OOAK 2016 Holiday Gift Guide

Hello everyone! One of my favourite non-food events of the year is the One of a Kind Holiday show in Toronto that is on now until December 4th. Located at the Enercare Centre at Exhibition Place, this show features handmade goods from artisans across Canada. I highly recommend checking it out if you’re looking for unique gifts (Christmas IS right around the corner) and love supporting local artists and small businesses. If you’ve never been before (or if you’ve only been to the Spring show), it may be a bit overwhelming since it is bustling with excitement and filled with tons of interesting vendors and products. I’ve compiled a handy dandy gift guide that may be slightly unconventional, but I prefer to give with personalities in mind and not just their role in my life (ie: mom, dad, brother, etc.) #1 – The friend who won’t admit they like candles because of the overly feminine packaging.Let’s be real. Some of the regular/commercial candles sold at specialty bath/skincare stores are over-fragranced with equally obnoxious labels. I have many friends who want to burn candles (because really – it’s a nice sight and scent to add in a room) but hate going into those stores and hate having something so gawdy on display. Smells Like Canada is the answer to your candle prayers. Hand poured in Toronto using Soy wax, Smells Like Canada features a wide variety of scents that pay tribute to great cities all across this country from Hogtown Smoke to my favourite, Double Double (smells like sweet, creamy coffee), you will definitely find something for everybody. Their regular candles are $28 (+HST) and burn for an insanely long time. Go pay the owner/maker, Natalie a visit at Booth L13 and pick up a few for others or even for yourself.

#2 – The stylish friend who may or may not be good at taking care of plantsI first discovered Double L Decor back at the Spring show and have been hooked ever since. Based out of Hamilton, this studio features their beautifully shaped and painted concrete planters. I picked up 3 of them within the last 7 months because HEY – they also come with at least one succulent! Medium planters start at $18, while this lovely marble and copper large planter is on for $35. It is a beautiful and modern addition to any home which makes it such a great gift. It is also a great learning opportunity in terms of plant care because true story – accidentally overwatered my first succulent – but have 3 that are still going strong now! You can find Double L Decor at Booth A08. (If you can’t pop in to OOAK, you can shop their OOAK online store here.)

#3 – The friend who deserves to treat themselves.We all have at least one friend who is constantly on the go and so wound up that you just want to tell them to slow down and chill out. What better way than to give them these new bath bombs from Lovefresh? This Toronto brand focuses on utilizing natural ingredients in their scrubs, lotions, and now popular bath bombs to give you peace of mind while you indulge in a ritual of relaxation. These are on promo during OOAK for buy 3, get 1 free (I completely blanked out and forgot to note the price) but hey – it’s the perfect opportunity to give some away and then treat yo’self to a beautifully scented bath. Lovefresh can be found at Booth B43.

#4 – The friend who is adulting so hard and just finished renovating their kitchen (or just moved into their new home)Perhaps they just bought a home or maybe they accidentally burned down their kitchen and had to renovate all summer (yes, there is someone in my life who did that). Or maybe they just like cute things that are also practical. Claire Manning of Claire Manning designs creates adorable prints and features them on a few different products, but her tea towels are definitely the most popular. All of the tea towels ($18) are silk screened on flour sack material which absorbs and keeps its integrity better than linen. There are a variety of designs and will bring a pop of colour and whimsy into any kitchen. She is only there until the 28th at Booth R31, so if you missed out, you can shop through her One of a Kind online shop page or through her Etsy shop.

#5 – The budding mixologistWho doesn’t like delicious beverages? Lemo is a Montreal-based company that specializes in artisan lemonade syrups that can be kid-friendly (just add water!) and can also be used in cocktails. Featuring 3 distinct flavours, this gift set ($25) will encourage the mixologist in your life to try out some new recipes (see the recipe card in the photo for inspiration!) and hopefully they will also share with the gift-giver. I personally love the spiced syrup made with hot water for a very Christmas-y flavoured treat. They’re at Booth G47 so definitely stop by at the very least for delicious samples. Be forewarned though – you will probably end up picking up a few bottles since all 3 selections are DELISH!

And finally…this is for everyone who hates the typical Chrismas cards and/or don’t want to send glitterbombs to their loved ones. I’ve been a huge fan of GoTamago for a few years now because the illustrator and owner, Lichia has clever and quirky images and phrases that are sure to be a hit with everyone. Last Christmas, I gave my friend Laura the “Season’s Greetings” card and she loved it so much, she wanted to frame it. GoTamago also features calendars, tote bags, and prints so while you pick up some fun and festive greeting cards (she also carries non-holiday cards), you can also pick up some gifts for your art-loving friends. GoTamago is located at Booth U10, so if you’re like me and start at the beginning (Aisle A), this will be a lovely way to wrap up your shopping at OOAK.

Buy your tickets to the One of a Kind Holiday Show online and save $2! It’s only on until Sunday, December 4th. They will be open late on Thursday, December 1st (10am – 11pm) so really – you can totally knock off a bunch of people from your list in one night! Keep an eye out all this week on my Instagram (@StaygorgeousLC) for individual features of each artisan. Support local, support small business, and happy shopping!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

DISCLAIMER: The products featured in this post were generously donated to me but in no way persuades my opinion. I reached out to these artisans because I firmly enjoy and believe in the quality of their work and wanted to spread the love. This is not a sponsored post. Thank you also to the One of a Kind Show for my media accreditation this year.


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