Holiday Gift Guide 2021: My Favourite Small Shops This Year (and Mississauga/GTA Small Business Shoutout!)

Click here to see my favourite Canadian small shops from last year.

I did a few gift guides last year, and I really enjoyed doing it because it helped me to reflect on all the shops/brands I’ve loved and used in the past year. I will do a separate guide for mom/expecting mom as well as a 2-year old guide this year, but I thought I’d start my guides off by sharing my favourite small shops this year! Some will be the same as last year – I tend to be loyal, but I’ve also worked with and found a lot of new little shops this year.

Here is my list of some faves for 2021! Please try and support small shops where you can this holidays!

Why do I like small shops? 
1) By shopping locally, you are supporting the Canadian economy. I also like the idea of supporting someone I can “see” or get to know; someone with a family, or loved ones to support. Someone who is trying to get through school, motherhood, or whatever journey they’re on. 
2) Working off that point – it’s a more personal shopping experience, often with excellent customer service. I can’t say I’ve personally ever shopped small and felt like I had bad customer service. Everyone I’ve worked with or bought from has been so sweet! 
3) Products are unique and often one-of-a-kind. Sure, a lot of places resell or buy similar products to sell, but they have different selections, take different spins of things, offer different discounts and more. Many handmade products are truly one-of-a-kind items, and I love that!

For Your Littles

Royal Threadz

Even though my little hasn’t been a huge fan of headwear in a few months, Royal Threadz remains a favourite and I *hope* that Maggie changes her tune soon and wants to wear headwear again!! Because these pieces are excellent quality and always so adorable. I admit – although I am excited to be a boy mama – I am sad that I can’t order head wraps for my newborn!! Same as last year, I am still a sucker for the ruffle head wraps.

ParkerOlivia&Co

Maggie served multiple “terms” as a rep for Parker Olivia & Co and it’s one of our favourite bow shops! The Christmas bows in particular right now are too beautiful. Again, I am sad my kid hasn’t wanted to put any of her bows on – however she will still wear her Parker Olivia & Co hair clips! So that’s a win, and definitely some of our more recent favourites.

Ava Bear Bowtique

Such cute and beautifully textured handmade bows and head wraps! They have mommy & me matching sets for a lot too – including adorable hats now!

Little Peanut Boutique

If you’re looking for some super cute outfits for your little guy or gal, and you like great deals – you’ll love this shop! They also have a loyalty program which is always a perk. The stock is constantly updated – a few of Maggie’s outfits from the past year are from Little Peanut including her Valentine’s day outfit!

Baby Moon Kids Apparel

Another fave small shop for kid clothes! I always find them at local markets, and have loved so many of the outfits. A fave item I’ve grabbed from there for Maggie is knee high socks, but there are so many adorable pieces and outfits – check out their Christmas selection!

Wild Flowers Cotton

Baby, toddler and kids clothes! We served a term as brand reps for this amazing little shop. It is US-based, but I was happy to support. I appreciate that their tops have sayings on them but are very neutral and not tacky like some you get at big brand stores.

Little Munchware

A great little shop for your little one’s tableware needs. So many cute colours and collections like the Ari Bundle + Cup available. For my newborn I have my eye on the Ari Silicone Link Rings right now too. The mustard is my fave colour in the line up!

Colour By Letter

If you’re looking for a great gift for your little or a friend’s – this is it. Custom crayons! Maggie has loved her custom MAGGIE crayons and they’re perfect for little hands (easy to grip). They come in a cute little box too with the name stamped out – so it’s basically wrapped in advance. Bonus!

Tiny + Treasured Clothing Co.

The cutest and softest personalized bamboo baby essentials. Baby boy’s coming home outfit was graciously gifted to me from this little shop, and I bought an adorable little announcement sign for his birth too! Everything is beautiful, soft and personalized to your little one.

Swaddled Silly Co.

I am including this little shop here before I received my item – because I just know it’s going to be perfect. Yep, from the name – they do custom hand embroidered name swaddles and they look stunning. I personally ordered a fringe-style option with baby boy’s name. I can’t wait till it arrives!

Mama Mode: ON

A mama-owned online shop – I’ll be sharing some items gifted from there soon on my Instagram. They have baby clothes (and headwear!), baby accessories, baby shower gift boxes and more. All from Poland with love.

For You & Friends

KOJO Activewear

If you’re looking for comfortable but stylish nursing gear, KOJO is the place. I love my Merino wool long sleeve from there and it’s a huge bonus that it is made nursing friendly (it’s hard to find warmer things that are!). They also have added kids gear to their retinue!

Lounge Life Collective

Hair scrunchies made by Ontario hairstylists! They have comfy and cute loungewear too (like my shirt pictured above).

EverGrey Crafting Co.

A Canadian small shop making little wood pieces – including ornaments and beautiful stocking tags! We got our stocking tags from there and I am beyond pleased with them.

Bump2Baby Box

Offering trimester-based subscription boxes – including the Fourth trimester (aka postpartum). I ordered a Third Trimester box and it was such a treat for my pregnant self. This makes a great gift for an expecting mama, or a treat-yo-self type gift for yourself if you have a baby on the way (or a new arrival).

Mississauga/GTA Small Business Shoutout

Just wanted to shout out to a few small businesses, or independently-owned businesses, that I know & love.

Fitness by the Lake – I write about Deb all the time in my stories, but she really is great. If you’re looking to get some personal training, or just workout in a mom-supportive fitness group/class, Fitness by the Lake is your answer in the Mississauga/GTA.

Mommy Spa – Need a prenatal or postpartum massage? Interested in infant massage? Bhavani is your girl! Seriously – my biweekly massages keep me thriving this pregnancy. Can’t recommend enough – the location is a cute little spot, and the massage is the best.

Mommy Connections Mississauga/Oakville/Burlington – run by the wonderful Jen, I always recommend these programs to new and expecting moms. I had such a good experience with Mommy Connections (wrote about it here) that allowed me to connect with a wonderful group of mamas in the area. Postpartum can be a scary time especially your first time during a pandemic – making connections is so needed and so important for our mental health and well being as moms. Remember, we can’t pour from an empty cup. It also involves lots of fun activities for your little ones in a safe environment.

Duran Place for Kids – have had the opportunity of facilitating Mommy Connections programs here, but also have taken my own kiddo for Christmas photos last year (a great little set up to do my own photos for a great price) and we are going again this Sunday to their new set up for the family! They have so many events and activities, and the play rooms are great for parties. Located in Oakville.

Moments by Anjum – I will be sharing a separate post with both the maternity photo sessions I had done this pregnancy (because I equally loved my photos by Table & Pine Photography done outside the GTA) – but Anjum is amazing! Located in the GTA, doing newborn/family and maternity shoots.

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