This will be my third year organizing Etsy Made in Canada here in Ottawa.
I don't know where the past 3 years have gone, but here we are less than a week out of the biggest show of my year. Again.
What is Etsy: Made in Canada?
Etsy: Made in Canada is "a national grassroots initiative celebrating the crafters, collectors and artisans in local communities across Canada." Unlike other shows I organize, every maker who participates in Etsy:MIC is an Etsy seller. This year we're celebrating in 38 cities from coast to coast (Find the market closest to you at www.etsy.com/madeincanada) and I can't even begin to express to you how proud I am to be organizing this show for the third year in a row.
With 150 sellers participating (we had 316 applications for this show!) it's a huge undertaking, but the experience of watching so many hardworking hand makers in my community be successful doing what they love to do is something that I can hardly put into words.
Here in Ottawa, our show will run for TWO DAYS instead of just one. It's the only way we could see managing the hordes of Ottawa (and area) Etsy enthusiasts, and it gives us even more opportunity to raise funds for our 2016 charity of choice: 13 Muesli. More about them HERE.
Etsy Made in Canada Ottawa takes place September 24th + 25th from 10am to 4pm at the Bell Sensplex (1565 Maplegrove Road, Kanata MAP IT).
Cost of admission is $5, kids and parking are free and 50% of our door goes to our charity.
(Last year we raised more than $25K for the Ottawa Inuit Children's Centre!)
So who's going to be in attendance at Etsy Made in Canada?
The Made in Canada editorial team at Etsy has made their Canada wide picks (check them out here!), but I have a few favourites that will be at our Ottawa event. You can search the whole line up by visiting here and clicking on ETSY MADE IN CANADA. Obviously :)
I've chosen my faves based not only on talent, but also on the personality, attitude and overall awesomeness of the maker. Cuz that's super important to me when I host a show. As I think I've made clear a few times now, this is about me having fun as much as it is about putting on a great event.
That might sound selfish, but I think we could all stand to surround ourselves with as many awesome people as possible, and when you come to a show hosted by yours truly, you're only going to meet the best of the best folks.
The first time I met Anick was at our Spring show here in Almonte. She arrived bright and early for set up, parked right in front of the load in door, and promptly locked her keys in her car.
With all of her stuff still inside.
That's not what I like most about her though.
What I like most about Anick, is how she handled that situation. There she was, in a strange little town, standing in front of her car packed with all this product she'd just slaved over, and she'd locked her keys right in that darn thing.
But did Anick freak the freak out?
No she did not.
We called CAA, had ourselves a wee coffee break, helped a few other vendors load in, and before you knew it, help had arrived. Anick is my kind of people.
Total bonus: she makes awesome stuff.
And obviously practices what her tea towels preach. V important.
Greg and Jennifer Swaine (AKA the nicest couple you will ever meet) are the creators behind STOUTHEART Shave Company. These guys are two of the most cheerful, friendly folks I've ever had the pleasure of working with. They work hard, are super open to feedback (not that they need any) and make every customer they come into contact with feel important.
Sometimes I just walk past their booth just to perk myself up. No kiddin'.
Also, sometimes they send me nice texts late at night when they think I might need one.
They are thoughtful, good people who make a fantastic product and, one day, when they're millionaires living the dream, I just know they're not going to forget about any of us.
Reasons I like Jeremy Ford:
ONE He makes sweet little pottery homes for otherwise neglected things like air plants and cooking utensils.
TWO He sometimes does things like host a spontaneous neighbourhood cocktail party on an abandoned couch in front of my aunt's house.
LALUCIOLE BLOWN GLASS
Jennifer Bennett of LaLuciole has participated in several of our shows now, and I need to take a minute to give a little shoutout to this woman.
First of all, her stuff is amazing. Let's just get that out of the way.
Secondly, SHE is amazing.
Jennifer comes to every event I've hosted her at, with THE most breakable product ever.
But does she ask for a wall? Or whine about electricity? Or fuss about the fact that her booth neighbour is a hand talker and might just knock down her entire display?
No she doesn't. She just shows up, and sets up and is as cheerful and easy going as all flipping get out.
She is what I like to call a show organizers dream. (I know, so creative.)
I wish all makers could be a little more like Jennifer Bennett.
Sarah Jaynes is a high school art teacher who is talented beyond belief (you have to follow her on Instagram and watch her do a time-lapse video of one of her drawings at some point before you die) and is also quite possibly one of the most thoughtful people I've ever met.
She's so thoughtful in fact that just a few days ago she put a casserole on my doorstep so that my family won't starve this week.
And once? Once she hacked a package of Starburst candies so that it would ONLY have pink ones just because I posted this dorky quote about not letting anyone treat you like a yellow Starburst. (What?! Like you've never been in a mood.)
That's not why she's in the show though.
This is why she's in the show: Shop Mississippi North on Etsy
Last but not least, BLONDIE APPAREL.
Oh Blondie, Blondie, Blondie.
Blondie Apparel is owned by Brodie O'Connor and Michelle VandenTillaart. (We'll just call her Michelle V.)
Brodie owns a little shop across the street from my own called doree's habit, full of everything I'd ever want in my closet. We've been friends for several years now, and she's one of the reasons I love running a business in Almonte.
In a nutshell, Brodie is the girl who starts the dance floor.
In the good way.
I got to know Michelle a bit better in April of this year when the 3 of us and our husbands took a spontaneous trip to Halifax. (Because Porter). She's kind of like a tiny comedian who repeats the same joke over and over, but instead of it getting annoying, it gets funnier.
That's a very unique skill.
I'm not sure there's another person in my cache of friends who can get away with that brand of lazy humour.
I own literally (but not literally because, who am I, Melania Trump?) seven of every item these girls have ever made. Because they get me and my body and all the things I want to highlight (upper body) and not highlight (buuuuummmm). Every piece makes me feel casual, comfortable, and somehow, like I have my fashion act together.
Ps. I own both of these pieces.
And this one in a few colours.
So what's that? Six?
A mere SIX of 150 truly awesome Ottawa area handmakers who will be participating in the 3rd annual Etsy Made in Canada (#etsy613 yo!) this weekend at the Bell Sensplex.
Hope to see you this weekend Ottawa!