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Looking for the perfect gift? Concordia alumni have you covered

Get into the festive season with our 2021 gift guide
December 10, 2021
By Ursula Leonowicz, BA 97

#CUalumni holiday gift guide

With an abundance of online and in-store options to shop from for the holidays, why not support #CUalumni- and student-backed businesses?

From the green thumb to the chocoholic in your life, our 2021 holiday gift guide features something for everyone — read on for inspiration!

ADANEL Studio, created by Alea Morren, BA 06, MA 08

Adanel Studio

As the mother of three children — one of which has a rare neurological condition — Alea Morren sought the opportunity to share her perspective of the world through art. After creating her own studio, Morren began selling her acrylic paintings and digital artwork, which are inspired by nature.

Mountain Stream” digital image: from $21.95

Chocolate by Design, owned by Lee-Anne Mitchell, BA 87

Chocolate by Design

Following many years of working in the education field, Lee-Anne Mitchell decided to pursue her passion for chocolate by enrolling at École Chocolat. She is now a master chocolatier with a premium chocolate brand that sells confections ranging from chocolate-covered bacon and sponge toffee to chocolate bark and roasted marshmallow brochettes.

Chocolate-dipped strawberries: $20

CmdStore, created by Thuan Nguyen, BComm 99


Before even graduating from Concordia, Thuan Nguyen created CmdStore back in 1992. The online store sells a large variety of collectible toys, action figures, Funko Pop, anime and other related merchandise for the collector on your list.

Funko Pop DC Comics Catwoman: $14.99

ERA Vintage Wearfounded by Elaine Leveille, BFA 02

ERA Vintage Wear

A sustainable vintage fashion boutique based in Montreal, ERA Vintage Wear was founded by Elaine Leveille in 2004 after years of experience working as an art consultant and a trend analyst for major fashion houses. 

Velvet grey coat with faux fur: $200

House of Bounce, owned and co-founded by Heather Gagnon, BComm 10

House of Bounce

Along with her best friend, Heather Gagnon — who is also a student recruitment officer at Concordia — co-founded House of Bounce. The exercise program focuses on guided rebounding, which is low-impact and accessible to people of all ages and fitness levels. Bouncers can join the virtual studio for a one-day pass, a month of pre-recorded classes or a virtual membership that includes livestreamed classes. 

Gift card: From $20 to $500

Joyful Packages, owned by Joy Rodgers, BA 03

Joyful Packages

When Joy Rodgers was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 35, she underwent 16 chemotherapy treatments, a double mastectomy and a hysterectomy. Rodgers turned her experiences into Joyful Packages, which she now creates for patients in treatment and recovery, as well as for childhood cancer fighters and caregivers. 

In treatment package: $59

Les Filles Plantées, co-owned by Zoé de Parscau, BA 21

Les filles plantées

A plant lover with an entrepreneurial mindset, Zoé de Parscau co-created Les Filles Plantées with a friend after stumbling across a huge pothos plant. They propagated it and created new plants, which then blossomed into a business idea. The duo now sells a variety of popular plants and macramé plant holders. 

The Flora (plant and macramé hanging): $25

Montpetit Creations, owned by Tommy Da Ponte, BA 05 

Montpetit Creations

Independent gift-basket Montpetit Creations offers holiday favourites, chocolates and local gourmet food products as well as home spa essentials, among others goods. Tommy Da Ponte has been in the business for 20 years.

Savoury gourmet basket: $119.95

Pop! Toy Co., owned by Jodi Lieff, BA 95

Pop! Toy Co.

Jodi Lieff launched Pop! Toy Co. this year under the Pop! Events Group, which specializes in full-service event planning and gifting in Toronto. The online shop sells fun, engaging, age-appropriate toys for corporate events.

Desktop ring light: $29.99


Student bonus! Learn about three Concordia student-owned business to support this holiday season.

UrbanWrapper, owned by Camina Harrison-Chéry


Communications studies student Camina Harrison-Chéry made her first headwrap from a thrifted scarf. She now sells a variety of headwraps, headbands, bananas, durags, masks, scrunchies and bags made from African wax print fabric. Urban Wrapper is the result of Harrison-Chéry’s journey to rediscover and celebrate the ancestral art form.

Gleti headwrap: $25

Topgun Men Care, owned and co-founded by Pawel Jarocki

Topgun Men Care

Marketing student Pawel Jarocki and two of his friends united forces to create a hair wax pomade that is locally made using ingredients such as maple, spruce, pine and birch bark extracts. 

Wax pomade: $29

Première Classe Skincare, founded by Valerie Gilday

Première Classe Skincare

An undergraduate student majoring in management and minoring in real estate, Valerie Gilday wanted to formulate an organic skincare regimen specifically tailored for frequent flyers. The collection, which is ethically sourced and without GMOs, parabens or other toxic ingredients, includes serums, masks, toners and accessories.

Organic maple prevention serum: $47

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