There has been a big movement over the past few years to step away from the Big Box stores and shop local, shop Canadian. Gift of Art on Richmond Row is the perfect place to put this mission into action. Gift of Art opened in 2001, across the street from Victoria Park and features 100% Canadian made artwork and gifts featuring artists from across the country, 25% from right here in London. The store itself is a bright treasure chest of gems. Everywhere you look are gorgeous displays of unique and beautiful artwork, jewellery, pottery, glassware, and sewn items. All of the displays tell stories about the artist that created them, which makes the work that much more personal and classic.
If you follow your nose through Gift of Art, you will find yourself in the back room which is where you will find the shelves of Bean’Stock products, made in Sarnia. I was more than happy to sample some of the luscious, handmade soaps and body products, the hardest part was choosing which ones! The body butter and soap were rich and fragrant, making my skin feel fantastic. The coconut lime verbena body butter was the best I’ve ever tried, smelling like a sunny vacation without drying out my skin like so many of the over-fragranced lotions from the mall. A handful of bath salts tossed into a warm bath was the absolute perfect way to settle my kids before bed, leaving them clean, soft and smelling like strawberry shortcake – good enough to eat! And the exotic vanilla soy bean candle was the most heavenly way to make my whole house smell like a dream, erasing all of the kid and cooking odors that had been lurking.
Follow through with that promise to support local businesses. One trip to Gift of Art will have you crossing absolutely everyone off your list. Choose from stocking stuffers like Bean’Stocks extra large bath bombs, an upcycled Cate & Levi Collection hand puppet for the kids, gorgeous ornaments for your coworkers, one of the breathtaking handmade necklaces for your mom or sister, and some funky blown beer glasses for the men on your list. Grab yourself a latte at one of the nearby coffee shops and give yourself some time, there is a lot to look at and the wonderful staff will be there to tell you about the artists.
For a chance to win a Bean’Stock gift set from Gift of Art, featuring black raspberry vanilla soap, body butter, bath salts, and soy bean candle enter the contest below. Contest closes DECEMBER 2, 2012 at MIDNIGHT!
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