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  • Writer's pictureMacy

Toronto and Montreal’s biggest artisan shows: One Of A Kind and Salon des Métiers d’Arts au Québec

Overview: Loyal customers who support and appreciate Canadian creative souls show up for gift ideas

Toronto’s One Of A Kind show has one winter show in late November and one spring show early March very year. More than 40 years, the organizers at OOAK have provided a platform or artists and artisans across Canada to showcase their design and products.

Montreal’s SMAQ is organized by Council des Métiers d’Arts au Québec, an non-profit organization where Québec artists and artisans gather to help out each other. As the lessons I recently learned, solidarity creates not competes.

Salon des Métier d’Arts au Québec / At Montreal’s Place Bonaventure, Artisan Craft Fair

I believe that as an artisan and a business owner, we should take advantage of the occasion to exchange ideas and to inspire each other to improve and create the prosperity for all of us. In all events, I am delighted to discover other soap makers’ creativities and also other artisans’ talents and ideas. Whenever I find opportunity, I will talk to artisans to know more about what they do in order to bring up my own game but not to copy what they did so I would come up exactly the same products as theirs. I think the confidence is playing a major role in this kind of mind set. I believe in myself and my creativities so that I would not be proud of creating the same product as my peers. Yes, we are competitors who are trying to attract customers with their money in their pockets. However, I want my targeted customers to see how my creations are different from the ones of my competitors. When they choose to buy from my competitors may be because my designs were not well presented and I need to work on that.

Attending as a vendor at these two events, not only I have discovered the vase variety of Canadian talents, but also have the opportunity to interact with customers and to know what they are thinking. According to the conversations I observed during OOAK, the vendors were expressing their disappointments toward this year’s crowd. For most veterans who have being selling for years, the traffic into the exhibition place was much less than few years ago. On top of that, everyday we were asked if we had a web site and whether they can purchase online.

Coming into the 7th day before Christmas, with one weekend left for shopping, I somehow feel the anxiety on people’s faces. Shopping malls are full of shoppers and parking becomes a major issue. I told my customers at these events that I appreciate everyone showing up even not purchasing my products. Think about it, instead of going to the shopping centres or ordering online, they show up and show their admiration towards the local creative minds and souls. As I always like to write on the card to my customers or audience, ‘Handmade with Love’.

As the holidays coming to our doorsteps, I would like to wish everyone with whom we have met this past year, a great holiday season full of passion and love. We will see each other with new products and new ideas.



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