Thursday, June 25, 2015

Partnering with Big Magic!

We've been working behind the scenes to build partnerships to help us bring you an even bigger and better Etsy: Made in Canada show in our sophomore year! We're so pleased to let you know about our partners - who are all about creativity - and some of the ways we're collaborating.


We have exciting news to share! Elizabeth Gilbert, the worldwide bestelling author of Eat, Pray, Love, is coming to Toronto on her #BigMagic Book Tour and we are thrilled to be part of it.
Join us on September 28th for a Canadian EXCLUSIVE as Gilbert discusses her highly-anticipated new book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. Be inspired as she shares unique insights about creativity and talks about how to embrace curiosity and infuse your everyday life with more mindfulness and passion. 
 Pre-order yourtickets TODAY! Ticket includes general admission, entry to the pre-event Etsy Pop-Up Market featuring Toronto Etsy Street Team sellers, and a pre-signed copy of BIG MAGIC.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


ARTS VENDOR CALL OUT - PEACE FEST, Aug 21, 2015, Mel Lastman Square
Have crafts or art pieces related to peace and eco-friendly/upcycle items?
We would like to invite YOU to showcase your creative and inspirational pieces with the North York community at Peace Fest to celebrate our collective pursuit of peace in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII in Asia.

*art pieces and crafts need not have an "Asian" theme...just in case you were wondering.

Feel free to email for any questions you have

Submit your vendor application here ASAP:

Learn more about "History + Art = Peace" here:!history--art--peace/c23vw 

Brief Introduction to ALPHA Education
ALPHA's mission is to promote the learning and critical understanding of WWII in Asia to affirm the values of justice, peace, and reconciliation from a humanity perspective. We hope to engage youth and the wider community on human rights' issues from WWII in Asia through various types of arts in order foster a deeper understanding of history and humanity as well as inspire others to be socially responsible. HAP includes a film series, visual arts series, theatre series, community commemoration event, and a Peace Fest.

Learn more @ 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Bookbinding with Sprouts Press

Hard Cover Arrow-Stitch Journal Workshop

Join TEST member Carolyn Eady from Sprouts Press for a morning of paper fun! Learn how to craft your own hand bound, hardcover journal. This workshop will introduce you to the tools of the trade, materials, and techniques to make a hard cover book. Using an arrow stitch to bind the book, everyone will leave with a finished project!

When: Saturday June 27, 10am - 1pm
Where: Graven Feather, 906 Queen St. West, Toronto
Cost: $75, materials included

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

TESTy picks for Father's Day!

Father's Day will be here before you know it. Be ready for the 3rd Sunday in June (that's the 21st), with the perfect thing for Dad from your Toronto Etsy Street Team sellers!


Celebrate Dad

T.E.S.T. Interview: POEssentials

We hope to introduce you to all the great etsy sellers to be found right here in Toronto. Here at the T.E.S.T. blog, we plan to interview them all. This is the 85th in our series and is with Tamika from POEssentials

Tell me a bit about yourself. 

My name is Tamika Martells, living in Toronto Canada. I'm the owner of a handcrafted business called Prevailing Organic Essentials, or Poessentials, which is its name on Etsy.  I specialize in organic/vegan and natural beauty products. The business name came to me over 2 years before this business even came into existence and for that I'm humbled.

How long have you been practicing your art/craft?

It started off as a hobby a few years ago due to the fact my kids and myself have sensitive skin.  From there it blossomed into something special for myself and others.

What training have you had -- or are you a self-taught? 

Both. I am not dealing with any harsh chemicals for the skin, so it was very easy to experiment on what works best on myself and my family. I notice the result and continue from there. Attending a few workshop on how to get a better handle on using Essentials Oils did wonders for me.

What is your favorite handmade item you own and why? 

Each year my kids would make these cute little cards/handmade items on Mother's day/special occasions and I will  store them away. At any given time I would  look at how they have evolved over the years as little men in my life. These are my favorite handmade items, these you can't buy in a store.

Do you blog, twitter, facebook or participate in any other social media networking? 

Yes, Facebook and Instagram. I find networking very important for any up and coming business or even businesses that has been around for years. With so many businesses out there Social Media will, and can, allow you to set yourself apart from the competition. By interacting with others on Social Media right there you can have a long lasting friendship and customer at the same time.  Because of modern technology/social media we are able to set our individuality apart which we could never do 15 years ago in business.

How has it helped your business? 

Social media has help my business come into its own. Customers are able to interact with me, make suggestions and be a part of my everyday life and that is because of social media.

Are your products available anywhere besides online?

Yes, I have been participating in craft shows, Bazaars, etc for a few months now and I'll be at St. Leonards Church's "Spring Into Summer" Bazaar on June 20th. They are also in Crafters Plus in Windsor, KaKafafa Ideas (275 Dundas Street West, Toronto) and Expert Nails (1921 Eglinton Ave East).  

