the local subscription box

NOTE- This post was written when the blog was known as gracieandjess.com ~

@gracielovekin – Jess and I just finished unwrapping our first ever “unwrapped” box. Oh my! It was a magical experience for a few reasons. 1. you have NO idea what is inside the box. There is no theme, no clues, no hints. You buy the box and you get what you get, and trust me, you won’t be upset. 2. ALL the items inside are made by local artists or makers or are products from local entrepreneurs. Whoa. Ya. This box is totally local.

November’s unwrapped box
Photo by: @matandsaraliketophoto

It’s the brilliant idea of local woman, Brianna Petersen. She’s a new mama and creative genius behind this absolutely wonderful product. This is month number three for unwrapped. You can follow her on Instagram by clicking here.

Brianna started this adventure in the summer time, launching her first box in September. It sold out almost immediately. She thought, “beginner’s luck” but nope, she launched October’s box and offered more of them, and they sold out too. She was excited to launch November’s box, adding even more boxes and voila! in record time, it sold out again! She’s already busily working on December’s box and I don’t want to jinx it, but I’m pretty sure this one won’t be any different.

Jess and I are kinda sad that we didn’t find out about this in September because opening and discovering all the products and learning all the facts about our makers and small businesses in Northumberland County has been absolutely amazing. Who knew there was a local company making reusable produce bags? Or gorgeous cake toppers?

The contents of November’s unwrapped box
Photo by: @matandsaraliketophoto

Each box is $38 + tax and is delivered for free (if you live in the area). Ya, crazy. That’s because Brianna drops them off at each house. She’s amazing.

Let’s go back to the price, it’s ONLY $38. Coming from a retail back ground, that is a fantastic price point. Especially when you consider what is inside of the box. And, when I said, “what is inside” I mean, someone had to make or source these items, it’s the time and the love that is all over the inside of this giftable box.

Let’s take a look at what was in November’s box!

Crochet Headband by Kozy Kaps, Retail $25
Photo by: @matandsaraliketophoto

This headband stuck out right away, it was the largest item in the box and is my favourite colour (grey) so I loved it instantly. Kozy Kaps Co. is a modern knitwear business geared towards the whole family. They make toques (eh!), headbands, baby bonnets and more! Can they make those kids hats with the long bunny ears on them? I bet they can. I’ll ask them.

Each item is handmade by Krystal (oh, I get it, all the K’s make sense now) who learned to knit when she was 8 years old by her great aunt. You can follow Krystal and her crocheting on IG @kozykapsco or email and ask her about those bunny ears: kozykapsco@gmail.com

Haworthia Succulent by The Local Bloom, Retail $8
Photo by: @matandsaraliketophoto

This little dude made us smile so hard. Just look at him. Meredith at The Local Bloom only sells Ontario-grown flowers and sources as locally as possible when it’s out of season (like the dead of winter when nothing grows). They have a wide variety of plants, gift items and home décor. All of which both Jess and I have purchased. We were so happy to see The Local Bloom featured in this month’s box because we are already huge fans.

If you haven’t checked them out yet, they are located on Elgin Street in Cobourg and on IG @thelocalbloom

Cake topper by Snowflake Expressions Designs, Retail $9
Photo by: @matandsaraliketophoto

This custom handmade Christmas/Rudolph themed cake topper had us designing cakes we can’t make in our heads. Lucky for us there are tons of bakeries and grocery stores that make cakes that look and taste good. We are going to most likely just buy one of those and stick this in the top and then tell everyone to look at the cake and give it compliments. Our store bought/locally made cake is going to look stunning with this beauty on top!

The topper is made of the finest twinkley gold paper and comes with a small dowel/stick and some adhesive to ensure it stays upright. Snowflake Expressions Designs originated in the winter months and was originally supposed to be a creative outlet for owner Ashley. Isn’t it funny how your “for fun” stuff turns into a mini business (clears throat, our blog…cough, cough!).

