Now, this is not my 1st rodeo. I have done LOTS of big shows over the past 6 years and started doing 'out of town' shows a few years ago so have learned a thing or two about shipping my work ect. But this show just feels a bit different. I have done the One of a Kind Show when it was in Vancouver for 3 years so know what to expect from a big show put on by a large corporation in a big venue like the city's convention center. But THIS is the One of a Kind Show TORONTO! THIS is Canada's largest arts and crafts show with 450 artisans (800 at the Christmas show!). The Spring show was started in 1979 .. 35 years ago! It has some serious longevity and some seriously dedicated customers along with a very high quality of work and professional artisans.
When I 1st started selling my art at art markets (my 1st being Portobello West in Vancouver in 2008) I would hear other artisans talking about the elusive Toronto One of a Kind show. They talked about how big it was, how many people attended and how great they sales were. I thought to myself 'One day, that will be me. I will go to the Toronto show.' At this time this felt like such a 'pipe dream'. Toronto was too big, too long, too expensive. How could I possibly afford it? How could I get the time off of my 'real job'? How could my husband get time off to help me? How could I do this big show all on my own?
Last year I decided it was my time to 'take the plunge' and apply for the show! I was so thrilled when I received the confirmation that my work had been juried and chosen to be in the show! Having cut down my hours at Nursing work I decided I would have the time to go plus was ready to take the financial risk. In all true honesty this show is the biggest financial risk I have taken so far with my business. Between very high booth costs, flights to Toronto, accommodation and shipping all of my work the costs have piling up! But how can a business grow without taking risk... right?
I've been doing a lot of self talk lately, telling myself 'I CAN do this show on my own", "I CAN work the 5x 11-13 hour days all on my own", "People WILL love my work", "I WILL have a great time". ... and I know all of these things are true.
The Toronto One of a Kind show is one of those big shiny goals on my artist life list and I am SO excited and proud to be ticking it off . I can't wait to see the response to my work from a whole new market and see a bit of Toronto ( I have never been!). I feel very lucky to have the support of my awesome husband Ren who has encouraged me to 'take the Toronto plunge' and support of my fellow artisan friends Nicole and Ron of Mally Bibs (http://www.mallybibs.com) who have been my awesome show mentors!
I have been working hard on lots of new painting for the show! check out my facebook album HERE.
Looking forward to reporting back about my experience at the show! Bring on Toronto! :)