Monday, December 5, 2016

T.E.S.T. Interview: 1000CrowsVintage

We hope to introduce you to all the great etsy sellers to be found right here in Toronto. Here at the T.E.S.T. blog, we plan to interview them all. This is the 105th in our series and is with Yvette Bessels from 1000CrowsVintage.

How did you come up with the name of the store?

I already had a shop '1000crows' while I lived in the UK. I chose that name as I wanted something that was slightly odd yet memorable. I love ravens and crows (who doesn't?) but I didn't want to opt for anything too generic. 'A murder of crows' was therefore soon out of the running. The '1000' in front of the name makes it higher priority in alphanumerical order, depending on how you execute a search. When I moved to Canada, I discovered that the back end of the shop (my bank account) could not be moved over by Etsy so I was forced into opening a new shop (the alternative being paid in GBP to my UK account and having to deal with currency conversions every step of the way) - but that also made it possible to add the 'Vintage' to the name, clarifying what I actually do.

Why did you start collecting vintage things?

Oh well, there are a few reasons; The foremost being that some of these objects are amazingly beautiful, but not being made anymore. Either because the market is too small, or the craftsmanship has been lost. Second, some of the objects I find would have been quite expensive when new - I certainly would not have been able to afford them! I am a pennypincher at heart, and nothing makes me happier than feeling I got a good deal on an item. Lastly, it feels amazing to find an object a loving new home. If needed, I will slightly alter or repair an item to give it a present-day use or appeal. Can you imagine all the items being saved from landfill like this? There is actually not much that I personally collect. I have the odd weird or pretty object floating about the house until I grow tired of it and put it up for sale, and numerous photographic items which I actually use. I have moved house so many times it has become easy to let go!

What was you first item in a collection?

To be honest, I can't really remember. I used to trawl flea markets when I was a kid and many, many objects have passed my hands since then. I did have a large stash of stuffed animals back then - haha! For the present day - I would have to say my Microflex TLR (an English made Twin Lens Reflex (TLR) Camera). I had a job as a studio photographer a number of years ago and was getting obsessed with famous photographers of the 1920-1960s. I found more than a few of my favourite images were shot using a TLR camera, so I got myself one. Since then, I have upgraded to a Rolleiflex and an antique plate camera to shoot my images, but I still have the Microflex (which is presently up for sale). If you are curious, you can see my photography on
Where do you go to search for the vintage?

In the UK, I used to go to local (and less local) carboot sales. I was up at 5AM and in my car by 6AM every weekend, throughout the year. I also visited antique fairs and antique centers and local auction houses to find my items. Being fairly new to Canada, I'm still finding my way around. I mostly visit local thrift stores and garage sales, as well as the weekly antique market in town.

Why do you think vintage is interesting to people?

It gives people an opportunity to own an object that is (near) unique, for a much lower price than buying newly made items. If you wear vintage clothing, there is much less chance of someone rocking up in the same outfit. Many items were better made; furniture was built to last and people took pride in craftsmanship. And, it gives people a vast range of styles and colours to choose from. Instead of having to wait for trends to 'come back round' - why not just go for the original?

You can also find Yvette and 1000CrowsVintage at these links:
Website :
Twitter: @1000crows
Instagram: @1000crows
Pinterest: @1000crows

Interviewed by Darya from KvitkaWorld on Nov 18, 2016.

T.E.S.T. Interview: CheapThrillsCompany

We hope to introduce you to all the great etsy sellers to be found right here in Toronto. Here at the T.E.S.T. blog, we plan to interview them all. This is the 104th in our series and is with Ky Teale of CheapThrillsCompany

How would you describe your Etsy store in five words? 

Kitschy, Quirky, Cute, Coney Island.

Where did your love for ghouls and “offbeat art” come from? 

I am a huge horror movie nerd. I try to keep everything as cute as possible in the shop, but you will definitely see the fan girl in me slipping in from time to time ;). I created my version of the Girl Gang movement with the Ghoul Gang Collection.

