After hearing plenty about the OneofaKind shows from friends and family, I decided to check one out for myself. What seemed like a simple plan was thwarted by some errors in judgment on my part. My first mistake was going down on a Sunday morning, aka prime family outing time. My second mistake was only leaving an hour and a half to cover the entire show. My third mistake was going during the holiday season when the focus is on Christmas. This resulted in a hurried Jew who has no patience for the double strollers and slow walkers who crowded the aisles, and generally has no interest in santa-related paraphernalia. But, despite my sub-par planning , I still managed to skim through 95% of the exhibitors and pick out my favourite discoveries to share with you.
Without further adieu, here are my top 25 favourite finds from the OneofaKind Christmas show whose originality stood out from the moccasins and other wares that looked like they came from a souvenir store at the airport:
The graphic pop of art of Mark Jeremy Gleberzon.
The folksy simplicity of the carved wooden dinnerware by Ed Hummel.
The delectably delightful glass work by Andrea Ripley that takes my love for cupcakes into a higher art form.
The rainbow of edgy canvases by Blair Chivers.
The vibrant stationary and paper goods by Flakes Paperie.
The adorable aprons by Crumb Designs – especially “The Lucille” with it’s floral print reveal behind the lovely pleat.
The dreamy selection of wall art, linens and more from pi’lo.
The lovely gold lockets and chains by Biko
The tongue-in-chic canvas totes by Hoi Bo that are more Birkin than bag-lady.
The dancing poppies of Edward Chan.
The arrow-adorned pea coat by Desperately Different.
The so-cute-you-could-eat-them-up creations from the Cate & Levi collection – their goods are made with the goal of leaving “the softest possible pawprint on the planet”
The hippie-chick vibe of the spunky printed cushions by Rock My Soul.
The baby collection by Schoolyard – the black and white acorn onesie is too cute for words!
The made-for-the-cottage rustic simplicity of Jardinique’s frames, mirrors and signs.
The snazzy printed Ts by Model Citizen.
The quirky alphabet canvases by Dear Betty Designs.
The charming toss cushions made using vintage fabric remnants by Kailey a.m. hawthorne. I also loved her painted clocks and over-sized wood lettering.
The sleek memo pads by Schleeh Design that marry form and function – there is even a sticky note version!
The calming yellows and blues of abstract artist Caroline Versteeg.
Stunning toppers made by legendary Toronto millinery, Lilliput Hats.
The lovely grey and violet tones of the glazed ceramic pieces by Michelle Mendlowitz.
The beautiful wooden bowls, cutting boards, coasters and more by Stinson Studios.
The ethereal glow of the stone lamps made by Rocklit.
The edgy art blocks by B.C.-based Cedar Mountain.
In the end I was pleased to leave with some savory shortbread by the Coach House Shortbread Company and some small pieces by Kelly Grace for a gift. If you head down to the Direct Energy Centre, make sure to stop by the artisans mentioned above to check their stuff out for yourself, and if you’re not in Toronto, be sure to explore the artist’s websites because some of them are on etsy.