Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Sarah’s Hotspot: Hamilton Artists Holiday Gift Guide

The last year has reminded us how essential our local businesses and entrepreneurs are to our local economy and well-being. At the same time, local Hamilton artists have continued to inspire our community through their work. Feel good about supporting both this holiday season with a hand-picked collection of local artist-entrepreneurs by columnist Sarah Jessica. All offer a range of fantastic gifts with offerings to make your holiday season unforgettable.

Sari KNOT Sari

Sustainable Fabrics, Silk Clothing & Accessories, Copper Bar Tools

Focusing on sustainable fabric, slow fashion and transparent labour, Sari KNOT Sari is a James Street boutique specializing in Indian styles designed in Canada, and ethically created in India.

Sari KNOT Sari strives to be a low-waste company. Their scarves, pockets, pouches, scrunchies, headbands and bunting are made from left-over fabric cuttings and slightly flawed pieces, so that as much of the original sari as possible is salvaged and re-purposed.

Well known for their upcycled silk clothing and fabric gift wrap, the shop also sells pure copper bar accessories, candles, soaps and incense, jewellery, bamboo and linen clothing, bags and purses, cold weather accessories, masks, and plant-able greeting cards.

Take a peek at 231 James Street North!

Benji’s Market

Accessories, Stickers, Stationary

New to The Steel City, Alyssa Shanghavi has been running her independent business Benji’s Market for one year.

Focusing on stationary, planners, prints, scrunchies, stickers, bookmarks, plant hangers and various accessories, the small business owner has always had a knack for visual art- winning her first art competition in the first grade.

Shanghavi takes inspiration from cozy, cottage-core and cutesy themes, naturally naming her market after her first cat, Benji. You can find the creator’s holiday collections up on her site- hurry, they’re limited editions!

The artist also streams on Twitch, find her at Twitch.tv/drtrombone .

Alyssa’s shop is exclusively online, check it out at the link above.

Mulberry Coffeehouse

Coffee, Tea, Brewing Accessories

The Steel City staple located on James Street North, Mulberry Café is a well-loved local favourite.

Stop in for a classic latte, tea, freshly brewed coffee or meal, and grab a loved one something special for the holidays!

Mulberry sells mugs, travel mugs, travel cold cups, freshly ground coffee and espresso beans, loose leaf teas, and various coffee accessories.

Some items are available to order online via the store linked above, but everything can be picked up in-store at 193 James Street North.

True Hamiltonian

Hamilton Merch: Apparel, Accessories, Home Decor.

Shopping for a proud Hamiltonian?

True Hamiltonian is known for their Hammer-themed merch, branded with slogans like, “Hamilton Is Home”, “Welcome To The 905”, “True Hamiltonian”, or simply “Hamiltonian”, nurturing the community pride that the city is known for.

Find totes, pillows, mugs, t-shirts, hoodies, sunglasses and the store’s Holiday collection on their website, or at their physical store at 302 Main Street West.

Steeltown Garage

Motorcycle Gear, Merch, Coffee Accessories

Steeltown Garage isn’t your average espresso bar.

The coffee shop/motorcycle hangout/lifestyle brand known for their slogan, “Death Before Decaf”, specializes in apparel inspired by biker styles, traditional tattoo designs, and rock n’ roll influences.

Located at Barton & James, you can grab t-shirts, hoodies, hats and beanies, boots and footwear, leather jackets and riding gear, wallets, bags, leather care, and other accessories.

Besides average bags of coffee and mugs, for a limited time only you can purchase a coffee gift set: including a bag of coffee, two mugs, an enamel pin and Steeltown Garage slogan sticker.

Chocolat On James

Desserts, Fine Chocolate

Got a loved one with a sweet tooth?

Located at 123 James Street North, Chocolat On James was created by chocolatier Sheryl Cronsberry, an entrepreneur with the dream of opening a sophisticated chocolate boutique.

The chocolate shop specializes in truffles, fudge, bars, their famous chocolate-covered Oreos, assorted dipped snacks, and gift baskets.

Don’t count out your vegan friends- Chocolat On James sells 70% dark chocolate-covered candies as well, including barks, sponge toffee, oreos, peanut butter cups, and licorice.

The shop also offers sugar free options, including (sugar-free) chocolate covered peanuts, raisins, bridge mix, almonds, pecans, and malt balls.

You can grab a cone of in-house created soft serve ice cream dipped in any coating and toppings you’d like during the warm months, and during the colder months, they replace the chilly treat with a slice of fresh cheesecake.

InspiredButHellaTired

Gothic Accessories, Home Decor, Hand-Painted Clothing

Hamiltonian artist and creator Alyssa Mallone specializes in spooky, gothic and sexy visual art, and DIY punk rock fashion.

The Art Crawl regular’s crafts have a wide range of mediums, from acrylic paintings, to accessories, to customized clothing and household decor.

InspiredButHellaTired was recently featured on the CFMU Blog.

Piper’s Closet

Baby Accessories, Children’s Clothes, Home Goods

There’s a brand new boutique on James!

Located on 133 James Street North, the baby & children’s boutique Piper’s Closet specializes in maternity clothing, nursery decor, and all things baby.

Featuring clothes and accessories for infants and children, matching clothing for parents, toys and puzzles, posters, throw blankets, and additional nursery decorations,

The shop is passionate about inclusivity, and are committed to providing clothing, accessories, and baby toys with a wide range of skin tones. You can also find a subsection on the boutique’s website called “Collections for a Cause”, including t-shirts and blankets in support of racial equality.

Café Oranje

Reusable Mugs, Coffee & Tea Brewing Accessories

If you’re shopping for multiple caffeine addicts, you may want to diversify your gifting.

Cafe Oranje, located on 312 King Street East, is a vegan-friendly espresso bar and cozy cafe.

Besides coffees, teas, and sandwiches- you can purchase Keep Cups, a popular brand of reusable barista-friendly takeaway cups, pour-over coffee drippers, pour-over kettles, Chemexs, an Aeropress GO coffee maker, coffee grinders, tea infuser mugs and tea steepers.

Sarah Jessica Rintjemahttps://www.sarahshotspot.com/
Sarah Jessica Rintjema (she/her) is a music and arts journalist and live music photographer based in Hamilton, Ontario, and working within the GTHA. Besides running a Canadian arts promotional blog titled Sarah's Hotspot where she interviews local artists about recent single, album, and music video releases, Sarah Jessica hosts a podcast called HOTSHOTS where she dives deep into industry issues with local artists, which inspired her weekly radio show on Mohawk College's 101.5 The Hawk every Tuesday at 7PM, called HOTSHOTS On Air. You can contact Sarah Jessica through email, Instagram, or through the contact form on her website. Profile photo by Christopher Arndt.

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