Photo: Des Isles Photography
Guest post by Kari Skelton | Lifestylist + Blogger at KariSkelton.com
I love shopping local, and it’s so easy to do so in Edmonton. There are so many talented makers here doing incredible work, and an impressive selection of shops focusing on locally-made ethical fashion and sustainability.
I love promoting Edmonton’s local shopping and culinary scenes. In fact, I’m so passionate about it, I present a weekly feature, the Local Love List, at KariSkelton.com, showcasing what our city offers up.
When we were searching for our first home, my husband Ryan and I knew we wanted to be central, right in the heart of the action, within walkable distance of shops and restaurants.
It makes me SO happy to see an ever-growing number of local shops and artists emerging to share their offerings. With initiatives like Edmonton Made, it’s becoming easier for the little guys to get on the map.
As a busy work-from-home mom, there’s nothing I love more than a solo day of boutique shopping with a stop at a cute little bakery. Here are a few of my favourite places to go:
Photo: Des Iles Photography
Red Ribbon Boutique: This is my go-to place for feature items to complete my wardrobe. It’s also where I shop for gifts year-round. They stock women’s, men’s, and kid’s stuff, along with candles, cards, and a small selection of housewares. You’ll find several local brands, including Red Balloon Pie Company caramels (which are the best you’ll ever have). Plus, I promise you’ll love the scent of this shop when you walk through the door! 10525 102nd Ave.
So Pretty Cara Cotter + Pura Botanicals: These two Edmonton-based powerhouses combined to open one pretty-in-pink, green, and copper-coloured flagship store on 10120 124th St. The stores offerings are just as incredible as their esthetics. Pura Botanicals, a luxe, eco-friendly skin care line made in Edmonton, has Bespoke Perfume sessions where you can create your own scent. Meantime, So Pretty Cara Cotter is timeless, versatile jewelry perfect for layering, designed by Cara Cotter.
Plum Home + Design: This beautiful store owned by Jenna Pryor, and her mom and business partner Pamela Freeman, recently relocated to the new Oliver Exchange building. They offer baby products, home accessories, cards, gift wrap and more, with a focus on Canadian brands, local suppliers, and independent lines. 12021 102nd Ave.
Prints and the Paper: It’s fitting that a quaint little shop straight out of a storybook offers the best kids’ books in the city. Seriously, I’ve found some of the neatest kids’ stuff here! Prints and the Paper is a beautifully-curated shop with a ton of eclectic pieces. They also offer custom framing. The owner Sandy knows every little detail about every single item within the four walls of his shop. This is our go-to for birthday gifts and unique cards.
Also on 124th: stop into Fox + Tux Boutique, Cloud Nine Pajamas, and Salgado Fenwick while you’re there.
Photo: Des Iles Photography
Clos General Leather: Honestly, I just want to hang out here! Not just because of the beautiful smell of leather and the bad-ass design of the shop, but also because of the vibe. Leather Maker Kyle Closen and his partner (in business and life) Dayna are awesome. Shop their pre-made bags, wallets, motorcycle gear, and belts, or put in a custom order. You can also sign up for (or gift someone else) one of their leather making workshops. Don’t forget to pop into Ace Coffee Roasters next door when you’re all done. 10047 80th Ave.
The Silk Road Spice Merchant: This is my go-to for cocktail supplies. Not only do they carry spices and baking supplies, but also bitters, tonics, roots, and herbs to help you create a beautiful craft beverage. Pair your finds with a locally-made spirit from Rig Hand Distillery, and you’ve got a great cocktail-making kit to gift to a friend. 10818 82nd Ave
Plaid Giraffe: I always laugh my way through this store! Many of the pieces sprinkled throughout the shop at 10340 Whyte Ave are kitschy and hilarious, but not tacky. You can find fun gifts for friends, along with gorgeous, Canadian-made jewellery, handbags, and accessories. When you’re done shopping, be sure to pop into Sugared and Spiced bake shop (entrance is in the back alley) for a piece of cake or a scone. While you’re there, consider signing up for their Cake Club. Three times a year you get a classic, 8” cake delivered to your door (also, a great gift idea for a friend).
Jacek Chocolate Couture: Never mind the out-of-this-world amazing, ethically-sourced chocolate treats; just knowing the lovely Jacqueline Jacek makes me want to support this company. Her personality is magnetic, and her goal has always been to spread joy through fine, fashionable chocolate. She does just that. Pop into Jacek’s Sherwood Park location to shop their latest seasonal collection, and be sure to look into their family tasting events too! 406 Kaska Road, Sherwood Park
Bella Maas Boutique: This store carries a bunch of fun clothes and they also focus on community. Every month, Bella Maas picks a new local charity, and donates a portion of their profit. They carry such a great variety of pieces, from cocktail dresses to loungewear, jewellery, bags, shoes, you name it! #168, 11 Athabascan Avenue
Max and Maude: Right next door to Bella Maas is the adorable kid’s boutique Max and Maude. This is a great place to pick up that unique baby shower gift, or stock up on essentials for your own little one. I love that this shop is run by two sisters who were born and raised in Sherwood Park, making them that much more connected to their community. #160 11 Athabascan Avenue
Jilly’s Boutique: This is a fun shop in Terwilliger with a hyper-loyal following. Jilly’s Boutique has a ton of lifestyle and gift ideas, coveted clothing lines, and some baby stuff. They focus on female empowerment and women supporting each other, and I love that. 14227 23rd Avenue
Shop the Skinny: What was once a tiny shop in Vacancy Hall is now a booming retail space in Southgate Centre. Shop the Skinny’s popularity has grown immensely over the last few years, and I know it has a lot of do with not only the amazing modern and unique pieces they carry, but the people who own and run the shop. Erinn Trebaczkiewicz is a true gem who has poured her soul into creating community with Shop the Skinny. They carry a few gifts and select jewellery among clothes for babies, kids, and women.
Poppy Barley: I got my first pair of Poppy Barley boots six years ago when Kendall and Justine Barber first launched their company. Those boots still look brand new. Their incredible handcrafted shoes and accessories (for women and men) are available both online and at their flagship store in Southgate Centre. Shopping here is an experience, including the custom-measure process. Poppy Barley wants you to feel good in your footwear. Not only are their shoes and boots super comfortable, they’re also ethically-made in Mexico.
A big thank you to Kerri-Lyn and Jason Holland for inviting me to share my Local Love with their audience! If you have any questions or would simply love to connect do so here:
Photo: Des Iles Photography