Buy Local: 7 Gift Ideas for Clients, Colleagues & Customers

Gift giving. The way I see it – it makes a lot of sense to spend your money on items made in your community and support local businesses, artists, purveyors, independent retail stores and restaurants, because you will also be contributing to the local economy.

If you haven’t considered this approach to gift buying before, you may be surprised to learn that you will find wonderful gifts at affordable prices, close to home.

So what makes a client gift successful?

Personalizing your gift means that you have put some thought into it and shows that you care.

While I can’t tell you exactly what to buy, because I don’t know your recipients likes, dislikes or interests, here are some ideas:

1. A Unique Experience

Give your client/customer a unique experience:

Pocket Concerts are highly sociable, interactive and top-quality chamber music concerts in intimate settings – private homes or offices in Toronto.

Photo by Pocket Concerts

Concerts open to the general public:

A 1-hour concert and a reception; the concert is hosted in a private home.

Tickets for Public Concerts (includes drinks and snacks): $48 General | $32 Age 19-35 | $15 Youth

For schedule and to buy tickets, see here.

Bring your colleagues and/or clients together with a stimulating chamber music concert experience for the workplace!

We offer a variety of options including lunchtime concerts, happy hour concerts, special events.

Any venue can be a music venue, says Rory McLeod, Co-Director & Violist of Pocket Concerts, such as a boardroom or office space.

Rory McLeod & Emily Rho, Co-Directors of Pocket Concerts (Photos by Bo Huang)

2. Books

For a wonderful selection of books on advertising, graphic design, architecture, coffee table books + gift items: Swipe Design | Books+Objects located inside the 401 Richmond Street W. building.

Also, independently owned Type Books has 2 locations, on Queen St. W. and Spadina Road (Forest Hill).

Type Books is a general interest bookstore, with an extensive selection of contemporary fiction, small press, art, design, and childrens’ titles.

Type Books publishes a holiday gift guide on their website, here.

Swipe Design | Books + Objects has friendly and knowledgeable staff to assist you, either by phone or in-store.

3. Gift Boxes & Baskets

If you want to give a well designed, useful, high quality gift, Present Day has you covered, with gift boxes & baskets that make you stand out – Sophia Pierro, Owner

Sophia Pierro, Present Day Gifts Owner

Present Day strives to find the best local goods to include in its themed gifts. Since most of the items stocked by Present Day are made locally, by artisans and small businesses, the quality is much higher.

The packaging of each box, as well as the branding of the individual items, has been thoughtfully designed to reflect a minimal, sophisticated look for men and women.”

Shareable Sweets by Present Day Gifts

The Shareable Sweets is our most popular shareable office gift. It’s full of homemade cookies, shortbread, candies, chocolate and coffee or tea, freshly  made in our city.

There are even some vegan & gluten free items included, so everyone in the office is covered, (and who doesn’t love a sweet treat)?

Old Fashioned by Present Day Gifts

Another great option, for the more design-minded, is our Old Fashioned* box.

Presented in a chic black background, the items in this box create the perfect cocktail, from bourbon, to local maraschino cherries, preserved oranges and aromatic bitters. A classy gift that’s also shareable.

* must be 19 years of age and older

  • For more information about gift boxes & baskets, please contact Sophia at Present Day.

4. Make a donation to your client’s favourite local charity.

5. Artists & Crafters

For clients/customers who appreciate artists and handmade goods and crafts:

Toronto Urban Collective’s Holiday Market

Toronto Urban Collective, in collaboration with CF Shops at Don Mills, is happy to bring you the Outdoor Holiday Market. This family friendly event will include a wide range of seasonal and artisan vendors, festive food and drink, outdoor activities, and live entertainment.

Also see blogTo‘s list of holiday craft shows and pop-ups, here.

6. Business Conferences & Event Tickets

Don’t want to give ‘stuff’?

Perhaps your client/customer might enjoy attending:

7. Show your appreciation

It doesn’t have be expensive to show your appreciation.

Gift giving is supposed to be all about ‘acknowledgement and appreciation’ and affirming our business relationships.

Here’s a fun idea:

Gift-a-Green greeting cards serve the perfect dual purpose of a card plus a gift that grows!

Gift-a-Green Promo Vid from Gift-a-Green on Vimeo.

Gift-a-Green products are made in Vancouver and available at retail stores in Toronto:

  • Swipe Book
  • Blue Banana Market
  • Juxtapose Cards & Gifts
  • Outer Layer
  • West End Food Coop
  • Bergo Design
  • Easy Tiger Goods

I hope I’ve inspired you to buy local or Canadian made gifts.

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