Why did you go from hobby to business or was business always your goal?  

I would say hobby to business. Never in a million years was I thinking of being a business owner. In the process I am still learning and experimenting. I hope to continue for as long as I can and, who knows, this could one day be a full time job.

Check out the other items available from Tamika in her Etsy shop. You can also find her at:
Facebook page: Prevailing Organic Essentials
Instagram Page: Poessentials 
Upcoming show: 
St. Leonard’s Church "Spring into Summer Bazaar"
Address: 25 Wanless Avenue, Toronto, ON M4N 1V5
Date: Saturday, June 20, 2015
Time: 10:30 am to 2 pm

Interviewed by Tahani from PurpleLilacAmigurumi, June 8, 2015

T.E.S.T. Interview: PurpleLilacAmigurumi

We hope to introduce you to all the great etsy sellers to be found right here in Toronto. Here at the T.E.S.T. blog, we plan to interview them all. This is the 84th in our series and is with Tahani from PurpleLilacAmigurumi

How did you get started with your craft? 

My journey started 5 years ago when I saw some beautiful crocheted toys (amigurumi) on twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.  Amigurumi is a Japaneses word for stuffed crocheted dolls (ami=crochet gurumi=doll).  I really liked what I saw and decided to start learning the ins and outs of crochet.  I'm self taught.  I watched many youtube videos illustrating crochet techniques and amigurumi basics and I became more experienced with time.

What motivates your creativity? 

Following talented crafters on social media and watching their youtube videos.

What have you found a struggle with your venture this far? 

Advertising  and figuring out how to reach my target customers.  I need to offer new ideas to attract customers and keep advertising to reach more people.

Where do you see yourself in this business in 5 years? 

Currently I have an Etsy store and social media accounts. I hope in the upcoming years to open my own website, reach more customers through promotions and participation in bazaar exhibits and pop up events.

What have you learned that you would like to pass on to others who're interested in starting their own business? 

Patience is key, invest more time and explore the crafty and creative side of your personality.Show your talent to people around the world, share happiness with everybody and colour their life.

Check out the other items available from Tahani in her Etsy shop. You can also find her at: 
Twitter @thepurplelilac
Instagram @thepurplelilac
Facebook: /thepurplelilacamigurumi

Interviewed by Tamika of POEssentials June 5, 2015. 

Monday, June 8, 2015

T.E.S.T. Interview: WhatWoodYouWear

We hope to introduce you to all the great etsy sellers to be found right here in Toronto. Here at the T.E.S.T. blog, we plan to interview them all. This is the 83rd in our series and is with Ashley of WhatWoodYouWear

What got you interested in designing with wood?

I've always loved sculpting and carving ever since I was little playing with Play-doh. I took a pottery class in high school and loved it but didn't like how you needed a kiln to really finish a piece. Since I grew up on a farm that backed onto a forest I was always familiar with tools and using wood for projects around the farm. When I moved to the big city I really missed that natural feel of working with wood so I decided to try my hand at wood carving. It appealed to me since its similar to working with clay but I could finish a piece without needing an oven or kiln. My first piece was a Genie lamp that I carved right after Robin Williams passed away. Needless to say, my wish was granted and I've been carving ever since.

Where do you get your inspiration from? 

Mainly the wood itself. Each piece I find is different. Since I only use branches that have already fallen to the ground, each one has a different story. Some of them (many of my favourites) have been hollowed out by bugs giving each coin I cut off a true, authentic uniqueness. Things like size, porosity, colour, and grain also play a huge role in deciding which piece becomes what.

What's your favourite design right now? 

I'm actually still working on it. I pretty much have a new favourite every week (just check my Instagram!) but I'm really excited for what I'm working on now which combines wood, stone, and a piece brass from a re-purposed garment.

Do you sell anywhere other than Etsy? 

I'm hoping to start selling at vending fairs in the near future but currently am just selling on Etsy and through word of mouth.

Are you interested in making any other types of jewellery? 

I've always been an avid rock collector so I'm slowly figuring out how to start carving those to combine them into my jewelry.

How long does it take you to make each piece? 

Depending on the piece it can take me anywhere for 2-10 hours. I tend to cut and sand larger quantities at once so that I have several to gloss at a time.

Check out the other items available from Ashley in her Etsy shop. You can also find here at: 
Instagram: @whatwoodyouwear
Facebook: /ashleykingdesign (jewelry plus artwork and photography)
Twitter: (@lovethinkplay (jewelry plus local Toronto storm/weather photos -- she says "I'm a huge weather nerd!!")

Interviewed by Riel from MaBelleNaturelle on June 5, 2015.
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