For those of us not in the know, what's the "girl gang movement"? Does it refer to a comic or anime?

It's an online movement of girls supporting other girls through, art, business, and lifestyle.

What is your favourite TV show?

I am more of a movie buff, but I am currently really enjoying Scream Queens :)

How do you decide what your next product will be?

I have a sketch book and draw from daily inspirations.

Have you always sketched – do you have formal art training?  Or, where did you your creative talents spring from?

No, I actually only picked up sketching in the last couple of years. My mother was an artist so growing up I actually shied away from the arts, and because of this I am not formerly trained. I began sculpting ten years ago and from there started sketching and painting. At the time it pulled me out of a massive depression and I have found art to be an amazing therapeutic tool since.

You have a wonderful variety of products in your shop. Are you inspired by seeing the format (embroidered labels, tote bags, etc) as a canvas for your ideas, or do you source them to match the original sketches? (Or perhaps it's a combo ;) 

Yes, my shop is definitely not shy of diversity as I do like to work with various mediums. I think it's a bit of a combo, however, I typically come up with the design first and then decide what medium might be best.

Do you have favourite programs for creating the graphics for your totes and patches? 

I use Photoshop and I do the bare minimum. My images are completely hand drawn and I vector them without changing the original.

If you were a monster, what kind would you be?

A zombie, I would ALWAYS be a zombie.

You can keep up to date with Ky and the CheapThrillsCompany here: 
Instagram: @CheapThrillsCo

Upcoming Shows 
-Nov 20th Gladstone Flea @ The Gladstone Hotel, Toronto
-Dec 3+4 Pink Market @ 519 Church St, Toronto
-Dec 17th Test Etsy Christmas Market @ 365 College St, Toronto
-Dec 18th Punk Rock Flea @ Club Absinthe, Hamilton

Interviewed by Ayisha Gariba of TheBaconBerryCardCo on Nov 18, 2016 in Toronto. 

T.E.S.T. Interview: KvitkaWorld

We hope to introduce you to all the great etsy sellers to be found right here in Toronto. Here at the T.E.S.T. blog, we plan to interview them all. This is the 106th in our series and is with Darya Kucherenko of KvitkaWorld

How did you come up with your shop name?

While creating the shop name I wanted something that would reflect what I'm selling. As my background is Ukrainian and I live in Canada, I decided to unite somehow these countries in my shop name. "Kvitka" is flower in Ukrainian, this shows my Ukrainian part as well as describing that I'm using live plants in my work, and "World" shows my Canadian part and explains that my goal in to create a mini world. And KvitkaWorld means I'm doing miniature worlds using live plants, all of them have their stories.  

Talk me through making one of your miniature gardens - how and where do you start?

Every miniature garden starts with an idea, either I see some beautiful landscape I would like to replicate in a miniature version or a fictitious/imaginary garden. I love walking by houses and taking some ideas from the larger scale gardens. I decide on a plant combination (drought tolerant/or not) then think of the ideal arrangement of the plants, usually using a piece of paper and a pen. When decided, the magic begins -- all the plants are potted into the terrarium in the final arrangement, I add some decorations to give more life to this mini world.  

What does a regular weekday look like for you?

Every day starts with an idea of searching for a creative terrarium :) these are hard to find, and every time I visit any store I look at things as "would this fit and look good in a miniature garden?" While working I need to sit by myself near all the plants, usually I get help from my chihuahua who sits beside me and we start thinking together on the perfect arrangement. When not having orders I work much slower as I spend hours watching my new propagation babies growing.  

Do you have favourites in your plants? One in particular?

I never thought about which plant is my favourite. I love experimenting and having new plants for the florariums. Therefore I usually keep a wide variety of plants from drought-tolerant to higher maintenance plants.  

Your miniature decorations (benches, lanterns, etc) are super cute! Do you buy or make them?

The decorations in the florariums -- some are manufactured, some are hand made by other artists and some I make myself. I love making the decorations, but when I find something interesting I can't help purchasing, as every time I see a decoration piece I immediately have a florarium arrangement made in my head.  

