TEST Meetup Summary

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Last Saturday the team held a discussion meetup and we chatted about lot's of different things... here's a little summary of those chats.

The number one topic on the agenda was our Spring Show. June 1st was decided as the date (all depending on securing a location) We threw around ideas for location with the Brickworks being the most popular choice. We'd love to get the beautiful space for a number or reasons. More space, more vendors and the inclusion of our Vintage members and more space per booth. We are also looking to get the shoppers more involved, with vendor workshops during the show. Either vendors selling, or members just looking to teach a workshop during the show. We did also discuss the idea of a pop up, either in the East End (Danforth) or along Dundas West, both having the space and eager landlords. Perhaps we'll save the pop up for the Holiday show!

Emma has been researching some funding for the team, city arts grants, etsy fellowships etc, so we can make our shows even more fantastic, and secure even more workshops. We're reviewing the applications, if you have any suggestions let us know!

Kevin is doing some updates to the app to make it even more awesome! We'll let you know when that's all ready to roll out.

We chatted quite a bit about workshops, we want to do MORE, we love the idea of our members sharing their talents. If you're interested in leading a workshop let us know, we have the next 3 lined up (Bookbinding with Sprouts Press in March, Candice of candiware - polymer clay mini food this summer and Nicole of spontaneousreality - Eco-dying in the fall) If you know of a venue that would house our workshops, let us know as well. We're always looking for great spots to meetup.

Candace (Candiware) offered to do up a photoshop tutorial for the blog, tips and tricks for your product shots. Stay tuned for that one later this spring. We're continuing to improve the blog, including adding a contact page, so you'll know who to contact for what! Got suggestions.... let us know.

Our next team event will be the bookbinding workshop with Carolyn. We'll let you know the details as soon as we have them all! Hope to see you there ;}

Vendor call: Barns Art Market

Artscape is currently accepting submissions from visual artists, craftspeople and designer/makers who wish to participate in the Barns Art Market, taking place May 25 – October 19, 2013.

Applications are due April 1, 2013
Participation Fee: $73.45 ($65+HST) per market

The Barns Art Market at Wynchwood Barns (near St. Clair and Christie) features 25+ exhibitors one Saturday a month from May to October. Artists, craftspeople and designer/makers have the opportunity to utilize a 10’ x 10’ booth space for which they need to supply their own structure and/or display equipment. Participants in the Barns Art Market will be selected by a professional jury, with consideration to diversity of medium and quality of work being sold. Artists are welcome to participate in a maximum of three market dates in 2013.

Saturday, MAY 25 9am to 2pm (participating venue in Doors Open)
Saturday, JUNE 29 9am to 2pm
Saturday, JULY 27 9am to 2pm
Saturday, AUGUST 31 9am to 2pm
Saturday, SEPTEMBER 28 9am to 2pm
Saturday, OCTOBER 19 9am to 2pm

Read more or apply here

Vendor Call: Mondo Bazaar Spring Show

2013 Mondo Bazaar Spring – Vendor Information

May 4, 10am – 5pm at the Gladstone Hotel

Application deadline: March 17, 2013
Mondo Bazaar focuses on one-of-a-kind items created by local artisans and designers and entrepreneurial ventures and imports from foreign lands. Mondo Bazaar reserves the right to deny space to vendors that do not meet the above criteria. The organizer will limit, where possible, products that are similar to other vendors, based on a first come, first serve basis.

All the details plus application form can be found here

T.E.S.T. Interview: Light & Paper

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 48th in our series with Ali of Light&Paper.

What is your background/what do you do for a day job?

For the past two years I’ve worked full time at the University of Toronto – I currently work in Admissions/Operations of one of the student residences. I also work part-time for the Ryerson University International Midwifery Program and for my father’s consulting firm. I like to keep busy and have always had at least two jobs. I love being able to have an Etsy shop on top of my other work as it really gives me an outlet to do something different and creative.

When & how did you get started with paper cutting?

It was pretty much out of nowhere. I decided to try one day to create a gift for a friend using a box cutter and a piece of printer paper. I was immediately mesmerized! I’m usually not a very patient person – but I found papercutting so calming, even though it required so much attention. I began creating more and more items and sharing them with friends and family, and after receiving so much positive feedback I decided to try selling on Etsy.

Where do you get all of your design inspirations from?

I like to just play around with quotes or designs that stand out to me. I really like the phrase that I came up with - “up the happy” - so I’ll often try to create an interesting design around that quote – or sometimes a song lyric that catches my ear. I also like creating patterns within particular shapes – such as my heart or anchor design. Lately I’ve been trying to come up with ideas for designs that people would want to give as gifts – such as my papercut of a fingerprint or city maps. I create all my designs on the computer – so sometimes I’ll just start playing around and then come up with something.

Do you enjoy doing other crafts as well?

