Monday, March 24, 2008


whew! what a long weekend! the spring one of a kind show was inspiring, and i spent more time finishing some projects.
as part of the Toronto Craft Alert's goal to galvanize the city's craft community, we'd like to get a bit of a discussion going. discuss any crafty topic you like... we'll be re-posting this thread every monday morning, so that the discussions can continue in the comments section of this post.


Blogger I Heart That! Dance said...

Happy Monday! I had a great time at the OOAK too - it was the first time Nic and I had been and I thought it was definitely worth the drive downtown! Managed to keep my wallet in my purse where it belonged though -- I have to be good and buy supplies for my biz. OK, I picked up a few things :D

Anybody else go? What was your favourite shop?

I didn't get any crafting done this weekend AT ALL -- too many family commitments. I'm going to spend a bit of today goal-setting, I feel a little rudderless lately.

But I've got a new pattern I'm dying to try out (I'm venturing into sewing clothes these days) -- I get so excited about a new project LOL!

12:38 p.m.  
Blogger Nicole R.J. said...

I went AND bought! I never leave without a little something. Of course, I forget the shop names now, but I bought som Lavender room spray and some yummy Basil Grapeseed Oil and Fig & Ginger Balsamic Vinaigrette. Mmmm.

I also makde some new earrings this weekend, yay! AND I quit my day job today - SO excited! I wish I could say it was to craft full time, but even between my jewelry and supply shop I don't yet cover the bills. Soon hopefully!

A. - What's your new sewing pattern about?

1:37 p.m.  
Blogger not so crafty lady said...

I really like going to the OOAKS and i was really excited to go this past weekend but then I get there and realize most stuff is out of my price range *sigh*. I did get a few small things like some cards with photos on them by Meagan Guerette that are beautiful and I loved the collection of drawings by Jeff Blackburn it is amazing what can be accomplished by a simple red bic pen in the hands of a talented user! So awesome!!! Even though I couldn't buy everything I wanted to the show is always a source of inspiration to get back to painting and sewing and to dig into this bag of beads I have had sitting here for like a year! So yeah it's great!

2:57 p.m.  
Blogger I Heart That! Dance said...

yeah, that's how I felt too -- inspired! It's hard not to be in a room full of creative energy and not come away with a bit of your own.

Any thoughts on why the prices at the show are so different than on Etsy? And places weren't necessarily inflating their prices for the show -- a lot were offering specials.

And even though you warned me N, the food section totally caught me off guard with it's awesomeness! The Tickleberry's guy gave me some extra cherries to sample after I just about collapsed in delight in front of his booth, LOL

The new pattern is a sleeveless hoodie with kanga pockets -- Nic and I have some fun ideas for embellishments.

But OMG -- N you QUIT?? Can I tell you how jealous I am?!? What are you going to do now? DH and I are talking about a long term plan that will allow me to work from home, but it's LONG term. Like, not until the end of next year at the earliest. :P

Do you guys have pics of your new jewellery/bead creations? I love to ooogle shiny things :D

4:24 p.m.  
Blogger toronto craft alert said...

on the etsy vs. OOAk price tip -

i think it mainly comes down to

a) overhead,
b) pricing for your audience, and
c) competition

a) these guys pay way more for their booth than one pays to sell through etsy, so they have to recoup their booth costs, time spent at the show (this is a bigger deal at xmas having to take so long off to sell), and then materials, labour, etc. with etsy it's just selling direct to the customer with a very small listing fee & commission.

b)people go to the OOAK to spend money in a concentrated period of time, and it is overall an older crowd than your average etsy shopper, i'd guess (more disposable income). so i think people raise their prices accordingly, especially since they have to think about a)

c) there are like one billion sellers on etsy, many selling very similar products, vs. a couple (few?) hundred at the OOAK selling mostly different stuff. so OOAK sellers are not moved to price as competitively as etsy sellers are.

those are my thoughts on this - anyone else have ideas?

any yeehaw to day-job quitting! spins and needles makes an awesome shirt celebrating this:

4:41 p.m.  
Blogger I Heart That! Dance said...

LOL, I want that shirt!

How was that event last Thursday BTW? Good turnout? I wouldv'e loved to have gone -- next one hopefully!

5:29 p.m.  
Blogger My Belle Bijoux said...

Hello! I'm here and I'm chatting, just like you told me to on Flickr!

I kinda like Mondays because I can't seem to get anything done on the weekends. I live with my parents and although they are ridiculously supportive of my business, they don't always seem to remember that I need to do work at home. So Mondays are good because I get the house to myself again during the day!

I didn't go to the OOAK show :(
But I did do a show on Friday at a community centre and made a killing! It was great because I really wasn't expecting to sell much, so I was very flattered that I was the only vendor there that always had customers around my booth!

6:16 p.m.  
Blogger I Heart That! Dance said...