What are your favourite stores to look for terrariums? Do you build them or ever considered building them yourself?

 I like glass florariums the most, there are several stores that offer such, but I currently have a person who supplies me with my favourite designs, which help reduce the cost for the florariums and saves me some time.

Where do you see yourself (and your shop) in five years' time?

In five years it's hard to predict what I will be doing, but I'm sure that my store will grow as my passion for plants will be always with me! :)

You can also keep up to date with Darya and KvitkaWorld here:
Instagram: @KvitkaWorld
Facebook: @KvitkaWorld

Interviewed by Yvette Bessels of 1000CrowsVintage on Nov 25, 2016. 

T.E.S.T. Interview: TheBaconBerryCardCo

We hope to introduce you to all the great etsy sellers to be found right here in Toronto. Here at the T.E.S.T. blog, we plan to interview them all. This is the 103rd in our series and is with Ayisha Gariba of TheBaconBerryCardCo.

Why did you open up shop, and why the name?

I started The Bacon Berry because I’d already been making greeting cards for years, and they started getting really good so I thought - why not sell these? The Bacon Berry was a YouTube username that I came up with when I was younger, and when I was looking for a name for my business - I chose that one because I love bacon and berries.

What mediums do you enjoy to work with?

I love hand-drawing cards from time to time, but now I primarily work digitally. I use photoshop and a Wacom Cintiq.

Where do you see your Etsy shop in 5 years?

Hopefully with a larger following, more products and as a more important part of my day-to-day business operations.

What do you do outside of your shop?

I’m a university student in my first year at UofT hoping to either major in Anthropology or Women and Gender Studies. Other than that, I’m a filmmaker, graphic designer, and photographer (which all help me with my business, so I guess that’s kinda cheating). When I’m not working on the bacon berry you’ll most likely find me babysitting my nephew, cooking, or watching Netflix.

I don't think that's called cheating! What kind of films do you make photographs do you take? Is there a connection to the card making?

I am trying to break into documentary filmmaking at the moment. I've only made one short documentary and I'm currently working on finishing another one for January. I also just started adding "photographer" to the long list of titles that I mention when I introduce myself. Thankfully, all of my skills are able to help with my business, whenever I need a promo video or product photos, I'm able to do those myself which saves a lot of time and money.

What's your favorite way to eat bacon?

That’s a tough question but I’d have to say with pancakes, maple syrup and hot sauce. I’ve been told that sounds weird but I stand by it!

Besides her Etsy shop, you can also find TheBaconBerryCardCo here:
Facebook: @thebaconberrycardco
InstaGram:  @thebaconberrycardco

Upcoming Shows
- Nov 20th Trinity Bellwoods Flea @ Studio Bar
- Dec 4 The Post Market @ The Great Hall
- Dec 10 Woke Tings Holiday Market @ Hashtag Gallery, 801 Dundas St West, 5-11pm
- Dec 18th Trinity Bellwoods Flea @ Studio Bar

Interviewed by Ky Teale of CheapThrillsCompany on November 16, 2016.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The 3rd Annual Toronto Etsy Street Team Christmas Marketplace - LOOK BOOK IS HERE!

Saturday December 17th, 11AM to 5PM come on down to St. Stephens in-the-field church and check out over 30 vendor and their awesome handmade and vintage wares! Take a selfie with Santa! Try not to anger Krampus! And have grab a tasty treat from Phancy Food Catering!

Our vendor list is now confirmed, check them out in our Vendor Lookbook below

We hope to see you there!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Vendor call: Humbercrest Public School 2nd-Annual Holiday Craft Fair


Are you a crafter, artist, designer or have interesting products to sell? Be a part 
of the festive season at Humbercrest Public School and market your hand-crafted 
creations to holiday shoppers at our 2nd-Annual Holiday Craft Fair. This year, 
we will offer photos with Santa, a bake sale and craft activities for kids! 

