Sunday, August 19, 2012

Our North Office

I recently visited Urban Contessa's Northern Ontario Office in Sudbury, Ontario for our quarterly meeting. That sounds very official, but really I went to visit my mom and Aunt Cecile, who are UC's jewellery designers.

Creations by Lynn and Cecile are in high demand. They are called, several times a week, to create one-of-a-kind pieces or for a personal consultation to view their current inventory.

Their design studio makes me weep with envy. Their bead inventory rivals many stores I have visited. Not to mention, it's organized to a fault.

Work-in-progress is on the table ready for completion.

Across the hall, in a spare room, are two banquet tables covered with necklaces, earrings and bracelets. Lynn and Cecile welcome customers by appointment who shop at leisure.

The inventory changes regularly and there's always something new. It changes so often, in fact, I simply can't keep up with pictures on our site. But the locals know the women by name (and sight) and know where to reach them. These women are busier now that they are retired.

The jewellery division of Urban Contessa wasn't flourishing in Toronto (everyone makes jewellery here), but in Sudbury, Lynn and Cecile, I am pleased to say, are household names.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Ajax-by-the-Lake Marketplace say the craft show was a bust is mild.  The rain came down in buckets and no one wants to stick around for an outdoor craft sale--even if it's under a giant tent.

Despite that, I'm not disappointed. After all, the City of Ajax doesn't charge a fee for the table, so it's not like I was out-of-pocket. Sadly, there were many vendors who simply didn't show up. Personally, I think that's unprofessional, not to mention, rude.

The people who organize craft shows put a lot of effort into it. As a vendor, you have committed to attend, have committed to sell your wares at a booth, and have committed to participate in a group event. Your absence is noticeable by virtue of the empty table in the middle of the event. It's like real estate: your home reflects on the rest of the neighbourhood.

Rather than leave empty tables, the organizers opted to take them away. I'm not sure if this was better, as it left empty spaces, but I suppose it's less obvious than an empty table.

As the table next to me was being folded up, the vendor behind me stepped up asked them if they could leave it and allow me to spread out. "You can spread out, can't you?" she said to me.

"Of course!"

They left the table, and I spread out:

This is double my original size. Needless to say, I was a little cramped before.

Despite the poor turn-out and disappointing sales, I'll go back next year, if I'm invited. It's not the City's fault that Mother Nature was cranky today. I still had a good time: I met some lovely people, chatted with old friends and found some new vendors for The DRCC.

All in all, it was a good day!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Totes for Ajax by the Lake Craft Show

I have a craft show this weekend. We were invited back to participate in Celebrate Ajax by the Lake and we're thrilled!

It's fun for everyone in the family, so if you happen to be in the area, bring the kiddies with you.

I spent the weekend cutting and sewing. I made a few tote bags:

Isn't the beach one at the top the coolest?! If it doesn't sell, I'm keeping it and taking it with me on my next beach vacation. Shhh...don't tell anyone...I'm going to put it at the bottom of the pile so no one sees it.

I also cut and sewed together what seems like thousands of placemats. I know I should finish them today, but my back hurts from sitting at the sewing machine too long. I really should get a better chair.

So, over the course of the week, I'll snip the corners, turn them right-side-out, press, then top-stitch. I have enough tooth fairy pillows for Saturday, but I'll need more bookmarks. Friday will be dedicated to sewing bookmarks. Hmm...I need to buy elastic, and perhaps more thread, and maybe some...

I should probably get a pencil and some paper...