Have a travel lover who has an upcoming birthday? If you’re stuck on what to get them, you need to check out this travel lover gift guide featuring Canadian small businesses!
Cardtography, Majas, North and Nature, True Leaf Collection and Thoughtfully Handmade have you covered. From handmade maps, leather goods and birthday cards, to beautiful prints and reversible swimwear it’ll be a great gift!
To learn more, just keep on scrolling!
1. Leather Bag
As a travel lover myself, I want my bag to be stylish and functional. I’m sure your adventure-loving friend does too. That’s why a bag from Majas would make for a great birthday gift! The owner, Agita, crafts full-grain leather goods that are sourced ethically, designed with function in mind and carefully crafted.
While she designs the bags in Toronto, she also employs female artisans from Yogyakarta, the "Art Capital of Indonesia”. It helps these women gain a voice and paves the way for gender equality in their communities. Additionally, Agita produces her products in small batches to ensure they are made with the highest quality.
The leather used is sourced from cowhides that are considered waste to the meat industry and is vegetable-tanned. It’s a process that uses tree barks, leaves and fruits in the tanning process instead of harsh chemicals. Also, leather is a very durable material. Since it’s a natural material, it will decompose over time; unlike fake leather which is made from plastic. So, by giving something from Majas, you’re helping lessen plastic and chemical waste, and protecting the environment.
Can you believe for every item purchased, Majas will also plant a tree for you? Now that’s commitment to the environment! Lastly, all of their pieces are designed to be timeless and versatile, so your gift will never go out of style. To purchase, head to Majas’ website. Don’t forget to visit their Instagram page for sales alerts!
2. Swim Suit
The one thing I always bring with me to any trip I take is a swimsuit. You never know what can happen! In comes True Leaf Collection by Ashley. I love her swimwear because they are reversible! One side is a unique pattern and the other side is a solid colour. Now, when I travel, I’ll have two options in one item, which will save me valuable luggage space.
Every item is completely hand sewn by Ashley in her home. True Leaf Collection started as a passion for DIY and eventually turned into an amazing business that creates designs inspired by nature. It was always hard for Ashley to find a swimsuit that was comfortable, flattering and sustainably made. So, she created True Leaf Collection!
Ashley hopes that with her designs, more people will understand the importance of supporting small businesses and slow fashion. What I also love is their minimal packaging. Her suits come in a reusable cotton bag and shipped in a compostable mailer bag. Also, a portion of every sale is donated to the Northern Animal Rescue in La Ronge, Saskatchewan.
On her website, there are also care instructions and a sizing chart to make ordering and upkeep as easy as possible. To give a swimsuit to your friend, just visit True Leaf Collection’s website. You should also follow her on Instagram to see new design alerts!
3. Handmade Map
Who wouldn’t love a map to remind them of their adventures? Any travel lover would! That’s why you definitely should give your friend a handmade map from Cameron, the owner of Cardtography. He creates unique paper depth maps of lakes, rivers, islands and countries by working from real map information that illustrates the depth contours of bodies of water.
Cameron started his business in 2016 because of his love of travel, geography and art. Since then, he has expanded his business into retail stores and artisan shows in Ontario. Cameron first traces out the individual contour lines and cut out each depth from a different colour of card stock. He then layers them all together by hand into a 3D map.
Over the last two years, Cameron has developed over one hundred different maps that are all carefully, designed, cut and assembled by hand. Also, he can make a map in many different colour palettes, so you can ensure it will fit your friend’s aesthetic.
4. Home Decor
Have a friend with a lot of wanderlust? The solution is to give them something from North and Nature.
This business was started by Shannon and her love of photography, landscapes and nature. Canada has so many picturesque landscapes that Shannon wanted to bring into people’s homes with her unique prints and home decor.
All of the pieces feature a landscape captured by Shannon and tells a story. From bookmarks, duvet covers and t-shirts, to mugs, notebooks and tote bags, North and Nature have you covered!
They also use recycled paper for all of their paper products and donate $1 from every print sold to the Nature Conservancy of Canada. To get something for your friend, just head to North and Nature’s website. You should also visit their Instagram for behind the scenes content!
5. Handmade Card
Your friend’s birthday is coming up but you don’t know know what to get them. Wish them a happy birthday by sending them a thoughtfully handmade card with a personal message inside, especially since birthday parties can’t happen in person right now! You can also pair a handmade card with any gift from this gift guide. That way, you can write a thoughtful message inside to make the gift even more special!
Handmade by me, intended for you to give, all of my cards are meant to spread joy to whoever receives it. I started Thoughtfully Handmade with a mission to help others spread positivity. Giving a handmade card is a small gesture that can bring a lot of happiness to people’s lives! When you give a handmade card, the hours of hard work that I put into every single one shows. The recipient is less likely to throw it away after receiving it because a handmade card will always have more sentimental value than a mass-produced one!
My cards are unique, and I only produce 6-8 cards for each design. By purchasing something from me, you’re also donating ten cents to Toronto Environmental Alliance. They are a non-profit organization that strives to build a greener Toronto. For a travel lover, the birthday cards featured here are perfect!
To purchase a card, you can click on a photo above with the design you like or visit the “Shop” page on my website! Don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter, Yandy’s Chronicles for fun behind the scenes content and to visit me on Instagram if you want to connect!
Even though your friend can’t travel for their birthday right now, you can still get them something to inspire them for future ones! I know I focused on these items as birthday gifts, but they can also be great gift ideas for a travel lover for any occasion!