Support your local makers...and santé!

Nearly everything is closed here except essential services, which in Quebec includes our province-run wine and spirits stores, the Sociétés des alcools du Québec (SAQ) and its affiliate cannabis stores. Locked down and loaded?

François Legault, Quebec's prime minister, urged us to fight cabin fever: " reduce the stress you have to do some exercise—so have a walk—but sometimes a glass of wine may help.”

I find a drop of the Canadian whisky and maple syrup liqueur "Sortilege" a treat after a day of awful news, especially when shared with a friend on FaceTime.

Some persons find the continued SAQ access immoral and inconsiderate—but because the SAQ has put safer practices in place in the stores and encourages online ordering, I don't think offering service on a reduced schedule is reprehensible.

I can make a better case for ceasing to sell cigarettes at dépanneurs, given the virus is a serious respiratory illness.

Now, we can't find a barber or hairstylist, and this ought to be interesting; most women would give up the SAQ before the salon. Susan told me her hairdresser has an announcement on her phone: "The salon is closed temporarily and will reopen as soon as possible. DO NOT buy box colour or use scissors!"

Though I'm avoiding comfort-shopping, I want to keep the small local businesses we treasure alive so they can return full-strength, even if that's only a small purchase accompanied by a big "Thank you!" 

Here are some of my local heroines; prices are in Canadian dollars.

Left: Jennifer Glasgow Design (at her boutique, Général 54) "Arbus" spring jacket; price $258. Also in navy.
Right, clockwise from top left:
- État de Style stretch jersey knit "au contraire" top, which can be worn with a tee or shirt under as well as on its own; price, $60.
- The exquisite chocolates of Lacavalier Petrone, offered online by the makers only during this exceptional period, here. Box of 24, $51.
- Katrin Leblond Magic Coat in black/grey floral; the details are intriguing and it has extra-deep pockets; price, $CDN 199.
- This Ilk hand-dyed vintage lace Pedulum earrings, in an array of colours; price, $38

What to do about the hair? 

Swenn extrafine merino beanie; price, $75. Designed and knitted in Quebec.


Laura J said…
The totally versatile toque! It is difficult to be both careful with money AND support local business there are so many I do not want to disappear on us but at the same time one needs to be mindful of $$$. Have focussed on our local food suppliers since we always need farmers! And have splurged on flowers from local florist. It’s the services like salons, cleaners, restaurants that are challenging but many are offering gift certificates—which you could buy for yourself of course! I have been curious though about the rise in baking amd bread making I seem to seen I suppose it is satisfying but I’m all for supporting local bakers.
Venasque said…
With you entirely about the liquor stores. Ours is open here in Ontario too. Honestly I sent my honey there to buy us a supply - I said it's absolutely inhuman to expect someone to stay in for as long as this hell lasts without a glass of wine. We're having a dinner party with friends Saturday night by Zoom. We'll each take a bottle from our respective caves and consider it's merits while having tasty food and a merry time.

As far as the hair is concerned, I've already had the scissors out. My stylist says we cut my hair together. I do this often between cuts when its just needs a trim. I did order colour on line because my growth is considerable but not sure I'll take the plunge. I might just find out what my real colour is.
Mary said…
Well, I guess it is a good thing I never coloured my hair and have a full head of silver/gray. One less thing to think about. Whether or not I take a pair of scissors to it has yet to be decided. My next appointment isn't due for two more weeks so not shaggy yet. However, short hair tends to lose its shape sooner rather than later, so perhaps a snip or two with my own barber shears might be required. DH will be getting a trim from me in the near future. Luckily I have the necessary tools to do it...if not the full range of skills. :)
Dianne said…
Long time reader with first comment - thank you so much for your civilized and thoughtful space. I appreciate your discussion of our personal expression through what we choose to buy and wear as well as social, societal issues.
My shopping list is posted on the fridge for both in person and on line local purchasing as we try to do our bit on supporting our communities. Further to your support of jewelers, we have a 30 year history with Devine, family business with lovely shop in the Chateau Laurier. We have repurposed stones, bought birthday treats and had repairs to the engagement ring that my husband commissioned in 1984!

Murphy said…
Thanks so much for your wonderful, thoughtful, and somehow comforting posts. Yours is the only blog I read on a regular basis. Today you have me thinking that I need to order some cupcakes from our local bakery - it’s my duty to support them during the current chaos!
spacegeek33 said…
My colorist is mixing color and providing it for at home treatment. That way, we can support her a bit and also not look like WW3. Others might ask their stylists if they would consider doing such.
I hesitated a long time before I stopped having my hair coloured but it was down to 3 weeks at the end. My coiffeur then practically insulted me so I dropped him and found another. I do continue to use a rinse that cuts down on the tendency for grey hair to pick up ambient street pollution and turn a bit yellow, and I'm furious (sorry blondes) at those who think it is a compliment to call me blonde. Had always been proud of blue-green eyes and almost-black hair.

