Kingston’s Local Holiday Shopping Guide, 2020 Edition


2020 has been a real shitshow, amiright? Consider how hard it’s been for our local business owners that depend on local tourism and foot traffic. If you have a favourite local shop or restaurant and they are still surviving this pandemic, there is no better time to celebrate them than supporting them this holiday season. Lots of these businesses have gone online this year so no need to go out in the cold, just visit their websites and social pages and click a few buttons to order your gifts. You can find many of the vendors I mention at the Kingston Holiday Market, they ship and have items available for a safe pick up! If you’re looking to support Black-owned businesses this holiday, please take a look at this working list!  Update: *Note: the Holiday market is closed for this season. Check out Artisan Made Co  for more local makers! For a list curated from community suggestions, check out, “Community Curated Local Holiday Shopping List

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My Day Sipping SimplyWell’s Detox Waters

Detox Waters
Detoxing seems to be the name of the game for me this month! First,  I had the opportunity to try Shiva’s Delight’s charcoal face mask and now I’ve sampled SimplyWell’s detox waters! I’m excited to tell you about them. I spent a day last week drinking my way to a healthier liver, faster metabolism and whiter teeth.

It’s always good to reset the digestive system, cleanse the body of toxins and reduce inflammation. So let me give you the details on my SimplyWell one-day detox! Continue reading

Boss Ladies of the Limestone City: SimplyWell Owner, Jehna Duncan

[UPDATE: SimplyWell is no longer in business. It is missed! I keep this interview up to honour the important message of women support each other and community spirit]

When I first discovered SimplyWell’s beautiful space, I fell in love with the concept and loved that Kingston finally had a delicious juice spot. When I found out the owner was an ambitious young woman, I was so impressed and interested to know how she got her start. In two years, owner Jehna Duncan – with the help of her team – has turned SimplyWell into a holistic one-stop shop catered to helping people with digestive health issues.

After sitting down with Jehna, I learned that her journey to business owner is filled with girl power because of the encouragement of other Kingston Boss Ladies. Learn how this Boss Lady went from selling her juices in the market to her light-filled storefront on Princess street.  Continue reading

Boss Ladies of the Limestone City: Melissa Eapen, Co-Founder of Improbable Escapes and The Kingston Collective

melissaeapenIf you’ve put your puzzle-solving skills to the test at one of Kingston’s Improbable Escape rooms or indulged in a little shopping at Kingston’s new locally-curated makers shop, The Kingston Collective, then you can thank the brilliant millennial mind of Melissa Eapen. Melissa was born in Brampton and grew up in the Caledon area but saw something special in Kingston. After one visit she decided to move here with her businesses partner and launch Improbable Escapes. She’s not only incredibly smart and kind, after just under two years of living in Kingston she’s created a number of new job opportunities and embodies what it means to be a Kingstonian. She’s taking limestone city by storm and is more than deserving of the title, “Boss Lady.”  Continue reading

Boss Ladies of the Limestone City: Dr. Aba Bowles-Mortley of Cher Mère Spa

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I chat with Dr. Aba Bowles-Mortley, owner of Cher Mère spa. Aba is a Queen’s alumna (undergrad, masters and Phd) who — like many — made Kingston her home with her husband (and eventually four children). She grew up in Trinidad where her family owns five spas and make their own products.

Aba is truly integrated in our community, volunteering for Youth Diversion as well as Hundred Women Who Care. When I sit down with her at Coffeeco she seems to know every other passerby and greets them with a wide grin and a “How are you?!”.

Learn about her Kingston experience and a few realities of raising mixed race children in a town with little diversity. Continue reading