After being away for a year I have come back with a stronger sense of national pride. I got the sense that Canada is like the “cool” place to be from. Like, if you say you’re from Canada people are all, “Oooo Canada! Your PM is awesome! Wow! Healthcare, diversity, LGBTQ rights, poutine, trees, clean air…!” While we may not have July 4th level celebrations every year, I know that Canadians are proud to be Canadian through our everyday acts. As of last year, I have started trying to buy Canadian as often as I can, which means shopping local boutiques, department stores, and Canadian based brands.
I want to share my top TWO picks from my FIVE favorite Canadian places to shop! I’ve got you covered from head-to-toe, so let’s go!
(1) Starting off with whole body wellness we have Saje. They are a BC-based, family owned business that has recently expanded across the country and are found in just about every mall I frequent. Their store fronts are instantly recognizable by their display of nebulizers emitting soft light and steady wisps of vapor that smell like HEAVEN. I got my nebulizer as a gift a couple Christmases ago and I have been hooked ever since. Whether or not you are into alternative medicines, which to be honest, sounds a little bit kooky even to me, you cannot deny the positive effects of aromatherapy delivered through each one of their products.
I have the AromaOm at home that I often run throughout the night to create a relaxing atmosphere in my bedroom (I have insomnia). Around Christmas time they released the AromaRoam and I gifted it to a friend who is constantly traveling for work. Soon after, I bought one for myself as well. The AromaRoam connects via USB and I love it for so many reasons. First of all, it fits in your car cupholder which I think is awesome. Second of all, it is the size of a travel mug so it’s also easily stashed in your carry-on. Coupled with a small bottle of essential oil and you are ready to turn any hotel room into a spa. I loved running mine when I was working on my computer when I was in my dorm in Italy.
AROMAROAM (I wonder if people would be mad if I started running this on the plane…)
GOOD HEALTH ESSENTIAL DIFFUSER BLEND COLLECTION(The collections are awesome for sniffing your way through the Saje world)
(2) Anyone who’s in the know around Oakville knows about this mainstay down on Lakeshore in downtown Oakville. They have an amazing curation of high-end jewelry. Their style is very subtle and dainty in a way that’s not too minimalist. I find they also have more affordable products (for $50ish?) in-store that they sometimes don’t feature online. I love picking My only wish is that they had more jewelry for cartilage piercings. I just need NY Adorned and Bluboho to make a retail baby together…
(3) I am obsessed with Nudestix products and also their company. It’s founded by two sisters and their bad-ass chemical engineer mom. They’re based in Toronto, but you can pretty much find them anywhere in the world as they are stocked at Sephora (or at least online). I love this brand because everything is EASY TO USE and NOT CONFUSING! Like, I am so not the kind of girl who knows how to wield a makeup brush to apply anything. If I find a product I like, I’ll just stick to it. I ventured outside my tried-and-true waterproof mascara (Estee Lauder) and tried Benefit’s Better Than Sex, and lemme tell ya, the people behind that product are having some TERRIBLE sex. Just saying…. Anyways, the whole premise behind Nudestix is the no-makeup makeup look, which is perfectly put in their hashtag:#gonudebutbetter. I can’t say enough about this brand. If you can use a crayola you can use a Nudestix. Also, did I mention they have amazing multi-tasking products?? Go check them out now, now, NOW!!
(4) Alrighty, we have finally reached our feet! I love The September because they have an amazing selection of shoes, amazing sales, and an amazing customer experience. It’s like upgrading to the premium Net-a-Porter packaging every but, it’s free and just part of the experience of shopping with The September. What really stands out to me about this company is that not only are they filling a much needed gap in the market (hellooooo where can I shop online for designer shoes in Canada and not pay a gazillion dollars in duties??? Basically, nowhere.), but they are really offering the kind of online shopping experience that luxury Canadian retailers are either completely lacking or can’t match the expectations of a consumer in 2017.
STUART WEITZMAN LOWLAND BOOTS (My favorite boots of all time that are so incredibly buttery and make you feel like a bad-ass fashion lady. A big bonus is that they make anyone of any shape and size look incredibly fab. Highly recommend you to “just try” them on. I did… and the rest is history.)
VINCE FUR POOL SLIDES (My shoe budget is $0 for the remainder of the year, however someone please buy these… I would be so happy for you and your closet.)
(5) Okay, so Lululemon isn’t really like a hidden Canadian retailer secret, but I think I still got some tips I can spill. First of all, if you are visiting Canada from anywhere in the world (yes, even the US), Lululemon is cheaper in Canada. I went to their store in Paris and I shit a brick when I saw the price tag – they basically just switch the $ for a € (or $US). Anyways, I’m a big fan of thoughtful design. I like it when someone really put the thought into understanding the user and their needs.
EFFORTLESS JACKET (I added this jacket to my cart as soon as I saw it. The pocket situation here is seriously good. I love the To+From stuff from Lulu because it doesn’t make me look like I’m trying to look athletic. It’s just some good-looking, well thought-out clothes for my body.)
BEST TRAVEL BAG AND MY BFF (This bag is so incredibly functional it makes me want to marry it. I am big time bag-lady, so when I give this much love to a bag, you know it’s real.)