I really love making mason jar lights – which is why I list those on my shop in addition to the papercuttings. I’ve never enjoyed a craft as much as papercutting though – which is maybe why I haven’t had the patience to finish some projects I've attempted in the past. I have about a dozen half-knitted scarves in a bag somewhere.

Where do you want to take your business in the next 3 years?

I really want to get more involved with craft markets and shows around the GTA – my first one is the Made By Hand Show coming up on April 20th. I think that while online shopping is very convenient and gives access to lots of options that aren’t available in shops or markets it’s important for a lot of people to actually see and touch handmade items before they want to spend money on them. I’m hoping to boost sales and awareness of my products at local events. I also hope to improve certain skills that are crucial to running a successful Etsy shop – like photography and social networking.

What Etsy feature do you like the best as a seller?

I love the shop stats – it’s so great to be able to see where your traffic comes from. It’s especially rewarding when you post a link to your shop on another webpage and you get to see exactly how many views that brought you. It’s really helped me to realize what kind of strategies to develop to get the word out about my products.

What are your favourite items to find on Etsy as a buyer?

Gifts! I usually don’t let myself buy items for myself (I would get carried away!) but I love finding the perfect gift on Etsy – it’s always something so unique and personalized.

Ali will be at the Made By Hand Show in Mississauga on April 20, 2013 - come see her beautiful work in person!

Check out the other items available from Ali in her Etsy shop! You can find more of her work on tumblr and Instagram.

Interviewed by Wei of HoneyThistle in February 2013 in Toronto.

Fourth Annual Spring Show

Monday, February 25, 2013

Our Fourth Annual spring show is on it's way, and this years event is going to be Big and Better and even more Fantastic than ever! Stay tuned for all the details...

T.E.S.T. Interview: Honey Thistle

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 47th in our series with Wei of HoneyThistle.

Tell us about you and your shop?

Honey Thistle was born after my first year at university because I started making jewelry back in high school, and by 1st year university I had more than enough pieces to wear myself! I was also going to school for business at that point in time and I wanted to get some "hands on" experience, ha!

Personally, I have enjoyed crafting all my life, and have tried mediums like paper mache, fabric & felt, polymer clay, and recently did a series of metal smithing classes at the lovely nanopod studio (hi Tosca!). Making jewelry (necklaces especially) is just my most favourite craft to do and that's pretty clearly reflected in my shop.

What was the scariest thing about opening your Etsy Shop?

The scariest thing for me was thinking that nobody would be interested in the items I sell. So I started out making things that would fit my own personal taste as well, just in case things didn't work out, because then I could just wear all of them myself! Although I still make things that fit my own aesthetic, the fear of not having sales is no longer what drives that. I've come to realize that by going with your own gut instincts in what looks good and what doesn't, it results in much more honest products! I don't ever want to put my name behind items I won't even wear or use myself.

You have such a variety of different types products in your shop - what's your favourite thing to make? Least favourite?

My favourite thing to make would definitely have to be my medallion necklaces & my leaf pins because they're things I would wear in my day-to-day life, but are still unique enough that people who see them have paused and ask about them.

I don't have anything I don't enjoy making in my shop since I'd rather just not make them! But sometimes I do phase out products (like my mp3/iPod cozies) because they offer less variation & creativity than I'd like.

Do you have a "day job"? Do you find you are able to dedicate as much time as you'd like to your Etsy Shop?

I do have a day job actually - I'm a business analyst! There's not a lot of overlap between what I do during the day and what I do for my Etsy shop, but I really enjoy that variety. I'm sure even for full-time Etsy shop owners, there's never enough hours in a day. I definitely would love to have more time to design & make more products for Honey Thistle, and I'm slowly learning to manage how I spend my time in the evenings and weekends to support that.

What are the biggest mistakes you've made - or what do you wish you'd done differently?

I don't think I've done enough to have made a large mistake (although that in itself may be the biggest mistake ha) but I do wish I took packaging and marketing a little more seriously in the beginning. I've slowly improved my branding over the years, and only recently started to focus using Facebook & blogging as a way of sharing my brand, and I have noticed a large difference in my sales last year as compared to the previous years before.

What do you think is the most rewarding thing about having your shop?

The most rewarding part of my shop is when I get messages and emails from customers telling me how much they love their new purchases! I love that some of them give my items as gifts, because it just spreads warm fuzzies all around.

Do you have any new designs that you are excited about?

I'm excited about this new line of doily necklaces I'm putting up in the next week or two. It's part flower child & part talisman (I never really thought to mix the two before) & it's just something I'd love to own myself haha.

Check out the other items available from Wei in her Etsy shop! You can find more of her work on her blog, Facebook and Flickr.

Interviewed by Ali of Light & Paper in February 2013 in Toronto.

