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The Good Shopper Blog

"Canadian pride may not rest on our sleeves, but it resides deeply in our hearts."

Steve Miller


Why Buying Canadian First is Huge!

By / Par: Funky Junk Interiors

Category / Catégorie: Growing up in Canada

I am the proud owner of two small, itty-bitty, made-in-Canada businesses. Being little is huge! Allow me to explain. I’m Donna, an artsy, single parent of an awesome twelve year old son, residing in Very Small Town, BC. 


One of my businesses is a sign and graphics shop, called Graphic Impact, where I specialize in designing and manufacturing vehicle graphics. Design and decal fabrication are done at home, then I run out and install at my customer’s location while my son is in school. My passionate side fired-up Funky Junk Interiors, a decorating studio where I flip junky relics into unique decorating elements for the home. Thrifted treasures are found and revamped, then my home is used for staging photo shoots. From there, I submit the write-ups to magazines and blogs for features. I'm also a freelance writer and photographer and am so very glad that Buy Canadian First is part of my lineup! FUN!


But what really makes this story profound is the fact that businesses choose to buy Canadian first, by choosing me, this little Canadian small town girl, over much larger international corporations. They don’t have to choose me. There are plenty of others they could use to either make their trucks look pretty or their magazine spreads or blogs shine. But the fact that they did choose me says something about them. They are supporters of ensuring that my son gets a new pair of shoes every so often and that there's fuel in our vehicle. They know where their money is being spent which also means that they care about us.


In return, I attempt to offer something extra-special so that they call again. How about the very best work I can muster, topped with a sprinkling of true blue passion? When you care about what you do, you tend to conduct business a little differently, wouldn’t you agree? I see it when I visit my hairdresser in her beautifully decorated, cozy basement, for that invaluable one-on-one service or at the unique diner down the road that dishes up homemade fare like no one else. The small town folks, and what they offer, are special, and that's what keeps me coming back to buying Canadian first. I love knowing where my hard-earned Canadian dollars are going and I’m just very glad that my customers appear to feel the same way about me!


What keeps you going back to your favourite, small businesses?


Written by, and images courtesy of, Donna at Funky Junk Interiors.


Cooking up a new kitchen

By / Par: Rebecca Stanisic

Category / Catégorie: Shopping guides

We've been in our current home for over six years and while we built it, our needs have changed and we now realize that our kitchen could be put to better use. 

The space is not huge, but there is potential.  A few new cupboards for a pantry, a hidden desk area for a computer/impromptu office, better drawers that maximize storage space and needs. 

What are a few elements of my dream kitchen?

First, to know what I want, I've started to look through magazines and websites for ideas and designs. Check out House and Home for example.



There are some really great ideas - from trendy to timeless - in the magazine.  It gives me an idea of my own style.  This kitchen jumped out at me:


                                               (photo from House and Home)


I like the freshness, the brightness, the space.  The wall oven.  The stools.  Although there are only certain elements that will work in my space, I'm able to at least keep it as a handy example.

There is one thing in particular that is on my "I wish' list that I'm not sure if it will make the final cut or not: a double oven.  Two ovens would be heaven to me! Made in Quebec by Electrolux, this one is beautiful:




In addition to the big items like cupboards and countertops, I want to pay attention to the smaller details like knobs and lighting.  In a small space, I'll need to be creative too - having floor lamps just isn't as practical (or beautiful) as having something like these wall sconces by Quebec-based Contrast Lighting :




I have to also keep in mind that style needs to meet functionality. While I like somewhat modern, fresh designs, I always love that welcoming feel of a country kitchen.  Something like this bench, crafted in Ontario by Springwater Woodcraft, would be great at the edge of the kitchen where my patio is:



It's a slower process than I imagine because it's hard making the decision on certain things. It's a fine line between what we want, what we need and our budget.

Have you done a kitchen renovation before? Any tips?  If you could renovate one room in the house, which one would it be?


Image sources: House & Home,

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