You can follow Ashley and her wild imagination and beautiful creations on IG @snowflakeexpressions

Cinnamon Bun Shortbread, Retail $8 for 6 cookies
Photo by: @matandsaraliketophoto

These lasted like 2 seconds. Gone. Well kinda. As soon as we opened the box it smelt like delicious cinnamon. YUM! Once the shoot was wrapped up, Sara opened the bag and started eating one. She said it was beyond amazing. Her son either smelt, or heard her eating a cookie (because kids have super powers when it comes to knowing where any types of sugary treats at any time) and he scooped up one too. And I took one home and had it with my tea the next day. I don’t think I took any pictures to prove it. Jess was out of luck and clearly to slow.

Nadine, baker extraordinaire, uses her grandmother’s recipes for a nostalgic treat. Wanting to minimize the amount of preservatives in baked goods and wanting to showcase her family’s recipes, she started her business and never looked back!

Her Cinnamon Shortbread cookies are her customer’s favourite and why wouldn’t they be? They’re melt in your mouth buttery swirly cinnamoney sugary (I’m just listing words with y at the end) deliciousness-y.
Follow Nadine on IG @nest_specialty_desserts

Beauty Counter lip gloss, Retail $12
Photo by: @matandsaraliketophoto

Jess and I laughed out loud when we saw this! First reason, Jess’ lips need all the help they can get. She is recovering from extremely dry skin, or self diagnosed lip fungus. Second reason, we know Adrienne! She’s so lovely and very passionate about safe and clean facial products.

Jess got the orange cream jelly and this stuff slides on like butter. But it’s not butter because putting butter on your lips would be gross. This gloss is lightweight and sweetened with stevia.

Adrienne started this business because she wanted her own family to be using safe and clean products. She grew her business because we wanted everyone’s family to be able to make those same choices. She is so knowledgeable and friendly and would talk your ear off about all the things. Please reach out to her via IG @adrienne_altman or check out her website by clicking here. It’s beautiful product and safe from harmful chemicals.

Reusable Bags by Happy Beet, Retail $10
Photo by: @matandsaraliketophoto

Last and certainly not least, the most exciting part of the box for me was Happy Beet’s eco-friendly reusable bag! It looks a little washed out in the picture (I tried all of Jilly’s Presets but none of them looked right!) but it is the most beautiful pale pink patterned bag which is going to make shopping at Bulk Barn so much more fun and fashionable.

Happy Beet is a local, eco-friendly handmade business. They make reusables such as cloth produce bags and cutlery wraps using up-cycled cotton material. Featured is a reusable produce/bulk bag with a 100% up-cycled cotton drawstring. It’s washable and can dried with regular laundry. I CAN’T WAIT TO PUT CANDY IN HERE! I mean lentils, cuz I’m healthy like that.

Follow the Happy Beet on IG @happybeet

unwrapped box
Photo by: @matandsaraliketophoto

We can’t forget about the offer from Little Kreative Co.! 50% off of your entire purchase when you purchase 2 or more prints! I am assuming since you can’t fit these large prints into the box this is the next best thing, a discount code! Only the box subscribers can get the code – however, if you email and beg them, they may share it with you. littlekreativeco@gmail.com or on IG @littlekreativeco – hehe, beggars are headed your way!

Little Kreative Co. is located in Cobourg, Ontario and offers digital printable wall art and home décor that you can print at home or a local print shop. All prints are customizable if desired. Their Etsy shop is oh-so-cute: www.etsy.com/shop/littlekreativeco

the serious-all-the-feels-part

Boy oh boy, do we ever know what it feels like to be supported by your local community. Jess and I have both owned and operated our own businesses and like the meme on Instagram says, “every time you buy from a small business, the owner does a happy dance”, which is so freaking true! The meme should continue and say, “and pays their bills, puts food on the table, fills the creative void, validates the hard work and makes all those sleepless nights creating or worrying all worth it!”

#shoplocal #localAF

Gracie + Jess

PS. The December box will be on sale on December 2nd at 6pm. MARK YOUR CALENDARS. You don’t want to miss it.

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