The best resource for great local shopping!

There is amazing stuff close by – local artisans and independently owned retailers, cool things to do and eat, and great charities to support. It’s good for the economy, the environment and the soul.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Cash Mobs

Whenever we here of another way to support the local movement, we get a little bit excited here at 100 Mile Finds. I have seen a bit of press lately about the 'Cash Mob'. These are events orchestrated via social media during which a crowd descends upon a local business armed with $20 bills. I can' t imagine how amazing that must feel for the business owner. Not only do sales for the day triple at some businesses, but it must feel great to have that reinforcement that your efforts matter to the community. I mean, isn't that what most of us want?
Anyway, if you are interested in more info, here's an article about some US Cash Mob activity in the Wall Street Journal. I am pretty sure there was an article in the Globe and Mail recently but I can't find it online. If you are looking for a 'How-To', here's some suggested guidelines. Let us know if you hear any more about local cash mob activity - we would like to get the word out. After all, it's a very 100 mile thing to-do.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

It's important to take good care of yourself!

Some days are more valuable than other days. Sometimes you just need someone to remind you about what’s important. Yesterday I received one such reminder and I wanted to share it with you.

I’ve learned to think of life as an adventure, comprised of many different journeys. In September of this year, my Mom was diagnosed with early stage Alzheimer’s and a new journey started for us. As you can imagine a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is both devastating and terrifying.
There is not a lot of hope involved and it seemed, at least in the beginning that every time something wasn’t wrong, it was tempered with the words “not yet”. Every time the patient forgets something, you can’t help but think it’s the next step in a downward spiral. Thank God one can’t maintain that level of anxiety and you soon start to appreciate what you have now and not what is to be lost.
Having had some time to absorb the information I now like to think of my Mom’s issue as one of memory loss, it just sounds so much better than the “A” word. I’m relieved that she isn’t in any pain, and that is something we don’t have to worry about it. As many times with a catastrophic diagnosis you start to realize how lucky you are. It gives you a new perspective on life. I now thank God that my Mom was diagnosed so early so that we have been able to get her affairs in order, rally her friends and family to support her, and most of all, we are able to enjoy this time with her instead of taking it for granted. The greatest gift of an early diagnosis is time.
This week our journey took us to the “First Step” program with The Alzheimer’s Society in Hamilton. What an amazing group of people, both the staff and the members of the group. Instead of focusing on what is lost, the whole point of the program is to figure out where the brain has been compromised and how to deal with it, both as an Alzheimer’s patient and a care giver. There is a constant theme of being good to yourself, being patient with yourself and not being too hard on yourself.
The thing that really struck me in this meeting, the 2nd of four, is the number of things that we can do to protect ourselves from a future diagnosis of our own, and help strengthen the compromised memory of the patients suffering from memory loss. It’s amazing, although it shouldn’t be, how important it is, to treat ourselves right, right now!
The number one, most important way to keep your memory strong now and in the future is to keep moving. Who knew? People need to be exercising every day, walking, yoga; you name it, just get moving.
2. Eating right. Limit your salt, alcohol and caffeine intake and drink plenty of fluids. You should eat a balanced diet with plenty of vegetables. Next week the session is going to focus on organics and supplements and what really makes a difference.
3. Stay connected. It is really important as humans for us to be connected, whether it’s keeping up with family and friends or with a larger community like a church or association.
4. Work your brain! Word searches, reading, hobbies, cultural events it’s all good. Learning something new is really important too! It’s all about stretching your brain. Take a class, read the newspaper upside down, brush your teeth with the other hand, try a new food, it all gets your brain activated.
5. Take charge of your health. Have regular check-ups with your doctor and dentist. Make sure your eyes have been tested. Know your numbers! Your blood pressure, your cholesterol level, all that kind of stuff.
6. Reduce stress. I know it’s easier said than done. It’s really all about coping with the stress that we have in our lives, and reducing it where we can. Breathing exercises, taking a break, physical activity are all ways to reduce stress. Find out what works for you and take care of yourself.

Take good care of yourself, you deserve it.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Clinical Luxury by Nature

Clinical Luxury by Nature is our newest vendor at 100 Mile Finds - we are so pleased to have you on board! Clinical Luxury by Nature makes amazing skin care products featuring natural ingredients. Graydon Moffat has developed this line after being inspired by both yoga and the aromas of the herbs and flowers of France.
With names like 'Green Cream' and 'Putty', they must be great for you. Green Cream is made with a nutrient rich blend of antioxidant rich ingredients (such cold pressed broccoli seed oil) will help 'wake up' your skin. It is infused with an essential oil blend of parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, and a hint of lemon. The Putty contains aloe vera juice and rosewater, the oils in this formulation deliver much need liquid moisture deep down into the skin. And the Lip Stuff is good enough to eat featuring avocado, sunflower, hemp and best of all cold pressed red raspberry seed oil (which gives you SPF protection).
Since January is resolution month, get healthy on the inside and outside with Clinical Luxury by Nature.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Why We Like January

Just got back from walking the dog in the park and it is sunny and not as cold as the weekend. Perhaps this has me in an optimistic frame of mind, so today is the day to appreciate a winter month that some of us (OK, sometimes me) wishes away. Here's my list to laud January:

