Shoppers who enter this cute little boutique are greeted by a wall of chic greeting cards and paper goods, while the rest of the boutique is filled with giftable items from jewelry to artisan sweets. Anyone who enjoys shopping at local craft fairs will fall in love with Meadow Gifts and their curated selection of handmade goods.

Meadow owner Sasha Freeman is a long-standing member of Vancouver’s crafting community.  Modern Mix Vancouver’s first encounter with her was at a Vancouver craft market in 2008, when she was still running her handmade home and accessories brand, Track & Field Designs. In 2012, Sasha took her love of handmade goods to the next level and transitioned from a craft fair vendor to a retail boutique owner, where her own small business supports the small businesses of others.

Sasha describes herself as young at heart and the giftable items curated for Meadow boutique reflect her playful and whimsical taste in products. Dainty earrings, modern calligraphy greeting cards, miniature ceramic jewelry trays, glittery paper crowns, tin recipe boxes, delicate stacking rings, and celebratory paper garlands are all examples of what shoppers may find at Meadow.

Products from local Canadian brands are displayed throughout the store. Some of the Canadian makers that Meadow currently support include:

  • Banquet Atelier (Vancouver) – Screenprinted artwork and greetings cards inspired by natural beauty and the environment.
  • The Candid Confectioner (Vancouver) – Artisan caramels handmade in small batches.
  • Dreamboat Lucy (Calgary) – Jewelry handmade by sisters.
  • Field Trip (Surrey) – iPhone cases and mouse pads in fun and playful patterns.
  • Melanie Favreau (Montreal) – Handmade sterling silver jewelry.
  • Mint & Birch (Vancouver)Clean and simple hand-stamped bar necklaces.
  • Peekabloom (New Westminster) – Pretty hair accessories and headbands for babies.
  • Sunday Dry Goods (Vancouver) – Turkish towels in a diverse array of colours and patterns.

On their own, these niche Canadian crafters may not be able to invest in their own bricks and mortar storefront. But through Meadow, Sasha gives these small businesses the opportunity to showcase their online shops in a real and permanent location, in Vancouver’s hip Gastown neighbourhood.

When asked why she believes in the importance of shopping local, Sasha expressed that she enjoys knowing that the dollars spent on local brands, go directly back to the small business owners and their families, rather than to a big, faceless corporation. The benefits of shopping local seem more tangible, as well as keep our dollars within our own communities.

Sasha’s point of view is shared by many other purveyors of shopping local, and has been especially highlighted in recent years by Yellow Pages’ Shop The Neighbourhood campaign. #ShopTheHood is a nationwide movement, which encourages Canadians to adopt sustainable shopping habits by supporting small businesses in our communities year-round.

Small businesses are an integral part of our communities as they create jobs, funnel funds back into the community, keep decision-making power localized, and contribute to building healthy, thriving neighbourhoods. Especially with the upcoming holiday shopping season, if we make an effort to buy our gifts at local boutiques like Meadow, we’re helping strengthen our small businesses and, by proxy, the neighbourhoods where we live, work, and play.

On Saturday November 26, 2016 look out for Yellow Pages’ street teams in the West End and Kitsilano who will be spreading the word and raising awareness for the importance of local businesses and the positive impacts of shopping locally. Join them, or go out wherever you are to show your support by making a purchase in a local store!

In the meantime, visit Meadow Gifts and celebrate local at 104 Water Street in Gastown.

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This post was written in collaboration with Yellow Pages. For more information about Shop The Neighbourhood, follow the campaign on Instagram (@yellowpages_ca), Twitter (@yellow_pages), and Facebook (facebook.com/yellowpagesca).

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