‘Tis the season for shopping. While it’s tempting to purchase gifts for your loved ones with the click of a mouse while sitting on your couch, the gifts you will find at local shops will be more unique. Plus, you’ll be supporting small businesses in our community. With a multitude of options, we decided to narrow down our Saturday shopping spree to stores in three areas of the city: downtown, 13th Avenue and 15th Avenue. Mortise and Tenon (2421 11th Avenue) Mortise and Tenon is a new kid on the block in Regina’s retail sector. One of the owners described it to me as “a modern day general store.” They sell home décor, giftware, clothing, art, accessories and high-quality furniture. There is lots of love for local artisans in the shop, with products such as handmade skin care by Naked Kitty Naturals in stock. Furniture and kitchen cutting boards are hand-crafted works of art manufactured at the store, and custom orders are welcome.

mortise-and-tenon Mortise and Tenon by Chad Mario

Norwood Clothing Company (2401 11th Avenue) You’ll definitely want to check out Norwood Clothing Company, a rustic little clothing store. Beautiful shoes and high-quality clothes abound. Warm winter coats, funky toques and cozy scarves would make thoughtful gifts. One thing we appreciated is that the prices were very reasonable, particularly given the quality of the items. We’re glad we stumbled across Norwood on our journey—we’ll be back.

norwood-clothing-companyNorwood Clothing Company by Chad Mario

Madame Yes (1843 Scarth Street) At Madame Yes, they believe that “life is too short to wear boring clothing,” and theirs is anything but. The store’s style has been described as “alternative, pin-up, rockabilly, metal, goth, punk and Victorian.” Basically, if you’re wearing something from Madame Yes, you’re going to get noticed. Customers come from all walks of life, from six months of age to seniors. In addition to men’s and women’s clothing and footwear, you’ll also find purses, belts, jewellery, socks, hair dye and housewares, all with a dark flair.

madame-yesMadame Yes by Chad Mario

Paper Umbrella (2724 13th Avenue) In a world where we’re glued to our phones and tablets, Paper Umbrella harkens back to a simpler time when people frequently sent one another handwritten notes instead of texts. It sells some things you would expect, such as greeting cards and a wide variety of pens and notebooks, and some things that are unexpected, like socks and water bottles (the popular S’Well bottles, to be precise.) Their vintage wrapping paper collection also offers an easy way to personalize your gifts this year.

paper-umbrellaPaper Umbrella by Chad Mario

Cuppa T’ (2732 13th Avenue) Tea is one of my favourite go-to gifts, especially in the wintertime. It smells good, it tastes good and it feels good—how can you go wrong? Cuppa T’ carries more than 100 kinds of specialty loose teas, including herbal, fruit, green, red, white and black. The selection changes slightly every season, with fall/winter teas focusing on warm flavours with nuts and aromatic spices. Part of the fun of shopping there is smelling the different teas available and choosing the ones that best suit the people you’re buying gifts for. If you’re a traditionalist and flavoured tea isn’t for you, never fear. There are lots of options here for you, too.

cuppa-tCuppa T by Chad Mario

T+A Vinyl and Fashion, 33 1/3 Coffee Roasters and Malty National Brewing Corporation (1130 15th Avenue) In your shopping travels, be sure to check out one of the most interesting business collaborations in the city: 1130 15th Avenue is a one-stop shop for vintage clothing, coffee and beer. T+A Vinyl and Fashion provides exactly that: a great selection of vinyl records and vintage fashion. Owners Tim and Amy scour thrift shops, garage sales, estate sales and dollar bins for items that make their store different. Used vinyl highlights music from the 60s, 70s and 80s, from pop hits to collectible and rare items. T+A has everyday vintage wear for men and women, ranging from the 60s to the 90s and varying in sizes from 0 to 18. You’ll also find accessories that would make great stocking stuffers.

taT+A by Chad Mario

33 1/3 Coffee Roasters specializes in fresh, seasonal, ethically sourced coffee. In addition to being on sale at the store, you can also taste their wares or buy their beans at a variety of businesses around Regina, including The Artful Dodger, Tangerine: the Food Bar, Café Drip, Atlantis Coffee, Recharge Café, Glow Juice and Iron Beauty. The perfect gift for that hard-to-buy-for person on your list. Malty National Brewing Corporation is a start-up brewing company that focuses on small-batch India Pale Ales, stouts and unusual ales. How about giving that special person in your life a growler of micro-brew and some gift certificates?

malty-national-33-taMalty National 33 T+A by Chad Mario

  Of course, this is just a small selection of stores to check out. There are so many small businesses in our city where you can find unique gifts that will delight your friends, colleagues and loved ones. What are some of your favourite local shops?

t-aT+A by Chad Mario