There’s nothing better than buying a gift for someone else (or yourself), that is just a little bit more unique than what you can get at the department store or mall. Ottawa is the home to many artisans and a growing ecosystem has been developing to support local businesses in our city.
So if you’re looking to get that special someone something cool and unique (or an excuse to check out another area of the city), these are the places you need to check out.
1. Maker House
Located in Hintonburg, Maker House has everything from air plants and hand-crafted wooden decor to locally sourced honey. They understand there is a “better, simpler way to get a more meaningful and sustainable version of things”. We love that!
Our personal favourite product offering has to be the cards designed by local artists that are perfect for any occasion. Not to mention, if you support this local business they return the favour by donating 2% of all sales to local community projects.
Some other faves of ours you’ll find at Maker House:
- Ottawa map coasters
- Wood scotch/wine glasses
- Lemon meringue popcorn
- Soap & jewelry dishes
- Bath salts & lotions
This is hands down the most aesthetically pleasing garage turned maker space. Browse a variety of locally made soaps, candles, home decor to make shopping Ottawa goods a centralized experience.
Freewheeling Craft always keeps you on your toes: Sometimes it’s a curated shop, sometimes they let specific businesses take over for pop-ups, and you might even find some of your favourite workshops or events hosted in the space!
Launched in 2017, a one-woman show started an online store based in Ottawa which quickly grew into its storefront in the heart of the Byward Market. BB⚡︎Co. is a rad boutique with size-inclusive apparel is designed, printed and pressed in-house and extra gifts and accessories.
Whether you’re looking for the sweater that screams your friend’s personality or a pair of earrings that pop with colour, BB⚡︎Co. is worth checking out.
The founders at boogie + birdie pull inspiration from their upbringing in the country, spending time with nature and connecting with life unplugged. By showcasing Canadian makers, artists and designers in the shop, boogie + birdie puts together a collection of goodies to make self-care, serenity and relaxation a reality. They carry cruelty-free, eco-friendly, Canadian-made and fair trade products, which can make the perfect gift for anyone that deserves some luxurious time for themselves.
If you’re driving down Wellington, it’s hard to miss the colourful Motif storefront. It’s another great option if you’re looking for something with a bit of character and a pop of colour, there’s no such this as boring when you’re browsing the local products that they offer. Not only are they bringing together products by local makers, they have an entire section of the store dedicated to pre-loved and upcycled goods. Each piece is unique, made from plain thrifted clothes they they’ve uplifted with their unique, hand drawn designs.
6. Cheerfully Made Goods and Market (Almonte)
What started as a series of events and markets for locally-made goods, became a brick and mortar extension of the shows to feature Canadian makers and their products. This store is definitely worth inspiring a day trip to Almonte to check out the whole row of shops around it and grab lunch on the water!
You might even decide Almonte is more your speed, and our Seyer team can help you find the perfect home there for you.
Over the past several years, Cheerfully Made Goods and Market has grown to feature more than 60 brands (many local) and supports a great number of makers, artists and entrepreneurs from across the country. The options are limitless!
7. Pure Apothecary (Gatineau, QC)
Do you know someone that loves protecting their energy and peace? Pure Apothecary can meet you and your friends spiritual needs with their functional home goods such as tarot cards, books, crystals or jewellery. They exclusively source the “purest” products by partnering with companies who are artisan owned and operated, or make their own goods in-house. Whether someone is well on their spiritual journey or just getting started, Pure Apothecary has meaningful and thoughtful options for everyone.
8. 613Flea (Market)
Easily one of the best markets in Ottawa! 613Flea is a not-for-profit dedicated to promoting the economic independence of the creative community and the sustainable community. Located in Lansdowne, it’s hard to browse all of the rows of vendors without finding the perfect gift (and probably a few things for yourself as well). They perfectly capture the experience as “Life without this stuff would be unbearably dull”. To find out when the next market is, follow them on Instagram here.
Know a great curation shop we missed? Let us know and we’ll update our list!
Written by: Morgan McKeen