BY DANIEL MALLETT
Where can you shop for a tin can banjo, a horror-themed garden gnome and artisanal olive oils all at the same time?
Only at the Toronto One of a Kind Show.
The show takes place twice a year, once in spring and again closer to Christmas, and is a popular event for both shoppers and artists.
This spring the event featured more than 450 vendors selling everything from clothing and furniture to soap and shampoo.
AnneMarie Minardi, owner of Rover Pet Boutique, makes bow-ties, bandanas, shirt collars and other pet-sized clothing items for cats and dogs.
Minardi’s designs are inspired by her own fashion as well as her pug, Ella.
Many of the vendors at the show began working on their products for themselves and later thought to bring it to a wider audience.
Sadie Revenant makes and sells zombie garden gnomes and other horror themed lawn decorations for her company RevenantFX.
“We wanted to create some creepy things for our house,” said Revenant. “It turned out so well, we wanted to share it with the world.”
RevenantFX was one of the vendors who sold their wares in the Etsy marketplace, a section of the show set aside exclusively for vendors associated with the online craft market.
The show provides a lot of these artists valuable face time with their clientele.
“Honestly, I like the reactions we get from people,” said Revenant. “People either love it or they hate it. It’s fun.”
Not all of the vendors have online stores, so the show is an opportune time to view pieces from unique artists.
Sara Milley, owner of Parkadilly, creates images in recycled frames by twisting metal wire into various shapes.
“Facebook and Instagram are huge for me,” said Milley. “It started out as a Facebook business.”
The show provides a good platform for artisans to sell and advertise and can serve to connect people within the community.
“I love meeting the other artists.” said Milley.
Many people are drawn to the show because products are locally made.
“It’s a really good customer base.” said Minardi. She appreciates that many of the vendors at the show make their products by hand.
If you did miss this spring’s show you can browse artists and their wares on the One of a Kind Online Store.
The Christmas show will take place from Nov. 24 to Dec. 4.