’s great! I’m sure you will find some awesome products at the other locations too! But yes, I totally agree, Soak Essentials is pretty fantastic.

  15. Mmmmm, Hot Chocolate, very good chocolate indeed.
    What a great list, you have given me some new places to explore, thank you!
    Love shopping locally!

    • Kim Reply

      You’re welcome! I am so glad to hear that you love shopping locally too.

  16. ramona banks Reply

    I already shop at some of these stores for their great products and will continue to do so

  17. This is a fantatic giveaway! Already shopped with 3 of these businesses for the Holidays. Thank you!

  18. Wealth of treasures, so many amazing artisans, thank you for the introduction!

    • Kim Reply

      It was my pleasure! I’m so glad I introduced you to some great ideas.

  19. Tracey Teneycke Reply

    Love this blog! Shared on FB, commented, liked & signed up for newsletter! Such a great resource! Cheers!

    • Kim Reply

      Thanks so much Tracey! I appreciate all the support. Best of luck in the giveaway!

  20. Ida Fraser Reply

    What a treasure of new businesses for me to shop at. Time to start my Christmas shopping.

  21. Lynne L'Heureux Reply

    Would be a wonderful Christmas gift to myself ????????

  22. Cynthia MacLean Reply

    I love to shop at Lobelia’s Lair for their amazing local gifts…

  23. Thank you for the amazing local gift ideas! Something for everyone!

  24. Awesome ! Thank you for all the links of where to buy! Time for some shopping ???? would love to win that basket, some for sharing and some to keep !!

    • Kim Reply

      Thanks Carey. And you’re welcome! Best of luck in the giveaway.

  25. Amazing businesses featured here, I know how great hot Chocolates, West Coast Kitsch, and Soak Essentials are so can’t wait to check out these other businesses too!

    • Kim Reply

      That is so great to hear Carmen! I definitely tried to choose the best of the best when curating this list, so I’m sure you won’t be disappointed when checking out the other businesses.

  26. Malone Guenther Reply

    All of the items are beautiful! We visit Hot Chocolates every time we are in Courtenay, they have delicious stuff!

    • Kim Reply

      Yes, when looking for a delicious treat, Hot Chocolates is the place to go! Thanks Malone.

  27. ROXANA E CASTILLO Reply

    Thank u for sharing these amazing local businesses. Great ideas.

  28. Diane dehaan Reply

    Great to see so many local businesses showcased in your page . I look forward to seeing more of their work

  29. Julie Odermatt Reply

    Great article! I love that your showcasing so many talented local artists! We are very lucky on Vancouver Island! Good luck everyone!

    • Kim Reply

      Thanks so much Julie! I totally agree, we most definitely are lucky to live on Vancouver Island.

  30. I am going to have peg the places when I visit up island. So many different crafters whose products I gave yet to enjoy!

    • Kim Reply

      Yes, that is a great idea. But the majority of them also have online shopping options, so even if you don’t get up here you can still enjoy their shops!

  31. Cori McCormack Reply

    This prize looks amazing! I love soak essentials store in parksville. Really cute stuff!

    • Kim Reply

      Yes, the artisans provided some pretty fantastic products for the basket! And I totally agree, Soak Essentials is a great store.

  32. Rachel vanroie Reply

    Very cool to be able to find easily great local companies to support through the holidays and beyond! Got to love to shop local and support the “little guy”

    • Kim Reply

      Thanks Rachel! I’m so glad to hear the gift guides are helpful to you.

  33. Lorena Beutler Reply

    What a great site always nice to see local businesses and Thank you for all the great ideas !!!!

  34. Pamela Girard Reply

    This is truly a wonderful site! Thanks so much for sharing, I am fairly ne to the area so this is fantastic!!

  35. Wonderful ideas. Thank you for showcasing our great island artists. Such beautiful work.

    • Kim Reply

      You’re so welcome, Lisa! Best of luck in the giveaway.

    • Kim Reply

      Thank you Maureen. It was fun putting the gift guides together. I hope to make it an annual thing.

  36. Thanks the technical support Kim and for the site – looking forward to exploring it further and would be so excited to win this basket of goodies and learn more about our local crafters!

    • Kim Reply

      No problem at all Holly! Best of luck in the giveaway.

  37. Cameo Snow Reply

    Thank you and everyone who is helping with this giveaway. Good luck to all and to all good luck. 🙂

    • Kim Reply

      Thanks McKenzie! Best of luck, and happy holidays to you too!

