Out and About: Etsy Made in Canada

Etsy banner at their Made in Canada marketplace, MaRS building
Etsy banner at the Made in Canada marketplace, MaRS building, September 27, 2014

Last Saturday, Toronto-based Etsy sellers switched gears from manning their online shopfronts to selling in-person at the Made In Canada marketplace. Located in the new wing of the MaRS building, the event was jam packed with locavores scooping up handmade cookies, soaps, cards, pillows and, of course, jewelry, clothes and bags! I went early in hopes of being one of the first 50 attendees to score a swag bag. Unfortunately everyone else had the same idea! Still, it was great to have such a fantastic turnout for local artists.

I’ll admit to not being totally onboard the online shopping boat. I prefer the physical act of going shopping and seeing things in person, so it was great to have this marketplace. Unfortunately, Etsy has come under fire recently due to changes in their policies which now allows sellers to use outside manufacturers. This means the site has been flooded with cheap knockoffs of the carefully crafted goods Etsy was known for. Luckily, this event highlighted the true artisans, designers, and crafters who produce good quality, original work with their own hands. I managed to check out every booth and came up with a list of my top three fashion and style related picks, along with a small gallery of pictures from the event. Enjoy!

  1. bookhou: You’ll remember bookhou from last week’s Calendar post. Shop owners John and Arounna run an Etsy store and a bricks-and-mortar shop on Dundas West. I first encountered bookhou at the One of a Kind show and it’s been love ever since! I’ve been proudly carrying my triangle tote bag for three years and counting. I just love their fun but wearable prints and colours.

    bookhou pouches
    bookhou pouches
  2. Happy Camper: There were a lot of jewelry makers at Made in Canada but Happy Camper stood out with funky, modern beaded pieces.  The bracelets referenced old-school yarn friendship bracelets, but with grown-up details like gold-plaited finishings. Graphic necklace designs caught my eye next to sweet earrings with matching patterns. I adored the thin beaded bracelets seen below, especially because of their adjustable clasps. Perfect for the girl with child-sized wrists (ahem).

    Happy Camper beaded bracelets
    Happy Camper beaded bracelets
  3. Vespertine: Made in Canada wasn’t strong in terms of clothing, so when I found Vespertine, it was awesome. Ladylike cotton tops contrasted nicely with beautifully detailed wool capes. Add to that a commitment to sustainability and you’ve got yourself a winner! A personal standout from their website is the Corso Capelet. What a great piece for the fashion-foward among us!

    rack of Vespertine clothing
    Vespertine clothing

Peruse more photos below and let me know your list of standout Toronto Etsy sellers!



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