shopping

SUMMER FUN IN THE CITY

**This is a sponsored post written by me in partnership with Kijiji. All writing is my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support The Archives of Cool.

One of my New Year’s resolutions (which was definitely prompted by the harsh and long winter we had this year here in Calgary) was to truly enjoy every single day of summer in the city. We don’t have any plans to leave town, so this summer is all about exploring our favourite parks, hitting up outdoor pools and splash parks and just being active and enjoying nature. So far, so good; Jack and I have been on the go almost everyday and we’ve got a lot more fun ahead of us!

One of my main summer plans was to upgrade Jack from the tricycle that he has totally mastered over the past two years. I’ve heard from plenty of bike-enthusiast parents that a strider/balance bike is a great introduction to getting on an ol’ two-wheeler and learning about balance sans training wheels. For anyone who doesn’t know, a strider bike is a two-wheeler without pedals, simply put it is a self-propelled bike that encourages coordination and balance much earlier than kids typically learn those skills. It must have been my lucky day when I decided to search on Kijiji for a strider bike because amongst the flame-emblazoned kiddie bikes there was the most perfect PUBLIC strider in a retro-inspired pale blue.  

PUBLIC bikes have always had a great reputation – I remember when I was bike shopping years ago for myself I was considering PUBLIC bikes but ended up going with another brand. Anyways, the bike brand-new is only available online from the U.S. for about $200 CAD – it was listed on Kijiji for $50. Definitely one of my best second-hand scores in recent history. It just shows you that you can find really high-quality items, for less, on Kijiji if you keep your eyes out, know your brands and check back often. In fact – according to a recent Kijiji Report, in 2017, Canadians saved an average of $825 from acquiring second-hand goods instead of new.

Jack has been loving the bike so far – he’s really starting to get the hang of it and each day can go a bit further on it. He’s actually inspired me to get my bicycle (which has a Yepp kids seat on the back for him – I bought that second-hand a couple of years ago as well) repaired so we can hit the bike paths ASAP.

Another great thing about shopping second-hand for good quality products like this balance bike is that if you take good care of them, they totally retain their value – meaning once you are done with them there is an opportunity for resell. I’ll be putting his much-loved classic red trike on Kijiji very soon – I love the cycle of the second-hand economy.

One of the other functions of the Kijiji app that I love so much is that I can save my favourite searches and setup alerts for when new items are added. Jack’s interests are constantly changing and there is no point in buying brand-new products at this stage because who knows what will stick and what will be abandoned. It is not surprising considering how quickly children move from one interest to another! Luckily, games, toys and video games are one of the top five most-exchanged items in the second-hand economy,  according to Kijiji’s 2017 Second-Hand Economy Index Report, so I’ll have some good options to choose from.

That being said, there is endless summer fun to be had so I’ve set up a couple new alerts for some sports equipment. One of those being a life jacket in his size. Brand-new life jackets are VERY expensive which is something I had no idea about before becoming a parent. New, they seem to range from $40-$100 but according to my research I’ve done on Kijiji, you can get a second-hand one for about $25, which means you can save nearly 75% from buying used versus new! Once we get one, I will feel much more comfortable about hanging out at my parent’s community lake or down by the river this summer.

Earlier this year, when we were stranded inside the mall during the depths of winter, Jack got inspired by a cool and friendly teenager showing him skateboard tricks at the skater shop and I ended up purchasing a Fish Cruiser Skateboard (complete with a clear deck, pink light-up wheels and embossed skulls) for him. Later in the spring, we hit up the House of Vans skateboarding event and Jack got even more interested in skateboarding. Now that we’ve reached ideal skateboarding conditions, I’ve set up an alert for a full set of skateboarding protective pads because I feel that is a good compromise between full-on bubble wrapping my kid or going without. What is on your summer bucket list? Are your kids trying any new sports or activities this summer? I highly recommend purchasing second-hand for new toys, games and entertainment for your kids this summer. To learn more about the second-hand economy and how you can get involved check out secondhandeconomy.kijiji.ca for more information!    

INSTANT TEEN WITCH KIT

It is a severe understatement when I share that I am beyond thrilled for the new Netflix show, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. This modern day take on Sabrina the Teenage Witch is produced by the same people behind Riverdale and stars my fave teenager Kiernan Shipka – so you know it is going to dark, moody and glorious – and probably a bit kitschy. It comes out on October 26th and I cannot wait.

