Last week, I attended the opening of the One of a Kind Christmas show and sale. From November 28-December 8 at the Direct Energy Centre in Toronto, you can shop local and international artisans and crafters. You can find everything from organic cranberry jam to felt cat butts (more on that later), and it’s the perfect place to find a unique gift for loved ones this holiday season… or you can treat yourself as well! Here are some of my favourite finds from the show.
When you enter the show, you are greeted by figure skaters. I loved that they brought the outdoors in and set the Christmas atmosphere, which immediately got me in the gift-giving spirit.
There was also a gift-wrapping station, which is perfect if you want to send a present right away, or if you’re not the best wrapper.
I love jewelry and was impressed with many of the designers at the show. While there were plenty of higher-end options in precious metals and gemstones, my budget calls for more contemporary designs under $100.
Biko had plenty of on-trend pieces that would be the perfect addition to your arm party.
I loved the Toodlebunny booth. Her prices were excellent and all of the pieces were hand assembled by Trudy Wynans, the designer, who came all the way from Vancouver for the show. I bought the acorn earrings (brass and blue crystal) and tulip earrings which were both only $30.
I also had to stop by the Candiware booth. Candice Ware (get it? Candi-Ware!?) is a Toronto-based jewelry designer who makes jewelry that smells as good as it looks. That’s right, her miniature cakes and teas are scented to be just like the real thing. I picked up taco earrings, $12, and a birthday cake necklace, $25, for my sister, but I’m tempted by the adorable teacup rings and Christmas-themed goodies.
There was also a fashion section, which featured known Canadian designers like Melissa Nepton and Stacey Zhang, as well as smaller brands and up and comers.
Crywolf was a cute contemporary line, complete with quirky accessories as well.
For the little ones, I fell in love with Hanna and Nik’s beautiful line of baby clothes. The pieces were exceptionally made and the fabrics were very high-end. The prices were fair, but keep in mind these are definitely special occasion pieces. I could only dream of having that little white coat blown up into my size!
For your walls, there were plenty of artists as well. One booth that caught my eye was illustrator Dave Murray‘s booth. Murray combines signage with typography and goes into detail with each neighbourhood he profiles. He does this by videotaping walks and bike rides. The Yonge and Eglinton poster might be going up in my condo (in the near but distant future), which will sadly replace the Burger King and bank he pictured.
There was a barrage of pottery this year at the show. One trend that stood out were pieces in neutral greys and whites, unglazed finishes and white mugs with graphic designs. I loved Atelier Trema’s quirky paint cans which would make the perfect wine cooler! It’s also a great gift idea if you are giving a hostess a bottle of wine, that way they have something unique to keep as well.
I also really liked Blackbird Pottery‘s “Message For” mugs. As a receptionist, this would be a cute desk item for sure.
For the home, there were a lot of unique pieces that would freshen up any space. I’ve seen Nicole Tarasick‘s pillows at a storefront before, and the YYZ pillow is a cute nod to our hometown. Those ring in around $50.
Also screenprinted, L’atelier du Presbytere is a handmade linen and cotton line using vintage recycled fabrics in a modern, yet classically French way. I loved their industrial-looking aprons and chef hats for kids. This is the perfect gift for your favourite foodie friend.
Veering into the kitsch territory, Barbie’s Basement Jewelry stocked plenty of pop culture jewelry pieces, but what caught my eye were the glittery serving trays and hilarious Christmas ornaments featuring Grumpy Cat, and the infamous IKEA Monkey.
Speaking of Grumpy Cat, the furry ones weren’t left out. Rover was a sophisticated line of clothing and bow tie collars for dogs and cats.
The food aisles are definitely one of the most fun parts of the show. I stuffed my face as I weaved through the booths with chocolate, fudge and wasabi-flavoured beans. One product that stood out for my was Organic Gold Mustard in Smoked Maple flavour. It’s sweet and savoury at first, then the kick of the organic mustard combines perfectly! I loved it and picked up a jar, and can’t wait to try it with sausages or a sandwich.
Another trend at the show was repurposed books. One booth sold vintage books that were converted into notebooks. The booth owner, Margi Laurin visits old libraries and saves books headed for the garbage. I love this upcycling idea and how each book is completely unique. She also saves a few of the illustrations and pages, so you can treasure the contents as well.
Another booth focused on the art of old books. Noelle Hamlyn created “book shelves” and framed works of art featuring deconstructed books. I fell in love with the Beatrix Potter and Nancy Drew book bags, but wish they were a tad larger! They are limited edition, so if you love them, definitely pick one up before she sells out, because she will.
There were also a couple beauty finds at the show. Dalish cosmetics features simple makeup that is hypoallergenic and gluten free! Last year I discovered my beloved shade had oatmeal and wheat starch as a 2nd and 3rd ingredient, so lately, I’ve been extremely careful! Her colour selection is pretty and not too overwhelming as well.
Maison Lavande was a beautiful booth featuring lavender products grown in Quebec. I loved the room sprays, $14, and candles, but they also had bubble math, moisturizers and essential oils as well.
One of the most unique items i picked up at the show was this felted cat butt magnet (I got the brown one) from Him Creations. The designer is Japanese and her booth was full of cute oddities including dolls and larger figures. This piece reminded me so much of my fat cat Mousse, that I couldn’t pass it up. While it’s not the most practical, it’s so unusual and funny that I couldn’t leave the show without it.
The One of a Kind Christmas Show and sale runs until this Sunday. It’s the perfect place to scoop up a unique gift for a friend, or to treat yourself. And if not, you’ll certainly leave with an amazing sugar high.