OUR PRIMER ON THE MUST-VISIT VENDORS—AND OUR FAVOURITE PRODUCTS FROM EACH—AT THIS HOLIDAY SEASON’S ONE OF A KIND SHOW IN TORONTO
The One of a Kind Show returns to Toronto from November 26 to December 6, and it’s one of my favourite things to do in in the city every year (fortunately for me, it takes place twice annually!). It’s become a perennial girls’ day on my calendar, and the holiday edition is naturally where I get the jump on Christmas shopping for family, friends, and well, myself! The show, of course, is enormous, with hundreds of artists and craftspeople selling high-quality goods. To get you started, here are 10 of my all-time favourite returning One of a Kind Show vendors.
I became a fan of Doris Wai’s work through her Instagram feed. Her hand-lettered products are so much fun—and very on trend. She draws and cuts all of her items, which include cards, prints and fun photo props for weddings, baby showers, birthdays or any other occasion where an oversized top hat, bow tie, or naughty-and-nice signs might be needed.
From my selections so far, you’ve probably deduced that I love paper goods. Here’s another stationery-based business to check out, too. Mono (Sooeun) Ahn makes the most intricate paper-cut prints and greeting cards using only a surgical blade—and plenty of patience. Every tiny leaf or flower is cut completely by hand—she doesn’t even use scissors!
As a writer, I love a good play on words. Lichia Liu creatively pairs text and charming illustrations in her assortment of greeting cards, many of which are food themed. I’m pretty sure there’s a “Miso You So Much” or “I wonton wish you a merry Christmas” card in my future.
I have many Lego-loving people in my life, including my fiancé, brother and nephews, so it comes as no surprise that my wedding will include a few things to do with the classic brick-building toy. I’m thinking that tie bars or cufflinks, made with Lego blocks or minifigures by artist Jennifer Chow, might make good gifts for our groomsmen and ring bearers.
PEBBLE ART OF NOVA SCOTIA
There is something about Sharon Nowlan’s simple but polished pieces that I’m always attracted to. The East Coast artist creates lovely little vignettes with pebbles and sea glass she finds on her daily journeys. Nowlan doesn’t do anything to manipulate the stones’ natural beauty—she doesn’t even wash off the salt or sand—she just composes sweet little scenes.
STUDIO ROBERT WU
Every year I’m drawn to artist Robert Wu’s booth. His marbled papers are stylistically mesmerizing and so unique. He uses a technique that involves combs and rakes to create designs of trees, peacocks and more.
THIS IS J
This is J carries patterned sleepwear and accessories, and it’s one of my favourite booths at which to pick up a gift of two for my mom. Last year I got her a reversible toque; this year I’m thinking she deserves a set of ultra-soft bamboo jammers.
ARTECH GLASSBLOWING STUDIOS
A long-time staple of the One of a Kind Show, Artech remains one of my favourites, and offers ideal gifts for any beer-loving gent or gal in your life. Glassblower Terry Craig transforms empty bottles from brewers like Mill Street, Steam Whistle, Rolling Rock and Corona among others into beer steins and wine tumblers.
VOISIN’S MAPLE PRODUCTS
The Flavours section of the One of a Kind Show is always popular, and can be more crowded than other areas as visitors linger over food samples. I always visit Voisin’s to stock up on two products in particular: their maple mustard, which goes so well with ham, and maple butter for pancakes and waffles (though I’ll be honest, sometimes a tiny spoon of it right out of the jar is pretty satisfying, too).
Another vendor in the Flavours section. I can never leave without picking up a few of this company’s steak rubs, namely the fiery jerk chicken, or their five pepper hot sauce for my fiancé and his family who love all things spicy.