Lately, I’ve been spotting the teen witch vibe all over the place – it is totally in the air, riding a broomstick and looking cute. Here are some great finds from Etsy! Just an FYI, this post contains affiliate links.

know your power pin from glitterpunkjewellery

witch hand patch from lunalotusuk

black cat backpack from theshedoutlet

bulgarian rose lip balm from anitako organics

spirit speak tarot deck from spiritspeak

moon child candle from velvetcocos

gold moon bowl from liquoricemoonstudios

vintage candle holder by heartofthehunter

lunar calendar from durido

little witch zine from spiritspeak

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO THE WEST BELTLINE

Breakfasts with endless hashbrowns, parks with public art sculptures, an entire basement filled with crystals and gems; yup, I’m talking about my neighbourhood — the Beltline. This summer I’m partnering with Battistella Developments to showcase the best parts about living in Calgary’s Beltline neighbourhoods — notably the West Beltline where they are building their newest condo development: Nude. Keep an eye out for more posts here on the blog as well as sharing some of my favourite spots on Instagram.

I love living in the Beltline, where I’m so close to the action and able to get anywhere I want to go quickly, so today, I’m sharing my Ultimate Guide to the West Beltline, I’m talking spots you cannot pass up!

WHERE TO EAT

Donna Mac: If you love delicious yet inventive comfort food combined with a fresh, flavourful cocktails, a gorgeous interior (designed by my friend Sarah Ward!) and a record player stocked with sweet tunes, then I’m pretty certain you’ll love Donna Mac. They have a fantastic neighbour program for their housemade sourdough and they are very accommodating for vegans and people who eat gluten-free. 1002 9th Street SW

Kona Poke: One of my favourite hit-the-spot eateries, Kona specializes in delicious poke bowls topped with delicious ingredients like ahi tuna, spicy poke or even octopus. My go-to bowl consists of brown rice with mixed greens, cucumber, red cabbage, sweet onion, ahi tuna with the gluten-free Maple Miso dressing and topped off with masago, avocado and furikake. The Hawaiian vibe of the fast casual restaurant is anchored by a kitschy but swoon-worthy framed photo of Tom Selleck. Pop in on Mondays for free 5-cent candies; just one of the cute things this tasty little spot dreamt up. 939 10th Avenue SW

Paros Souvla: I am all about riding this wave of great take-out spots popping up in the West Beltline. Paros Souvla is one of my favourite additions with their incredible Greek food. If you’re going to try anything, may I recommend the Greek Fries which are topped with fresh feta and are dippable in the tasty house tzatziki. The Village salad is the perfect compliment to the fries with delicious Kalamata olives, cucumber, tomatoes and a savoury slab of feta on top. Their menu is also very accomodating for special diets; they are able to make almost everything gluten-free or dairy-free. 1436 8th Street SW

Sucre Patisserie & Cafe: I love to explore and try new places all of the time. I recently popped into Sucre which has a plethora of luxurious pastries and treats as well as fantastic coffee. The interior is so beautiful — you’ll feel like you’ve been whisked away to Paris for your coffee and croissant. 1007 8th Street SW

Galaxie Diner: If you love a good greasy spoon, look no further than the perfectly vintage Galaxie Diner. With bottomless hashbrowns, legendary milkshakes and a certain retro charm that cannot be replicated, this is the best place to meet your pals for breakfast. Be warned that it is a small place so there will be lineups on weekends. Luckily, they give you coffee while you wait in line! 1413 11 Street SW

Calgary Midtown Co-op: Every neighbourhood worth its salt has a great grocery store. Calgary Co-op is a fantastic destination to do your weekly shop but their grab-and-go and pre-prepped meal options really take the cake. It is also one of my favourite spots to pick up house plants and fresh flowers for a great price. 1130 11th Ave SW

WHERE TO SHOP

Nine Times Skate Shop: One of the freshest additions to the Beltline, this cool AF skateshop is my new go-to spot to pick up a new pair of Vans and scope out their awesome selection of cozy sweatshirts and perfect dad caps. This skater-owned shop is super involved in the city’s skate scene and often host events and workshops in store. 1409 11th Street SW

gravitypope + Blackbyrd Music: If you love brutalist architecture as much as I do, there is a good chance you’ve ogled the gravitypope building on 17th Avenue. But what is inside is even better — gravitypope has the BEST selection of shoes in all of the uptown/downtown area and carries amazing garment brands like Commes des Garcons PLAY, WANT Les Essentiels among others. In the basement you’ll find Blackbyrd Music, another Edmonton-offshoot which just happens to be my favourite spot to pick up the latest vinyl releases. 1126 17th Ave SW

