Spend Locally

SLlogo200SpendLocally.ca was a site I ran for several years, promoting local services and business that I came across in my daily life. I've since retired the site, and moved the posts so they can live on at arianek.com. I may from time to time add new posts about local businesses, and you can always get directly to them by visiting the SpendLocally.ca URL, which will redirect you to the list of posts here.

Ah, late November. The first thing that comes to many peoples' minds is this: Christmas shopping. Over the years, I've become extremely disillusioned with consumerism, materialism, capitalism, and the economy. And some of you might remember my old blog, SpendLocally.ca that was borne of my love of supporting local small businesses. It's hard not to become disillusioned with this side of the holiday season if you care about the environment, manufacturing ethics, your community, and let's not forget your own financial stability. But there are ways to make positive choices and impacts, even at this most consumerist time of the year!

LED christmas lights

Down with "stuff"

My approach to gift-giving has very much aligned with my approach to shopping in general. It comes down to some basic tenets:

Hmmm, "The new school capitalists of Vancouver". Kinda has a nice ring to it, now THERE is a reality show I'd like to see!

Yeah, yeah, I know all good bloggers are supposed to have a niche. But folks, I've had several past lives already, and am a bit of a renaissance (wo)man, so I can't stand censoring my many interests!

I was excited when I heard about this new documentary that a group in Vancouver, Institute B, had released. I sat down to watch it this morning, and it's an inspiring glimpse into many of the major socially and environmentally conscious businesses that call Vancouver home. You'll see Mark Brand notorious restauranteur de Save On Meats, Joel Solomon from RenewalSuzanne Siemens and Madeleine Shaw from Lunapads, and so many other local business leaders from this city in the film. 

Black Friday. It's that time again. A time of gratitude, turkey (in the US), and crazy purchasing mania that makes me nauseous. But I'll save you the lecture I really want to give about externalities, sweatshops, and consumerism. My Black Friday mantra? Just say no.

Ever since the one time I went Boxing Day shopping as a teenager, I will admit I've had a strong aversion to big sales and blitzes. The hungry crowds are too much for me. But nowadays even though the internet would let me easily avoid the mayhem, thanks to the blessing in disguise of a home with little storage space and the budget consciousness bestowed upon me by my health collapse, I've been working on being more conscious and conscientious about what I spend money on.

I like to make most decisions based on these factors:

Knitters from Vancouver and surrounding areas have been eagerly chomping at the bit for weeks, nay months, waiting for this past weekend to arrive. Why? Knit City!!!

Knit City was a weekend-long event put on by Knit Social, a knitting event company run by Amanda Milne and Fiona McLean. It was the first one, but judging by how popular it was, I doubt it will be the last. The level of excitement about this event was hard to contain - Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook were full of knitting posts and high praise for the event. It was indeed wonderful!

IMG_1643

If you get on the Mt. Seymour Parkway in North Vancouver, and keep driving east all the way down the hill into Deep Cove, then left onto Deep Cove Road, and then continue until it turns into Gallant Ave, you will find the most delightful little shop at the end of the road: Room6 (special things for nice people). <-- it really is!

Room 6!

I first heard about Marché St. George a very long time before finally going to check it out in person. I read their blog for a very long time - the aesthetic and the photos in it are worthwhile in their own right, even if you don't live in the area (and they do have a few things in their online shop, including some of the most gorgeous linens). In the end, the charm was impossible to resist. In fact, just RSS it right now, don't delay, here's the feed URL (in case you're nerdy like me).

Marché St. George

When I started writing this post, I decided to search my inbox for my oldest correspondance with Lunapads, and found an email from Sept. 1, 2006, related to entering a contest to win some kind of Lunapads prizes. In the email, I mentioned that I already had some of their wares... that makes me a customer for over five years! And that's only a third of Lunapads' existence - they'd already been in business for over ten years by that time.

As far as I can remember, I first found out about Lunapads from ads in Bust Magazine, which I used to have a subscription to in university. The women's center at school used to hold "sew your own pads" DIY workshops on occasion, so this wasn't a completely new concept to me, but the specific design of Lunapads (in comparison to the other reusable pads I'd seen) held some real appeal. I was hooked after my first order.

Lunapads, liners, and pouches

Another one for the ever growing RIP Files...

I lived in the West End for a few years when I first moved into Vancouver proper, until just over a year ago. More specifically, I lived right across the alley from this fantastic little independent movie rental shop on Denman, called Independent Flixx.

2007_06_26__21_04_48
Photo by Jordan Dawe

Never before or again have I been so close to such an amazing selection of movies - they had it all. New releases, independent films, foreign films, GLBT movies, tons of classics (everything from Jackie Chan to Reality Bites, to Bond movies), and my favourite... TONS of Canadian movies!

I first discovered bed many years ago because its old location was very close to a few of my favourite spots in Kitsilano (namely Zulu Records, and the now defunct Duthie Books). I was attracted by the fantastic colours, as most who pass by probably are, but it was a while before I actually bought sheets from there.

Bed on 4th

I met Melanie at my first big-girl job (outside of academia). Back then, she was the project manager, and I was getting my feet wet in the world of web development. Nowadays, I'm working as a project manager, and she's making beautiful pottery. I don't think either of us would have predicted this, but I think it's safe to say we're both quite pleased with our respective changes in career path.

Even back when Melanie and I worked together, her true love (after her husband and two incredibly cute dachshunds) was pottery. She spent tons of time working in (and managing) the studio she used, and even taught some pottery classes. She loves it so much, that I couldn't be happier to see her now doing this as her full time gig. 

Portobello West - March 2011

Pages

Subscribe to Spend Locally