Think about the handmade gifts you’ve received in your life. How did they make you feel? Was it a luxury to wear that warm wool sweater your grandma made you? How cool and chic did you feel when your dad refinished that Danish teak chair?Much time, thought and love goes into crafting handmade, luxury goods. For Poppy Barley artisans, creating footwear is not only their livelihood, they take great pride in their craft. We’re blessed with thousands of talented makers/artisans from coast to coast in Canada who create high-quality wares as beautiful as they are useful. With talented folks like Randy Jespersen hand-forming Olive snowboards or Sonia Chhiniji and Fouad Farraj producing clean-burning Woodlot candles, there are so many great reasons to shop local. The indomitable Coco Chanel once said, “Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it’s not luxury.” We know this rings true for Camp Brand Goods' mega-soft tees and sweaters that use partially recycled materials, RCBoisJoli's perfectly practical ceramics or IZM’s sleek yet comfortable furnishings. We spoke to each of these five Canadian companies who are designing, making and promoting Canada’s handcrafted economy and made our picks for best gift. After all, the holidays are on the way, so why not consider gifting some local luxury this festive season?
"To be competitive in our market, we always need to be evolving. Long story short, we need to build the equipment, tools and machines in order for us to build the product... We pride ourselves on sourcing our materials from Canada and North America. We work with a team of talented local designers and illustrators to build our brand."Maker(s): Randy Jespersen (founder/skateboard product design + development) and Geoff Kramer (snowboard product design & development) Based in: Edmonton Why we love it: Olive is custom, Canadian and clever. While many companies send production overseas, Olive proudly hand-crafts small lots of snowboards (in the 100s) in their Edmonton workshop using machinery/technology they custom built to craft their boards. Time it takes to make one item: Anywhere from three hours to 40 hours depending on their client’s needs and level of specialization. Gift worth giving: The Hunter - this sexy, woody-panelesque board decorated with a buffalo illustrated by Calgary artist Karrie Arthurs. With a poplar base, wide nose and tapered tail, the Hunter is made for deep powder. Instagram: @oliveboards