If you’re unfamiliar with the glory that is Galentine’s Day, allow us to get you acquainted: the Parks and Recreation–coined event takes place the day before Valentine’s Day and, unlike its well-marketed predecessor, this one is all about celebrating your awesome lady-friends.
And what better way to show the women in your life some love than with a gift from a local, equally fierce and inspiring female maker? Because sorry, T. Swift: girl power was a thing long before you assembled your Insta-famous “squad”.
Ahead, we’ve rounded up seven gift ideas for your girlfriends, each crafted by a female maker in Vancouver.
Ahnyango greeting card, $6
There’s something inherently magical about elementary school Valentine exchanges, but the old-school tradition is getting a grownup update with Ahnyango’s refreshingly pared-down cards.
A Vancouver native, artist Rei Akinyi began doodling as a way to ward off homesickness during a stint out east and her illustrations have since transformed into a line of cheeky, individually painted greetings.
Charm your feline-loving bestie with an adorable all-over cat print, present the always-appropriate “You & Pizza” to a fanatic foodie, or tell ‘em how you really feel with the saucy play on words pictured above.
Available through Ahnyango’s Etsy shop.
JUST B SMILING phone case, $40
A bundle of flowers is cool and all, but we can bet that your girls will appreciate the preserved blooms in JUST B SMILING’s handcrafted phone cases a little more.
For one, you avoid the wilted mess that comes with the inevitable death of bouquets, and since each case is made in small-batches by founder and local artist Britt Stillie, you’re also scoring something that’s very much one-of-a-kind.
Pick from a variety of artful arrangements that includes everything from delicate orchids and poppy red hydrangeas to vibrant eucalyptus and West Coast ferns.
Available at Woo To See You (1062 Mainland Street).
Balsam and Vine Sable bracelet, $25
Are friendship bracelets still a thing? Because if not, we might just have to bring the trend back with the sweet, boho-chic arm candy by Balsam and Vine.
Locally designed and handmade by fashion industry vet Robynne Liebenberg, each piece from the homegrown collection exudes an easy, free-spirited vibe that’s perfect for ladies who live life on their own agenda.
You can’t go wrong with any of the brand’s super affordable offerings, but the funky Sable bracelet, with its fun Japanese beads and soft, handcrafted tassel, is definitely a standout.
Available at Charlie & Lee (223 Union Street).
Karameller candy, sets from $10
Okay, so the sweets from Karameller Candy Shop are actually imported from Scandinavia, but we have to give store owner and local mama Louise Schönberg props for bringing the Swedish tradition of lördagsgodis—or Saturday sweets—to Vancouver.
Schönberg stocks the chic Yaletown space with only the best treats from her European homeland: think miniature cola-bottle-shaped chews, coconut- and chocolate-coated marshmallows, and colourful Swedish fish in flavours like pineapple, citrus, and raspberry—all free of GMOs and trans-fats, to boot.
For Galentine’s Day, snag one of Karameller’s themed candy jars or customize your own gift-able cube with a mixed bag of lip-smacking sweets.
Available at Karameller Candy Shop (30-1020 Mainland Street).
Harlow Skin Co. candle, $30
Let’s be real: you can never have too many candles, which makes them part of that rare species of one-size-fits-all gifts that works for just about any occasion.
To celebrate your girl gang, we suggest gifting the eco-friendly lights from local skincare line Harlow Skin Co., which come in warming scents like the cozy, cinnamon-spiked Fall Forever and the fresh citrus-vanilla-grapefruit Bohemian blend.
Staying true to founder Chrystal Macleod’s commitment to straightforward, organic ingredients, each soy candle is hand-poured in Vancouver and features a wood wick for a long-lasting and aesthetically pleasing burn.
Available at Hey Jude (315 Abbott Street).
Scout & Catalogue half-moon coin purse, $31.54
It’s no coincidence that Scout & Catalogue’s dreamy, marble-dyed accessories evoke a laidback, oceanside feel from down south.
After all, the line was founded in Mexico by Vancouver-born designer Bre Musgrove, who’s since returned home with a selection of gorgeous, handcrafted goods in tow.
Now working from a local studio, Musgrove dyes many of her pieces by hand—including this stylish half-moon number with an eccentric, high-contrast pull—to ensure a one-off effect that draws from the best of her carefree, beach-bumming past.
Available through Scout & Catalogue’s Etsy shop.
SeaLuxe Ritual Rose bath tea, $12 for 200 grams
After a long day of killing it on the 9-to-5 grind, your besties deserve to kick back with a luxurious soak in the tub.
Enter SeaLuxe founder Tanya Droege, who handcrafts a selection of all-natural soaps, masks, and other face and body products from her home in Crescent Beach, B.C.
We love the Ritual Rose bath tea, a special, hand-blended medley of organic flowers, herbs, sea salts, and essential oils that’s designed to relieve achy muscles and remove harmful toxins—all while rejuvenating the skin for a soft and healthy glow.
Available at Kiss and Makeup (1760 Lonsdale Avenue, North Vancouver).