  38. Lori Kimpton Reply

    i love supporting local business, and your products are all amazing! I’ll watch for you on my travels.

    • Kim Reply

      Thanks Lori. I know the artisans would appreciate a new customer!

  39. I love how you tell me where I can find all of these island treasures!

  40. Suezanne Wadsworth Reply

    What a wonderful gift basket, featuring very talented local artists !

  41. Our family shops regularly at Hot Chocoates. I’m very much looking forward to enjoying these other shops as well. Thank you for introducing them to me.

  42. Lenora Grey Reply

    What an incredible prize and what a great way to promote the businesses. Just absolutely a treasure of a basket to win.

  43. Debbie Smith Reply

    Thank you for introducing me to these local artisans! So creative and so much talent here on the island! Looking forward to checking out the different tables at the craft fairs………

  44. Wow what a wonderful collection of “buy local” treasures. I haven’t run across any of these items in my travels yet but I do like to support local businesses so I’ll watch for them. Thank you for bringing them to my attention.

    • Kim Reply

      Thank you Brenda! I am so glad I was able to share these wonderful artisans with you then.

  45. Roni-Lee Roach Reply

    Frequent buyer from some of these but now have some new places to checkout and browse through thanks ????

      • laureen charlton

        Not sure where to leave a comment to enter the contest but I love all the products and web site! Thanks

      • Kim

        You got it right Laureen. This is where you leave a comment. Best of luck in the giveaway.

  46. Jill stanley Reply

    Wow! A mid- island shopping trip is in order! Some beautiful,products and one of a kind ideas. Thanks.

    • Kim Reply

      You’re welcome Jill! Happy shopping to you, and best of luck in the giveaway.

  47. Christine Usborne Reply

    What an amazing basket full of locally produced items. So much talent here on Vancouver Island!! Best of luck to everyone!

    • Kim Reply

      We most definitely do have some amazing talent here. Best of luck to you too!

  48. Mmmm Hot Chocolates is amazing. Thanks for all the awesome ideas!

  49. Paddy Bradley Reply

    Kim, I really enjoy receiving the VI newsletter. I am going to search out some of these merchants as part of my Christmas shopping.

  50. What a great grouping of suggestions. Hadn’t heard of a lot of them.

    • Kim Reply

      Thanks Susie. I’m so glad to introduce you to some amazing artisans and shops!

  51. Suezanne Wadsworth Reply

    Such a wonderful gift basket, which features many very talented local artists. Some lucky lady will be very happy to win.

    • Kim Reply

      Thanks Suezanne! Yes, lucky indeed. Best of luck in the giveaway!

  52. Kathleen Butterworth Reply

    Thank you so much for this gift guide full of “fantabulous local businesses” and the opportunity to win such an amazing gift basket! I really enjoyed reading about the history of all the extremely talented local artisans.

    • Kim Reply

      Thank you so much for the great feedback Kathleen! Best of luck in the giveaway.

  53. Coreen Haukenfrers Reply

    I would love to win this beautiful basket of handcrafted Vancouver Island goodies

  54. Emily Newman Reply

    I haven’t shopped or heard about at any of this businesses before but I’m interested to know more about what kind of products they have!

    • Kim Reply

      Well then, I am so glad I brought them to your attention Emily!

    • Kim Reply

      Thanks so much Karen! I know the merchants would appreciate you looking!

  55. Crystal Dillabough Reply

    Just moved to the island. I love the variety of local artisans, farmers, etc, and I love to shop local!

    • Kim Reply

      Well, welcome to the Island Crystal! Best of luck in the giveaway!

    • Kim Reply

      I agree Anne! We really have no excuse to not shop local!

  56. Jen Williams Reply

    Hot Chocolates is an amazing place! Such an Awesome prize basket!

  57. Thank you so much for the giveaway. There are so many amazingly talented people on this island. Will definitely be checking everyone out!

    • Kim Reply

      You’re welcome Alisa! And I quite agree…we definitely have an amazing selection of local talent.

  58. Catherine Buchanan Reply

    In previous years I search Etsy for unique and artisanal gifts but with a local selection like this I can really do the same – and save on shipping!! Love ❤️ this selection!

    • Kim Reply

      The added shipping is usually a deterrent for me when it comes to online shopping. So yes, you are quite right Catherine…shopping locally whether online or in-store saves the shipping costs!

  59. Great selection of local artisans! Great to see local shops highlighted, like Departure Bay Aromatherapy, on of my faves!

