Toronto Etsy Street Team 4th Annual Springtime Marketplace

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Toronto Etsy Street Team would like to thank all the fabulous applicants to our 4th Annual Springtime Marketplace! We've received a large number of impressive applications and competition for the available spaces will be stiff. We will be contacting all applicants by the end of the month. The application period is now CLOSED. We sorry to disappoint any perspective vendors who missed the deadline, but we do have applications for all available spaces and a long waiting list. You can still participate and come out and meet your team mates; the show will include free workshops and a post-show cocktail party! So we hope to see you there!

This year we'll be at the lovely 918 Bathurst Centre, just north of Bloor.

Show date: Saturday June 1st, 11AM - 5:30PM followed by a post-show cocktail party!

TESTy teammates at the MBHS

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Saturday is going to be a busy day.  Come check out some TESTy teammates at the Spring Made by Hand Show, Saturday April 20th, 2013 at the International Centre, Hall 1.

Here is a sneak preview of the TESTy teammates who will be showcasing their wares.  

We hope to see you there!  For more information please visit

Craft news: City of Craft Spring Show

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

City of Craft Spring
Saturday, April 20, 2013
Trinity St. Paul's United Church
427 Bloor Street West
(one block West of Spadina)
Toronto, ON
(Kids 12 & Under FREE)

Vendors include TEST's own Charlotte and Stewart and Kid Icarus

T.E.S.T. Interview: Bllk Box Clothing

Friday, April 12, 2013

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 50th in our series with Sarah of BllkBox.

Tell us a little about you and your shop.

I'm a sort-of-artist by training, which doesn't mean much except that I've taken on the life-task of making things and then thinking about them. It's a great way of being in and relating to the world, but it's too easy to float in a pristine and imaginary world of ideas, that will never get measured in the (possibly crass but also live-or-die honest) commercial marketplace. Bllk Box is a way to keep myself grounded in the real world of making and selling useful things. Running a business lets me evaluate my practice in business-terms, which are refreshingly direct compared to subjective aesthetic value judgements.

What is your "day job"?

I'm lucky enough not to have one! Besides my Etsy store, I have a couple Toronto stockists and I do print commissions for local bands, small businesses, teach workshops, etc. Screenprinting has the wonderfully useful quality of being both a creative medium and an industrially-competitive manufacturing process. By diversifying my income-streams, I manage to make a living. Of course, it certainly helps to be a young person with no dependents (except a cat). It's socially acceptable for me to frugal-it-up by eating lots of ramen and baked potatoes and splitting the rent with a couple of (fantastic) roommates.

How did you get started?

When I graduated from art school, I crashed into some difficult truths about politics and privilege. It took some long nights dodging the rubble of my fast-crumbling bullshit-castle and a year in purgatory doing social work and activism before I felt ready to rebuild my aesthetic practice. Bllk Box is an attempt to inhabit the ruins.

What inspires your work?

Tumblr, google image search, tumblr, obsolete technology, cheap plastic, dollarama, my childhood, tumblr, Chinatown, tumblr. The way images float around in the digital soup of the internet and are recycled and recombined is an endless source of inspiration. If I were an academic, I'd call it curation, but I'm not, so why get jargony? Chinatown is like 'the internet: the place'.

How did you decide to focus on hand dyed and printed clothing?

Well, I took a look at the skills I'd amassed at art school, and screenprinting seemed to be one of the only ones that were legitimately marketable. The economics of painting (what I studied) are pretty insane – work on a painting for months and end up with this rarified commodity that has to cost quite a bit if you want to get anything like fair remuneration for your time, which of course restricts your potential customer base significantly. Screenprinting is generous in a way painting isn't – it allows me to make things that people in the same socioeconomic tier as me can afford, things that are for people in a tangible way.

Small batch dyeing is something I've always loved, and for very different reasons – it's got a sort of built-in-uniqueness. No matter how skilled I become, there is always an element of unpredictability that contrasts well with the machine-like repetition of a successful screenprinting run.

What makes your Etsy shop unique?

Besides the one-of-a-kind-ness of small batch dyeing as a practice, my design practice is conceptually rigourous and my production model is entirely handmade/human-scale – but my line is still priced to compete with “fast fashion.”

What goals or plans do you have in store for your business?

