If you listen closely, you can hear the sound of a dozen sewing machines stitching simultaneously somewhere in the region. That’s because artists of all trades are getting ready for the first Etsy Made in Canada day on September 27.
As part of a cross-Canada celebration, for one day only, The Walper Hotel in Kitchener will be lined with beaming local crafters, eager to present pop-up stands showcasing everything from jewelry to embroidery to puppets. The event, which runs between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., will provide a real-life environment for artists to sell their goods in-person.
Considering Etsy’s natural habitat is an online marketplace, the exchange of goods for money without postage stamps aims or transaction fees provides an exciting new medium for meeting and interacting with local artists, crafters and collectors. Jessica Murphy, official Etsy Team Captain for Kitchener-Waterloo, is convinced that her enthusiasm for all things Etsy will spread to those attending.
“You will know when you walk into our event that there is something special happening,” she said.
Murphy cites the ease of communication from buyer to buyer, seller to seller and seller to buyer as the chief characteristic that sets Etsy aside from other online marketplaces.
“The sense of community is the most unique thing Etsy has to offer,” said Murphy in regards to the ability to connect with and get to know artists and buyers on a casual level.
It is without a doubt that Etsy’s success is due at least in part to a commitment to authenticity – it stamps out mass-produced items of any kind. That’s because Etsy is an ode to all things handmade, handcrafted and small-scale.
“You can’t find this stuff on Amazon,” explained Murphy. Attending vendors come from different trades, which ensures there’s something to peak all interests.
Kitchener-based graphic designer and screen-printing company BRFC, will be present with a wide selection of quality products including coasters, handkerchiefs and t-shirts. In addition to being ever present in the community, BRFC design is broadening its reach and is soon to be featured on a Collective Arts Brewing label.
btudio is the creator of whimsical handmade silk embroidery in the form of ring pillows, wedding accessories, necklaces, pillow covers, lavender sachets and more. Its owner and operator, Deborah, executes her work in mixed media format in classical stitching expressions, but is equally skilled at producing modern-looking artifacts. Heavy metals and organic materials like tree bark often contrast the velvety softness her silk creations.
Nerdifacts is a pop culture artifact store aimed at consumers of comic books, manga and popular literature. It offers one-of-a-kind gifts like rock candy earrings and knitted goods such Wonder Woman wrist warmers and Mario Star brooches.
Etsy Made in Canada Day visitors can also expect to find upcycled clothing, all-natural soap, bath bombs, fresh chocolate, marshmallows, photography and visual art in a variety of mediums.
Admission is free. Visit www.etsy.com/ca/madeincanada for details.