There’s something warm and fuzzy about buying goods made in small batches, made locally with homegrown ingredients and materials, and meeting the person that handcrafted it. I love learning about their stories, the inspirations that propelled them to create their unique and beautiful products, and seeing the humility and hunger that only comes from grit and determination to turn a dream into a reality. That’s why when I travel (like when I went to Portland), I make it a point to to seek out the small boutiques and independent cafes because their passion comes through in the quality of products that they sell and the service that they give to their customers. In many ways, small businesses just do it better.
This past weekend, Etsy held a Made in Canada event that brought together independent crafters, collectors and designers through pop up marketplaces across Canada. In Vancouver it was held at Robson Square and boy was it PACKED. Practically claustrophobic. I had to fight my way to get to the front of the tables to see what people were selling, and then fight my way through the crowd to just move along to the next. It was too much madness and mayhem for my taste and I had thoughts of a panic or stampede running through my mind. Nevertheless, it was a wonderful sight to see such a huge turnout for all these people who were doing what they loved and enriching the local community by doing so.
I thought these Etsy shops were particularly special:
1. Noble and Co. – Beautiful 100% Canadian beeswax candles, each one dipped by hand.
2. Honey Canada – The cutest and most adorable collection of little items and animals all made out of felt.
2. LanaBetty – Pretty geometric jewellery that uses 3D printing technology.
3. White Lies – Lovely delicate jewellery and terrariums.
4. Coral and Cloud – Fun, hand painted wooden bead necklaces and mobiles in vibrant colour combinations. The strings in her necklaces are made from fabric of upcycled thrifted t-shirts.
5. Acorn and Thimble Co. – Warm and cozy wooly scarves, toques, and beanies, all handmade by this lovely lady.
Despite the frenzy of the madding crowd, I still managed to kick start my holiday shopping with some wonderful finds. There are a few more upcoming craft shows coming up that I can’t wait to finish off my holiday shopping at:
October 3 + 4 – Knit City
November 14 – Love it. Craft it.
November 19 – 22 – Eastside Cultural Crawl
November 28 – Strathcona Winter Craft Fair
December 3 – 6 – Make it!
December 12 + 13 – Got Craft? Holiday Edition
Maybe I’ll see you there!