A new online gift catalogue is making it easier than ever to support Edmonton businesses and shop local, especially ahead of the holiday season.
“The mission of the program is to support local business in three ways,” program manager Laura Tailleur said. “We bring them to new audiences, connect them to resources and tell their stories.”
Last spring, after a call for submissions, 278 applications were sent in from local businesses, makers and artisans. A panel of six narrowed that down to the 99 featured in this edition of the catalogue.
“There’s five or six different categories,” Tailleur said. “We have everything from furniture and home accessories to jewelry and apparel, bath and body to artwork.
“There’s a little bit of something for everybody at quite a large range of prince points.”
In addition to showcasing local products, the catalogue also highlights Edmonton retailers, artists and events.
“There’s artists featured in the catalogue and shown in the catalogue but then there’s also other venues,” jewelry designer Michelle Dall’acqua said. “If you go to those venues, there will be more local artisans and products that are made locally. It kind of brings everything together.”
Watch below: A new online catalogue is making it easier than ever for Edmontonians to support local businesses. Emily Mertz explains.
Gifted has not only provided Dall’acqua’s business — Heartstrings Jewelry — more exposure; it’s also helped her network.
“I didn’t know about a lot of things that were going on out there and what other people were doing. This has been an opportunity for me to meet other artists and other organizations that are interested in locally produced art.”
Dall’acqua uses “retired” guitar strings to make jewelry. Her business was selected for the catalogue and she was also chosen as a featured artist.
“I have had more interest,” she said about being included in Gifted. “I am getting more people getting in touch with me, and more people knowing who I am… This has really helped.”
It’s available online and as a limited edition hard copy.
“It’s important to shop local because it contributes to our economic diversity,” Tailleur said. “You’re not only keeping the money here in Edmonton but you’re supporting people who are really passionate and they’re following their dreams. It could be a friend or a co-worker, somebody who’s making something that’s really interesting and different and that’s uniquely offered here in Edmonton.”
Program organizers hope the local gift catalogue will be produced on an annual basis.