Vintage Vendor Call: Toronto Vintage Clothing Show & Toronto Antique and Vintage Market - Extended Application Deadline August 14th, 2015 for Etsians

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Toronto Etsy Vintage Vendor Call!  Extended Application Deadline August 14th, 2015 (ONLY for Etsians)

Hello TEST vintage shop owners, the Toronto Vintage Clothing Show & Toronto Antique Market happening on Saturday, October 3-4, 2015 at the Queen Elizabeth Building, Exhibition Place is accepting vintage vendor applications.  The vendor fees cover participation in both days of the show. Shoppers that purchase a ticket to the Toronto Vintage Clothing Show get automatic entry to the Toronto Antique Market and vice versa - yay for additional volume of shoppers and foot traffic!

Affiliated Showsales is offering Etsians a special deal on the vendor fee if a group of more than 6 Etsy vintage shops are interested in participating for the weekend.  They have offered to set up an Etsy area and provide a special discount rate of $50 per booth - that's $300 for a 10' x 10' area (without a corner location) rather than the regular vendor cost of $350.  The fee covers both days, sharing of booths is not permitted.  Application deadline is set for August 14th, 2015.  If you are interested in this show, please contact Taryn Olson, TEST vintage leader, at  I can compile a list of interested vendors and contact Affiliated Showsales as soon as possible with a list if I hear back that more than 6 would like to participate to solidify the special rate.

Toronto Vintage Clothing Show:

Toronto Antique Market:

Vendor Call: Dog Tales Sanctuary Festival

Monday, July 27, 2015

Dog Tales Rescue and Sanctuary is a one-of-a-kind rescue located 40 minutes north of Toronto that takes in unwanted/abused/neglected dogs and horses and provides them with a home for as long as it takes to find them a forever family. Each animal comes to the rescue with his or her own unique story, and they are rescued from all over the world. The rescue itself is gorgeous, and I strongly encourage you to check us out online at to view images of the property.This coming August 8th and 9th we will be hosting our first annual “Dog Tales Festival”. Guests that attend can expect two days of fun-filled, family-friendly activities, sampling food and products from local vendors, shopping, raffle prizes, a dog spa, live music, entertainment, and, of course, the opportunity to meet our incredible animals. 
It will be an exciting and busy weekend, and the success of this event will make a tremendous difference in the lives of so many animals, with 100% of our proceeds going directly to their care. This event is being heavily promoted, and we expect a number of various media sources located in the GTA to be providing coverage. 
At this time we are inviting local artisans to participate in the event by setting up a booth and selling their products.

Where: Dog Tales Sanctuary, King City, 45 minutes north of Toronto
When: August 8 & 9th, 10 am - 6 pm
How much: $300 for both days (the proceeds from this go directly towards the care of our dogs)
Deadline: July 31st
Application: is here
Info: contact
SiteOur event website is , and vendors can find out more information there.

Applicants should include logos if they have them with their application so they can be featured on the blog

T.E.S.T. Interview: Jewelust

Friday, July 24, 2015

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 87th in our series and is with Amanda Henderson from Jewelust

Hi Amanda. Tell us a bit about yourself and your business, Jewelust. 

I am an emerging jewellery designer/goldsmith located in Toronto. I create every piece myself out of recycled silver and gold in a shared studio space in the west end. I source recycled and sustainable materials when possible (for example, my business cards and packaging). I even re-use my customers’ old jewellery by melting it down to use the gold, diamonds, and gems.

I love to think about all of the history in a piece when we re-use a parent’s or grandparent’s old jewellery! I also have a couple ongoing initiatives where I donate a portion of sales from certain collections (my mustache septum rings, and my stinger jewellery) to charities that are important to me (Movember and The Canadian Honey Council). I am planning a new collection to raise funds for lupus in the future. You can read more about these activities on my website.

What is the inspiration behind your work? 

