We at 88 Creative consider ourselves to have pretty good taste – you can check us out on Instagram and let us know if you agree. In the past, we’ve put together our own picks for holiday gift guides for your perusing pleasure, but this year we thought that it would be more interesting to handpick some of the coolest people in the city and find out what they’ll be gifting this year.
We may not have flexed our gift-picking skills this year but we definitely curated the finest list of tastemakers, if we do say so ourselves. We reached out to people at our favourite local brands to find out what they want to be spoiled with this year. All of our tastemakers chose two products; one splurgeworthy gift and one more practical pick.
We hope this list inspires you to look outside the box (no wine or chocolate this year!) for your holiday shopping list this year.
1. Don’t forget your tickets!
Who: Raphi Aronowicz and Michael Smaye, founders of Tonic Blooms
Childhood best friends Raphi Aronowicz and Michael Smaye left their careers in finance and hospitality to create Tonic Blooms, Toronto’s fastest and easiest way to send flowers.
Blooms also make a great host/hostess gift, so add Tonic Blooms to your shopping list this holiday season!
Raphi: What would be better than the world’s best music, food, art, and people all wrapped up into one magical festival weekend at Coachella? A pair of VIP tickets would make the perfect gift for me.
Michael: I’m a massive football fanatic (GO GIANTS) so heading to Houston this February for the Super Bowl would be the ultimate gift.
Raphi: It’s no Coachella, but tickets to WayHome Arts & Music Festival would be a good consolation!
Michael: While it’s not exactly a true “save” two tickets to the ACC for a Raptors game would be cheaper than Houston!
2. All about great taste
Who: Jacquelyn Cyr, President, Cake Beauty
Jacquelyn is the President of Cake Beauty, Canada’s most iconic independent beauty brand, creating naturally luxe, cruelty-free and vegan confections for haircare, bath, and body.
Make sure you check out their products before you get dolled up this holiday season. Their holiday faves make great gifts too!
SPLURGE: This Guy de Jean Sailor Stripes Umbrella isn’t your everyday functional item, definitely a French indulgence from a beautiful boutique – the perfect gift!
Save: I’ve become obsessed with bitters in the last year, and Dillon’s Blackberry is my current cocktail heartthrob.
Who: Louise Dirks, owner & CEO of gravitypope
Louise opened the first gravitypope in Edmonton in 1990. Over the past 27 years gravitypope has grown to six brick and mortar locations Curating over 250 collections, Louise offers exclusive footwear and clothing brands in her unique boutique environments.
4 and 5. Treat others how you want to be treated
Who: Amy Pearson and Ashley Holden, Co-Founders of Stole My Heart
Stole My Heart is Toronto’s new Lingerie & Lifestyle Boutique. Best friends since they were kids, Amy & Ashley are lovers of strong women, good wine and great lingerie!
Amy’s picks for Ashley
SPLURGE: Spending time to relax and enjoy a little indulgent ‘me time’ is a favorite! The Gold Plumping Facial at the Four Seasons would be the ultimate in splurging this holiday!
Save: Hairstory’s New Wash is a brand new way to wash your hair with the harsh foaming detergents that are ruining our hair!
Ashley’s picks for Amy
SPLURGE: I would LOVE to get Amy this whistle necklace by Canadian jewelery designer, Lauren Klaassen. It’s super playful and would definitely be a conversation starter!
Save: Since we’ve just started out, it’s more likely that I’ll be picking out a more modest gift for her. This candle from TKVO makes me laugh and is oh so fitting for our start-up life. Plus it smells delish!
6. MIY: Make it yourself
Who: Julia Hood, Kit and Ace
Julia plays a large role in orchestrating all of the branding and marketing initiatives that happen in Toronto for Kit and Ace. Three words to describe me? Curious, passionate, and positive!
SPLURGE: Truly anything from one of my favourite boutiques just on College, Souvenir Studios. Danielle has curated the shop so well, it’s like walking into a dreamy little gallery.
Save: I’d love to actually learn how to make my own ceramics! Pottery classes at the Gardiner Museum would be pretty special. It really is the gift that keeps on giving!
7. La Mexicana
Who: Abigail Van Den Broek, Senior Manager, Public Relations, Drake Hotel Properties
Abigail Van Den Broek leads the PR efforts for all Drake properties. When she’s not securing stories for The Drake in major media outlets or networking with the city’s movers and shakers, she enjoys cooking, playing soccer, reading and spending time with her one-year-old daughter, Madeleine.
SPLURGE: I would love a trip to Mexico! I’d love a getaway to recharge, escape the winter and have some R&R before coming back to the busy year ahead at The Drake (hint: we’re opening a few new things in the next year).
Save: Instead of a trip to Mexico, I’ll settle for dinner at Los Colibris! I’ve heard such good things about chef Elia Herrara skills in the kitchen and her traditional recipes that have been passed down from her family.