I’m finally sharing my Etsy: Made in Canada roadtrip with you. Sorry for the slight delay peeps but I was waiting on some photos so I could really show you what a great event it was. It’s been a few years since I’ve done a craft show. It’s kinda like a hangover. You swear you will NEVER drink again but then the next weekend all is forgotten and you’re back at the bar ordering a gin & tonic. Heck, make it a double. Except with a craft show it’s in reverse. The painful part comes first, then the fun. So full disclosure, I signed up because I wanted to get crafty and have a great event to look forward to but I completely forgot and underestimated how much work goes into prepping for a craft show and I was poooooped by the time the day came. Usually I’m not a big fan of long drives (although I love being the passenger) but it was a gorgeous weekend and Ford Canada was kind enough to lend me a sweet brand new Fusion to get me and all my craftiness up to Ottawa so I was kinda looking forward to the roadtrip.
So I admit that I’m more of a city drivin’ small hatchback kinda girl but this sedan was a sweeeeeet ride compared to my 10 year old Ford Focus. It’s one of those cars that you might discover while having a look around the best used car dealer in Salina, KS, in Canada or anywhere around the world. Don’t get me wrong, my Focus has served me well and I’ve stuffed that thing with more pieces of furniture and whatever else you can think of but it was such a treat to drive a brand new car with all the bells and whistles, including that crazy self parallel parking and basically a mini laptop on the dash that I could talk to and it would just make stuff happen. Amazing. But most importantly it could hold all my stuff in the trunk – without putting the seats down – with room to spare.
Fall is my favourite season and pretty much the only time ever that I actually enjoy long drives. We can get pretty caught up in daily life stuff so it’s nice to just cruise for a few hours with this view. Look ma, not speeding! Of course any trip up the 401 wouldn’t be complete without a stop at The Big Apple, which also happened to match my Ford Fusion. Yes I got some pie, no I didn’t share. I learnt whilst travelling that I needed a bigger space if I were to do this again, as the boot space was getting a bit too cramped! Next time I will be hiring an RV and researching the best generators for rv here to make sure that the travelling is smooth!
Fast forward 24 hours and after a smooth ride to Ottawa and a relatively painless booth set up the day of the big Etsy: Made in Canada show is here. The line up was CRAZY. This picture doesn’t even do it justice – this is just one angle of the line that wrapped around 3 sides of the huge arena. Let the shopping begin!
The first 100 people through the door got a swag bag full of vendor goodies and they also had these awesome baseball shirts for sale. I’m going to take a moment to toot my horn here because I designed the logo which I think turned out pretty damn cute, don’t you agree? The show was hosted by Handmade Harvest, which is run by my pal Emily and sponsored, along with Etsy, by Hello Yellow and Boogie + Birdie.
So yeah, this is pretty much what it looked like from 9-3pm. Nutso. It was a wee bit warm but nothing a growing cash box couldn’t help us vendors get over. As a vendor, you couldn’t ask for a better turn out.
People were ready to shop!
Here’s me at my booth. I admit that I can be a bit of a perfectionist but at the same time a horrible planner which kinda causes some issues for me. In my haste I just threw a bunch of stuff in a bag to use for my display and once I got to the show I wasn’t totally happy with what I had to work with but being the huge Project Runway fan that I am I channeled Tim Gunn and had a ‘make it work’ moment and by the time the doors opened I was all smiles.
Not surprisingly, my display matched the vintage inspired pieces I was selling with a vintage sheet backdrop, vintage frame and a bunch of vintage tins and bowls. I was pretty happy with how much I sold but I did have a bit left over. You can find some of my plates and cake toppers at Hello Yellow in Almonte, Ontario as well as on my Etsy Shop.
The plates were a pretty big hit and I was so happy to hear lots of great comments about how different and unique they were. That’s always good when you’re at a craft show full of talented makers. Two major lessons – 1) make more deer head plates 2) don’t make more E-A-T sets. For some reason people weren’t really clicking with the set but luckily there were enough people out there with names that started with “E”, “A”, or “T” so I still sold a bunch of them. The fake cakes were a big hit and the smell of sugar helped attract people to my table.
Here’s a shot with Emily and me at the end of the show. You can tell it’s the end by our shiny faces and my questionable hair. I’m so proud of her for putting on such a huge successful event. The Ottawa show was the biggest Etsy:Made in Canada event of all the ones that were taking place across the country and although Em had some great volunteers & partners she’s pretty much a one woman show and pulled off this event without a hitch. #girlboss
This is me happy after packing a much lighter load into my Fusion at the end of the show. That’s always a great feeling. Those boxes were MUCH lighter on the way home.
I took the rest of the weekend off and relaxed and visited some friends that live close. This was the sunset at my friend’s cottage on Lake Mississippi. Doesn’t get much better than that.
After a looonnng overdue solid night sleep I woke up early Monday morning, which also happened to be my birthday (!) and hit the road. The weather was still amazing so I decided to take the back roads almost all the way home plus I wanted to maximize the time in my sweet ride. My day started off with the basics, a Tim’s coffee and a birthday sprinkle donut then I was off.
I love taking the back roads. Not only is it more chill but it’s so much more interesting than anything you see on the highway. Here’s just a few of the interesting stops I made on the way home. Including a little quickie at the roadside motel. Kidding. The cute blueberry farm boy was nowhere to be found.
Thanks Etsy Canada and Handmade Harvest for putting on such a great event and thanks Ford Canada for making it super comfortable & smooth for this tired crafter. Now that my hangover is gone I’m already thinking about the next Etsy: Made in Canada show.