(AKA: Jeff Bezos at Amazon has enough money)
Along with so many other businesses and industries, COVID-19 has drastically impacted the world of handmade artisans. Even though this year has continued to bring challenges for us to overcome, we are starting to see an amazing shift from Saskatchewan customers only supporting “big box” or billionaire-owned retail stores to buying locally- made, Canadian products. From handbags to hot sauces, cardigans to candles—people are starting to make the shift. It’s a throwback to when you could purchase your buy-it-for-life item at the local general store, counting on quality and customer service which remains unparalleled.
I was one of a handful of other business owners in Saskatchewan who made the leap to open a store which purely supports Canadian-made quality products. Brick + Mortar opened in September 2019 as a 700 sq. ft. retail space in Regina’s Warehouse District. Considering the space was SO tiny, it was amazing that we packed over 30 artisans and handmade vendors into the space.
I also operate my own fashion line. While locked down, we noticed that so many more artists, vendors, and small businesses were facing crippling stress for the future. With the craft shows, trade shows and other events being cancelled throughout the year, we had to look at ways that we could band together to support each other. To do this, we put a call out to see how many businesses and artists were feeling the pinch of having their revenue streams cut off. In return, we had applications flood in for vendors who were simply just trying to follow their dreams and get their product out into the world for others to see. This isn’t simply a side hobby for most of these folks—it’s their livelihood.
With all of this in mind, we began to search for viable options to help small businesses and our local artists so we expanded. Our new home (still in the historic Warehouse District) is home to over 1700 square feet of retail space and over 65 Canadian made artists, makers, and businesses with many vendors being from right here in Saskatchewan.
There is truly something for everyone within this space. Trendy and professional clothing, art, decor, food, bath and body products, jewelry, and so, so much more. To showcase the incredible products from our vendors, we wanted to show a local buying guide for your family and friends this holiday season. If you have no idea what gift to give to that special someone in your life—I guarantee that we can help you find something (or many things!) that they will adore.
If you worry that you are hard to buy for, you can come into the store to make your very own ‘Wish List’ for your friends and family. Browse and select a list of items that you like, then send your family and friends into the space to pick something up that they know you will like, is the right size, and all while supporting local. We take care of the lists and the tracking so that they can find something in their budget that nobody else has gotten you. And of course, for those of you who can’t decide, gift cards are available to shop with at a future date.
Here is a preview from some of our vendors.
2100 Dewdney Avenue Regina
thesaskshop.com | @brickandmortarsk