One of a Kind Show Spring 2014….

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G – 47,  right across from the Fashion Show stage (note my valances)!

….my last! Famous last words you say, well my husband sold my light bar at the show to Karen Gunna, from whom I bought a commemorative (well kinda) leather bracelet….so if I do return it will be in the dark!

Shelly (centre) with daughter (rt) & goldsmith friend Sandy. 

I had a great time this year with my neighbour to one side being amazing goldsmith Shelly Purdy … who I discovered is related to one of my lovely clients….so we all got chatting. On the other side was a couple of young gentlemen for whom this was their first time, however one of them had a lot of high end retail experience under his belt so I learned a few things from him.

Felted vest in the ‘accessories’ show.

I loved being opposite the Fashion show stage in the centre of the show, the big wide aisle where the cafe is and the exhibitions and competition. When I got my booth number it seemed to spell an omen as I was thinking that I didn’t want to do this show any more….get rid of the stress and the huge booth fee.

Host Joey in one of my felted jackets….for Easter!
What is also a treat, when we go to Toronto for a show, is to see my stepdaughter and our grandsons.  Show hours are gruelling and don’t allow for any outside time except for sleeping so I bring them into the show for a visit and a look around, Alana bought a bag from Karen Gunna.

Newest grandson checking out the yarn cones.
It is always great to do any show like this if only for the connection with other artists I have known for the three decades I have been in this business. There are still some of the older long time creators hanging in as it serves as a presence to our clients…we’re still here, we have new work and are always pleased to  have you drop by, even just to say hello. 
There are a lot of new folk coming up, especially as there is the Etsy section, lovely young women and men (mostly women) starting our at least 10 years younger than I was when I started out….they will go far. From there they often get their designs (whatever medium) produced and manufactured, some keep the hand made work as well, which is what the ‘One Of A Kind’ is all about.
I don’t see as much hand made one of a kind as we used to and because the show has been sold and sold and now is owned by I’m not sure who, there is no one to wander by all the booths to say hi, connect, check you out and answer questions as in the earlier years. It seemed like being vetted or spied upon sometimes but we didn’t mind it and now I miss that.
All packed up and ready to head home.
Over the years I think the lugging of my stuff in and out of shows, putting everything up and such, have kept my body and bones strong (I make it a practice to lift heavy things…knees bent of course) and my mind reasonably sharp. I even remembered to dig out my valances that I made for the times I had a corner 10′ x 10′ booth to hide the light bars, this time I used them to hide the hooks from which I hang my wares and signs. I took so much time sewing, hemming and buttonholing my 9 drapes and my valances I should remember to use them. The drapes have always come in handy.

My ‘stuff’.

Well, I’ll still be lugging in and out of shows but none with the high prices of booth, electricity and parking as this show. The smaller shows and tours I also do we artists either run ourselves or have a major part in….yes we have the work to do (designing signs, logos, handing out flyers, emailing our lists etc) but we also have waaaay more control. That is why I started the Beach Studio Tour in 1994, something in the city (Beach neighbourhood of Toronto) that would be walkable, with places to eat and relax where the artists could show all of their different creations.

….that is where I will be headed next…

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