Heritage Music: If you love crate-digging as much as I do, you’ll be able to spend an entire afternoon at Heritage Music fleshing out your record collection. They’ve got vintage gems to rival your dad’s collection and often do something extra special for Record Store Day. 1316 11th Ave SW

Peaseblossoms Flowers: I’m a big believer in having lots of plants and fresh flowers in our home — it just makes every day more beautiful! Peaseblossoms Flowers is the most darling little shop that carries a gorgeous selection of flora as well as some amazing lifestyle products like notebooks, small objects and decor. 1417 11th Street SW

Earth Gems: My crystal obsession is real and Earth Gems does not disappoint. I could literally spend hours (and hundreds of dollars) in there. Pro-tip: as much as my little guy loves crystals and rocks, I would not recommend bringing your little one there as there is some very expensive pieces all over the place — not worth the risk! #100, 1022 17th Ave SW

Pomp + Circumstance: If you’re looking for beautiful home decor, Pomp & Circumstance is one of the best interior design shops in the West Beltline. With product lines from Norm Architects and Barter, you’ll be sure to find something covetable for your modern, minimalist home. 1204 12th Ave SW

Wild Rose Cleaners: If you need alterations and dry cleaning, Wild Rose is an excellent option. Their attention to detail is impeccable and they actually design and make men’s dress shirts in-house if you are looking for a bespoke option. 1330 15th Ave SW

Hedkandi: My go-to spot for hair is definitely Hedkandi on 8th Street. Not only do they have some of the most talented stylists in the city but they also carry an amazing selection of hair and beauty products from lines such as Bumble & Bumble, Oribe and even their own coffee blend with local coffee company Monogram! #105, 1301 8th Street SW

WHERE TO GO

Beltline Urban Mural Project: One of my favourite local initiatives in the Beltline Urban Mural Project which was started by the Beltline Neighbourhoods Association (Battistella is actually a big sponsor of the  2018 Project) to promote local artists, increase tourism for the neighbourhood (hello, Instagram mecca) and beautify buildings in the area. They are just kicking off year two of the project and I cannot wait to see the finished murals later this year! For more information about the upcoming festival and mural tours check out their website.

Barb Scott Park: Grab a coffee and your frisbee and hit up Barb Scott Park for some sunshine. Artist team Creative Machines created the interactive public art piece Chinook Arch that is best viewed at night. The building located adjacent to the park was the former Central High School and is still a beautiful heritage landmark in the West Beltline. 1219 11th Street SW

Color Me Mine Uptown: Jack and I love getting crafty together and Color Me Mine is the perfect place for us to spend an afternoon creating some ceramic masterpieces for our home. They also host kids birthday parties there! 1504 11th Street SW

Commonwealth Bar & Stage: If you love live music, one of the best venues is located right on the edge of the West Beltline. Commonwealth  Bar & Stage has regular programming featuring local DJs and bands but also brings in some of the best shows (think bands like Whitney, Suuns and Tokyo Police Club) every year. You are guaranteed to have a good time at this music scene staple. 731 10th Avenue SW

Thomson Family Park: We love popping by the Thomson Family Park, most notably for their awesome giant slide. With picnic tables, a fantastic playground and fountains it is a great place to spend an afternoon with friends and family. 1236 16th Ave SW

If you want to find out more about Nude by Battistella and keep up to date on news about the project, go to battistella.ca/nude to register!

**This is a sponsored post written by me in partnership with Nude by Battistella. All writing is my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support The Archives of Cool.

ETSY 13TH BIRTHDAY SALES EVENT!

Did you hear the news? Etsy is officially a teenager – an adorable quirky teenager that sews their own clothes and collects vintage pieces and takes pottery classes on the weekends. It is amazing to think about how much the internet, the maker world and online shopping have changed in the past thirteen years but it is nothing short of inspiring. To celebrate the big 1-3, they are having an amazing sale from today until Friday June 22. Select items are on sale for 10-60% off. Um, hello – YES!

