I’m sure you don’t need another article telling that this past year and a half has been “unprecedented,” so I’m just going to get straight to it. In the last year, it’s been more important than ever to support small businesses. As a consumer, I’ve tried to focus my shopping efforts on indie brands and local businesses, particularly businesses headed by women. I’ve talked about some of the brands I’ve supported on my Instagram, but today I wanted to share them on my blog too. These are in no particular order, but all of these I’ve personally interacted with and/or purchased from, so they have my personal seal of approval!
1. Atelier Eli
I wanted to thank my friend Melody for introducing me to Atelier Eli. It’s no secret that I absolutely love leather goods, especially that intoxicating smell of leather. Atelier Eli is a small leather shop that is owned and operated by Maggie. It’s based in Vancouver, and all of the products are designer and handmade in Vancouver by Maggie. I purchased the Dopp Kitt and I am completely obsessed. The leather is beautiful and the handiwork is just incredible. Not going to lie, I was trying to decide between this and a Louis Vuitton toiletry case but I’m so glad I got the Dopp Kitt from Atelier Eli. Maggie, the owner, is also such a lovely and sweet person.
100% recommend, and I’m already eyeing my next purchase from Atelier Eli.
2. Too Funni
Too Funni is another local Vancouver business that designs and creates super adorable embroidered clothing and accessories, wooden magnets, stickers, and other fun things. I only own her embroidered clothing – my collection has grown from no Too Funni to five embroidered sweatshirts and one t-shirt. They are the perfect pandemic-wear for cosying up at home, but they are also easy to put on for when you want something comfortable to wear out. Tiffany’s items are also customizable, so they make for a fantastic gift.
My favourite is their bubble tea sweatshirt… get one, you won’t regret it.
3. Reusable BBT Cup
I met Carrie in person in Vancouver when she first started her Reusable BBT Cup business as a side hustle, all the way back in 2018. We purchased two cups from her back when she only offered the one option of glass cup with white lid. Fast forward three years, now she has four different styles of cups with a variety of coloured lids, plus straw sets, bubble tea kits, and she also collaborates with other local businesses such as Too Funni.
Since 2018, we’ve used our bubble tea cups nonstop, primarily to drink smoothies at home and on-the-go (there’s something about drinking smoothies out of a to-go cup like this that makes it taste better). I didn’t include my cups in the picture above because the cups are in constant use in my home and at the time of writing this, we were drinking milk tea out of the cups.
4. This is Reclaim
I first encountered Zana from Reclaim in a weird internet instance I won’t get into. Long story short, I helped her with a sticky situation, and then she offered to send me a coat from her collection as a gift. The coat she sent me was the Timeless Coat, which has since been discontinued and replaced with the Timeless Coat Edit. The Timeless Coat, and the updated Timeless Coat Edit, are both made of 30% cashmere and 70% merino wool. For US$375, the price is relatively affordable for coat that contains such a high percentage of cashmere.
I’ve been wearing my Timeless Coat nonstop in the winter. It’s super warm and lightweight, and it also pops really easily over any outfit. I mostly wear mine unbelted, but it also comes with a belt of equal fabric composition. In addition to their coats, Reclaim also offers a curated collection of everyday wearable clothes that are priced very fairly and made to last. Last but not least, Zana, the founder, is super nice and very responsive.
5. Apothekari Skincare
I can’t do a shortlist of small businesses to support without mentioning Apothekari Skincare. This local skincare brand was founded by Sharmani, a pharmacist who set out to create effective skincare for women who want real results. My favourite product by the brand is Bespoke Vitamin C in the 10% concentration. It’s a fantastic antioxidant that also helps to brighten and even out the skintone. I also use their all-natural deodorant when I workout at home and it’s been great at keeping me smelling fresh.
Disclosure: The Reclaim coat and Apothekari Skincare products were gifted to me by the brand founders with no obligation to write about them, but I’m featuring them here because I’ve truly enjoyed using them. Everything else was purchased by me.