1) Resolutions are still fresh and, even if broken, are still salvageable
2) VISA bills are paid and hopefully are on a downward trend after December
3) Having a fire on a cold night and sitting on the couch watching a movie is de rigeur
4) Shinny, skiing, snow shoeing and all the other 's' winter activities ... are fun ;)
5) There are only 5 months 'til the longest day of the year

Winter months can be long and dark - which is probably why spring is so amazing. If you can think of any other 'what's to love about January' ideas, post them here. I will keep them in the bank 'til next year.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Leikey Designs

Leikey Designs is the love child between artist Keiley Stewart and her ever-growing pile of fabrics, fibres and projects. Leikey Designs joined 100 Mile Finds in December 2011 and we are thrilled to have her on board!
A small one of a kind textiles based company, Leikey lovingly produces handmade goods from accessories and apparel to kitchenwares and notions ranging in functionality and decorativ-ality.
Her whimsical take on design is lots of fun. These featured 'Bear Feet' would be a huge hit and make the upcoming winter months of toddler hibernation comfy and cosy. Made from natural Shetland sheep's wool, processed, felted and stitched by hand. Featuring a hand stitched, vinyl bear paw sole to prevent slipping when worn and provides a stable grip for children learning to walk.
For the older child (and yes, that means anyone from 8-80+), this Fox Knot ring is needle felted by hand and has an embedded wire structure so you can easily adjust it to fit on your finger.

All goods are handmade and designed in Canada, in house, by Keiley. And custom orders are welcome.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Ginger Art Lamps

Ginger Art Lamps joined 100 Mile Finds in December 2011 - Welcome!!
Gail and Inger of Ginger Art Lamps met in 2007 while studying for their MFA in Documentary Media at Ryerson University. Inger discovered that Gail had made a beautiful lampshade made of Japanese paper and printed with one of her own photographs. They decided that lampshade making would be the perfect next step to take after graduation. After some research, they and found a wonderful lampshade making workshop in Vermont. From that weekend has come Ginger Art Lamps.
Their lampshades are made entirely by hand using our own photographs which are printed onto cotton fabric, environmentally friendly Bamboo photo paper and fine art photo paper. As all of their lampshades are custom-made, please expect from 4-6 weeks delivery time. What a perfect way to add a custom touch to your home.

Monday, January 9, 2012

I AM by Tom Shadyac

I just finished watching I AM the documentary by Tom Shadyac and it's really got me thinking. I've often struggled with, and I believe Susan has to, with the idea of consumption and that buying something can make you feel better. We all know that doesn't work, at least not for long. Life has got to be about more than that.

Susan and I have joked, about how weird it is that two "non-shoppers" like ourselves have somehow developed a local shopping website. It really just started with us trying to bring local artisans together with local customers.

What we've learned in our journey so far, is that by shopping locally you are not only supporting your local community, which in and of itself is really important, but it is about so much more. It's about living a sustainable lifestyle and how important that is to our environment.
  • Using less fossil fuels by not having stuff shipped from far away to recycling and upcycling, to creating products that don't have harmful chemicals and toxins in them can have a huge impact on keeping our planet alive and vibrant. 
  • Buying goods that are created by people who are being paid a fair wage is the right thing to do. Often paying less than something it valued at means that someone else is paying that price for you. 
  • Supporting your local community gives you a chance to connect with the people that nourish you and that have a passion for what they do.
After watching "I AM" I realize we didn't actually develop a local shopping website. What we've created, or at the very least, what we are trying to create, is a place where artisans, local businesses and customers can come together and work as a community, and this is going to sound a bit dramatic and holier than thou, to make the world a better place. Seriously!

100 mile finds is really about:
  • making it easier to make shopping decisions with a conscience. 
  • creating a community that supports one another. 
  • making it easier to buy products that are respectful to the environment.
  • to support fair trade both here and abroad.  
  • bringing artisans, farmers a local businesses together to create stronger, more involved communities.

Both Susan and myself have been described as 'connectors' we're all about introducing people to one another. We, as many of you are, are concerned about the environment, we want to lead a life that is responsible and caring to others and we want to set a good example for our own children and for the children of the future.

I hope that approaching the 100 mile finds with these objectives more clearly defined brings great success to all of us in the 100 mile finds community.

All the best to you and yours in 2012.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Happy 2012

I don't care what was going on in ancient Mayan times, I think we have a little more time on this planet than 360 days (at least I am planning on it). When you think back on the last year there were always surprises - hopefully most were OK for all of you. I always like to come up with a few goals (or dare I say 'resolutions') at the beginning of the year, so I will spend the next day or two dreaming up how I would like this year to look.
One of our 100 Mile Finds goals is to continue to increase our audience and connect our talented vendors with local folks looking for something 'outside of the big box'. We will continue to search for local entrepreneurs who want to get their message out. And we have some new ideas up our sleeves, so stay tuned.
We also wanted to say THANKS to all of our supporters, vendors and friends who have made 2011 a year of growth and encouragement. Here's to y'all and HAPPY 2012!