I have been going to Toronto's One of a Kind Show for over a decade. It's always been a fun day out and a great chance to shop from some amazing Canadian handmade vendors. In the back of my mind there was always a little voice saying "Wouldn't it be neat to actually be in the show someday?" But I had no idea what I would actually do. I didn't own a company. I didn't make anything. I didn't even have an idea.
Well, times change and look at me now! I just did my very first One of a Kind Show and it was awesome!
It all happened quite suddenly. I was planning to apply for the Christmas show, figuring that I'd surely missed the window to apply to the Spring show, but as I was checking the application requirements I saw that they were still accepting applications for the Etsy section. But I had to act pretty quickly because the deadline was only a couple days away. So I quickly put together an application, not really expecting to get in, but hoping really hard anyway. And surprise! I got into the Etsy section, which is a special section of the show only for Etsy vendors. It's like a craft show on steroids.
There is a whole lot of preparation that every vendor has to go through to participate in these shows. This was a nice way to ease into it, but without the stress of constructing a booth. It was still a ton of work. I prepped a lot of product, improved my booth setup, and drove myself a little crazy with details. In the end it all paid off and the show went great.
Here are three of my highlights of the experience:
1) Being on TV
Before the show even opened, Breakfast Television came by to do a segment on the show. It was all a little crazy, but I got to be on TV for about 15 seconds.
In a previous life (like a year ago, really), I worked in the television industry. But that was almost always behind the camera. It was fun to switch it up a bit and actually talk in front of a lens for once.
2) The shoppers
I met so many lovely customers at this show. I had some excellent conversations about tea and books and life with some incredible people. I love when people really talk to me at shows, and this was a great one for that. It's nice having a real conversation instead of just saying the same three things over and over. So thank you to everyone who stopped by the table. It was nice meeting you all.
3) The other vendors
The handmade community is amazing. Every show I do I get to meet so many incredible and kind people who work really hard making what they love. People are so quick to help each other out. If you forgot tape, there's always someone else who has a roll you can borrow. It's just the nicest and most positive and passionate community, even when everyone is severely sleep deprived and stressed.
Special thanks to my friend and booth helper, Josh, for fetching me coffee and keeping me sane.
I've already signed up to do it all again next year, this time in a proper big booth. I'm sure that's going to be a whole different experience, but I know it'll be just as fun.
See you all again next year!