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Your Concordia-powered 2020 holiday gift guide

Celebrate the season with 10 inspired ideas from #CUalumni
December 9, 2020
By Marta Samuel, GrDip 10

Personalized initial and pearl necklace: starting at $45.60 Emery & Opal, co-owned by Tiffany Reis, BComm 12

If you’re on the hunt for the perfect gift for that special someone — be it a partner, family member, friend or four-legged companion — we’ve got you covered with our holiday gift guide.

There’s no better time to support small businesses and there’s no better place to start than with our alumni-backed products, brands and shops.

1. Emery & Opal, co-owned by Tiffany Reis, BComm 12

What started out as a hobby soon blossomed into Emery & Opal, a jewellery company created by Montreal sisters Tiffany and Amanda Reis. Each piece — necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings — is made by hand and is described on the sisters’ web shop as “on trend without breaking the bank.”

Personalized initial and pearl necklace: starting at $45.60

2. Kanel Spices, founded by Kim Wiseman, BComm 03

Santa Fe Chipotle Honey spice blend: $11

Sold individually or as part of a kit, these all-natural salts and spice blends are inspired by flavours from around the world.

Each blend was specifically crafted to make mealtimes more delicious.

Santa Fe Chipotle Honey spice blend: $11

3. SPELA Cosmetics, founded by Maryam Behrouzi, BA 09

Wheel Thrown and Happy Hour gift bundle: $30 USD

Based in Portland, Oregon, Spela Cosmetics is committed to high-quality products that are non-toxic, vegan and cruelty free. Maryam Behrouzi left a career as an attorney in Los Angeles to pursue her passion to create cosmetics that are free from harsh chemicals.

Wheel Thrown and Happy Hour gift bundle: $30 USD

4. La boîte à bonbons, co-founded by Sarah Takforyan, BComm 12

La boîte à bonbons gift boxes: starting at $29.99

“Spreading happiness, one candy at a time” is the slogan of La boîte à bonbons, which started out as a monthly subscription delivery box in 2016 and quickly expanded to stores across Quebec and Ontario.

Gift boxes: starting at $29.99

5. Caliloko Athletics, founded by Nathalie de Champlain, MBA 08

Yosemite 2.0 active compression long tights for men: $145

Founded by a former competitive squash player, Caliloko Athletics was created to meet demand for a unique compression and shapewear brand.

Blending high fashion with the latest compression technology, the sportswear is intended to help reduce muscle pain during high-intensity training.

Yosemite 2.0 active compression long tights for men: $116

6. Espe, owned by Elizabeth Hardy, BComm 90

Caren black handbag: $75

Espe’s mission is to create cruelty-free handbags at an affordable price. Curated in Elizabeth Hardy’s Toronto-based studio, the all-vegan company uses durable, synthetic leather to create fashionable bags, purses and wallets.

Caren black handbag: $75

7. The Green Jungle Beauty Shop, co-founded by Marco Morelli, MSc 09

HERBIVORE Coco Luxe Hydration Trio: $53

A one-stop shop for everything from face and body care to candles and home-cleaning products. Green Jungle is also partnered with One Tree Planted to donate $1 USD from every order in support of global reforestation efforts.

HERBIVORE Coco Luxe Hydration Trio: $53

8. Cherry Tree Lane Toys, co-founded by Bekki Leon, BComm 08

Night Time Shadows by Moulin Roty: $21

A toy company with a passion for play and imagination, Cherry Tree Lane Toys is focused on education and child development.

Based in Calgary, the company encourages responsible business practices and sources environmentally sustainable materials when possible.

Night Time Shadows by Moulin Roty: $21

9. Wagz Wear, owned by Janice Collard, BA 85

Customizable dog leash: starting at $30

Wagz Wear offers Canadian-made leashes, collars, bandanas and towels for your canine companions.

Customizable dog leash: starting at $30

10. Best Cat, co-owned by Kyle Daigle, BA 20

Katt3 – EVO: $89.99

Best Cat is Canada’s first online cat store and was founded by Kyle Daigle and sister, Meagan.

The siblings love cats and want to provide fellow feline owners with expert advice and the best possible products on the market for their furry friends.

Katt3 – EVO: $89.99

Bonus! Here are two Concordia student-powered businesses to support this holiday season.

Batik Boutik, owned by Maya Amoah

Cotton face masks: $20

Journalism and political science student Maya Amoah showcases artisans from Africa through clothing, accessories and decor. Designs are made in Ghana and feature bold and vibrant patterns unique to West Africa.

Cotton face masks: $20

Destiny Thomas Designs, owned by Destiny Thomas

Aya earrings: $30

A Mohawk woman from Akwesasne, Ont., Destiny Thomas is studying art history and entrepreneurship at Concordia. She first learned beadwork as a child by watching her mother make hair brooches. Thomas soon learned how to make bracelets and earrings — which expanded to additional accessories and eventually her own business.

Aya earrings: $30

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