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Happy Campers, Homemade Goods & Hydrangeas

I don’t know about you but I think I’m finally starting to get used to this new normal… just as the province announces a plan for reopening the economy. Go figure.

Here’s a few things you missed last week:

  • Devonshire Mall announced it is going to be opening its doors for a limited number of stores that are deemed essential but for all of your mall walkers out there, mall walking hours are currently suspended.

  • An update on the housing market surfaced stating that despite COVID19, homes are still selling and we’re still in a seller's market. Any hopes for the buyers of Windsor-Essex County that the market will crash are long gone. Even as we come out of this pandemic, not much will change.

  • Splice Digital launched an Amazon for Windsorites. If you are a local business owner in the YQG who has been having trouble selling, lacks an online store and needs to drive more online business, check out Think of it like an online marketplace with all of your favourite businesses in one place.

It continues to amaze me how fast the businesses here in Windsor-Essex County have been able to pivot and face the challenges in uncertain times. It definitely makes me proud to be a YQG Native.

With Mother’s Day just around the corner… yes, it’s May already… let’s talk about a few of the local businesses that are here for all of your gift-giving needs.

Whenever I’m looking for a gift for someone special in my life, there’s usually two places I go to first.

#1 Shop Eco – Shop Eco is a two-location shop where you can find the best clean beauty products in YQG including some of the best hand lotion I’ve ever used as well as an incredible beauty line called Fit Glow Beauty that’s vegan! Other things found at Shop Eco are scrunchies, head wraps, scarves, candles, jewelry and of course, some Wolf & Rebel key chains. Not familiar? Hang tight till the end of the episode. Debra Purdy, the President of Shop Eco, began researching cosmetic ingredients in 2012. Since then, her team has grown and they’ve won the award for Best Little Retail Shop by Biz X Magazine. Just last week, Debra made an announcement that one of their stores in the Walkerville area will be closing down permanently. Debra stated, “Considering the current and future state of brick-and-mortar retail, we will not be able to maintain two locations going forward, without putting the entire business at risk.” With that being said, ShopEco is still open and they are offering delivery to help bring those Mother’s Day gifts to you. With the launch of their online store, you can now shop your favourite products online and get them delivered right to your door. Don’t worry! I’ve included the link in the show notes for ya. The staff at ShopEco have always been the kindest and supporting them is an absolute no brainer.

#2 Urban Art Market – With two locations – one in Windsor on Chilver and one in Kingsville on Chestnut, the Urban Art Market is your GO-TO place for all things made here in YQG. They offer a truly unique collection of handmade goods created by local makers and artisans. Right now UAM is currently selling directly through Instagram. They post new products constantly and you can DM them to order. They have both curbside pick-up and delivery options. Curious to know what products they have to offer? Tea from Simon Steeps, pet toys and accessories by Bonzai Gifts, handmade crochet and knit items by Lexi Leigh Boutique, Soaps by Sud Therapy and so so so much more! I highly recommend you check out their IG to see everything they have!

Now that you’ve started making your shopping list, let’s talk about camping for a second. While this episode isn’t about campgrounds even though we do have a lot of those in this area, it’s actually about campers. Happier Campers that is. If you’ve never heard of Happier Camper, they are a company that produces retro-modern travel trailers that are modular and towable by most cars. If you’ve ever dreamed of living out of a tiny trailer, you know… hippie vibes... for any period of time, these might just be for you! There’s some photos in our blog post for this episode if you want to see just how rad these trailers are! But if you’re sitting there thinking… “Kierstyn, how is this relevant to Windsor-Essex?” Let me tell you. Happier Camper was actually started in California… go figure right? But they’ve opened up their first showroom in Canada and guess where it is?! The beautiful Historic Amherstburg. Now you can actually experience what it’s like to step into a Happier Camper rather than just looking at pictures online. And get this… one of my favourite things about the Happier Campers, the HC1 in particular, is it’s Adaptiv technology. The Adaptiv technology gives you ultimate flexibility by providing you with a variety of components such as a kitchenette, toilet, bed/bench etch (you know… the essentials) They provide you all of the components you need and an adaptiv floor system so you can instantly adjust the interior of the travel trailers to suit your needs at any point in time. It really does sound like a dream come true. While you’re also scoping out the trailers in Amherstburg, make sure to grab a coffee from their Happier Espresso Cafe. Now, unfortunately due to COVID19, Happier Camper and their Cafe are currently closed but definitely something to add to that #YQGBucketlist.

If you’re planning on traveling to Amherstburg to do some errands this upcoming week, place an order with Caffeine & Co. Caffeine & Co is a Cafe & Bakery located on Dalhousie Street and right now they are offering curbside pickup for some amazing Mother’s Day gift ideas. While originally closing up shop due to COVID19, the bakery has reopened to spoil all the Mom’s out there. Here are a few things they are offering: Assorted Cookie Boxes filled with sugar cookies, meringue cookies and chocolate covered oreos [ruh roh - scooby], cupcake decorating kits, candy pizza decorating kits (a perfect fit for Windsor eh?), packs of mother’s day cupcakes and of course… gift cards. If momma’s got a sweet tooth, you know where to go. Personally, I’ve been to Caffeine & Co quite a few times and the interior is stunning. Marble, gold, greenery… it’s really something you won’t want to miss. Add this one to your #YQGBucketlist too because when their doors reopen, you can guarantee there will be a ton of people filing in!

The last thing to consider getting Mom for mother’s day are the traditional flowers. We’ve talked about a few flower shops before but now more than ever before, it’s important to support these local flower shops instead of big box stores like Zehrs & Sobeys who have other means of income. Here are a few flower shops you can purchase from in your local area: Dak’s Flowers in Windsor, Anna’s Flower Shop in Kingsville, Flowers by Anna in Amherstburg, The Flower Shop at Thiessens in Leamington, Country Flower & Gift Shop in Essex, Carrick’s Garden Centre in LaSalle, Floral Passion in Belle River and Authentic Floral Design in Tecumseh. Oh and let’s not forget Colour Pop Florals and the classic, Colasanti’s. Now’s probably a good time to figure out your mom’s favourite flower by the way.

Before we sign off on this episode of the Only In YQG podcast, I want to thank Maria for her review on Apple Podcasts. Here’s what Maria had to say:

“Kierstyn has always been the one to support local businesses and to check out the new coffee shop in town. Through her personal experience and expertise, she is able to tell all of YQG the best hidden gems she has found and fell in love with. You won’t need to buy a plane ticket, get your passport stamped or even pack your bags to feel like you’re going on a special trip. All you need is to explore the wonderful shops and businesses located in the YQG area!! I can’t wait to find out more and to check out these shops that Kierstyn recommends. PS Plant Joy Donuts are Everything! Thanks Jordynne for the discount!”

I couldn’t agree more, Maria! While I do love traveling, it’s nice to find your own mini getaway right here at home.

I also want to take this time to mention that for all of you YQG sellers out there, if you’re posting products or services for sale on Instagram, tag @onlyinYQG! If you’re a buyer, head to our profile and check out all of the posts we’ve been tagged in. It’s like a mini-market place for all things local!

If you’re loving the Only In YQG podcast, please be sure to like, comment, subscribe, rate and share with your friends and family. The more people that hear about all of the wonderful things Windsor-Essex County has to offer, the happier people will be to stay and live here in YQG. Because let’s be real… why would you want to live anywhere else?


Written by: Kierstyn Pare, Host, Only In YQG Podcast

Photos taken by: Mackenzie Kelly

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