I hunted through the thousands of items on sale and found 13 of my favourites! There are some real gems on there (yes, like, actual gems/crystals on sale!) so get browsing! Just an FYI, this post includes affiliate links.

pink incense holder from Nightshift Ceramics

splatter ashtray from BIANCA and SONS

blush espresso mugs from SINDstudio

vintage bath tray from SharonMfortheHome

underneath the stars tea towel from LeahDuncan

the magic is in you wall hanging from SecretHolidayCo

azilal cushion from depeapa

Blush Leather Backpack from MeitaLev

rose quartz pendant from adela rose

Natural Facial Spray from HVER

moon phases print set from 324art

minimalist tarot set from DarkSynevyrStore

jasmine & vetiver candle from brand & iron

ARTIST TEE +COLLAB SERIES AT DRAKE GENERAL STORE

There was a long period of time when I decided to eschew the beloved graphic tee. I think it was post-high school when I perhaps overdid it on the cute and witty t-shirts that were so popular in the early 2000s – picture a Threadless addiction x 1000.

Now fifteen years later (*cries*) I think I’m finally coming back round to the idea of a bold yet simple design to add an otherwise boring outfit.  I instantly fell in love with The Drake General Store’s +collaboration series, where they partnered with Toronto-based creators to design an exclusive, limited edition capsule collection. The tees are all made using ethically sourced, fine twisted combed cotton that is knit, cut and sewn in Toronto – which makes this crush even harder.

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This sweet and springy design is by artist and illustrator Tallulah Fontaine and features her beautiful, minimal style on the Shared Women’s Relaxed Tee ($55.00). I can’t say no to anything blush and floral so this is an instant winner in my book.

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This beautiful piece is by graphic designer Joshua Pong, echoes the bold pop images and logos that inspire his work. The design is embroidered on a Shared Men’s Relaxed Tee ($55.00).

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And lastly this tee ($55.00) by designer GuyGuyGuy is inspired by a spread found in a vintage spelling book – tho I think optometrist and glasses-loving folks would also be appreciative of this tee.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Drake General Store, Shared returns with a capsule collection that celebrates authenticity, quality craftsmanship, art and design. Originally established in 2004 with a line of ethically sourced, Canadian-made modern classics and extraordinary essentials that are fit for everyone. All of the tees are proudly made in Toronto.

SAKS FIFTH AVENUE NOW OPEN

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Fashion lovers in Calgary will be thrilled to know that Saks Fifth Avenue has officially opened its doors at Chinook Centre. It is the third location to open in Canada and I couldn’t be happier to welcome this luxury retailer to the spot that once housed Target and Zellers. Talk about a transformation!

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Last night I attended a pre-opening tour with Saks Calgary Vice President & Store Manager Lydia Seifert and was blown away by how glamourous the store is. There is truly nothing quite like it here in Calgary and it is so exciting to have such an established brand open its doors right here at Chinook Centre. I attended the opening gala along with some of my lovely friends, fellow media and bloggers and I think everyone was really impressed with the presentation. The people-watching was fabulous; it felt like every fashionista in Calgary was in attendance and everyone REALLY showed up with their own personal style. There was live music, performance artists (more about that later), an artist drawing ten-minute fashion portraits and of course all of the shopping that your heart can handle.

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The 115,000-square-foot location houses women’s and men’s categories, including exclusive brands. One thing I really love about the space is all of the locally sourced artwork that they curated for opening night. Every single detail is flawless; they truly thought of everything. The beauty and fragrance department alone is sprawling with so many exquisite scents, candles and potions – I could spend all day perusing the amazing brands available.

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Beyond the endless shopping experiences throughout the two-floor store, there are many personalized services at Saks that really set them apart from their potential competitors. One being the private shopping suites, which are absolutely stunning and I not-so-secretly wish were my own personal living rooms. Serving up champagne while you shop and try things on, their amazing staff will help you find everything your heart desires.They also have styling services that involve custom creations and in-house alterations, as well as made-to-measure and tailoring experts on hand. If you are a beauty nut like I am, you will love the beauty experiences that they offer. Makeovers, skincare analysis, on-the-go facials and personalized fragrance consultations are all part of the experience. On top of that you can indulge in a facial or massage in one of their private beauty treatment rooms – seriously the dream! There is also plans for an in-store salon opening soon.

