My sister and I wandered the aisles of Toronto's Spring One of a Kind (OOAK) Show on Sunday. Our wanderings took us 4.5 hours to complete but it was worth it this year. There were some new artisans and different arts/crafts being shown. Some of our favourites, like Roothams, weren't there but this year the Eastern Ontario CFDC (Community Futures Development Corp) rented a huge bit of real estate right in the middle of the show and sponsored artisans from Eastern Ontario. For me as a wanderer, it was a great success. I met artisans who otherwise would be unable to show with OOAK. I had many a chat (that's why it took so long) and got some leads for my business. For example, Alfie Fishgap, and his boothmate Todd Jamieson, told me of a show at Fairy Lake in June.
I found some not so new stuff being used and in wonderful colours, too. Like the crochet wire rings and the crochet wire bracelets. My sister is my model/sales rep and she stepped up in many a booth to point out the artisan jewellery she and I were wearing that I made. Doing that in my friend Alfie Galda's booth (AB Originals) ~ she knits sweaters that are to die for ~ made me a new friend, Gwen. She's an enthusiastic fan of Alfie's and wears a lot of sweaters Alfie has knitted and I'm hoping she will like my artisan jewellery enough to be as enthusiastic about my work.
I found something really annoying. Well, I found 2 things really annoying.
- Other jewellers not wanting to talk just as soon as they find out I, too, make artisan jewellery. These jewellers are different in style to me and I present no competition to them. They don't know that because they gave me the stock answer to 'Where did you get this or that part of the jewellery.'
- I have picked up several really helpful lists and recipes but the person who gave them to me didn't put on their website or some other contact information. I have no idea who gave me the recipe for cleaning copper. And it isn't Twinkle. BRAND BRAND BRAND~~Put your CONTACT INFO on everything you do: it may bring you business after the show.
There was a booth with items from Uqqurmiut Centre for Arts & Crafts, Pangnirtung, Nunavut. Beautiful things from the First Nations of our True North, Strong and Free. The 2 people in the booth when we visited were wearing their snow goggles. They look almost like goggles you wear in the tanning salon or on swimmers except there is a narrow slit from 1 side to the other to peer through: they keep out the glare of the sun bouncing off the snow.
As I said, some of our favourites were there with newly designed booths, some were there and their booths were wholly recognizeable. One such was Asem Nada, my glass man. His business is La Glasserie. His work with a torch and a cane of glass is marvellous: I have many of his pieces in my home and he covers Easter and Christmas, too. Well, my exciting news about Asem is that he made a leaf pendant for me and brought it to OOAK to show me. I think it's beautiful and I've ordered 20 of them. I can pick them up at Milton in May. Now you have to wait to see them. It's true, they are worth the wait, as all of Asem's glasswork is imaginative and beautiful.
We had a busy day and a wonderful day. And both of us were exhausted when we got home and both of us ended up in bed before our bedtime.
PS: I receive no money or other consideration from the businesses I mentioned in this blog, nor from any other business, unless stated in the blog.