Hey MBB, I asked nicely, LOL! :D It was the cookie offer that got you, wasn't it? :)

Congrats on your Friday show! I think having a busy table is basically one of the most fun feelings out there :D

Where was it, did you tell us?

6:35 p.m.  
Blogger angelune@TCA said...

YAY MBB to your successful selling day!
I always find the OOAK really inspiring, but as everyone has noted, some pieces are really expensive. I did find that if you look hard enough, you can find some affordable pieces. I think I only spent about $150 and you can see everything I bought here and here.
my friends also got some neat things, like a crazy carved wood bowl for $70, a cement leaf to be used for a spoon rest for $10 and some fun soap in the shape of fortune cookies for $11.
I also think it's a great idea to buy from the "rising stars" section and the student section because you can get some good prices on beautiful stuff from relatively unknown artisans, while they are still paying the lowest fees for the OOAK (and who knows, maybe someday they'll be really famous?).
sometimes what is "inspiring" about the show is that I see stuff and think "I could make that!" instead of buying it... maybe I never make the thing I saw, but it stays in the back of my mind.

p.s. thanks to everyone, especially ihtd for getting a conversation going here!

6:56 p.m.  
Blogger angelune@TCA said...

oops! second photo link is supposed to be this.

6:58 p.m.  
Blogger My Belle Bijoux said...

thanks for the "congrats" on my sale! It was at the jewish community centre, as part of their Purim celebrations. It was fun - so many cute babies running around with adorable costumes on!

I think I will apply to be a "rising star" in next year's OOAK show. I didn't feel ready for it this year, but now I have something to aim for.

Do any of you sell your stuff at The Clothing Show? If you're going to it, come say hi to me! I'm booth #518 in the Boutique section :)

7:41 p.m.  
Blogger I Heart That! Dance said...

I WISH I was going! I have a feis (Irish dance competition) -- not selling, competing :) MBB, this is one of your faves right? Prices to get in seem pretty reasonable!

Nic and I are thinking we'll check out this year's fall show and then maybe apply to get in for Spring 2009. Are you planning on a booth in the Fall too?

Great purchases angel! Your "pink" collection was TDF :)

8:15 p.m.  
Blogger not so crafty lady said...

I had no idea what Etsy was until just this moment! I just spent half an hour looking around.Let me just say WOW! Thanks ihtd if you hadn't mentioned it I may never have known!!!! What a shame that would be! Sorry no shiny things for you to oogle I haven't actually made any jewelery yet I'm trying to find a good source to learn basic construction of jewelery so I put some books on hold at the good old Toronto Public Library...any suggestions?

11:05 p.m.  
Blogger My Belle Bijoux said...

Yeah, I love the Clothing Show! I only did one so far, in December, but I really enjoyed it. If I do well at the Spring show, then I will definitely continue exhibiting at all of their shows. The booths are not cheap, but it's a huge show and it's 3 days long.

Anyone gonna be at the SpeakEasy?

11:07 p.m.  
Blogger not so crafty lady said...

MBB! I just got sent to your Etsy store. I can see why you were so busy with your sale! Your pieces are beautiful. If I make it to the Clothing show I will for sure come and check out your booth!

11:46 p.m.  
Blogger My Belle Bijoux said...

Aw, thanks not so crafty! Do you have an Etsy store? I wanna see yours now! hehehe.

12:55 p.m.  
Blogger not so crafty lady said... Etsy store. As my tag implies I'm just a casual crafter as a hobby and I haven't done anything for a while. But I really like going to shows and learning new stuff and I was checking out the Clothing Show link and it looks like fun so I want to try and go. But crafting is just my spare time buddy and there is not much spare time when there is a four year old to look after!!! You should for sure try to get a booth at OOAKS I'm sure you would do really well! I know I would buy!

1:11 p.m.  
Blogger michelle said...

this weekend was my first time at the ooak show too! i went on friday morning and i couldn't believe how packed it was already. some of my favourites were also at the student booths, and i picked up a pillow hand-embroidered with a skull. i took the beginner's sewing class at the workroom last week and went back again on saturday to make a lumberjack plaid envelope pillow for my friend's upcoming birthday that turned out awesome. i've been pretty excited about making more things ever since!

2:15 p.m.  
Blogger angelune@TCA said...

Michelle - I saw your pillow on flickr! It's awesome, I really like your fabric choice.

10:44 p.m.  
Blogger sugarandcream said...

I'm a bit new to this site, but I went to OOAKS for the first time this weekend, and loved it. I really liked the Velvet Moustache designers, and Emma Nishimura. Overall it was a really great show. There are a ton of talented artists.

Angelune, thanks for posting the photo links. I really liked the lamps at the Pascale Faubert shop!

11:03 p.m.  
Blogger The_Gnarled_Branch said...

It's been a few years since I've been to OOAK... but I heard that it was really packed and people were buying.
I may consider applying--but phew the prices are a bit steep.


I guess the old addage applies..
'you have to spend money to make money'...

10:38 a.m.  

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