If you’re looking for a bite to eat while you are out shopping, look no further than Buffo at Saks which will be opening soon. Open seven days away, this rustic Italian restaurant is great spot to enjoy dinner or a glass of prosecco.

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One of the really special elements of the night’s festivities was an live art performance by Brooklyn’s The Bumbys where they provided guests with a typed note (on actual typewriters!) giving a Fair and Honest Appraisal of Your Appearance. I was thrilled to participate in this and I loved the note they wrote for me. I’m going to frame it!DSC02804-2 DSC02801-2

All in all, I can’t wait to head back to Saks soon and do some shopping!

PLAYFUL + COLOURFUL FINDS COMING TO IKEA IN FEB 2018

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BURVIK side table $39.99/each Red White Black

Coming this February – IKEA is introducing a range of products that make the everyday more playful. The launch comes in a modern style that’s about colour-blocking, simplicity in shapes and experimenting with materials. I am SO excited about these new products – I can’t wait to see them in person. I will definitely be picking up a few additions for our home. Highlights include two side tables and pendant lamps in attractive, modern designs. Parents can delight in a new baby textile collection and children’s mattresses, all developed with child safety as top priority. For the bathroom there’s a range of water and energy-saving showers. Other highlights include a range of clocks with new functions and products for tea and coffee times — making the everyday a little bit more fun and tasty!

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HÄLLAN series. Cabinet $50/each W45°—D47, H50cm. Cabinet $60/each W45°—D47, H75cm.

Leg $9/each W45°—D2, H28cm.

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GRANBODA nest of tables, set of 3 $59.99

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HÄLLAN cabinet $60 W45°—D47, H75cm.

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KLÄMMIG series. Towel with hood $7.99 Turquoise/red

Duvet cover and pillowcase for cot $11.99 Red $11.99 Turquoise

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KLÄMMIG towel with hood $11.99 Grey/yellow

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JOHANNE cushion cover $14.99

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KLÄMMIG duvet cover and pillowcase for cot $11.99 Turquoise

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BROGRUND shower set with thermostatic mixer $39.99

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BILLSJÖN hand towel $2.99/each BILLSJÖN bath towel $7.99

LASJÖN shower curtain $9.99

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PANORERA wall clock $24.99 Ø24cm. clock $17.99 Ø15cm. STOLPA wall clock $29.99 Ø32cm.

clock $17.99/each Ø14cm. SNIFFA clock $12.99 Ø9cm.

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VALLAMOSSE riser rail handshower $29.99

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TORRILD rug, low pile $49.99

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BROGRUND 1-spray showerhead + arm chrome-plated $39.99

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KRUX series. Wall lamp $39.99 Work lamp $39.99

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ÖVERST 3-piece metal coffee

filter coffee set $12.99

Stainless steel.

Designer: Nike Karlsson.

TRÅDLÖS honey drip

and tea measure $3.99

Metallized stainless steel.

Designer: N Karlsson/M Axelsson.

DESIGN SHOPS + IDEA HUNTING IN INGLEWOOD

I feel really lucky to know some truly incredible shop owners in this city. I don’t know if it is just because of the line of work I am in or if I’m just drawn to people who simultaneously create welcoming and beautiful curated spaces, but I still feel lucky to know them. Funnily enough, most of them have chosen Inglewood as the home for their shops so I tend to frequent that neighbourhood quite often, visiting their lovely boutiques. I really love shopping but I also really love window shopping. I get so inspired seeing how my friends have built their shops up and created inspiring spaces that invoke all sorts of idea percolation.

DADELOFT: I first met Greg and Darcy years ago when I worked at Art Central and they ran a gallery in the space. It has been so amazing to watch them grow their business and transform it into something truly unique, inspiring and exciting. I wrote about DadeLoft in Avenue Magazine and if you click the link to see the images I took, you’ll see just how cool this interactive show room slash liveable shop really is. You need to see if for yourself though – the art you will see is worth the trip alone. But you’ll also want to buy all of the amazing design objects and home accessories. Sorry – not sorry.

1212 13th Street SE #104

The UNCMNS: I also met Lisa and Ian Davies, sister-brother-team-extraordinaire, when I was basically a teenager. I think they were the first graphic designers I knew! I have seen them go through various formations of retail shops, studios and amazing freelance work. When they opened The UNCMNS in Inglewood several years ago, I knew they were really on to something. Since then, the store has been cutting edge of cool accessories for yourself and your home. It is my go-to shop for amazing gifts for just about anyone! They are always hosting really interesting art shows in the back of the store so make sure you check out every square inch.