Almost 500 families attend this 100 year-old school that is situated in the west end 
of the 
city neighbouring the Baby Point, Bloor West Village and Junction communities.

Vendor Fee:

Tables (6 ft) are available for rent at $40 each. Two chairs will be provided with each table

Please submit product description online or with application via email

You are guaranteed a space once full payment has been received

Student Vendor Fee:

Students will receive a 50% discount for the vendor table

PLUS - the first SIX students to register will only pay $10 for their table thanks 
to the generous sponsorship of Metro Coin & Banknote - supporting young entrepreneurs

If you're a currently enrolled student, email 
to receive your coupon code to enter online (at check-out)


All interested vendors must fill out a brief application form online by 
December 9, 2016.

All vendors welcome! 

OR email for an application 

Please make your payment online at: 

OR send a cheque to the school made payable to “SoFun” 

Event day logistics: 

1. Set-up will start at 2:30 pm and end at 4 pm 

2. Load-in will be from 2:30 to 4:00 pm  

Please note: student pick-up begins at 3:10 pm. There will be three parking spots RESERVED for vendor unload on Brookside Avenue near the gym. However, vehicles must then be moved to legal street parking in the neighborhood. Limited parking is available in the Teacher Parking Lot under 
the school building, off Watson Avenue

3. Crafters must remain open for the duration of the fair (until 8 pm) 

4. You are required to clean and vacate your space no later than 8:30 pm 

5. No refund on craft fair fee if you're unable to attend  

Additional Promotional Opportunity!

If you’d like additional promotion before the event, consider donating a raffle prize. We will give extra promotion to those companies who donate a small prize (value $10-30) in our pre-event electronic promotion to school parents

For additional vendor information, please contact:

Irene Papadimitriou 647-879-1177
Kristen Juschkewitsch 416-561-6479

Friday, November 11, 2016

T.E.S.T. Interview: Florés Boticario

We hope to introduce you to all the great etsy sellers to be found right here in Toronto. Here at the T.E.S.T. blog, we plan to interview them all. This is the 102nd in our series and is with Melissa Oré of FloresBoticario.  

Tell me about your Etsy shop.

My sister and I opened our Etsy store over 2 years ago: Florés Boticario, a handmade natural skincare line. We created our company/products in memory of our great grandmother, a holistic healer in our native country of Peru. Our luxurious skincare line are for those who appreciate a delicate and natural skincare regimen. Each product is made-to-order with high quality essential oils.

 What does Florés Boticario mean?

 Florés means “flowers” and “Boticario” means “apothecary” in Spanish.  

Why did you join the T.E.S.T team?

We joined The Toronto Etsy Street Team because we wanted to band together with our fellow Etsy makers for marketing and business support/inspiration/collaboration. We believe that teams win and appreciate all the expertise and experience that each individual in the group possesses. We’re all paving our own path and navigating through uncharted waters and it’s a breath of fresh air to know that we’re not alone.  

What is your favourite thing about being on Etsy?

We love the tools and support that Etsy provides shop-makers in order to succeed – from the Etsy Seller Handbook, Etsy Success emails, wholesale opportunities, Holiday 101, Etsy teams, to the Etsy Up Conference in NYC and everything in between. We’re so thankful to be part of the Etsy community.  

You mentioned the Etsy Up Conference in NYC, did you go?

Yes my sister and I did go to the conference. It was a motivating and kick a** 3 days in one of my favourite cities. The guest speakers were incredible (especially Nely Galán) and I found the workshops very helpful. The swag bag was the icing on the cake!  

What’s new and exciting?

We’re counting down to the Holiday Market at Shops at Don Mills. We will be there Friday December 9th – Sunday December 11th. Looking forward to seeing you all there!

You can keep up to date with FloresBoticario at the following:

Instagram: @floresboticario
Twitter: @floresboticario
Facebook: floresboticario

Interviewed by Gwen Duda of GwenDudaStudiosGwen Dud in Toronto, November 7, 2016.
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