I had made an appointment with my coiffeur and did get out my barber's scissors and cut just a bit to get rid of les fourches (split ends). I do have a useless degree in fine arts, and we must remember that hair styling is sculpture. Three-dimensional, and not always with the best of raw materials. No more than necessary.

Not only gourmands but also public health professionals think it would be a very bad idea to shut down the SAQ. The minority of customers who are actually alcoholics in the medical sense would suffer uncontrolled (cold turkey) withdrawal, which can be fatal, and the majority who just need some comfort and pleasure in such a terrifying time add up to risks of riots, sacking supermarkets and little dépanneurs and other frightening events; moreover the products available at groceries and dépanneurs often contain high levels of residual sugars and other dubious ingredients.

Of course workers at the SAQ, the LCBO and supermarkets deserve heightened protection and sanitation!
Duchesse said…
Laura J: So true that if we supported all the businesses in difficulty that we appreciate, very few could afford it. A friend told me that she decided to bake bread, found a recipe, went to store and... no flour. (This was not in my city.)

Venasque: A Zoom dinner party! Are you all cooking the same thing? Is the colour you order one of those custom-blended ones, or a brand that you just now get online?

Mary: I have short hair too and just got a cut before the order, so I'll see what happens in 5 or so weeks. Kind of like pruning, you can do some things but not others. I expect a run on barber shears!

Dianne: Thank you for commenting, means a great deal to me. An ER going strong (repairs are expected) after 35 years speaks to its workmanship.

spacegeek33: I've known colourists who will mix colour for travellers and this is an extension of that service, and a good way for them to sustain themselves, at least partly. I hope you have one of those neck-mirrors, or someone to help you.

Murphy: You had me at 'cupcakes'. Ahh. a deeply cosseting treat.

lagatta: Time changes our physical palette. Like you, I find grey hair needs attention, such as the de-yellower, deep conditioners and depending on one's hair, sometimes products that add volume or shine. Certain hairdressers just hate a woman going grey because they lose that 3-4 week annuity; others are fully on-board and support the transition. Good for you for changing.

I thought of the small minority of customers who would go through DTs and what could happen if their access were cut off. I am sure the Minister of Health and Social Services is aware too.

Venasque said…
No. They're cooking what will go with their wine and we're (my honey, the cook in the family) is cooking what will go with ours. We're having a Barolo, so something Italian.

Hair - My salon has a warning against colouring yourself. I was a bit dubious about it myself, and have definitely decided against it, but have discovered Bumble and Bumble coloursticks, so I'm giving that a try (it washes out). But the salon is coming up with a way for us to do it ourselves which I assume will have them mixing it up and us retrieving it. Honey will have to do the back. I tried to cut it this morning and COULD NOT make my hand go the way I wanted. That brain can be quite stubborn when it wants.

That "it's" snuck in, can't fix it but mistakes like that make me nuts.
Mardel said…
I too am trying to support some local businesses, and even though my individual efforts are small, I think if we all make any small effort it will make a difference. We are reminded that for all that we, the United States at least, has become a culture of the individual, we are really an interconnected community. Luckily for me I have not colored my hair, although I honestly say I don’t know if I would have had I gone gray early in life, like half my family. And I had been growing my tresses anyway, so just before the closure they finally reached a length where I can pull my hair back although the result is hardly a ponytail. At least I can pull it out of my face and off my neck in the garden. Only time will tell however what my gardening abilities will become after a 15 year absence.
materfamilias said…
A thoughtful post -- the Spa I've been treating myself to for skin treatment and eyebrow/moustache wax/grooming has, of course, had to lay everyone off for now, but has asked clients to consider gift certificates or to book future appointments or to top up products, even if we might not have been needing to replace yet. I'm doing the latter. Need to check in with my hair stylist -- she and her business partner are both single women sharing a salon they rent. Precarious. So I'm hoping they might let me pay in advance for my next few appointments (since I've gone grey, the next three cuts will cost much less than one cut-and-colour I used to get).
I've also subscribed to a yoga live-streaming membership at a studio I used to attend in my old community, because I know that worthy enterprise will still have to make rent payments, etc. And although my trainer has generously posted many free workouts, I just bought a 30-Day unlimited pass to her Zoom workouts. I'm very fortunate in having a decent pension income and secure shelter -- and I'm actually finding that spending is down while we're home, so supporting those in more precarious work seems a no-brainer. I'm also thinking it's time to finally buy a small painting I've been dithering about for months -- tough time for our artists as well. . .
Duchesse said…
materfamilias: We can help by pre-paying to give some relief now though ultimately it nets out the same. But why not when. Immediate earnings are desperately needed. I imagine you are also paying attention to the financial relief programs being announced for both individuals and businesses where you live.

mardel: Many small businesses and self- employed persons were already depending on one order at a time, building a loyal clientèle. Each of us will count for them.

Venasque: When I coloured my hair, I would go in and out of DIY phases and found the best products were just as good as the salon’s. I went to their supplier so they were the identical box the colourist was mixing in the back. The salon was just not as messy. But my colour was only single process, no lowlights or other more challenging techniques. I never had a stylist castigate my work ( they may have kept their opinions to themselves.)

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