Nestled in the downtown neighbourhood of James Street North in Hamilton, White Elephant is the go-to spot for shoppers looking for handmade goods from independent artists. Co-owners Jane LaBatte and Hollie Pocsai focus on Canadian-made goods, including women’s clothing, jewellery, accessories, gifts and paper goods.
Jane and Hollie, friends for almost two decades, decided to open a shop to promote sustainable shopping in October 2008. They were been so successful that they were able to open a second location, this time in Westdale Village near McMaster University. They feature over 60 different artists and designers, ensuring they are always selling quality goods their customers can be proud to own.
White Elephant is always a great place to find gifts, and Jane and Hollie aim to have a variety of products to help customers find the handmade item they envision giving. At the Westdale shop, you can find jewellery by Moonlight for Violet from Toronto, pottery by Krystal Speck and made in Hamilton and Province Apothecary perfumes from Toronto. Hamilton’s Roisin Fagan crafts linen tea towels and napkins with hand-drawn prints and patterns she creates herself. Co-owner Jane also designs and produces her own line of earrings and necklaces with raw rocks, minerals and gemstones called Rare Specimens.
Shopping at a place like White Elephant really allows you to see who you are supporting when you buy local – the artists and their families, the shop owners and the store employees. Next time you’re in the mood for some retail therapy, consider checking out White Elephant or another independent shop in your neighbourhood.