Find the perfect gift for loved ones and feel great knowing you’re supporting local alumni-owned businesses through the BCIT Alumni Holiday Market. Running November 1 to December 31, 2023, the fourth-annual online market offers thoughtful gift ideas ranging from organic skincare products and Indigenous art to modern home goods and curated vintage clothing pieces.
BCIT alumni businesses making a difference
More than half of all Canadians believe in supporting local businesses over large retailers, but unfortunately small businesses are still trying to keep up in a post-pandemic economy (Canadian Federation of Independent Business, 2022).
While local businesses recover and the cost-of-living increases, there has never been a more important time to spend mindfully.
Get to know the stories and impact behind some of the businesses featured in the 2023 BCIT Alumni Holiday Market—and use your purchasing power to give meaningful gifts this season.
Shop First Nations, founded by computing alumnus Robert Schulz, is an Indigenous-owned and -led initiative focused on economic reconciliation. From gift boxes to Indigenous-authored books, every product spotlights Indigenous businesses while offering a portion of proceeds to Indigenous charities, aiming to blend success with the well-being of Indigenous communities.
Maya and her Christmas Lantern is a children’s board book published by BCIT grad Maria Reynolds to help inspire and teach others about her culture.
“My daughter is half Filipino, and I wanted her to be excited to learn about her Philippine culture,” says Maria. “My board book shares a bit about Filipino culture and Christmas celebrations.”
This children’s book sells out every year, so be sure to snag your copy early to read about the magic of Christmas with Maya as she discovers her Filipino Christmas Lantern.
Simon’s Soapbox is an artisanal soap company whose mission is to demonstrate the value of people with and without developmental disabilities working together. In 2021, the company was founded by BCIT alumna Caroline Short and her brother Simon Vandaloo, who has Down syndrome, to generate a little money and give Simon a sense of purpose. The siblings state that Simon’s Soapbox is a testament to the joyful possibilities of working together.
Hudson and Oak is an Indigenous- and woman-owned business selling modern home goods and founded by Marketing Management alumna Sarah Henderson. Sarah says she has always loved interior decorating. Her passion combined with her marketing background helped get her started. Committed to growing sustainably, all Hudson and Oak orders are packaged and shipped in recycled post-consumer materials that are made locally. In 2023, the company’s social responsibility is to focus on supporting organizations that strive for justice for Indigenous traditional territories through legal defense.
Many BCIT Alumni Holiday Market vendors are making an impact through their vision of sustainability. For instance, Alumna Kate Salvador invites customers to help create positive environmental change by swapping fast fashion for pre-loved vintage clothing at her store Classique Grails.
Alum-owned Gestur partners with local, eco-conscious suppliers to create gifts that are as sustainable as they are thoughtful. At Brahmi Skincare, alum and founder Lily Chandra provides vegan, clean, and organic skincare products that are good for the earth and your skin.
These are just a few of the more than 20 alumni-owned businesses you can feel great about supporting in the BCIT Alumni holiday Market.
A thoughtful gift for everyone by BCIT alumni
The BCIT Alumni Association is proud to highlight the following alumni-owned businesses in the Holiday Market, open November 1 – December 31, listed in alphabetical order:
- Brahmi Skincare
- Butzi Kids
- Classique Grails
- Creative Canvas Photo Booth
- Eggman Comics
- Good Boy Collective
- Hudson and Oak
- Influence Signs & Graphics Inc.
- Ivan Chan Photography
- Mila & Paige Clothing Corp.
- Partopia Digital
- Maya and her Christmas Lantern
- Shop First Nations
- Simon’s Soapbox
- Solandis Studio
- Starfish Coaching
- statement grey design inc
- Sweet Tooth Baking
- Vellum Wellness