We ♥ Handmade Art Market
Pop-up shops are well, popping up all over as of late. And it makes sense. They are the perfect solution for online retailers to showcase their products in person for a short period of time without incurring the costs of having a permanent storefront. Or, in the case of Field Trip a few weeks ago in Hamilton, gives an opportunity for likeminded stores from different cities to gather under one roof, and reach an audience they might not otherwise. Personally, I love them. And there's so many ways of doing pop-ups. Michele of Guelph boutique Blush takes her shop on the road by way of super cute pink trailer, calling it BOW (Blush on Wheels). Her most recent trip, South Hampton! When I heard that West Elm was partnering with Etsy for We ♥ Handmade Art Market, I couldn't wait to make a trip there. Even better, the event would be curated by our lovely friend Anabela of Fieldguided. West Elm and Etsy recently hosted an event like this in the ever cool Portland (on my list on places to visit), so it was amazing they decided to do something similar in Toronto. I'm always inspired by artisans who turn their passion into a successful business. Etsy provides a strong platform on which to launch, along with a community who is incredibly supportive. Seeing how creatively and seamlessly these local artisans displayed their product in a space like West Elm makes you realize just how great the talent is around us.
I have long had a crush on Scout & Catalogue, one of my favourite accessories labels. Designer Breanna dyes gorgeous cotton and light wool gauze scarves in a rainbow of washed out shades, and she handcrafts stunning bags, too. Drawing inspiration from her year of living in Mexico during which the Scout & Catalogue label came to be, there's an obvious free-spirited, bohemian reference in the aesthetic of her designs. I happily brought home with me one of her beautiful lasso scarves in black and white.
I was really drawn to these vintage looking clocks crafted by Toronto furniture designer and cabinet maker, Cameron MacLean of Off Cut Studio. I love his use of locally sourced materials to create interesting pieces like rear wood bike fenders and wooden vases made out of walnut, maple, white oak and cherry offcut woods. I've got my eye on the wooden bike basket below.
These knapsacks by Wool Leather and Wood caught my eye as soon as I walked in West Elm. A swag bag, isn't that just perfect? I love the hand stitched leather patches, thick natural canvas and cotton rope drawstring. Also, open them up and they have these great little labels on the inside. The leather pocket pouches are super soft, made with upcycled leather and finished with a vintage brass button closure.
Maybe I just have a thing for screenprints of Canadian animals -- musk ox, grizzly bear, right whale, moose and marmot. These screen printed pouches, tea towels and notecards by Sparrow Avenue are quirky and charming.
These one-of-a-kind jewelry designs by Foe & Dear are stunning. I watched as Kat made to order a gold plated hand wire wrapped ring with a wire wrapped carbon and iron flecked herkimer diamond. I also loved the crystal gemstones and gold bullet charms that hang from vintage brass chains. I wish I could have taken more photos, because her designs are simply gorgeous.
With so many artisans to see, I was pretty excited to find a lemonade stand on site and take a breather. Though I was polite in only having one glass, I could have drank the whole tumbler.
As you know, I swear by all natural skincare, cleaning and home products. Sugar Bush Beauty was one of my most interesting discoveries of the day. A handmade, vegan skincare and fragrance line, so affordably priced I was blown away. Jennifer was so helpful in explaining her process and how she landed on certain fragrances and ingredients. I picked up the all natural lip balm in tangerine sorbet, and its wonderful. It has a nice texture and is super softening. Her fragrances are amazing too -- in scents like nectar, a dewy blend of jasmine, wild strawberry and white grapefruit, and Hansel a unisex frangrance with notes of rosewood, Japanese pear, ginseng, spearmint and orange. She designed all the packaging too, and it's really pretty. The fragrances come in slender glass roller bottles and the lip balms in clear tubes so you can see just how much product they contain.
Bookhou's display really stood out. John and Arounna design their home decor and textiles in simple, elegant, graphic styles. Prints were hung on a clothesline from one wood beam to another. I too love the naturally dyed mini bag with hand stitched leather straps. After reading about Arounna's experience taking natural dye classes on the Bookhou blog, I am intrigued to take a class at The Workroom myself to learn the techniques.