The Gift Refinery (TGR), a curated and elevated Canadian subscription box that delivers quality, Canadian-made products right to your doorstep recently announced its Spring 2022 Box, and we think it’s the perfect gift for Mother’s Day! We chatted with TGR founder Jessica Avellino to learn more about the service, and are giving you a chance to win! —Noa Nichol
Hi Jess! Please tell us a bit about yourself to start?
Hello! I am the founder of The Gift Refinery (lovingly referred to as TGR). I adore travelling, coffee, wine, shopping—and of course, all things Canadian. My passion for discovering new Canadian brands is actually what led me down the path of entrepreneurship. Myself and my amazing husband are proudly raising two boys. While outwardly I’m a girls’ girl, you’ll catch a different side of me while I’m cheering our sons on at their hockey, basketball and soccer games! I’m grateful to be a part of a tight-knit local community, and make a point to give back in whatever way I can.
When and why did you launch The Gift Refinery? What niche were/are you aiming to fill?
TGR evolved out of my love of shopping local and sharing the stories and products of the many amazing Canadian artisans and brands that I would discover. I found myself always in pursuit of the next up-and-coming Canadian brand and felt connected to the founders’ stories and wanted to share their amazing stories and products with others. What began as an idea to offer a modern take on gift boxes + baskets quickly transformed (after a few glasses of wine!) into a dream to create The Gift Refinery. Today TGR is an elevated subscription box and conscious lifestyle brand offering Canadian babes access to products that align with their values, and an opportunity to give back to Canadian charities. Today, TGR’s mission remains the same: to show our customers that supporting the Canadian community can be easy, chic and charitable.
How does the program work? Can people buy just one box, or is it a subscription service? How about gifting? What’s generally included in each box, how many items?
At TGR we offer Seasonal and Annual Subscriptions. Customers can also purchase the current season’s box as a One-Time Purchase, which is perfect if you want to try a box before subscribing to TGR. Our TGR Subscription boxes offer 7-10 full-sized lifestyle products which range from beauty, jewelry, wellness, pantry items and more. Each season is carefully curated so that the products play well together, giving the customer an immersive and cohesive collection to enjoy. The box is delivered straight to your door, and every new season promises over $200 in retail value. We also offer a line of one-time purchase boxes called TGRCares that are perfect for gifting to family, friends, loved ones and yourself!
We love that you feature all Canadian products; what are the criteria for the items that fill each box? Have you discovered some little-known gems along the way?
Each season we feature products from Canadian artisans and brands and when selecting products, we place a focus on items that are seasonally appropriate and well-designed, ethically sourced and sustainably packaged. When it comes to building brand partnerships, we recognize and celebrate diversity while deliberately working with founders from coast to coast. I’m always in search of something new and look towards unique collaboration opportunities to keep each seasonal box fresh and engaging for our TGR babes.
Tell us about the charitable “give back” component.
Each season a portion of our proceeds are donated to Noelle’s Gift, a local Sarnia Lambton non-profit organization that provides schools and established administrators access to funds for elementary and secondary school aged students that provide nutrition, clothing and educational equipment for families in need. Through our TGRCares line of boxes we have also donated to: Noelle’s Gift, Food Banks Canada & That Girl’s Got Moxie, which is a local Sarnia Lambton non-profit organization that assists those undergoing cancer treatment.
Do the boxes have themes? What have been some of your favourites to put together?
I personally curate each TGR box, and I am incredibly passionate about sourcing products that offer our customers a unique and curated experience. I take so much joy and pride in putting every season together. Summer will always have a special place in my heart as the summer of 2019 was our first-ever season, but it truly feels like every new box just keeps getting better.
For the upcoming Spring 2022 box, what can we expect to find inside? Do you have a fave product that’s included in this one?
The TGR HelloSpring 2022 Box features products from seven amazing Canadian artisans and brands, including:
- Pixie Mood Rae Crossbody Bag (customers will receive one of the following surprise colours: Black, Desert Clay or Sand)
- Aira Release Multi Purpose Wash
- DermaTech Gold Sculpting Beauty Bar
- Dom. Rosemary Hand Sanitizer Spray
- Joya Two Dark Chocolate Bars with Lion’s Mane
- Voir Haircare Rhythm of the Rain Hair Mask
- Lunata Beauty Tame Me Gloss Serum
It’s totally impossible to play favourites! Each product that is included in the TGR Boxes is hand selected because I’ve fallen in love with it in some way … but there are a few details I’ve been obsessing over. I love that Pixie Mood’s Rae Crossbody Bags are made from recycled plastic bottles from the recycled vegan leather to the lining—such an innovative way to remain sustainable, and a gorgeous design. Another product that I was pleasantly surprised with is Dom and their Organic Rosemary Sanitizer Spray. It has a beautiful scent and I’m always reaching for it when I’m on the go. Lastly, Ruth the founder of Joya had me try her Dark Chocolate Bar with Lion’s Mane Mushroom. Not only is it amazingly delicious and made from premium ingredients, it’s also full of antioxidant rich, immune-supporting Lion’s mane mushroom extract. Based on the taste, I was shocked to learn that it only had 1 gram of sugar and was plant based. Their sustainable packaging is an added bonus! The list goes on and on. I love every single one of our Spring products and partners, and encourage you to learn more about each of them by visiting our Brand Partnerships Page!
Win! A $235 The Gift Refinery Spring 2022 Box!
Congrats Cheyenne M. of Montreal, QC, who will receive a $235 TGR Spring 2022 Box! Please note: if you are the winner, you will receive a DM (direct message) in Instagram directly from @vitadaily.ca. Please be wary of fake accounts, which often use similar handles with an extra or missing letter, number or symbol. We will never ask for a payment or for your credit card number, and we will never ask you to click through a link. If you are unsure whether you have been contacted, via Instagram, by us or a fake account, email us before responding.