By Valeria Nunziato
Sometimes when shopping for that perfect gift during the holidays, the stores may seem so empty, even with fully stocked shelves. When you have a certain gift idea in mind, one of the best routes to take is to have your gift custom made. We caught up with a few local makers in York Region to talk about the novelty of gifting custom, hand-made gifts during the holidays and how it can make someone’s Christmas extra bright.
“As a small business owner, I would say the best part about the holidays is being able to create something beautiful and personalized for each customer,” Valentina Alonzi, owner and operator of Luscious Lathers based out of Kleinburg, explained. Luscious Lathers sells handmade luxury shea butter soaps, soy candles and other self care products in a range of unique scents, shapes and designs. “I get to come up with all these awesome concoctions that will inevitably put a smile on their loved one’s face.”
During the holidays, Valentina says she gets a number of requests for specific holiday scents, some including ‘Gingerbread’, ‘Chestnuts & Brown Sugar’ and a customer favourite, ‘Christmas Tree Farm.’
Her holiday-themed products are a hit throughout this time, including a Christmas tree shaped candle bowl and an impressive 10-wick wooden candle bowl, both stunningly designed artisanal pieces that are sure to impress every guest at any holiday dinner.
Mom-and-daughter duo Franca and Megan Beletic of Frame Bracelets & Co. based out of Vaughan shared similar sentiments about the holidays. Frame Bracelets & Co. offers high quality, custom handmade gold-filled, sterling silver and beaded jewelry. Their top products during the holidays are their decorative handcrafted farmhouse garland bead jewelry pieces.
They particularly enjoy this time of year because they enjoy participating in holiday giveaways that help promote their business and other like-minded small business owners. Operating mainly via social media, they say they love the thrill of seeing their tagged posts and where their jewelry ends up!
So why shop local with businesses like Luscious Lathers or Frame Bracelets & Co.?
Both leading ladies had matching opinions: “There’s nothing that beats the customer service you get when shopping from small business owners. We are always a text message, email, phone call or Instagram message away,” said Valentina.
“The importance and value of shopping local,” Franca echoed, “is it’s convenient and you receive a personal touch.”
“But perhaps most importantly,” Franca continued, “shopping local helps small business owners dreams and passions come true.”
Photos, top row: A variety of handcrafted shea butter soaps and soy candles awaits at Luscious Lathers.
Photos, bottom row: Bobbles and beads and gold and silver make up some of the bracelets from Frame Bracelets and Co.
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Valeria Nunziato recently earned her Masters in English Literature and is a contributor for a number of Toronto-based publications. A long-time resident of York Region, Valeria enjoys immersing herself in the exciting arts and culture scene.