Each year we have at least one wedding to attend, and are challenged to come up with gift ideas to bestow on the happy couple something special that is both thoughtful and useful. We are not the type of people to simply choose something off of the gift registry (if there is one, which more often than not there isn’t), preferring to give a present that is more unique and personal.
Over the last few years we’ve developed a gift-giving practice that not only creates a personalized, beautiful and useful wedding gift, but also supports the local community and artisans. It also gives us an excuse to purchase the more expensive handcrafted products that we love to peruse at the local Salt Spring Island Saturday Market, but rarely splurge on for ourselves.
To create these gifts, we head to the local markets, shops and artisans of our community on Salt Spring Island. Salt Spring (or Saltspring – always a debate) is well known for it’s abundance of handcrafted and unique products. We shop and build a small collection of gifts based on what we can see the intended recipients enjoying. Sometimes we attempt to form some sort of theme (besides the local community theme), such as “picnic” or “breakfast” with the items we choose.
We then purchase a basket to place all of the items into, which serves multiple purposes. Not only does it provide a classy way of “wrapping” up the present, but it also becomes a part of the gift (a beautiful and useful basket to carry groceries or other items). Incorporating this reusable gift basket cuts down on waste produced by typical gift wrapping. I love that the locally produced products don’t include packaging that would be typical of commercially sold products in big-box stores, and this makes for a virtually waste-free and eco-friendly gift. (I do use a bit of tissue paper to fluff up the basket and hide the gifts within, but a large tea towel or similar material gift could also be used as dual-purpose gift/coverage.)
Because these kind of gift ideas can be so easily personalized, they don’t have to be only for weddings. These can also make for very classy birthday presents, housewarming gifts, baby shower basket, feel-better present, you’re-awesome surprise and so many more kinds of gifts.
Here is what went into the basket we put together for one particular wedding:
Gift Ideas for Giving Local
Spicy Tomato Jam from SaltSpring Kitchen Co. (I also included this company and their many different tantalizing jams and spreads in this previous post: 5 Local Salt Spring Island Businesses I Love.)
South Ridge Farm Nettle Chai and Happy Heart Tea.
A big bottle of Golden Ale from Salt Spring Island Ales.
An attractive bottle of Pinot Noir from Salt Spring Vineyards. I love that the whimsical label features artwork showing parts of Salt Spring Island.
Black Horse Apiary honey, with a real piece of honeycomb floating inside the jar.
Salt Spring Island Artisan Vinegar Oak-Aged Blackberry Balsamic vinegar.
A Salt Spring Island Tote + Able Water & Beverage Container from Twang & Pearl, a local shop full of uncommonly beautiful finds. The photo art for these custom beverage flasks was taken by Kalvin Clark Photography, a local Salt Spring Island photographer. These are exclusively available at Twang & Pearl (unless you’re lucky enough to catch Kalvin at the recently started up Fix Taco Food Cart, where he may have some for sale).
A woven basket from SOLID (Salt Spring Organization for Life Improvement and Development). Now, I have to mention here that while this is a local initiative, the baskets and other products are not made on Salt Spring Island. The reason why I like to support this small shop is that the organization is a non-profit society that supports communities in sub-Saharan Africa. Volunteers are sent (who pay for their own journeys) to communities to purchase livestock and other items that contribute to the communities sustainability, with the proceeds made. The volunteers then return back home to Salt Spring with more goods made in these African communities to sell in the shop, where this cycle continues.
UPDATE: I missed mentioning the delicious Sweetheart candle tin from Salt Spring Island Candle Co. This candle was the perfect addition to our wedding gift basket, using bergamot, rose and cinnamon fragrances to ignite the passions of romantics.
I encourage you, wherever you are, to support your local communities by buying local goods from small businesses, which can be assembled into these beautiful and thoughtfully personalized gift baskets.
If you are a local company looking for more exposure in the active online world, please don’t hesitate to contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org. I love to support local and small businesses! Check out the Work With Us page for more information about how I can be of benefit and what I have to offer your business.
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In order to get you started with your own small-business-supporting gift basket, some of the local Salt Spring Island shops and artisans I have included in my baskets have generously donated products to be offered as a GIVEAWAY! Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below for your chance to win one of these fabulous prize packs!
Salt Spring Island Basket Starter Prize Pack
Salt Spring Island Artisan Vinegar has donated a 50ml bottle of Oak-Aged Blackberry Balsamic. This balsamic vinegar (who doesn’t like balsamic??) is handcrafted from local fruit. Our favourite places to find these locally is at the Saturday Market as well as in the North End Farm farm-stand.
A Salt Spring Island series Tote + Able reusable Water + Beverage Canteen from Twang & Pearl. As mentioned above, this handy canteen from one of the island’s most appealing shops is perfect for planet-loving adventurer’s who like to sip water (or something a little sassier) on their journeys.
400g bag of Saturday Market Blend coffee beans from Mt Maxwell Coffee. Although this didn’t make it’s way into the basket featured, Mt Maxwell Coffee has been a very delicious addition to many of the other baskets we’ve made up in the past. The beans are sourced with intention and roasted in a yurt on the side of the mountain.
Erin Morris Ceramics is another Salt Spring Island artisan we’ve featured in our gift baskets previous to this example, who has graciously donated one of her handcrafted pieces – a beautiful handless tumbler. Her designs always catch our eye when we walk by her stall at the Saturday Market.
Enter here for a chance to win all of these fabulous prizes! Good luck, and keep shopping locally!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
*Disclaimer* This is not a sponsored post. I am sharing these gift ideas, shops and artisans with you because I truly believe in creating a community that supports each other, and lessening our impact on the world by shopping locally and reducing wastes. While I have not been compensated for this post, I am overjoyed that these local shops and artisans have shown their support for this post by donating the items in this giveaway.