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How to Avoid Shopping and Still Find Amazing (& Affordable) Gifts for the Women You Love

Posted on December 02, 2015 by Nigel Hayes | 1 comment

A Guide for Men: Top 10 Gift Ideas for Women

Most men if they are honest will tell you that they hate going shopping. With the approach of the holiday season the very idea of heading to the mall with their wife or partner fills so many men with dread! It is a syndrome often called 'Death by shopping'; just look at these poor men.......

The very idea of trying on clothes, or wandering around aimlessly (women call it browsing), is simply ‘unnatural’ to men. Shopping malls are not designed for us – it can well be the worst torment that a man could experience. Men generally like to plan their purchase and then get in and out of the store as quickly as possible; 10 – 15 minutes and we’re done. This is illustrated in this popular ‘Men vs. Women’ shopping graphic:


It is often suggested, possibly correctly, that men’s and women’s minds are wired differently – something to do with the male ‘hunter’ instinct, and the female ‘gather’ dynamic so to speak. To women, shopping is a social experience to be enjoyed, but for men it is a task to be accomplished – the faster, the better. So that’s it – as a male I can tell you it is a dreadful experience that we wish to avoid at all costs... A little like listening to the Pogues, or Justin Bieber, or watching “The View”.

So when you need gift ideas for the women in your life… What should you do? In this internet age there is a solution! At Side Street Studio we literally have hundreds of gift items that will appeal to most females – including girlfriends, wives and most importantly Moms (I will avoid daughters as they are simply too difficult). To help you make that purchase easier, you can order Jewellery online and we will GIFT WRAP it for you for Free, and ship it to wherever and to whomever you wish.

If you live in the Greater Victoria area, and you have left your gift buying until the last minute, you have the option to ORDER ONLINE and PICK UP your purchase at our STUDIO in Oak Bay Village – we will aim to have it ready for you in two hours. We will be open until 5p.m. on Christmas Eve.

Here are our recommendations for Top 10 Gift Ideas for Women:

1/ Jewellery

For your girlfriend, wife or Mom, jewellery is always well received – even for that ‘Someone who has everything’ (there is always someone). A Honica necklace or earrings are stylish and beautiful. Our client’s tell us they always receive compliments when they wear their Honica jewellery.


We have a fantastic new artist, Tanya Kennedy of Motherlode Jewellery who is formally from the Yukon and is creating beautiful pendants and earrings using small nuggets of pure Gold.

If these don’t appeal, we have more jewellery choices than you could shake a Gold Amex card at – all handmade with love right here in B.C. You can see the wide variety of jewellery we offer here:

2/ Scarves

What’s the best way to avoid that dreaded question, “Does this make me look fat?” The answer is scarves! With scarves, one size fits all, and there are many ways to wear them. We have a variety of unique styles from felted scarves to pure silk scarves. They are a wonderful, versatile gift! We have a good number of local textile Artists who create a superb range of scarves. You can see some of the styles we offer here:

3/ Glass Art

For the romantically inclined, Robert Held, one of Canada’s foremost glass artists creates a wide range of unique Glass Heart Paperweights. Each one is signed by Bob and is unique. You could write a handwritten card with a note such as, “I give you my heart.” This will be sure to melt her heart when she opens your thoughtful gift.


4/ Pottery

If you appreciate the cook in your life, treat her to a unique piece of pottery! We have casserole dishes, jugs, baking dishes, pie plates, pitchers and glasses. All of our pottery is handmade in B.C. by a great group of Artists. Items are oven, dishwasher and microwave safe.


5/ Sewing accessories

Perhaps your intended or partner is keen on sewing, needlework or knitting. Wray Parsons is a micro wood turner who has been creating the most magnificent pieces for decades – from needle holders with strong rare earth magnets, to scissors of Italian steel together with cases of various local woods from Pacific Yew to Yellow Cedar Burl.

Tiny thimble holders, magnetic pin holders or tape measures in the shapes of Acorns – most are individually signed by Wray and are practical and true keepsakes.

6/ Handmade Padraig Wool Slippers

Padraig wool slippers have been hand made in Vancouver for almost 40 years. They are classics and quite simply the best slipper in the world. The sheepskin interior sole makes them super warm and comfortable. We have a huge range of sizes and colours that will fit ‘big foot’ to the smallest ‘twinkle toes’.


7/ Keepsake Books & Cards by Charles Van Sandwyk

Side Street Studio has an enormous collection of Charles Van Sandwyks cards and books - truly beautiful illustrations with wonderful stories that are appreciated by all. Charles’ Christmas book, ‘The Unexpected Gift’ is about the importance of connecting to those we care about - without the electronic devices of the world. Christmas is a wonderful time to do just that. If you have children or grandchildren, Mom or Grandmother will truly appreciate the opportunity to create a new Christmas tradition by reading this imaginative story as a family.


8/ Wood Chopping Boards and Serving Platters

These beautiful, one-of-a-kind wood chopping boards are made on Vancouver Island by Detlef Grundmann from locally grown Maple, Cherry & Black Walnut woods. Each board is sightly different in wood configuration. Length: 17 inches by width: 11 inches by 3/4 inch thick. Foodsafe. Well cared for, this board should last a lifetime.

9/ Apple Design Teapot

If your lady is an avid tea drinker, why not get her a unique handmade teapot? Jack Olive's beautiful pottery uses a distinctive multi-glazing technique and has a very unique look. He discovered that rich, layered ceramic glazes are particularly useful in creating a sense of depth in design.

10/ BC Art & more!


Take a moment and look at some of the other perfect gift ideas for women, from hand crafted jewellery boxes, to locally made pure & natural soap, to our BC Art. Side Street Studio has more than 15,000 items all hand crafted in BC - so if you cannot find something then ……..maybe it doesn’t exist.

Did we mention you can order Jewellery online and we will GIFT WRAP it for you for FREE, and ship it to wherever and to whomever you wish? Just get in touch and we can make it happen! 250- 592-1262.

As a reminder, if you live in the Greater Victoria area, and you find you have left your gift buying until the last minute, you have the option to ORDER ONLINE and PICK UP your purchase at our studio in Oak Bay Village – we will aim to have it ready for you in two hours.We will be open until 5pm on Christmas Eve.

So that’s it; problem solved – at least for another year. (phew)

Nigel Hayes

Side Street Studio

Oak Bay Avenue, Victoria, B. C. Canada

PS. And for that ‘particular’ person may I recommend ‘Bitchy Babe’ from our ‘Soulful Sister’ Aromatherapy Collection.

Finally...a huge thanks to Nick York of for his kind permission to use three of his great pictures of 'men suffering' under the shopping experience! Nick denies that he is featured in any of the pictures but knows the feeling too well..... :)


Posted in amber, birthdays, bracelets, earrings, fruit bowl, glass art, jewellery, local crafts, oak bay, pendants, pottery, shop local, silk scarves, wedding gifts, wooden bowls



1 Response

Paul Sarai
Paul Sarai

December 06, 2015

I enjoyed he ideas

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