If you have never been to the One of a Kind Show , I highly recommend you go at least once! Over 450 vendors make their way to Toronto, Vancouver and Chicago to showcase their handmade, creative, one-of-a-kind goods. The great thing about the show is that each vendor is unique, offering products that are conceived, designed and handcrafted by them! You’ll find everything from art, ceramics, tea, natural skin care products, jewellery, fashion, kids’ wear to household items. The show takes place twice a year over a course of 5 to 11 days during April and November to December.
If it’s your first visit to the show, I recommend giving yourself at least 4 hours to fully take in the experience. At first it will be overwhelming since there are A LOT of aisles and vendors to see! My advice is to go up and down every aisle to explore and see what’s there, then jot down the booth number of anyone you may want to come back to for closer look. Or, if you are planning on looking for something more specific, the aisles are all categorized based on the goods or services provided. If you prefer to go when it’s less crowded, it’s best to choose a weekday as weekends can be packed with people!
What I find awesome about the show is that each product offered comes from an individual, creative vision. Often times you can chat with the designers, artists, and business owner themselves.
If you missed the show, no problem! The great news is that most vendors have online stores. So if you find yourself regretting not picking up that special something at the show, you can always have it shipped to you!
Every year I discover someone new. Here are some of my favourite picks from this years Spring Show:
This is probably my favourite find of this year! I just fell in love with designer and owner Julie Doyon’s clothes! Her clothes fit any woman’s body beautifully. The fabrics and design are fashionable, urban and feminine, with a sexy elegance. They make you feel beautiful the instant you put them on! Her pieces are definitely striking. I had the pleasure of meeting her at the show and it is obvious that she is passionate about what she does. Of all the fashion vendors I visited, her items were some of the most affordable. Based in Montreal, her clothes are also available for purchase online.
Another new discovery and easy favourite! Her Bamboo Essentials Line is beautiful as well as functional. Great fitting clothes in gorgeous colours, they also feel great on! The bamboo fabric feels wonderful against the skin, soft and the ultimate comfort. My favourite pieces featured at the show were the Maxi Dress (pictured) and the Button Wrap (not pictured). The picture doesn’t do the dress justice, but it looks fantastic when it’s on! The Button Wrap is another favourite. Stylish and functional, it can be worn in so many different ways – all looking great! This line is more of a splurge and investment, but well worth it. Both the Maxi dress and Button Wrap are priced over $100 each. Based in Vancouver, this line is also available for purchase online.
Practical swimsuit cover ups that come in great colours and designs. This is a must have for the beach! We all want to look fashionable while on vacation. Throw on one of these colourful wraps whenever you need a little extra coverage — whether you’re on a boat, on the shore, or getting your pina colada topped up. Another great feature – the cover ups are wrinkle proof and conveniently fold up to be carried over the shoulder.
Perfect thirst quencher for summer or to use when entertaining! This is the most delicious lemonade I have ever tasted. This lemonade mix is light, refreshing, not too sweet and tastes very natural. One bottle will last you through 7 litres of water.
Love, love, love Shibang Designs! Gorgeous original purses with vibrant prints & colours. These are truly a statement piece! Her products are made through a layering textile technique. It’s obvious a lot of time, care and passion go into making these designs. These are truly handmade one of a kind pieces! I couldn’t take my eyes off them. Shibang Designs also makes wall art and iPod cases. And, her pieces are very affordable! Items can be purchased online.
I absolutely fell in love with Arza Design purses! Unfortunately they are out of my price point, so all I can do is drool over them and wish that someday I could own one. The colours are so deep, rich and succulent (if you can use that word to describe a purse! J ). The designs are elegant, and the leather fabrics feel wonderful to the touch. My favourite purse in her collection is the Laptop Bag. Based in Brooklyn, Arza Design can often be seen at the One of a Kind Shows and outdoors shows and markets in NYC. It’s worth waiting to see her at a show as her purses are usually 20% off retail price.
This vendor wasn’t at the Spring show this year, but I want to mention them anyway as I love their skincare! Made from all natural ingredients, their products feel so good on the skin and smell amazing! All products are available online and they offer free shipping within Canada for orders over $105. My favourite products are the Potion Facial Elixir (soft, velvety facial cream that is light and aromatic), Potion lip tint (offers moisture & light colour), About Face Perfect Complexion Serum (makes your skin super soft, I wear mine at night), and Quick Fix Aromatherapy Spray (smells amazing! I spray it in my room for instant relaxation).
Other favourites: Hilborn Pottery – a company specializing in unique hand built & painted clay products – photos on website don’t at all do the products justice!, Monster Factory – create adorable and impossible not to love stuffed monster characters, Nahid Marandi – tableaus of sculpted figures of silk fabric.
If you missed the Spring show, not to worry, One of a Kind is back for its Christmas show in November. Keep an eye out on the website for exact dates. Tickets are normally $13-14, but keep an eye out for cheap ticket offers through the show itself or through Travel Zoo .