Hello, my name is Kait and I love to shop local.
If you have been following my blog for some time, this information is most certainly not new to you, and I’m sure you’re well aware of just how passionately I feel about this. I truly believe that it is so important to try to support our local businesses in order for our local community to thrive. Which is why I try to shop local as much as I can and try to purchase from Canadian retailers when I can’t.
With that said, I totally get it — sometimes it’s difficult to shop small or local, but now more than ever it’s so important to support local businesses. Over the past year and a half and everything that has been going on as a result of the pandemic, small business owners and local makers are taking a hit. (I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, it’s buy local or bye local!) For a lot of small businesses, it was incredibly hard to transition into today’s environment of online shopping — something that the pandemic accelerated and made all the more difficult.
That’s where the Shop Durham Region Online Marketplace comes in! Funded by the Region of Durham and led by the Downtown Whitby BIA, the online marketplace helps make it easier for small businesses to offer their products online. Durham businesses, including ones without an e-store, can join the marketplace for free.
How it works
The marketplace has more than one thousand listings from Durham-based retailers and vendors and offers a single, streamlined shopping experience that makes it incredibly easy and safe to support local businesses and our community. You can browse by product category, by vendor, or even by community!
The really great thing about the Shop Durham Region Online Marketplace is the streamlined shopping. You can shop from a variety of vendors, regardless of which area of Durham Region they’re located in, and check-out all at once! When your items are ready, each vendor will send you an email to schedule a time for contactless curbside pick-up.
There’s so much to choose from on the website – they have everything from fashion, pet accessories, handmade items, bath and body products, candles, jewelry, plants, specialty food and they even have services such as virtual art classes! Basically, there’s something for everyone.
What I got
Personally, I’ve been feeling the mental effects of the pandemic recently and am a little stressed and bummed out, (I guess I’m ‘languishing’ as the cool kids like to call it), so I decided to order some of my favourite self-care items to help me unwind.
I picked up a bag of eucalyptus dead sea salt body and foot soak from Inspired Soap Works (Whitby, ON), a wood-wick soy wax candle from White Mocha Candle Co. (Ajax, ON) in the scent ‘Retreat’ (spoiler alert: it smells amazing) and some local honey from Mellona Honey Products (Whitby, ON) to enjoy with my favourite calming tea — fun fact, local honey helps allergies! I’m really looking forward to unwinding this weekend in the bath with everything I got.
I also got a Swedish dishcloth from A Touch of Swede Durham (Oshawa, ON), as I’ve been dying to try one out! Word on the street is they replace 17 rolls of paper towels, absorb 20x their weight and can be washed up to 200 times (basically it’s witchcraft).
It was so incredibly easy shopping via the Shop Durham Region Online Marketplace, and I discovered lots of local vendors that were new to me that I can’t wait to support and try products from. I will definitely be ordering again soon!
What are some ways you try to shop local and support small businesses? I’m always looking for new local and small businesses to support, so if you have any favourites feel free to share them in the comments or shoot me an email or DM on Instagram.
(P.S. – if you’re not following me on Instagram yet and are local, you might want to for a fun giveaway that’s coming next week 😉)
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Shop Durham Region. While I may have received compensation and/or product mentioned in this post, all of the opinions are mine and I hope you will support your local community by shopping local too!