1325 9th Ave SE

Fresh Laundry: Fresh Laundry is Lisa and Ian’s other shop just down and across the road from The UNCMNS. While Fresh Laundry is mainly a skincare shop, the whole space is utterly inspiring – from the living moss wall to the touches of gold dotted throughout the pure white store. They also carry a small selection of beautiful home items that will get you inspired to live a more refined lifestyle, only surrounding yourself with things you truly love – like gorgeous ceramics and design magazines.

1216B 9th Ave SE

Guildhall Home: There literally is no shortage of lovely design shops in Inglewood and Guildhall Home is one of the newest. Guildhall carries everything from furniture to linens and pillows to housewares – and everything in between. The way owner Carey Jones has designed the store speaks to the level of expertise he has in the design field and every inch of the Inglewood shop has decor inspiration for you to incorporate into your own home. Another thing I love about Guildhall is that while they carry investment pieces there are also a number of lines and collections that are very affordable – meaning you can begin your design journey on a budget if you want to.

1222 9th Ave SE

Stash Needle Art Lounge: Stash just opened up their brand new location on the corner of 9th Ave SE and 12th Street and it is utterly stunning. This is one crafty business that keeps growing and growing. Stash is a one stop shop for yarn, accessories and classes for knitters and crafters here in Calgary. The store is beautifully designed by owner and expert knitter Veronica Murphy who has grown the business since opening the shop years ago. The shop is filled with so much inspiration – it is literally like a candy store for anyone who loves textiles and DIY projects.

1237 9th Ave SE

PLANT: Lastly, PLANT is my number one stop in the city for amazing plants, succulents and home accessories (ie. plant pots, vases, cute prints and more). PLANT owner Kyle Chow first became well-known for his amazing terrariums and knowledge about succulents, airplants and cacti but now he has definitely become the city’s go-to guy for everything plant related. I’m constantly popping into PLANT for home decor inspiration and dream up my next plant purchase.

1327 9th Ave SE

CELEBRATING 25 YEARS WITH SAJE

One of my favourite things about being Canadian, is celebrating all of the amazing entrepreneurs and companies that were founded in our country. As Canada marks 150 years this weekend, Saje Natural Wellness is celebrating their 25th anniversary! To celebrate the milestone, founders Kate and Jean-Pierre LeBlanc created a special 25th anniversary limited edition Pocket Farmacy. Featuring five of their most-loved roll-on oil blends, the pocket or purse-sized kits includes everything you need for wellness on the go.

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Each roll-on is 6ml (these actually last quite awhile for me even with daily use) and include five different blends: Peppermint Halo Headache Remedy, Immune Germ & Virus Fighting Remedy, Eater’s Digest Digestion Easing Remedy, Stress Release Tension Reducing Remedy and Pain Release Analgesic Remedy. I’ve been a long time user of all of these except for the Immune roll-on so I am excited to try that one out – especially as a mom to a young child who is constantly picking up germs at the playground and elsewhere.

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I had the privilege of interviewing co-founder Kate LeBlanc about this momentous occasion for her company and family – and also how Saje has made such an impact over the past 25 years. Happy Birthday Saje!

Starting the company 25 years ago, did you ever expect that you’d be opening up your 50th Canadian location in 2017? 

When my husband, Jean-Pierre and I founded Saje 25 years ago, our dream was global wellness. At that time, we weren’t sure how that vision was going to be achieved, but we just knew that we wanted to bring nature’s medicine to the world, starting in Canada.

Four years ago, our goal was 50 top tier and thoughtful Canadian locations by 2020. It’s incredible to think that goal has been achieved three years early! It’s surreal to be welcoming our 50th location with a second store in West Edmonton Mall; it’s a massive milestone for us that holds great significance.

What has been your number one favourite product to use since opening up shop?

It’s always so hard for me to pick just one – but luckily I get to share my faves regularly with our monthly feature ‘Kate’s Faves’!

Something I always have on hand is Immune (known as Fortify in the USA). With my busy travel schedule, it keeps my immune system strong and helps me fight the germs I come into contact with so frequently on flights and in hotel rooms. I travel with our roll-on remedy, which I apply to my neck and directly underneath my nose during travel, and at night – on the bottoms of my feet.

