11 Small Businesses to Support While Keeping Distance

creative direction & photography CYNTHIA NGUYEN pictured above CADETTE JEWELRY necklace  


During this delicate time, I want nothing more than to be able to connect with each and every one of you to ensure that you’re doing well and have something in place, to get you through these ambiguous days. 
While spending a great deal of time trying to decipher the days ahead and reminiscing past events, I catch myself feeling fairly detached from reality— rolling through the motions of living while participating in a fast-pace, mental race to recognize what’s happening around me and how to quickly adapt while still maintaining a sense of purpose. With only so much time to spend on each day, I’ve always told myself to ensure that my world and the actions that come from there will always be rooted in good things that can aid me in providing a sense of good purpose, fulfillment and be supportive of others. 
While my day job is spent supporting small and large merchants of all kinds that run brick and mortar and online businesses, my love and support for these businesses only continues. We are all social distancing, meaning it’s our responsibility to take care of ourselves and when possible, take care of others too. With spare hours to allocate from my time spent staying indoors, I’ve sourced and compiled my own a list of shops to support that are both local to Toronto (and Canada).


  • Cadette Jewelry | Allison Asis: Designed and handmade in Toronto, Allison is the powerhouse behind Cadette Jewelry, a line of artisanal jewelry for the modern and mindful woman. From her initial organic renderings of inspired wabi sabi and modern art in a sketch book, to sculpting the molds to cast and polish, to carefully dropping her pieces into the beautifully branded box— Cadette Jewelry is a true hybrid of timeless simplicity and womanhood, that’s been demonstrated by the woman herself.

    Personal favourite picks:
    the Vida necklace and Coquina earrings.

  • Vimeria | Anna Laskin: A modern and upscale contemporary jewelry brand, based in Toronto. Anna uses her industrial design background to go from importing her sketches into a 3D computer-aided design application to creating these structured yet stunning, minimal pieces suited for everyday. Her styled of fine jewelry is best described as geometric with elegance.

    Personal favourite picks:
    a pair of earrings I’ve worn since 2017, the Lilly earrings and Bridget choker.

  • Soft Focus | Sammi Smith: Fresh, timeless but also stylish and fun loungewear made in Toronto. Sammi’s focus is on reinventing what laid-back casual should look while elevating the individual who wears her contemporary silhouettes— all made out of quality, natural fabrics. She’s evolved the pyjamas into something completely modern and appropriate for, in her words “beyond the bedroom”. Did I also mention her robes are the perfect piece for a lockdown? Whether you’re a minimal lady or someone who likes a lot more bright colours to match your mood, Sammi’s has a robe waiting for you.

    Personal favourite picks: the Classic robe in Toast and the Lounge pant in Toast.

  • BAHH GOOSE / Canadian owned, in partnership with Asian artisans: Ethical and handcrafted, beautiful womenswear— where minimal, boho silhouettes meets eco-friendly, sustainability. The brand was created in Campbell River, British Columbia, yet it breaths Tulum, Mallorca and sandy California. Such materials used for their soft apparel pieces, include being sourced from Bali, Indonesia. Each purchase supports not only a local Canadian business, but also supports the workers by offering a fair wage and producing made to order in small batches, while also preserving their culture.

    Personal favourite picks:
    the Linda button up and Kai top. Check out their beautiful cotton robes too.

  • Daphne Newman Design / Daphne Newman: If there’s anything that can spruce up your everyday spent indoors (i.e. zoom calls) or enhance the day you’re tying the knot, it’s either an immaculate loungewear set or a luxurious, soft veil from Daphne Newman. The Vancouver-born designer has devoted her life to the world of couture design and European delicacy, with over 30 years in bridal fashion, to create her own modern bridalwear— and it’s truly apparent in the pieces you’ll see online and in person. I was first introduced to this label when I saw one of their robes on display during my visit at bridal boutique, White Toronto.

    Personal favourite picks: the Sophia bridal robe and Jolie white silk wrap top. If you’re planning to get married in the near future, take a look at their Catarina beaded lace veil. They’re currently holding a sample sale on their website.

  • Lake and Oak | Meredith Youngson: Organic superfood teas and adaptogen blends by Toronto-based founder and nutritionist, Meredith. In a time where self-care rituals and nourishing the body and soul is high on the priority list, Lake & Oak offers quality, hand-blended herbal teas and lattes to aid you through this time. Restore your balance and replace that regular cup of caffeine with her Mega Matcha, and your mood and belly will be eternally grateful to you.

    Personal favourite pick:
    Sun Mylk, which I use with oat milk to make wonderful golden lattes and fresh turmeric blended bread.

  • F. Miller Skincare | Fran Miller: F. Miller started with the idea of creating minimal products with luxurious results, and has grown to become a collection of skincare essentials for face, hair and body, made from researched-based blends and nutrient-dense, quality ingredients. Using certified organic and ethically wildcrafted ingredients and the aim to minimize waste and footprint. 

    Personal favourite picks: Face oil and the necessity kit that comes with a versatile washed paper bag made from recycled content, handy for when we can travel again.

  • Shelby Naturals / Shelby Ondrus: Shelby is the formulator and creator behind the pure organic brand, Shelby Naturals. Her line of skincare aims to provide beautiful and healthy skin through quality plant based ingredients, combined with her background in holistic nutrition and chemistry. You’ll find no fillers, no toxic chemicals or preservatives, only certified organic, wildcrafted active ingredients sourced from a fair-trade process from organic farms based in Italy. 

    Personal favourite pick:
    Body oil and sanitizer, which is great for continual use during this eventful time. 

  • SOUVENIR | Danielle Suppa and Trisha Lepper: Souvenir is the destination for beautiful homeware and artwork, with the aim to feature emerging designers, artists and artisans, such as Rachel Saunders and Akai Ceramic Studios. Apart from being an airy, innovative space used for small events and workshops, it’s also a shop where you’ll be able to take home a lovely made good—  from stationery, scents, books, ceramics, jewelry, textiles and much more. 

    Their online store is coming soon sometime this month— May 2020. Their collection of goods are currently available for purchase via their Instagram.

  • SALT / The Caza Project: SALT is a catch all for everything calm and minimal, with luxurious selected interior pieces and captivating art work from such artists like Kassandra Thatcher, to take home. From effortless, sculpted vessels to the perfect cloud Turks couches for your living space. If you’re looking for a new oversized, indoor art project, then a paint job for your home with one of their Bauwerks Lime paints could be your next project. 

    Personal favourite pick:
    POSE II sculpture, Semi Circle Bed frame and Twig lamp.

  • Sol Atelier Toronto and Montreal | Ashley Klassen: Sol Atelier is a studio space that takes place in Toronto and Montreal, where creatives can rent and enjoy for photography, film, social gatherings over a warm meal and heart-felt conversations, pop-ups, small events and many more. The interior design and concept was done by Ashley Klassen, who is also a talented photographer. The look and feel of the space is bohemian contemporary, propped with vintage furnishing and art that seasonally changes to ensure creatives can enjoy the space time and time again. 

And that concludes my list of admired small, local businesses to support during this delicate time. I hope you enjoyed discovering them and feel also inspired to shop their creations as well. 

One last thing: We are all in this together; if I can help you in any way, feel free to reach out to me. x

This post is not sponsored and includes no affiliate links. All opinions are my own.


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