As a firm believer in what is usually labeled handmade, craft, or artisanal, I love local markets. You know that I make greetings cards, and you may also know that I bake with sourdough, but I also love shopping for handmade gifts for my loved ones from other local vendors. After all, I can't make everything myself! Knowing that the wares have a small carbon footprint, and that I'm contributing to the salary of a local artist gives me a lot of joy. My husband's birthday is in the fall, so I did my gift shopping in the late summer. I know, not usually a time when there are tons of craft markets around. But there is one market reliably popping up every month that has an amazingly well-curated assembly of vendors every single time: the Trinity Bellwoods Flea. It's been so successful as a monthly market that it celebrated its first anniversary, i.e. its twelfth(!) incarnation in August. And needless to say, that's where I got some of my husband's gifts. My husband is a member of Postcrossing, i.e. in constant need of postcards; he is also a history buff and an American, so getting him Hamilton Musical colouring postcards by Justine Fisher was a PERFECT gift. Justine is really young and only just starting out, and without the Trinity Bellwoods Flea, I would have never found her! And that was just one of many cool moments from my own experience as a mere visitor or local shopper. The market takes place at the Studio Bar, which not only has a great vibe but is also really spacious. With its two rooms, it fits a ton of vendors, which is great for visitors, because the event has something to offer for everyone -- adults, kids, pet lovers, stationery enthusiasts, foodies, fashionistas,... The flea provides a really welcoming atmosphere for everyone, and you'll want to linger before, between and after your shopping. There is a different selection of new and seasoned vendors every month, so it's well worth making a monthly visit part of your routine. That's what I've done, and it's been very rewarding. The Studio Bar is located at 824 Dundas Street West, in the heart of the always beautiful Trinity Bellwoods neighbourhood, so you can combine your visit with a stroll through the park, or a meal in one of the neighbourhood's great restaurants. Sounds awesome, doesn't it?
For it's Pre-Holiday and Holiday editions, the market runs Saturdays AND Sundays to double the fun, and I'll give you another good reason why you should attend the next two Sunday pop-ups of the Trinity Bellwoods Flea: I will be part of it as a vendor, and you can get all your greeting cards without having to rely on Canada Post. Have you stocked up on holiday cards yet? You haven't? Well there you go, what better reason is there? For your card-loving friends and relatives you can buy giftable card sets that range from cute ("Panda Love") to elegant ("Four Seasons - Floral"), and from multicolour "Birthday" set to "Thank You" set. I also got you covered for the next few birthdays, weddings, funerals, births, anniversaries or "just because" moments.
I will be in the company of awesome crafters that will make your shopping experience totally worth your while. Let me introduce you to a few who will be sharing the room with me on Sunday, November 20:
- FoldIt Creations: You've got to admit that it's practically impossible to find a better gift to pair my Santa Crane card with than a necklace that features an origami crane in silver or gold. Right?
- The Otter Potter: My miniature paper creations are one of the things that draws people to my cards. What if I told you that there was a potter who has as much fun with the minis as I do, the only difference being that we're using two different mediums? Yup, that's the Otter Potter.
- Elixir Chic Designs: Remember the jewellery designer who interviewed me for the Toronto Etsy Street Team Blog this summer, and who got interviewed by me in return? She'll be there too with her funky, spiky designs.
- Citchen Candle Co.: 'Cause who doesn't love the smell of Christmas or pumpkin pie when you're merely lighting a candle? The candles have a long burning time and come with the added bonus of a reusable mason jar at the end. Genius!
- YYZ Imports: If you've seen me perform with PushPULL Dance, you will have seen one of their models with me on stage. Dancer-supporting jewellery designers for the win! Get starstruck or reminded of your favourite PushPULL moments by association. Hehe. But in all seriousness, their line includes some stunning pieces.
- Island Oysters: Because oysters.
So, yeah, totally worth attending the Trinity Bellwoods Flea for, n'est-ce pas? And that's only a TINY selection! Imagine how awesome all the other vendors will be -- you can find the full list on the Event Facebook page. It shouldn't come as a surprise then that the Trinity Bellwoods Flea Pre-Holiday Edition has been listed among the markets that are a MUST for local holiday shopping. How could BlogTO, Narcity, Style Democracy, AND Daily Hive all be wrong? Basically a mini-version of the One of a Kind Show, except it's all FREE!
Here are all the remaining chances of visiting the Trinity Bellwoods Flea in 2016:
- Saturday, November 19, 11am-6pm
- Sunday, November 20, 11am-6pm -- PaperTurns will be there!
- Saturday, December 17, 11am-5pm
- Sunday, December 18, 11am-5pm -- PaperTurns will be there!