  60. Bambi Pheaton Reply

    Great selection of unique gifts!! So pleased to see our local Hot Chocolates made the list…one of the best.

  61. What an amazing basket! Im looking forward to checking out some of these local businesses ❤️

    • Kim Reply

      Thanks Carly! I know that you will find some great items when checking out those businesses.

  62. I am amazed how much leg work you have done and how much you have written on behalf of these businesses. Awesome, thanks!

    • Kim Reply

      Thanks so much Tracey! As you know, I thoroughly enjoy it.

    • Kim Reply

      Thanks Christine. I’m pretty sure I saw it, but better safe than sorry 😉

    • Kim Reply

      I think so too. The artisans were extremely generous when donating their prizes. Makes for one incredible basket! Best of luck to you!

  63. I’m really looking forward to learning more about these products and where to get them! I love shopping local and especially love sending gift to friends and family across the country that scream Vancouver Island! Thanks for the contest!

  64. We use Backwoods products all the time- candles, soaps and bath bombs. Love it all!

  65. We have so much talent on this island. I would love to win this!

  66. I’m always eager to shop local on the Island. The wares look fantastic! Anyone who wins will be extremely fortunate, good luck to us all!????

    • Kim Reply

      Thanks Leslie! And I totally agree…someone is going to be extremely fortunate to win this beautiful basket. Best of luck to you!

    • Kim Reply

      Oh do! With all three gift guides combined there are over 40 local artisans and stores mentioned, so I’m confident you will find a treasure or two.

  67. Lisa Sworts Reply

    All Beautiful gifts. So important to support our local businesses ❤️

    • Kim Reply

      Me too! I am extremely jealous I can’t win this one. Best of luck in the giveaway.

  68. Awesome prizes! I’d love to win so I can register and spread the love!

  69. Lynne Rogers Reply

    Awesome, thank you for putting this together! I have been in Soak Essentials… Smells so nice in there!

    • Kim Reply

      You’re welcome Lynne! Yes, Soak Essentials is a lovely store.

  70. Beautiful. ..so lucky to have such incredible talent on our island!!!

  71. Jessica MacIsaac Reply

    Some great suggestions to support local businesses this season! Love it!

  72. This was a great series and got me out looking at products I would never have found on my own. I bought some amazing Magnolia soap and bath bbd from Blyss by Laura which had just about finished off my Christmas stocking needs! Thanks for all the very good gift ideas.

    • Kim Reply

      That is absolutely wonderful to hear Lynne! And exactly what I was hoping!

  73. Kelly Milholm Reply

    What an amazing and talented group of artisans! I love everything 🙂

  74. I’ve bought chocolate from Hot Chocolates, bath bombs from Blyss by Laura, and mason jar candles from Backwoods Soap & Candle Co. before and they’re all SO GOOOOD! And I have my eye on a piece from West Coast Kitsch, a “lump of coal” from Soak Essentials, and a headband from Pine Co. This is such a great guide!

  75. These are absolutely amazing!!! I love the sticks and stones pictures 🙂

  76. I loved reading this!! There are so many unique and talented businesses here on the island :). With Christmas coming up, it’s nice to be able to support locally, while sending one-of-a-kind gifts!

    • Kim Reply

      Thanks so much Ashlee! I am amazed at how many talented artisans we have here. The groups that we mentioned in all three articles are just a small portion of them too (although definitely some of the best)!

  77. Michelle Cruickshank Reply

    Thank you for these guides, I have officially found something for everyone on my holiday list…and beyond!

    • Kim Reply

      You’re welcome! I am so glad to hear you are utilizing the gift guide.

  78. Valarie Lyons Reply

    Love all the ideas, it makes shopping much easier and local!

    • Kim Reply

      Thank you! Yes, hopefully this list will help inspire more people to shop local!

  79. Look forward to planning a road to trip to visit all these great artisans!

  80. You did it again, Kim. Awesome list of local artisans. Thanks.

    • Kim Reply

      Thanks Ariel. And yes, whoever wins this gift basket is one luck lady!

  81. Hayley Shearer Reply

    This is great! Thank you for the gift ideas and businesses to check out! I also appreciate the reminder of Hot Chocolates. So tasty!

    • Kim Reply

      Thank you Hayley! I am so glad you find these gift ideas useful!

  82. Love this list! It’s so amazing to see so many of these products in local stores all over oceansice. Local shopping is the best and feels so good.

    • Kim Reply

      I was just out doing some Christmas shopping in Qualicum and yes, I was thrilled to see some of these products in the stores!

