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We all know it’s coming. Some of you are (like me) super excited and are already eyeing those tinsel-filled boxes. (If you haven’t pulled them out already.) Some of you are plugging your ears and chanting “fa-la-la-notlistening-la-la-la” because it’s still November. But whatever your feelings at this point in the year, it’s still coming.
And let’s be honest. You want to beat the rush. You want to know all the best gifts and where to get them. And best of all, you want to buy local.
Maybe that’s a bit of an assumption on my part, but stick with me here.
You can buy a gift at that big ol’ chain store, where that cashier makes minimum wage and the CEO is using your gift to fund their third Lamborghini or some garbage like that.
You can buy a gift at a locally-owned shop. Chances are your gift will be more unique, and chances are you’re helping that store owner afford to keep the lights on and buy Christmas presents this year. It’s not always that drastic, obviously, but the point stands. Help a neighbour comfortably pay their rent, and get super cool gifts to boot!
I asked around for people’s favourite locally owned places to shop are, and I got a whole slew of answers to help you on your quest for locally sold Christmas gifts!
Clothes & Jewelry
One of the most suggested places I heard was Posie Row. It’s almost hard to categorize this great little shop on Duckworth Street, because they sell a little bit of everything. Clothes, jewelry, hats, accessories, bags, books, cards, and probably a billion other things. Definitely a must visit!
2017 Update: Posie Row has expanded, and is now Posie Row & Co! They have partnered with other local businesses and now there are 4 floors worth of local stores for you to choose from! This includes all the wonderful things that Posie Row is known for, plus shops like Cast On Cast Off, Britaniola Artisan Soap, Dead Issue, and so many more!
If you’re looking for amazing vintage clothes at a great price, everyone knows Model Citizens is the way to go. Each piece is handpicked from NYC by the store’s owner. They also carry local designers, like Robyn Flannigan and Figgyduff-Dory.
Another popular choice was Twisted Sisters Boutik. They have a fantastic collection of clothes, accessories, and shoes, with an emphasis on Canadian designers. They even carry some furniture and home decor!
Outdoors & Shoes
For the outdoorsy person in your life, The Outfitters is a top choice. They have all the gear, clothes, gadgets, and every diverse need you’ll ever have for your adventures. And if your ambitions outweigh your knowledge, they have classes, maps, information, and a staff that’s always willing to help you plan!
First Western Boutique is your one-stop Blundstone shop! They have every size and colour you could ever want, for every season, and even steel-toed work boots. They even have lifetime service for all their footwear! If stylish boots are on your to-buy list, this is the spot to go!
For the hunter and/or fisherman in your life, Coastal Outdoors is the perfect place. They have literally everything you need for hunting, fishing, and camping, right up to the apparel, ATVs, boats, and trailers.
O’Leva Oils And Vinegars may actually be my favourite store in the entire city.
They carry high-quality olive oils and vinegars, and you have to taste to believe how good they are. On top of that, support all kinds of local businesses; both restaurants and crafters. Stop in and get some oil, vinegar, a Foggy Island Candle, and some Newfoundland Seasonings.
Chocolate is a universally loved gift. That’s why Newfoundland Chocolate Company is an absolute must visit. All their chocolate is locally made, with Newfoundland ingredients, and a lot of it is Newfoundland themed. Any of their jellybean row or Newfoundland sayings chocolate bars would make a top-notch stocking stuffer.
I was hesitant to add restaurants/coffee shops on the list, but it’s impossible to make a list of St. John’s favourites without Rocket Bakery. A gift of baked goods is always a winner (for me) and they have a great food retail section. But most importantly, it has become a local staple.
Want to buy yarn, start a project, and hang with an adorable King Charles Spaniel? Visit Cast On Cast Off.They carry over a dozen different types of yarn, plus accessories, such as locally made stitch markers. And a puppy! Seriously. Who doesn’t want to see a puppy?
Another great place for yarn is the long-standing Wool Trends. They have a huge collection of Canadian and imported yarns, along with accessories and patterns. Definitely a staple of the St. John’s craft scene!
If there are quilting supplies alongside yarn on your to-buy list, you’ll want to visit Fiberlilly. They have a beautiful selection of fabrics, all the quilting accessories you’ll ever need, and even a machine or two! The staff is wonderful, and the store is a crafter’s dream.
Jewelry & Knick-Knacks
One store that was a little harder to classify, but is an across the board favourite is Brassy Lassy. Loosely classified, it’s a jewelry store, but it’s more of a spirituality store. There are all kinds of crystals and gemstones, essential oils, salt lamps, and every kind of spiritual aid you may need. And Brassy Lassy herself is one of the sweetest, most positive people you’ll ever meet.
Whink is an absolutely fabulous boutique for all types of gifts! Beautiful jewelry, artwork, and giftware. (If anyone shopping for me, any of their Jellybean Row kitchenware…) They even have skincare and bath products! It’s almost a one-stop shop for your whole Christmas list.
The best thing is that this list isn’t even close to comprehensive. Shopping for a musician? Visit downtown’s local institution, Fred’s Records. Comic books and geek culture? TimeMasters is a must-visit. (And it’s right next to O’Leva!) I haven’t even touched on all the markets and craft fairs that go on. It’s easier than you could even imagine to shop local for Christmas, and all through the year.
Have a favourite St. John’s store that I haven’t listed? Share it in the comments!