I don’t have any photos for this post, because it is about a craft show I went to. I am going to share funny photos instead to make up for my lack of forethought.
Wednesday evening I made it over to the One of a Kind show in Toronto, barely. I was taking a few hours vacation from work so I could meet my friend there. I left work at 2:30 hoping to catch the 2:47 train. I was getting there with JUST enough time to buy my ticket and get on the platform. As the attendant is processing my transaction, he said “Oh, the 2:47 train is cancelled.” Facepalm. Now I have to wait for the 3:30 train. I headed over to Starbucks and grabbed something warm to drink and went back to wait on the platform. Luckily I brought a book to read on the train and was able to read while I waited.
Finally getting there at 4:30 I met Alanna and we headed over. Inside the building we came across the automated ticket booths first, there was no line at all, so we purchased our tickets there. Alanna’s machine didn’t print her ticket or receipt and we asked the nearby door staff where we should go. They sent us to the main desk, the main desk sent us back, the door staff wrote us a note to try to get her in and the entrance staff sent us back to the main desk. Finally we said, “Alright, stop. She paid for her ticket, how is she supposed to get in? You need to do something.” Finally another lady came around from the back of the main desk and managed to look up Alanna’s transaction to print her ticket and receipt. Too bad they couldn’t have done that the first time, right?
After getting in, we looked for a coat-check; after seeing a sign saying it was outside we opted to hang onto them. We had a hard enough time getting in and didn’t want to tempt fate.
As the name suggests there were many things there that were one of a kind. I picked up quite a few Christmas presents; I’ll have to post photos after I give them out. Spoilers.
There was a lot of very creative stuff there and it is definitely worth going. If only to support the poor starving artists, as one vendor so eloquently put it. Most things are a bit on the expensive side, but that is par for the course of anything handmade. If you’re looking for a deal, stay at the mall. One of the vendors was telling me she had a particularly difficult customer who was badgering her to continue lowering the price. After dealing with this person, she went into the vendors lounge for a break and to gather some mental peace. Some of the other exhibitors were asking her what was wrong and after she explained the situation one of the jewelers shared her own story. A lady customer was looking at her jewelry and asked, “Is there anything here under $50?” Indicating a tray of earrings the vendor said, “Everything in this tray is $49.99.” The customer then inquired if it was $49.99 for the whole tray or each. The earrings were in fact individually priced seeing as they were all handmade with good quality materials. The lady customer then said, “I feel I should tell you, Sears has really similar earrings on sale for $20.” To which the vendor responded, “Oh wow, you should really go there. Right now! No Seriously, go now.”
Anyone who knits, crochets, or crafts knows how upsetting this can be. I personally hate pricing things I make because I always want to charge so little for my time. I am a terrible judge, so I usually ask Johanne for her opinion and go with that… Okay sometimes I lower it a bit.
If you think about it though, the materials alone cost quite a bit (unless I am knitting something for someone out of acrylic yarn, which I don’t do unless they request it). I remember trying to price a scarf I was making a friend of a friend. The materials were $30 (really not that expensive) and it probably took me 12-15 hours to make. Even if I charged $1 per hour for labour It would still end up being close to $45 and not a lot of mundanes understand why handmade garments are so expensive. I’ve had close friends request I make them something and when I told them the price of the yarn (I wasn’t even going to charge labour) they said, “Oh, well I could buy something for that price!” Yes, yes you could, BUT it would not be handmade.
I can put this into man-terms much easier. It is the difference between buying a $200 off the rack suit that has been mass-produced and buying a $5000 suit that has been hand sewn by an Italian man and tailored to fit you perfectly.
Just in case you are wondering I have indeed started using the term mundanes for people who do not knit or crochet. It was mostly by accident. I was trying to explain something to a yarn-y friend about anyone who doesn’t knit does not understand this concept, but that seemed like an unnecessary amount of words. Suddenly the word mundane popped into my head and out of my mouth. The person I was relating this story to, thought it was extraordinarily funny so it is becoming a colloquialism I plan to use frequently.
Anyway! Christmas is fast approaching, who is doing Christmas crafting? I know some of you are knitting like mad to finish up projects in time for the holidays and I would love to hear about it. Please share!