I like to play with the idea of metal being a hard, rigid material by creating fluid and graceful designs. For example, my signature collection, Whirl, reminds me of ribbons of satin wrapped around a gift. We all like to give and receive gifts that look pretty, and I think everyone deserves to feel beautifully decorated! This collection has been quite popular; I even had a commission for a series of Whirl rings for the upcoming TV show, Warrior.

How do you channel your inspiration into a jewellery design? 

I spend a lot of time sketching and making samples to perfect my designs. Metal is actually very malleable and I find inspiration in the way it moves when it is hammered or bent, so a lot of it happens organically. I always start with an idea and sketches, but each piece evolves uniquely through the creation process. I would say that sinuous, clean lines and minimal ornamentation are the overall elements of my aesthetic, and even though each piece is unique I try to keep those design elements in mind so my body of work is cohesive.

Tell us about your education. 

I started my jewellery education with a Gemmology Certificate from George Brown College (GBC). I really enjoyed looking at gems and diamonds all day but I knew it wasn’t creative enough for me, so I enrolled in part-time goldsmithing classes at GBC. It was the perfect blend of mechanical and artistic skills for me, and I knew I found my calling. That sounds cliché, but every once in a while I still stop to think about how lucky I am to have found something I love so much.

After completing the 3-year full-time jewellery program at GBC, I received a scholarship from The Harbourfront Centre for the artist-in-residence program in their Metal Studio. It was a great transition from school to real-life goldsmith/artist. That was the end of my formal training, but being a full-time self-employed artisan is as much a job as a learning experience. Everyday I learn something new; goldsmithing techniques, business and marketing skills, photography… The list is endless!

What's next for Jewelust?

I am planning a shift in my designs. For the last couple years I have been making smaller fashion/production pieces, but my goal is to go back to my real passion – large statement jewellery. I have made several new pieces, which I am very excited about (ed note: not yet listed) . They have been getting a great response from customers and fellow designers. You can see them on my Instagram or Facebook pages.

Check out the other items available from Amanda in her Etsy shop. You can also find her at: 
Wychwood Barns Art Market - July 18 and August 15, from 9am-2pm Located at 601 Christie St, Toronto, ON M6G 4C7

Monthly Email Sign Up:  Contact Form (doesn’t work on mobile devices) 
Instagram: @jewelust

Interviewed by Sasha Oda of Archerade in Toronto on or about July 10, 2015

T.E.S.T. Interview: Archerade

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 86th in our series and is with Sasha Oda of Archerade.

Hello! So tell us about Archerade. 

Hi! My name is Sasha, and Archerade is the name of my jewellery brand. I am a goldsmith by trade, and I personally design and handcraft each piece in my collection. I work with precious metals (mostly sterling silver and gold), with gemstones and diamonds for colour and sparkle. The goldsmithing magic happens in a shared studio in the west-end of Toronto, and pretty much every step of the process takes place in-house.

What exactly is 'the process'? 

I always start with an idea, a vague notion of shape, colour, or pattern. I sketch a lot – on the streetcar, sitting on a park bench, at a bar with a glass of wine; there's a good chance you've seen me around town with a pencil, bent over my sketchbook. Once I have a solid design, I start carving the wax, and I don't stop until I'm satisfied. I do all of the casting myself, using the lost wax casting technique. This involves a big torch, a hot flame, and molten metal, all coming together with centrifugal force – definitely a pyromaniac's dream. Once the piece has been cast in metal, I do all of the soldering, polishing, and stone-setting, along with any other final assembly work.

How would you describe your style? 

My designs have strong silhouettes, accentuated by layers of texture and pattern that soften the lines and add depth. Because everything is done by hand (and because I am not a machine!), each piece has a familiar, handworked charm, that both complements and contrasts the modern edginess. The Archerade brand has definitely evolved over the last few years, to become more focused and cohesive. I always want to feel as though I'm creating and curating a distinct look that feels genuine, and stays true to my design esthetic.

What inspires you? 

The world is my oyster, and I am inspired by everything! Sometimes I get so caught up in my own thoughts that I forget to open my senses to what surrounds me, and I need to remind myself to sit up and pay attention. I especially enjoy architecture – I really love seeing how lines can flow together to create shape and form. Creating something original is always inspiring – there is so much good energy that comes from exploring new ideas and concepts.

