THE ALL SASKATCHEWAN GIFT GUIDE 2014
Oh look, it appears that Christmas is only days away. And if you're anything like me, you've been a little, how you say, "lazy" in getting people crossed off your list. Perhaps you had it in your mind to shop from the warm glow of your computer, but at this point you're probably cutting things a little too close for comfort in the shipping department. Oops! But don't count yourself out of finding the perfect gift yet. Today, I'll share with you some gifts that will show up shoppers that were the earliest of birds. How, you ask? Why, with my all-Saskatchewan gift guide! Every item on this list is a local lover's dream, and every item is available right now in our beloved province. So get out your list and start making notes... I promise this to be your ultimate guide to gifting.
Let's start off with a brand you might not know is from the prairies despite its descriptive name: Farmfresh. Available exclusively at Spareparts, the Farmfresh line spans from shoulder bags and watches to wallets sunglasses and is driven by a heritage aesthetic that is rugged and appealing and quality that's built farm tough. These pieces utilize the best components from all over the world (Carl Zeiss lenses, Texan and Italian leathers, Japanese Miyota movement) but the design and vision are Saskatchewan born through and through. Pictured here are the Greenbacks Wallet ($40), Kobelka watch ($250), Rail Duffel ($400), Kojak sunglasses ($150), and James Laptop Shoulder bag ($400).
A gift that's a little more obviously province-themed is Sara Lua's adorable bamboo "I Heart SK" earrings ($24.99, available at Luna + Hill in Saskatoon). Sara's line includes beautiful jewelry beyond her signature bamboo pieces, so be sure to check out her prayer beads and gorgeous woven bracelets, too.
Although Saskatoon berry jam is the obvious choice when gifting our namesake berry, Lucky Bastard Distillers offers a more grown-up take on the theme with their Saskatoon Liqueur. In fact, many of the local distiller's offerings contain ingredients native to our province, and you'll even find Saskatoon berries in their (delicious) Gambit Gin. I'm as pregnant as they come right now but about eight and a half months ago, one of my favourite treats was LB's Saskatoon Liqueur over ice cream. It's also delicious with ginger ale or soda.
And in the same "spirit" of giving, Living Sky Winery has a beautiful selection of delicious and very local wines including currant and strawberry-rhubarb. I love the look of these wines, too-- so gifty and pretty! Buy a bottle as a stocking stuffer, for your mom (because she deserves to let loose), or for a no-fail entry in your annual gift exchange game. For a full selection, visit the Saskatoon Farmer's Market.
I also bet you didn't know that Surface Hair Care, a brand that's gained international fame for its natural ingredients, sulfate-free formulas, and top quality performance, is actually a family-owned business right here in Saskatoon. I sing the praises of Surface often because I'm obsessed with the dry shampoo and a few other treats in the line, but there really is a product for every hair type. And if you've got a lady on your list who has hair (and I think you might), you've got a lady who's after some great haircare. Pick up a holiday gift pack or any combo of the products at Visions in Saskatoon or click here to find a salon near you that carries it.
Someone on your list is a Corner Gas fan and the timing of "Corner Gas: The Movie" being released on Blueray and DVD couldn't be better (it's just out as I type this). The other cute way to gift this movie is to someone who is from Saskatchewan but doesn't live here anymore. It's the kind of movie that reminds them there's nothing sweeter than prairie folk and there's no place like home.
EarthWear body care products are tested and true for me-- I have an EarthWear cocoa butter lip balm that I can't get enough of. But even giftier than lip balm is the Saskatchewan-ingredient-heavy Prairie Patch moisture stick, the Sole Butter minty foot cream, and indulgent Avocado Body Butter Lotion bar. Find EarthWear at several places across the provinceincluding SaskMade Marketplace, Intuitive Path Superfoods at the Saskatoon Farmer's Market, and Dad's Organic Market.
And as it turns out, Dad's Organic Market is a hotspot for local gifting! For the gent on your list, may I recommend this rustic duo. First of all, this beard oil from New Paris ($18) smells as good as the reviews have been which, let me assure you, are quite good indeed. There's a lumberjack chic thing happening lately and every boy with a beard can use a good oil for it. And as for this Northlore Sweet Birch Bark soap ($14), I only wish this screen were scratch and sniff because OMG IT IS EVERYTHING. Of note is that Northlore utilizes homegrown and locally-sourced botanicals for their products and each piece is made in small batches, the number of which is noted right on each package. Get thee to Dad's.
Everyone loves an evening away from their own kitchen, so why not treat the foodie on your list to a beautiful meal at one of your favourite local restaraunts? For me, that place is Bottega Trattoria in Saskatoon. It's chic, cozy, and if there's anything better than fresh homemade Italian food, I haven't met it yet. A gift card makes for a thoughtful present when you select the restaurant with care. (Chains need not apply!)
I have to include a Roughrider item on this list or it wouldn't be a true Saskatchewan gift guide. My pick is this Rider bikini, which seems like an odd choice this time of year but it's nearly hot vacation time and that means there's an opportunity for your bestie or girlfriend (or mom, I suppose!) to show her fandom off in the middle of the Caribbean. The best thing about string bikinis is that sizing is pretty easy. If you know her t-shirt size, you know her size in this little number. (I own it and the sizing is pretty true).
You might not think of bees in Saskatchewan because it's not exactly the time of year where we see them, but honey and wax makes for a buzzing biz here on the prairies. Joan's Beeswax Candles not only make a room soft and inviting with one flick of a lighter but they are also hand crafted so each is unique. Gifting a candle from Joan's also benefits local beekeepers from whom this natural beeswax is sourced. How can you not want to light up someone's life with a pillar or taper from Joan's? Find these beauts at SaskMade Marketplace.
After last year's runaway hit T-shirt featuring a vintage Saskatoon map, Hardpressed has only grown their collection of locally-inspired screen-printed designs. My favourites are the bridge name T and the 'Made In SK' T (especially on a babykins, and their sizes do start at 3-6 months). Any of these shirts make an awesome gift for the community champion in your life or for the person who feels a little homesick as they finish school out of province.
No matter what age or demographic you're shopping for, there is a book with a Saskatchewan angle that will appeal to that taste. I suggest popping into SaskMade Marketplace or McNally Robinson to check out the selection because from scenic drives and recipes to fiction and children's books, there are so many books that celebrate our province well.
And rounding out my gift list is another artistic suggestion, and that is an album of local music. Some newer releases from hometown artists include Close Talker's "Flux", Wyatt's "Shoulda Been Here Last Night...", One Bad Son's "Black Buffalo", and Kirby Criddle's "Rituals". All are available at Vinyl Exchange.
I could definitely keep going because there are SO many fabulous presents to gift that represent Saskatchewan well. I mean, I barely touched on experiential gifts (local theatre and shows anyone?) and food baskets (just get to Dad's Organic Market, the Farmer's Market, or SaskMade and you're set)... but it's 1:39 a.m. and this thing has to end sometime!
With love from a prairie girl,