Immune also comes in different application methods to make it extra-easy to stay in good health. Whether you choose to roll on the remedy, apply a spritz of mist or enjoy a hot bath, the healing powers of tea tree, eucalyptus and peppermint will increase your wellness while you’re on the go.

What have you noticed over the past 25 years about how Canadians approach health and wellness? 

We now have Saje locations coast to coast and something I’ve noticed has always remained consistent is the value of wellness that many Canadians have in common. There’s a desire to lead happy and healthy lifestyles – and an openmindedness and sense of shared community there. I think Canadians are at the forefront of pro-active health and are now seeking other healing modalities and methods that support a more natural approach. Our incredibly supportive Canadian communities have allowed us to bring natural wellness to more provinces across the country and I’ll always be grateful for that.

It’s a disconcerting thought to reflect on all of the synthetic products we put on ourselves daily and the poor air quality and pollution we breathe in. When using synthetic products, your body is constantly ridding itself of those toxins and over time these chemicals build up and deplete our immune system, allowing illness and stress to take hold. 

Our VP Brand and my daughter Kiara often describes our stores as a place to go to when 3pm hits and you just don’t feel well. We’re that place you can go to when you don’t necessarily want to see your doctor, but you have a health concern – and it might be a result of this depleted immune system. You can come in, get help and feel better – and at the same time because you’re using plant-based solutions you’ll experience health benefits, rather than side effects.

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The Pocket Farmacy Remedy Kit is your special 150 x 25 year anniversary product – why do you think this set is such an essential for Canadians to keep with them?

It felt like a natural fit to bring a limited edition of our Pocket Farmacy      to celebrate 25 years of Saje history because it was how Saje all started!

Jean-Pierre origionally blended these formulations for his own use. A car accident had left him with soft tissue damage and on pharmaceutical medication. Soon he was adding even more medication to address the side effects from those that were meant to be helping him  – and he thought, there’s got to be a better way. It was then that he blended the five original remedies found in the Pocket Farmacy. At the same time, I had a passion for incredible retail environments and experiences – so together, we combined our passions to create Saje.

All that said, it was a natural selection for our celebratory, limited edition product. Growing Saje has been an exhilarating and rewarding journey and we feel the Pocket Farmacy speaks so perfectly to that experience. And even more rewarding to celebrate alongside Canada’s 150th anniversary!

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How has being Canadian helped you professionally?

I’m super proud to be from this incredible country. Growing up in small town Ontario, yet also having experiences in Canada’s biggest cities – and living where I am now, amongst West Coast beauty – have played a huge role in who I am as an individual and my values of community, connection, wellness and nature. This, combined with my desire to experience other cultures and ways of life, has been an incredible lens to gain inspiration from.

I’m also always inspired – wherever I go in Canada – by the people. Some of the most genuine, kind hearted people I’ve ever met have been in towns, Coast to Coast, when I’m in our retail stores connecting with folks. It’s my favorite part of my job.

Saje_Kait Kucy_7

How have your Canadian roots influenced your work?

I grew up working in my mom’s fabric store. She was so much more to our little town than just that; she was a pillar of our community. I remember her hosting teas with the ladies of the town, and she had a real passion for customer service. People gravitated towards her for a place to go for more than fabric – for connection and a sense of community.

I knew then and there that I was passionate about retail, and that one day I wanted to pursue my own entrepreneurial journey within it. It was this early experience that inspired one of Saje’s founding pillars – outrageous customer service. To this day, it remains a founding pillar and the foundation of everything we do at Saje.

Beyond this, I have always been incredibly inspired by nature, by the effects it can have on the body, mind and spirit. Whistler is one of my favorite places to go to get grounded, feel super connected to myself and general disconnect, unplug – and at the same time, reconnect.

That’s something I also really love about essential oils – they have the ability to instantly lift us out of a place of anxiety and help us land in a place of possibility. Picture yourself taking a deep breath in the middle of a serene, remote place in the woods and think about how body would feel in that moment. That’s the effect essential oils have.

Essential oils act as rapid transit to nature. Whatever state my body and mind are in, whatever I’m feeling in that moment, I know I can rely on the ability of essential oils to adapt to what my body needs. When you’re connected to nature, your body releases endorphins which elevate happiness.

Thank you to Saje and Kate for the Pocket Farmacy Kit!