These Hamilton-area brands are built for self-love

With the harsh winter months and the holiday season both creeping ever closer, many people will have two main questions on their mind: “How can I make sure I get through the wintery funk feeling my best?” and, “How can I knock off some loved ones on my Christmas list while shopping local?”

Thanks to our friends at the Localist Collective, we’ve been introduced to a handful of excellent small businesses from Hamilton and the surrounding area, all of whom are making products – and solid gift ideas – to help you feel good from the inside out!

Barbet Sparkling Water

Female-founded just down the 403 in Toronto, Barbet is making small-batch, delicious sparkling waters that are boldly flavoured and make for a terrific non-alcoholic drink option if you need a break from the booze after a bevvy of holiday parties.

Selections like Wild Card blend a citrus-forward flavour profile with a hint of jalapeno, while Love Bite offers up refreshing grapefruit and ginger with herbaceous juniper undertones.

Cool to Connect

Created in King City, Ontario, Cool to Connect is a card game that’s less about play and more about forging a deeper connection with yourself or those you love.

Their attractively designed 52-card deck features dozens of unique phrases, prompts, and conversation starters to get you think more meaningfully about yourself, your formative past, and your hopes for the future. Get 15 per cent off online using the code CONNECT15.

LaSpa Naturals

An Etobicoke small business specializing in natural beauty and skin care products, LaSpa Naturals’ range is all Canadian-made and cruelty-free.

Cleansers and skin treatments are crafted out of high quality and all natural ingredients, and they also offer a range of protective sunscreens to suit different skin types and an intensive glycolic peel for overnight skin treatment. Get 25 per cent off at checkout with the code SKINLOVE.

Rare Specimens

Based right here in Hamilton and active since 2014, Rare Specimens is all about what they call “conscious, hand-crafted jewelry made with raw minerals, rough rocks, and crystals.”

Aiming to create products and run a business that is ethical and sustainable, Rare Specimens’ striking, handcrafted jewelry comes in a variety of looks, from eye-catching statement pieces to subtler studs that are both beautiful and earthy. Get 10 per cent off at checkout using the code RARE10.

Handfuel Healthy Snacks

Take it from us: this Toronto-based snack maker is serving up some seriously tasty treats that are perfect to stick in a bag for when you’re on the go (or for when you’re just feeling a little peckish).

Handfuel largely specializes in flavoured nuts and nut mixes, including tempting options like their Maple-Glazed Pecans, which are hand-roasted and tossed judiciously in Canadian maple syrup and sea salt.

Other offerings include Raspberry Pistachio Clusters, Salted Caramel Cashews, and a Sweet Chili Nut Mix; but oh, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Go grab some, and just try not to finish a whole bag in one sitting. Get 20 per cent off at checkout with the code HandfuelCollective.

Lead image courtesy of @rarespecimens

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