It’s that time of year again – the One of a Kind Show has taken over the Enercare Center in downtown Toronto. The One of a Kind Show (or OOAK Show) is an amazing opportunity to snag artisanal crafts that are thoughtfully made with love. There are so many fabulous handmade finds that you could quite easily finish your Christmas shopping in one place.
OOAK Show runs from Nov 23 to Dec 3, which means you just have 1 more weekend to take advantage of having talented, dedicated artists all under one roof. You’ll find some fashionable and trendy businesses, but also some more organic artisans. Like the guy.
If you’re starting to panic because you don’t have a thoughtful gift for your special someone, or you still have zero idea what to get that random co-worker you selected for the office-wide Secret Santa, I think you’ll find what you need here. There are over 800 artisan booths at the OOAK Show! That’s right. 800 booths. And a lot of these artists are from across Canada; I would estimate a good 40% from Quebec alone.
Here’s my curated list of my favourite finds this year. And you’ll need this link to buy tickets for upcoming visit!
Pro tip: Go after work during the week between now and Friday – you’ll get some TLC from the vendors because it won’t be a circus like the weekend will be.
Pro tip 2: If you give One of a Kind Show a follow on Instagram, you get $3 off your ticket. Just show the lady at the ticket counter! WINNING!
- Attic – Melissa Gobeil & Susan Shaw
First on the list, and our voted best artist at the OOAK Show is Attic. Looking for simple, gold, every day wear jewelry? Fall in love all over again with the New Classics from Attic.
All made with 14 Carat Gold. All uniquely crafted.
Their show stoppers for both Lauren and myself was their Grey Diamond (made sustainably from Canada!) and their Torc Ring that can come with or without Diamonds!
Lauren and I had fun trying on all the rings and imagining which ones would look good for her upcoming nuptials.
If you’re in need for quality gold pieces (at reasonable prices), check out Attic at booth O39. If this is much too quick to make a decision on a ring that will set you back a few hundred, Attic’s studio is located in the King East Design District in Toronto.
2.) Daub + Design – Sophisticated Style for the Free Spirit
Since the majority of my wardrobe is athletic wear, I had to check out Daub + Design. I’ve heard of D&D before and follow them on instagram, but never had a chance to feel the quality and material since they’re based in BC.
Daub + Design targets the girl that is equal parts sweet and tough. You can wear these garments while you are sweating it out like a boss babe at the gym, or grabbing a latte with your bestie on QSW.
The real reason I love this line?? Every piece is hand dyed which means every piece is unique. You won’t be able to replicate anything here. Daub + Design put a whole new meaning to the term one of a kind which in my books, justifies the relatively high price point. A girl really can’t resist some exquisitely made tye dye!
3.) London Cactus Company and Your Pal, Al
One word. SUCCULENTS. OOAK Show has a ton of businesses that are selling succulents and tiny plants, but Lauren and I have our two favourites. Both London Cactus Company and Your Pal, Al are the two booths you should stop in while vising the show.
London Cactus Company is a new find for us, but takes a slightly different take on the usual succulent. The base is square, made with glass tiles. Plants are full of life, and creator Taylor typically adds two or three into each because #friends.
Your Pal, Al is a known regular at the OOAK show and craft shows in Toronto for a reason. The pot is handmade by Allie Croza from cement, and always two-toned. I bought my little “Al” (after Alexander Hamilton) last Spring at the Spring OOAK show and Al is still rocking it out. I had to repot him because he was doing too well and growing too big for his pot.
Succulents are the best house-warming presents and Secret Santa gifts. You’ll get a ton of compliments on your little potted friends, plus they are low maintenance, which means even me, Queen of “I can’t keep anything alive in my condo”, has successful not killed my Pal Al.
4.) Amanda Moss
If you work in downtown Toronto, love the type of clothing that is well made, feminine, and functional (think of Kit and Ace) you will love Amanda Moss. Amanda Moss’ line of garments is ethically made in Canada, and was a show stopper at the OOAK Show.
Amanda Moss hand cuts each piece and produces her collection in a small workshop in Montreal which makes her visits to Toronto extra special. Every piece I picked up had a timeless femininity about them and I couldn’t argue about the quality. I could see myself wearing her shirts and dresses in multiple seasons and over many years.
I still can’t get over the silhouettes these pieces create… and think I need to go back and pick up some more staples. Beautiful created, designed, and loved!
5.) MUTTONHEAD – Meg and Mel Sinclair
Ahhhh MUTTONHEAD. Not my typical style, but I couldn’t help stop and shop. The term muttonhead actually means someone who’s a bit dull and maybe a little stupid but these unisex 100% Made in Canada garments are not.
Muttonhead is built on the philosophy that clothing should be made for everyone which is why their garments are 100% gender neutral. Besides that, the entire lineup is fully designed and manufactured in Canada.
If you have a more outdoorsy, casual, sustainable, fair-trade bestie that would rock their plaid shirts… stop buy booth S32.
6.) Nature Imprint – Geneviève Gallant
I was blown away by Genevieve’s stoneware and glaze. These little jewelry and trinket bowls are each imprinted with a handmade stamp of a real plant. Genevieve then re-fires the ceramics after a coat of paint to give it a glaze and keep the imprint visible.
These smaller dishes are perfect for jewelry, and the bigger ones should be displayed prominently in your home. Be careful… I came back twice.
7.) Big Boat Bakery – Kelsey Hoy
Walking around the OOAK Show is no easy feat. Trust me when I say, don’t be like me and wear heels. Wear running shoes. Clearly all that walking makes a girl hungry, so Lauren and I checked out the “Flavours” section of the OOAK Show and stoped by Big Boat Bakery for a buttery and sugary delight.
Big Boat Bakery is based in Penticton, BC and sells the best tasting butter tea cakes I have tried yet. It’s hard to describe, but this cake is like a butter shortbread with a surprise inside… like chocolate, or homemade jams, or classic almond. Thank you to Kelsey for being super sweet and letting us try pretty much every flavor before we decided on ones to buy.
8.) i’ll know it when i see it
HOLIDAY CARDS! OOAK Show has no shortage of funny, funky, and fun Christmas and Holiday cards. We loved the ones that we found at “i’ll know it when i see it” as most of these had us in stitches.
Check out Lauren’s favourite…. “Wishing you a White Christmas (in a totally non-racist kind of way”. We bought a few of these for our light hearted friends and family that would find some humour in the cheeky cards!
I can’t begin to tell you how large the OOAK Christmas Show is this year. The entire Enercare Center is jammed packed with some wonderful people. These artists, artisans, designers, and makers put so much time, energy, and love into their crafts. It’s a shame that people don’t support hand-made / local goods as much as they should.
Trust me – there is something for everyone here. Especially if you are looking for a work outfit, fine jewelry, presents for your in-laws, standout ceramic pieces, homemade foods and flavours, and so much more.
If you ever ask where Lauren and I get some of our more unique pieces of clothing or houseware? Likely answer is the OOAK Show.
Happy shopping! Stay beautiful, and shop local!