Craft news: Muddy York Pop-Up

Thursday, February 21, 2013

One-Off: Curated Vintage Apparel and T.E.S.T.'s own Ma Ptite Chouette Vintage have collaborated to bring you the

Join us Feb 23-24, from 12pm-6pm, for our POP-UP SALE as we combine our wares and our specialized decades to bring you clothing, accessories and home decor from the 1940s-1990s.

the industREALarts room
688 Richmond St. West, Ground Floor, Toronto (near Tecumseth)

craft news: The Jewelry Local

TODAY from 6:00 to 10:00

A pop-up featuring 20 of Toronto's best and brightest in all things jewellery.

Join us for an evening of browsing, sipping, snacking and oystering as local jewellery vendors put their good on display.

Doors open at 6pm, last call at 10pm. 2nd Floor
461 King St. West, Toronto, Ontario M5V1K7 (near Spadina).

Free Admission!

Vendors include T.E.S.T.'s own Wild Thing Vintage and Charming Gypsy Vintange

Vendor Call: Art in the Open Brampton

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Brampton Arts Council is looking for artists and artisans to participate in their yearly "Art in the Open" event at the Brampton Farmer's Market, every Saturday, 7 am to 1 pm, June 22nd to October 12. The deadline to apply is May 2nd.

For information or the application click here.

Vendor Call: Toronto Indie Arts Market

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Toronto Indie Arts Market

Saturday, April 13th, 2013, 10:30am – 4:30pm

The Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen Street West

Welcome to the website of the Toronto Indie Arts Market, an artisan market that features not just art and crafts, but small press, music, food, fashion and other cool things created by Toronto-area individuals.

Apply for the Toronto Indie Arts Market here!

The deadline to submit applications is February 15th, 2013. Selected vendors will be contacted by February 28th, 2013. All other vendors will be placed on a waiting list in case of cancellation.

Events: Art Party at the Gladstone Hotel

TEST's own Sheila of Menagerie Portraits will be hosting her first Art Party at the Gladstone Hotel Art Bar on March 2 from 7-12 pm. Please come out if you can! Details are at here and here.

Artisans At Work

Artisans At Work in Toronto, at Danforth & Woodbine, is an exciting new store with a Retail Gallery, with workshops, classes, and Work Studios, and also a small cafe that serves coffee and pots of tea, with free baked treats.

They want to encourage Toronto made products, and our neighbourhood shops locally, and rent retail space to artists, so they can make the most profit, but also do consignment. They also have a Community Room for workshops, classes, and events like joint sales etc.

Artisans At Work

2071 Danforth Ave. Toronto ON

M4C 1J6

T: 416-425-4665



Thursday, February 7, 2013

A message from Wave about today's planned Accounting Workshop:

"Just a further reminder that the teams at Etsy and Wave have decided, in an effort to keep us all safe, to cancel this event due to the extreme weather warnings out for the Toronto area. We will be rescheduling this event in the future, and we are excited to welcome you to our space on that day!

Stay safe tonight, and keep an eye out for further details on a future event."

Canceled due to extreme weather: Etsy Canada and Wave present Accounting for Artists

Thursday, 7 February 2013 from 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM (EST)

Vendor Call: 2013 Danforth East Art Fair

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Danforth East Community Association (DECA) invites artisans to participate in a juried outdoor arts and crafts fair in East Lynn Park, a beautiful and bustling community destination located on the Danforth between Coxwell and Woodbine. The Danforth East Arts Fair provides artists with a unique opportunity to showcase and sell their work. Our vibrant community is filled with new families, established homeowners and creative folks who are eager to support local artists. Community members and local media consistently give our event rave reviews.

The 2013 Danforth East Art Fair will be held the weekend of September 14 and 15 in East Lynn Park.

The fee is $175 for applications received by the early deadline of March 29, 2013, or $200 applications submitted thereafter up until the final deadline of May 31, 2013.

Download the exhibitor application package including form here

Happy Chinese New Year from TEST!

This Sunday, February 20th is the Chinese New Year! We're beginning the Year of the Snake. Kung hei fat choi! 恭喜发财! Have a prosperous new year and enjoy your little red envelops.

If you're looking for an art-filled celebration, join minouette for the Year of the Snake Printmaking Opening at PROOF Gallery in the Distillery, Sunday, 2 to 5 pm. There will be Year of the Snake themed prints, made using traditional printmaking methods, from all over the world (including her linocut, shown above).

Vendor Call: Bazaar of the Bizarre

The Bazaar of the Bizarre, co-hosted by TEST's own Plastik Wrap is seeking vendors for their The Bazaar of the Bizarre - Circus Side Show 2013!

What: Not your average craft show - The Bazaar of the Bizarre : a marketplace for all things, different, interesting, weird and macabre...

Artists, clothing designers, craft-folk, publishers and other independent makers of all things, exotic, whimsical, creepy and macabre are encouraged to join us for this marketplace of curious crafts, to be held Saturday, April 6th 2013 at the amazing venue just north of Bathurst street subway station, called 918 Bathurst.

When: SATURDAY April 6th, 2013 open to the public from 11am - 8pm
Where: 918 Bathurst st.

Note: your craft or art does not need to be circus oriented

DEADLINE: February 25
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