So is it all amazing, or do you find yourself struggling with any aspects of the business? 

Over the past year or so, I have realized that I am not just a designer or a goldsmith, I am also a small-business owner. All the work that goes along with that title has been a real adjustment for me, and I am sure all the other artists and creators will agree! If only there were endless hours in the day for the solo artisan/entrepreneur...

What do you envision for the future of Archerade? 

I would love to keep doing exactly what I'm doing right now, but on a bigger scale. I am always working to increase my brand's exposure and visibility, and I hope to sell to a larger audience, directly through Etsy, and also through independent boutiques around the world. I love being in control of every facet of this business, but there just isn't enough time to get everything done. So the future will probably also involve sharing the workload – a goldsmithing/business-partner in crime could be just what I need to move forward. In any case, Archerade has been such an amazing adventure so far, and I am excited to see what the future – planned or unplanned – holds for me and my brand.

Check out the other items available from Sasha in her Etsy shop! You can also find her:

Website -
Instagram - 

Interviewed by Amanda Henderson of Jewelust on or about July 10, 2015 in Toronto.

TEST Summer Wardrobe Staples

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The smell of bonfires, Coppertone and margaritas are in the air.  This could only mean one thing – that the glorious season of Summer has turned up the heat (and our hemlines) in Toronto.  With a new season here, we bring you some trendy wardrobe inspiration brought to you by our favorite TEST shops. 
Pastel Shoes - 17.50 USD - TheGoodJujuShop
While sky high sandals are sultry when the sun goes down, hot summer days call for keeping it chic and easy with more practical footwear.  Browse the TEST Team vintage shops to get the "low" down on Summer gladiators and bright espadrilles.  Your tootises will thank you for the low footwear - especially during long walks scouring seashells at Woodbine beach.  

Floral Crop Tank$30.00 USD - Honey Bliss Clothing 
The days are heating up so don't be afraid to show a little skin.  T
he crop-top trend is wonderful for summer as we can dare to bare a little more midriff than usual.  Don't fret, we aren't asking you to show too much tummy.  We'd pair this Floral Crop Tank with a favorite high-waisted skirt and cardigan for work.  We wouldn't just save this beauty for work -- for a weekend look, it would be great with vintage high-waisted cut-offs.  Which brings us to our next Summer wardrobe staple...
Vintage Jean Shorts - $52.00 USD - Aiseirigh
Denim shorts are one of our favorite warm-weather mainstays, if not for their longevity but their sheer ease.  You can find some good twists on the classic, like neon lace appliqués.  We've spotted some structured versions around the big smoke to take to the office on summer Fridays.  Toronto-based Etsy shop Aiseirigh has got a few good ones in stock - florals, fringed and even baggy ones.

Bustier Sundress - $27.26 USD - QueenWestVintage
The season's key piece takes on many chic forms, from the airy boho white dress to the rockabilly polka-dotted halter. Shop the best of them, in flirty and feminine iterations.  The sundress is great for brunch dates, barbecues and lawn parties. 
Photography Print - $30.00 USD - CharlenePrecious
Whether you're on the beach, being a lounge lizard at the pool or lunching al fresco, a straw topper is a breathable accessory to add to your outfit.  We personally like the wide brimmed floppy ones that are basically like a SPF of their own! 
Summer Bag - $160.00 USD - Grace Design
So you've picked out the perfect crop top and snapped up this season's must-have sandal - but what about a stylish bag to pack all your seaside necessities?  We are head over heels for Grace Design's Summer Bag pictured above.  It's gorgeous woven summer bag that is roomy to stow away an entire days worth of essentials.  We could easily see this taking us from the beach to sunset cocktails.
Show your fellow TEST Members some love by admiring, favoriting and shopping local this Summer.  By shifting just a portion of your spending, you can help create more jobs, a stronger economy and build a better community here in Toronto.  Here’s to happy shopping, long Summer nights and playful wardrobes!

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