Dream in luxury
Like many sleep-deprived Canadians, Vancouver-based entrepreneur Larissa Hildebrandt decided it was time to start seriously investing in rest when she reached peak burnout from her tech job in 2020. She created healthier sleeping habits – waking at a consistent time, using a silent vibrational alarm, cutting off caffeine in the evening, and winding down before bed – but she still struggled for years with pillows that would fall flat, leaving her with discomfort, a sore neck and disrupted sleep.
“I was constantly buying new pillows and I even started to cut open my pillows to see what was inside, and the results were shocking,” says Hildebrandt. “Even the most premium pillows were filled with so much synthetic fluff that’s not only bad for the planet but attracts allergens that can keep us up at night.”
Taking matters into her own hands, she created Henrie, a luxury pillow ($199, henrie.com) filled with a blend of chopped CertiPUR-US® memory foam and premium kapok, a natural fluffy fibre, that you can customize. It starts with a very high loft – and enough stuffing to make an entire extra pillow – which you can adjust by removing filling to create the best alignment for your needs and sleeping positions.
If you’re looking to upgrade your bed for the summer and ditch the synthetics, several Canadian brands have all-natural, breathable products for your dream bedroom oasis. If you’re looking to keep cool, try Resthouse’s certified organic bedding sheets (from $148, resthousesleep.com), and Endy’s new 100 per cent cotton soft muslin blanket (from $135, endy.com). If you aren’t ready to part with your weighted blanket, don’t sweat it – try one that uses glass beads instead of plastics, such as new brand Fiora’s eco-friendly option ($129.95, fdmt.com).
The power of touch
The feel-good factor of the handshake and its power to mark first impressions have been widely studied – and the handshake is finally making a comeback. Etiquette consultant and expert Susy Fossati says a good handshake – firm, done standing and with eye contact – can likely help build trusting relationships. So, hand care becomes crucial, Fossati says, “because it relates to avoiding sweaty palms and fragrances that are overly perfumed.” Answering the call to shake hands with confidence (and caution, if you’re still COVID-conscious), is PAUME, mypaume.com, a sanitizer and hand-care line. “PAUME has always been about the benefit of clean hands and the power of human touch and connection,” says founder Amy Welsman. The Canadian skincare brand is launching a Voyager Pouch accessory later this month ($20). Described as the travel version of their Moisturizing Antibacterial Hand Gel ($28), it’s made with cream vegan leather and matte gold hardware designed to clip on to any bag or backpack, just in time for summer.
Zero alcohol to your door
After noticing the health and lifestyle benefits of a being sober, Louis-Pier Bellemare and Simon Poulin founded Upside Drinks in Quebec in early 2022, with a desire to empower people to develop healthier drinking habits and reach an untapped market. It is now Canada’s largest alcohol-free online store shipping across the country, and they are aiming to carry more than 1,000 products by the end of the year. Some of their hottest products right now are low-sugar non-alcoholic wines such as Leitz Riesling or Colombette Cabernet Sauvignon, and non-alcoholic beers such as Guinness 0, BSA, or Vagabond. Mocktails such as 0 Sugar Clever, Collective Arts Mojito and Moscow Mule, and sprits such as HPJuniper Spiced Rum, Whiskey, Bloody Orange Gin are also popular. Their team of specialists offer customers personalized recommendations, and shipping takes a maximum of two days. Find them at upsidedrinks.ca.
A healing cup
The word ayurvedic is a Sanskrit term meaning “science of life.” And this ancient Hindu system of medicine is founded on the principle that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body and spirit. When Tobias John, co-founder of Sense Naturals, moved to Alberta from India, he carried with him traditional formulations of natural medicines that had been passed down to him from his family of ayurvedic doctors, medical doctors, organic spice farmers and natural healers. Earlier this year, he launched his first product called Balance, a daily supplement that contains 10 organic ingredients (turmeric, beet root, fennel, rose hip etc.) in a precise ratio, designed to provide the body with an environment (in the digestive system) to maintain its homeostasis. Balance is a Health Canada-approved natural health product that relieves inflammation, pain and gastrointestinal distress. It is also reputed to aid with anxiety and helps to improve focus and energy. Available through sensenaturals.ca, a 30-gram jar sells for $45. Just add a small scoop to hot water, with a dash of lemon and honey. It is best taken morning and early evening.