Thursday, October 1, 2015

Minouette at Etsy: Made in Canada Toronto 2015

Me at the minouette table at Etsy: Made in Canada, September 26th at MaRS (photo credit: Peter Power)
Well, we pulled it off for a second year running! I'm really proud of the tremendous show we put on this Saturday. Totally exhausting, but it looked fabulous, there was a great crowd and a great feeling to the show. I love seeing that thousands of Torontonians come out to see our great local (and some farther afield Canadian) sellers and shop their handmade and vintage wares. I had several people stop and talk with me and when they realized I was an organizer of the show, volunteer that they felt it was the best craft show in the city.

Our enthusiastic fans began arriving at 5:30 am for a chance at getting a swag bag! This is the line outside MaRS at 7:30 am, when we already had 69 lucky people who would get one of the 100 swag bags. The swag bags were pretty awesome. I saw some of the incredibly generous donations from sellers before the bags were stuffed and was blown away... in fact, I started to worry that my swag offerings were inadequate. Some people really outdid themselves. (photo: Ele Willoughby)

photo credit: Peter Power

photo credit: Peter Power
photo credit: Peter Power

Throughout the day, there were eight workshops, free to the public - both DIY handmade items and how to assess and care for vintage items. I'm so impressed with what people will take on. One teacher volunteered despite also getting married and having her honeymoon this month. Another teacher sadly had a family emergency, but handled the situation with consideration and grace and quickly helped us find one of her friends and colleagues who could take her place. I'd like to thank all the workshop leaders and these three in particular (you know who you are!).

We had some minor snafus (last minute security requests for tables to be moved, brief electrical disruptions, missing chairs), but nothing we couldn't handle and we were able to get help from our hosts.

The crowd was as engaged as last year. I got questions like, "Is this woodcut? And this chine collé?" which pretty much tells me they are educated about printmaking. One shopper got excited and asked if a portrait was of Jane Austen. I had to tell her though it was the right era, the portrait was of astronomer Caroline Herschel, to which she replied, "Well, that explains the comets." There was a great mix of people of all ages. At one point, I ran into my son's pediatrician, who asked, "What are you doing here?" and I replied, "I'm running the show!"

photo credit: Peter Power
I think I should maybe sleep for a month now! But no rest for me. I had the Big Magic pop-up market already, on Monday (more on that soon), and I have my sights on the One of a Kind Show in November.

I've written a longer post about Etsy: Made in Canada Toronto on the team blog here. You should check out our #EtsyMICToronto hashtag on Instagram to see some of the amazing things which were there.

Thanks to everyone who came out, and made this possible! Especially my super fabulous collection of fellow organizers from TEST and 416Hustler, who are the best. Period. Thank you to all the talented vendors who made the show look and feel amazing and for all your kind words. I really appreciate it. Thank you to the volunteers (especially Becca, who helped me in particular), Pete for the great photos, and of course, Etsy Canada, MaRS, and our sponsors.

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