I thought I’d take some time to dedicate a proper blog post to the One of a Kind Show 2015 given how wonderful it truly is and of course, the amount of time, energy, and resources it is taking me to get ready for it as a first-time exhibitor. By virtue of these, it deserves more than just a few words!
For those who have never been to the One of a Kind Show 2015 or don’t know about it, it is considered the flagship destination to shop for handmade goods (with a level of exclusivity) and is the most established and attended show of its kind in North America. This is the destination to shop from hundreds of artisans, makers, and designers across the country and this Spring, from Wednesday, March 25th to Sunday, March 29th, at the Direct Energy Centre, I am honoured to be joining this fantastic community as an exhibitor. This is my first juried show (one that’s the size of a mammoth in my eyes) and I’m feeling mostly excited sprinkled with a little bit of edginess – emotions which are expected when taking on a big hairy project, of course.
What I love about the show is that it cultivates the skills, workmanship, and talents of artists across Canada. The values upon which the show is founded truly strikes a chord; they care about providing artists with a credible platform to present their unique and original crafts and to reach a special and sizable group of loyal consumers (over 60,000), who appreciate handmade goods like no other. As such, the show becomes an invaluable opportunity to take an artisan’s business to the next level.
I attended the Christmas show this past December and the most wonderful realization was that every dollar I spent on any given handmade item, albeit pricey at times, goes into a hardworking artisan’s pocket and allows them to continue pursuing their passion and creating beautiful things right in our own backyard. I remembered just how much I gawked at every shop, soaking in every detail, scanning products in sheer wonder, and deeply appreciative of the talent and creativity all around me.
Products (in order) by The Imagination Spot, Ed Colberg, Two Cent Sparrow, Fionna Hanna, Bookhou, Tanya Love, Stitch & Spoke, Little Bellwoods, Route 401
It’s less about greed, capitalism, and consumerism when our dollars aren’t simply going to millionaires and billionaires who often (not always) rely on questionable labour practices and inadequate wages to faceless workers in developing countries. There’s simply an air of magic and delight when it comes to supporting a Canadian artist-entrepreneur and giving a unique, handmade gift to a friend or loved one. This is more about embracing homegrown skill and talent than anything else and it is really no different than supporting local entrepreneurs and startups, although sadly, I realize that artisans aren’t often immediately seen as entrepreneurs – a false perception that must change!
My husband and I are truly so excited to be a part of the show this Spring and represent my nostalgic art in the flesh. It is a big step for us to build this temporary storefront from virtually nothing! We’ve been very hard at work and this is easily one of the most resource-intensive commitments, yet we know it will be among the most rewarding.
If you have not yet purchased your tickets for the One of a Kind Show 2015 in Toronto, you can absolutely do so through my exhibitor link right here and enjoy a little discount. If you do join the handmade fun, which I truly hope you do, please be sure to swing by and say hello! We’ll be in booth #A38! If you’d like to pre-browse all the goodies, the shop is always open! Enjoy and ciao for now! :)