I hate to pile on with the ‘Tis the Season nonsense before you have even had a chance to eat more teeny Aero chocolate bars than you care to admit after Halloween, but here it is. A short, concise list of 5 Calgary shops for those who like to shop local, for those Canadians who prefer to avoid the customs and duty surprise on delivery, or for any of our American shoppers who want to take advantage of that sweet, sweet exchange rate that works in their favor. Merry Xmas, get to shopping!
All 5 of these shops have a physical store or showroom for those interested in being tactile with their purchases or for the benefit of non-Calgarians they all have very robust online offerings, plus, damn! some of these sites just have a beautiful website that will make you want to buy ALL of their offerings.
Gifts for kids | The Discovery Hut
Starting with the kids or gifts for the entire family I hands down recommend The Discovery Hut.
The Discovery Hut is a local Calgary company that has been in operation since 2001.
During the height of the pandemic I likely visited, and purchased, or called for information and ordered 5 games or more from this shop (we love board games). They have a convenient location on the second level of the Chinook Centre and second location in CrossIron Mills for locals.
And while I cannot rave enough about their board game selection the real winner here is customer service. I have not met a Discovery Hut employee yet that will not give you 15-20 minutes of their time recommending or describing games you may be interested in. They have A LOT of knowledge and even if their recommendations are not in line with what you like, you always learn a lot about the different products available.
Their website carries a small selection of the products that are in-store so they do encourage you to call or interact with them on social media to track down anything you do not see online.
I do not want to focus on board games to the exclusion of all else but the selection is huge and has something for the young and the adult with role playing to cards to strategy heavy games.
The Discovery Hut is a treasure trove of jigsaw puzzles, from easy to impossible, LEGO, plush, collectibles, arts and crafts, science kits and so much more.
Shipping is currently free within Calgary on orders over $29.99 and the return policy seems fair at 60 days with receipt and in the original packaging.
So, hopefully The Discovery Hut answers your Xmas needs for kids. But for the teens, the environmentally concerned, those who love local, handmade products and reusable items then the Calgary shop for you is DYP Refillery.
Gifts for her and the Crafty / Eco-Conscious | DYP Refillery
DYP (Do Your Part) Refillery has 2 physical locations, in Marda Loop and Parkdale.
Both are beautiful to visit with curated collections of sustainable products for the kitchen and bath 🧴, essential oils, soy candles 🕯️, handmade jewellery and art.
Some of these collections change frequently, so follow them on Instagram where they frequently update what’s in the store, specials, and most recently offered free swag bags on Marda Loop’s anniversary. Their Instagram is not to be missed if you love being in the know!
For the locals, they offer workshops such as Wreath Making or Bath Bombs. You can also refill your hand soap, laundry soap and dish soap bottles to reduce waste in our landfills. And if you worry about packaging, their hair bars are not to be missed.
Myself, I have frequented this store for refilling soap, the gorgeous Milk Jar candles, sustainable kitchen solutions such as silicon straws and bento boxes and bamboo forks and gifts for the hard to buy for. Let’s just say I won Xmas last year with the in-laws due to a beautiful piece of art I found here.
So, you might not be competitive, like me, but this place might take you from Xmas zero to Xmas hero with someone in your life.
And speaking of Xmas and placing orders… they have a DYP curated Advent Calendar of some of their favorite products. Something tells me this is a winner.
Gifts for him (mostly) | HGvintage
Now for the male in your life I might suggest the online shop HGvintage . Its physical location is on 17th Ave SW across from the Western Canada High School in Calgary.
Whether they are a music, sports or NASCAR enthusiast this shop has a vintage tee or varsity jacket that commemorates that tour you were too cheap to buy merch, at or particular year of sports team that you were too young to ever see play.
It is vintage so expect a no return policy and inspect the wares closely before purchasing as they are pre-loved. This is the first local shop I have not actually purchased from, but I will the minute they have a Pearl Jam TEN tour tee for the time I had to work and had to sell my Vancouver tickets 🎟️ or a tee commemorating The Hip’s 25th year tour of Fully, completely that some financially responsible friend talked me into NOT seeing because, well, it’s The Hip. You can see them anytime. Sure. Anytime. I miss you Gordy…
This shop has a changing inventory due to the nature of procuring vintage product. Check back often or follow on their Instagram for some sweet Canadian high fashion… a.k.a. their videos on flannel shirts.
HGvintage offers free shipping in the US and Canada on orders over $60.
Gifts for everyone who loves bees
And don’t we all love bees?
For the handy, crafty, outdoorsy 🪓, bee loving 🐝 , environmental project oriented person in your life, might I suggest, Worker and Hive.
They have a showroom in the SE of Calgary that is back open, but the online shop is pretty thorough. All of your apiary needs can be met here for your bee keeping friends, as well as a giant gift ideas drop down menu that has bee keeping books, beeswax crafting kits, candle molds in a numerous different shapes (might I recommend the pine cone candle mold or the little owl ornament mold?)
Add to your knowledge and order one of their many books on bees and bee keeping, get crafty with their candle making supplies or just jump into back yard bee keeping. (NOTE: of course, do your homework on that. Being a bee parent is a lot of work.) So, if you have been looking for a pandemic project, then this might just be it. Bee keeping.
My favourite Calgary shop of the past couple years
Finally, for one of my favorite Calgary stores! Visit in person if possible at the Snowdon Building at 2020 11th St SE.
The Calgary Heritage Roasting Company is in a beautifully restored piece of Calgary’s architectural history and operates a damn fine roastery and coffee shop from within. So, come enjoy a coffee in person,
But for those of you thinking, “but how does this answer my Xmas needs list?”
Buy that hard to shop for person a pound of CHRC coffee to suck on.
They also, have recently expanded into rugged, outdoor clothing and have a fine selection of crewnecks, Henley waffle shirts, vests and hats. I have gifted the bison snapback hat to my significant other and let’s just say it was a winner. It gets him compliments whenever he wears it and the interior lining is pretty cool for something no one really sees.
Spend some time cruising around their site and Instagram. The visuals are beautifully styled, they often have promos on shipping or percentages of merchandise and read about their vision, mission and how they give back. They can be a company you can be proud to call local or proud to support.
Of course, if you’re looking for something else for yourself or someone on your gift-list, head over to our Vendazzo search engine. We index about 100 million items from around 140,000 independent shops and brands and help you shop from them directly.
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