I started writing my holiday guide last year during the lockdown as a way to support local brands and local businesses. A year later, as I am writing this blog post, we are anticipating another lockdown but, despite this news, Montrealers are keeping their spirits up and preparing to celebrate the holidays the best way possible. And here are some local brands we can support while shopping for our loved ones this Holiday season.
The Nora Watch: if you want to get creative and gift your loved one a sleek smart watch, let me introduce you to the Nora Watch. Created by twins from Mauricie, you can track your fitness, receive calls, control your photo settings and so much more. It comes in Rose gold, Midnight black, and Black gold.
BLAQ ALPHA: Another watch that I fell absolutely in love with during 2021 is the brand called BLAQ ALPHA, considered a luxury brand founded by a watch enthusiast, who wanted to make luxury watches affordable without cutting back on the trims. BLAQ ALPHA ships to anywhere in Canada, and makes a great gift for both the men and women in your life.
V Kosmetik: Makeup is still the number one item for stocking stuffers and gifts. Local brand V Kosmetik is locally made and has now expanded to U.S and Africa. You can order online, and the product ships locally and internationally making V Kosmetik a perfect gift.
VC VCHARLES: I was recently on vacation in the Caribbean and while wanting to blend in locally, I wanted to add a little pizzaz to my outfits. If you know me, you’d know that I love a great bag, something practical and elegant at the same time. So, right before leaving, I acquired the VC VCHARLES bag. It arrived in a protective duster, which instantly caught my attention, and everywhere I went, the bag was a hit. Founder by a local Montrealer, this makes a great gift for the bag affectionato in your life and VC CHARLES is considered unisex.
Monsillage: This gift option remains one of my favorite. What sets Monsillage apart, is the fact that it is one of the few award-winning bespoke perfumes made and sold in Montreal. You can order online, and if you live close to the Plateau area, you can pick up a bottle or two, and Jamais Assez.
She’s Vanity: I tried the locally sourced brand She’s Vanity last year, and still use it religiously today. It is cruelty-free and replenishes the skin on many different levels. It’s quite nice to meet the founder, who puts every ounce of love into every single bottle. She’s Vanity oils ship easily across Canada and makes a great addition to applying makeup or a base during the day and night.
France Laure: one of my favorite products is France Laure who has teamed up with St. Lambert, to offer your loved ones a sleek and fun gift set, featuring their primary face care line. France Laure is a Montreal-founded, servicing spas and wellness clinics all over Montreal. I have been using their products for years, and my skin remains flawless.
Marianna Naturals: the founders of Marianna Naturals founded a line of skincare for the modern-day man, complete with collagen eye gels as well. While one of the co-founders is from Montreal, Marianna Naturals is an international brand and is a choice brand of Hollywood celebrities. Makes a great gift for the Alpha man in your life.
Bayard Royal: the gift of holiday-themed cake is an all-time favorite, especially where social distancing and a reduction in holiday guests are now a concern. One of the things I loved doing was delivering holiday cake to those I love, sometimes dropping the cake off at their door, or doing a socially distanced hand-off. Bayard Royal comes in two sizes now, which makes it a great stocking stuffer.
Elie Hawawini: The last item on my list is the gift of fitness. Just this week in Montreal, gyms were closed until further notice which leaves Montrealers scrambling once again to maintain their fitness routine. I enjoyed working out virtually with fitness coach Elie Hawawini, whose clients now range all over North America, and some parts of the world. A package is the best way to encourage your loved ones to stay healthy by working out regularly.
While my list is a bit shorter this year, I wanted to take the time to highlight the businesses that remain loyal to Montrealers, and well as businesses that I appreciate immensely.