  83. Love everything on this list! Local christmas gifts are the best 🙂

    • Kim Reply

      Thanks Jennifer! And yes, I am having a great time sourcing out local Christmas gifts this year.

  84. Kathy McKee Reply

    Very nice selection… will definitely be searching out these vendors for gifts!

  85. I love so many of these gift ideas- I’ll have to pass them on to my husband too 😉

    • Kim Reply

      Yes, it really is hard to choose which one is the perfect gift. I’m sure your husband will appreciate the ideas forwarded on to him.

  86. What an amazing collection, and so beautifully curated. Wishing all of these amazing vendors a very successful 2016 holiday season!

  87. Claudia Roland Reply

    All 3 articles on local craftspeople are inspired. I would like something from every one of the “Gifts for Ladies” collection. Thanks again for going out of your way both for us shoppers and the crafters. You are a gem! I’m well armed to start my Christmas shopping tomorrow!!!! 🙂

    • Kim Reply

      Aww, thank you so much Claudia! Happy shopping to you!

  88. Leah Johnston (Mestdagh) Reply

    I have end tables from Westcoast Kitsch that we get so many compliments on. Also a lovely sign at our front door. Looking forward to checking out some of these other artists!

  89. Love all of these! Hope to see some of these vendors at the craft fairs I attend this season!!

    • Kim Reply

      Thanks Kelsey! This is a really big weekend for craft fairs (there are at least five of them that I know of), and many of these artisans will be there as vendors.

  90. Brandi McCallum Reply

    Great write up! I want everything in here. I’ve shopped at a few of those local stores and love them 🙂 I entered myself in for the gift basket! Fingers crossed!

  91. Melia whyte Reply

    I love hot chocolates! Their truffles are amazing and the service is always good

    • Kim Reply

      They are a ‘new to me’ business, but yes, I can attest that their truffles are incredible!

  92. Melissa Sexsmith Reply

    Such a great post! Love West Coast Kitsch and have ordered from them before 🙂 New to your blog and very impressed 🙂

    • Kim Reply

      Thank you so much for your kind comment Melissa! We are glad to have you as a reader.

    • Kim Reply

      If you are talking about all the lovely products these talented artisans produce, then I totally agree Chantael!

    • Kim Reply

      There are so many great ideas, he might be overwhelmed! 😉

  93. Jennifer Krajcik Reply

    Love this great place for a lunch, afternoon pick me up and a great place to be employed!!!

    • Kim Reply

      Are you perhaps talking about Hot Chocolates, Jennifer? I haven’t yet had lunch there, but will definitely be back to do so at some point.

  94. Kerri Christie Reply

    I am sending this to my husband right away! Thanks again!

  95. Lots of beautiful items. Can’t wait to check out chicks and stones at the Randerson Ridge craft fair. Thank you for all the time you have put into these wonderful gift guides ????

    • Kim Reply

      Thank you Elaine, I had lots of fun pulling this together. And yes, there are so many great craft fairs happening this weekend it is hard to choose which one to attend!

  96. Marina Taylor Reply

    Hot Chocolates is a great store, have made many purchases there and enjoy all their products.

    • Kim Reply

      It really is a great store! So many wonderful treats and goodies.

  97. Angie Bisset Reply

    So many unique gift ideas! What incredible local talent!
    Truly honoured to be included in such an inspiring group!

    Kim, you really did a wonderful job! These articles are so well written and professionally presented. CONGRATS!!!!

    • Ursel krzykowski Reply

      Thank you for this great opportunity. There are so many locals that are so talented and would love to have some of their products. Look forward to visiting everyone through the shopping season.

      • Kim

        You’re welcome Ursel! And, yes, the local talent we have is truly incredible. Best of luck in the giveaway.

  98. Jeff Skidmore Reply

    This are some wonderful gift ideas! Thanks for putting this together!

  99. I have visited Hot Chocolate and have enjoyed a couple of treats there. I have also met the owner of Sticks and Stones Gallery and she is lovely to chat with.

    • Angie Bisset Reply

      You are the one so lovely and sweet, Vanessa! Always a pleasure. <3
      Thanks 🙂

  100. Wonderful article. I learned about a couple of new local businesses to add to my holiday shopping list. Thank you!

  101. Melissa McIntosh Reply

    Hot chocolates truffles are one of my favourite local treats! So many delicious unique flavours…

    • Kim Reply

      They really are delicious! I also absolutely love that they are made in-store.

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