Charity and commerce often go hand in hand at University District. Putting your trust in local retailers to source products with soul and supporting them when it comes time to shop does more for the community than spark those “warm fuzzies!”
The community-first spirit that unites U/D is woven into the ways our retailers do business so you can feel extra positive when shopping on our Retail Main Street.
Stocking shelves with brands that are truly local and brands that believe in supporting worthy causes makes a difference to University District retailers Curious Salon and Denim & Smith Barbershops because its owners and clients become part of a local circle of good and giving.
With that in mind, we linked up with Stephen and Marisa Rizzuto, the sibling duo behind the new U/D Curious Salon and Denim & Smith Barbershop location to talk about brands they support. We hope this helps guide your choices when it comes to trying home and beauty products they stock and suggest.
But before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s find out how the recently opened retailers are building community connections with neighbours.
No stranger to the Calgary community, Curious and Denim & Smith have been making waves in the Northwest for years. Its pay-it-forward mantra and show for community wellbeing reflects the values and commitment we share at U/D.
“Being a part of your community promotes unity,” notes Stephen. “We are small business owners and giving back gives us the opportunity to be a charitable backbone to our local communities.”
For more than a decade, the local brands have contributed to grassroots community connections, including the Alberta Children’s Hospital, a noteworthy and much loved neighbour of University District. Some other causes and charities it supports includes:
Beyond its charitable efforts, Curious and Denim & Smith are committed to supporting local businesses. From sourcing local materials, such as lighting and using local contractors to build its salons to partnering with local suppliers and distributors, these beauty brands take “buying local” to a whole new level!
Now it is time to plan your beauty and wellness buying! Here are some do-good brands that will have you looking and feeling good, too!
Known for its minimal look and addictive scents, Milk Jar’s unique clean-burning candle alternative is a staple in Canadian apothecaries. Launched in 2016, this coconut soy candle company sought to create products that would provide the perfect reason to pause amidst the daily chaos. Its hand poured candles is just that, an invitation to soothe, delight your senses and fill any space with aromatherapy vibes.
More than its locally made and manufactured products, community involvement has been a hallmark for Milk Jar. From custom and collaborative candles created with local businesses, to supporting charities and causes such as Between Friends Club, PaceKids, Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre and G.R.I.T. (Getting Ready for Inclusion Today), its focus on providing social, recreation and self-development opportunities for youth doesn’t go unnoticed. Milk Jar is a pillar of the community!
Product Suggestion: Whether you’re seeking a new signature home scent, a slow-burning candle for future bubble baths, or splurging on a hand-poured pick for your favourite space at home, Milk Jar’s Hygge candle should be at the top of your list.
Local creator and wellness lover Katie Fraser is mixing quality natural ingredients and the benefits of essential oils to serve up locally made, handcrafted body care products. Taking inspiration from Calgary’s natural setting and ever-changing seasons, its products offer the perfect balance of warmth and freshness, while helping to restore vitality and wellbeing.
Kore Kreations is all about putting good out in the world, whether it’s through eco-friendly products and operations, or by working with local businesses such as Mobius Objects, Frilly Lilly and of course, Curious Salon.
Product Suggestions: Forget the glide, lather on some sumptuous natural deodorant! Rather than a stick, Kore Kreations natural deodorant will soothe dry, sensitive skin and keep you smelling fresh all day. Stop in at Curious Salon in U/D and see what all the fuss is about!
With humble beginnings starting in the basement of the Jomma family household, Calgary success story Modern Beauty has grown to become the largest family-owned beauty supplier in the country. 30 years later, more than 200 employees in Western Canada are scattered across 26 locations, four education centres and one 150,000 square foot warehouse.
Beyond its incredible growth and rich Canadian roots, the brand is all about fostering kindness, inspiring change and uplifting its community. Every two months, Modern Beauty features a top-selling product with proceeds donated to help those in need as part of its Beauty of Giving Program. Since 2013, the campaign has raised over $250,000 to causes such as Make-A-Wish, ALS Canada and Lymphoma and Pancreatic Cancer Canada. It’s yet another reason to love this local beauty supplier!
Product Suggestion: With so much variety, it’s hard to know where to start! Try a squeeze of its Gehwol foot creams. If you’re someone who stands all day, has dry skin, or just wants to give your feet a little extra love, Gehwol has you covered.
Giving back to our local community, whether it’s supporting small businesses or causes near and dear to your heart, doesn’t have to require a lot of time or money to make a huge impact. There’s nothing more fulfilling than to support and uplift the communities we live, work and play in!
Tell us about a small business or charitable organization in the Northwest that you support, would like to give a shout out to, or would like for us to profile. Share your suggestions with us and the community on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
The University District blog is a resource for Calgarians who want to live, work, play, visit or buy in the northwest. We will provide you with information, stories, news and a closer look at the things that matter so you can live a more inspired, active and connected life in NW Calgary at University District… Life works here.