Currently I'm stocked on a consignment basis, but I'd like to move into wholesale and focus on production. I'd also like to do more commissioned screenprinting (my prices are very reasonable, especially for small runs, just sayin'). I’ve been dreaming about some equipment upgrades lately – I have a carousel press, but as I'm hired for more multi-colour jobs, I am coveting a more professional model with micro-registration. Or an exposure unit that can handle larger screens (my current max-size is 20x24). Hopefully someday!

Bllk Box items are available for sale at Untitled&Co (717 Queen St. W) and sometimes at Grasshopper Records (1167 Dundas St. W).

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

Interviewed by Flavia and Dona of BeyondTheJar in March 2013 in Toronto.

Craft news: Toronto Indie Arts Market

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Toronto Indie Arts Market

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

The Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen Street West

Admission $5, children under 12 free

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.

We are pleased to donate $2 from every admission to FoodShare.

Vendors include T.E.S.T.'s own Sprouts Press Designs, Zippan Designs, Torched Studios, Nga Dinh Art, Editions Tchai, Designs By Nature Gems, and Bijouxbead.

Spring Made by Hand Show & TEST team booth

Monday, April 8, 2013

Spring Made by Hand Show is coming to Mississauga.  It's a large craft show featuring all CANADIAN handmade exhibitors.

Date/Time: Saturday April 20, 2013: 11:00am - 5:00pm
Where: International Centre, Hall 1, 6900 Airport Road, Mississauga, ON
Ticket Prices: Adults $5.00 and children free.  Tickets may be purchase online or at the door.

This spring the show features 35,000 square feet of shopping and over 190 quality Canadian handmade exhibitors.  It's  a one-stop shopping experience not to be missed. There is something for everyone in every media: original artwork, baby/toys, body, candles, clothing, ceramics, fashion accessories, jewellery, photography, knitting, pottery, paper goods, wood and a range of gourmet goodies.  (click here for a full list of exhibitors)

As some of you may know the team sponsors the Made by Hand Show {run by one of our members Jacqueline}.  This year a TEST booth was sponsored by Michelle (Thunderpeep Designs).  With the show less than two weeks away, it's a perfect opportunity to remind you about the show, and highlight the members in the TEST team booth.
Be sure to visit the show and support the TEST team sponsored booth featuring:
 NailKandyHand painted nail art, jewelry & hand made nail polish.
Art that Moves Original art, printmaking, textiles, & illustrations
SewTara:  Items with some sort of environmental plus side 
Lost Sock Planet:  A creature for every occassion

Also, find Hexagon Inc in Booth 136

BRING THE KIDS:  Free Face-painting, balloons, crafts and a photo booth with a princess.
Admission only $5.00 (children free)
For more information please visit

Vendor Call: TEST Springtime Marketplace

Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Toronto Etsy Street Team is please to announce our Fourth Annual Springtime Marketplace.This year we'll be at the lovely 918 Bathurst Centre, just north of Bloor.

Show date: Saturday June 1st, 11AM - 5:30PM
Applications due: Sunday April 21st, 2013


Vendor list will be announced by the end of the month. Chairs and tables will be provided.

There are three sizes of tables, priced accordingly.
2" x 4" = $60.00
2.5" x 6" = $80.00
2.5" x 8" = $100.00

All vendors are welcome to apply! Handmade, vintage, & food items are all equally encouraged to apply, including members who would like to run a workshop! Not sure about being a vendor, but want to be a part of the event? Let us know, we are looking for member volunteers as well!

If you want to share with a friend your friend must submit an application as well, please note who you want to share with. (You may not share with someone that hasn't applied or is not on the team, so please make sure they apply!)

If you want to bring a rolling rack instead the prices are the same depending on the length of the rack.

Vendor Call: Apple Tree Markets

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

If you are interested in becoming a vendor at the Apple Tree Farmers Markets, applications are due by close of business this Friday April 4th. To receive an appliaction email!

Appletree in the Village

Davisville Village Market

Date: Every Tuesday starting May 14th - October 8th, 2013

Time: 3pm to 7pm

Location: June Rowlands Park - Davisville/Mt.Pleasant on the west side of the park

Appletree Uptown

Uptown Market

Date: Every Thursday starting May 16th - October 10th, 2013

Time: 3pm to 7pm

Location: Corner of Yonge/Montgomery on the west side of Yonge
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