North Shore artisans showcased at One of a Kind Show
Christmas came early this year for 19 North Shore artisans. In the summer they learned that each of their distinctive wares had been selected for the juried One of a Kind Show.
Scheduled for the height of the holiday shopping season, in mid-December at the Vancouver Convention Centre, the show is the creme de la creme of craft fairs.
From elegant fascinator hats to frilly boxer shorts to “curry without worry” to decorative water cooler covers - North and West Vancouver’s creative minds will be well represented at this exclusive expo that has sister shows in Toronto and Chicago.
“The One of a Kind Show has made a commitment to working with artists, designers and artisans who produce unique and extraordinarily well-crafted items,” the show’s director Ally Day told The Outlook. “Each applicant is handpicked by our selection committee and their recommendation is based on the quality, originality and creativity of the product artists create.”
Here’s a taste of just how discerning the judges are.
Upon acceptance, part of the One of a Kind show exhibitor contract includes an exclusivity clause.
To prevent ubiquity, the featured products will not be found at other consumer shows within a 50 km radius 30 days before and after One of a Kind.
North Vancouver’s Gerry-Gail Endean’s retro glam craving is evident in her Creampuff by gg creations – a line of “girlie” boxer shorts. Flirty and practical, Creampuff bloomers are seamless under clothes.
“I wanted something cute, comfy and pretty to wear under summer dresses to prevent the dreaded thigh-rub I get with bare legs in the summer,” said Endean, of the inspiration behind Creampuffs.
The mid-Lonsdale resident is one of the lucky entrepreneurs chosen for the One of a Kind Show. She was over the moon excited when she got the call.
“It’s a big deal,” explained Endean. “Being part of One of a Kind is like having a good job on your resume.”
The pin-up style, feminine lace detail and images of red roses that grace her undergarment designs evoke a playful sexiness that Endean said men can’t resist. These sexy stocking stuffers are also not at all embarrassing to buy, promises Endean.
“Men tell me they think creampuffs are really hot,” she said. “They love the pin-up girl image and the idea of something hidden.”
Lil Bandaids bandeaus compliment the 1940s glam look and protect women from becoming overtly flirty by filling in too low or too revealing necklines.
Famous Creampuff clients include Melanie Talkington, corsetiere to stars such as Dita von Teese. Creampuffs also grace the derrieres of women living around the globe, including Tokyo and Australia.
The Creampuff by gg winter collection includes: Naughty Tuxedo, Winter Garden, Black Magic Lace and Spice Mix. Creampuffsbygg.com
West Vancouverite Jean Stenhouse started her LittleMoSo bamboo clothing and bedding business two years ago.
“My oldest daughter had really sensitive skin and I kept trying to find underwear that was more comfortable and breathable,” she explained, of the genesis of LittleMoSo.
She experimented with soft and odour-resistant bamboo fabric, creating clothes for her family and friends, later adding bed and bath sheets.
Along the way, Stenhouse has learned that retailers don’t pay small time artists, which is why she jumps at marketing opportunities like the One of a Kind Show.
During last year’s show, she went through 1200 business cards and had quite a bit of repeat business over the year.
LittleMoSo winter colours include nova red, fungi and eggplant. French terry leggings, girls’ underwear and boys boxers make the perfect stocking stuffers.
One of a Kind artisans - Dec. 8-11 Vancouver Convention Centre
Tix and info: oneofakindvancouver.com
Geoffrey Lane Inc.
Handmade in Canada since 1990, Geoffrey Lane candles are long-burning and contain the finest quality food-grade waxes, pure cotton wicks and naturally derived fragrances.
Ace Curries To Go
Vick Bajaj and Jas Deol started their Indian spice business in the back room of Ace Video & Grocery in the Pemberton area of North Van. The premade mixes for favourite Indian meals like butter chicken are MSG, salt and preservative-free.
Billy Would Designs
Brilliant-hued wood cufflinks made from reclaimed skateboards, pierced with a tiny sterling silver rod. North Shore culture is reflected in the innovative and eco-friendly accessories created by Billy Would Designs artist Adea Chung.
Painter and ceramic artist Heather Braun-Dahl hand makes beautiful platters and other ceramics. Each piece is then graced with a floral scene created with the sweep of her paintbrush. They are also microwave, oven and dishwasher safe.
Smidgebox is “handmade this and that for the young and the young at heart”: cheerful, cotton tote bags – perfect for school books or gym clothes – and wee chef sets that include a child-size apron embellished with cheeky elephants.
When he was two years old, Geoff Ross’ parents adopted his brother who is of Interior Salish descent. Ross is inspired by First Nations art and contemporary design. All of his panel art pieces are hand carved from reclaimed red cedar trees and recycled copper and aluminum.
Gina Cook has, well, cooked up stylish and eco-sustainable aprons for women, men and kids. Lootz Aprons keep hands, both big and little, clean as you go – a removable Velcro tea towel panel eliminates the need to use paper towels.
Nikki Winterhelt Creations
Nikilites are unique night lights handmade from paper embossed with flowers, leaves and decorative images. Great for hallways, bathrooms and kitchens, they make a fabulous hostess or housewarming present.
Using 100 per cent Japanese cotton fabric, Noei designs include colourful cosmetic or pencil case pouches and totes featuring animated animals, patchwork fabric and even a little mermaid.
Notice Me Hats
Duchess of Cornwall Kate Middleton helped the fascinator hat make a comeback. Notice Me Hats chief embellishment officer Maegan Warren will often gather materials such as brilliant brooches and mink stoles from the trunks in her nana’s attic to create these vintage-inspired pieces.
Po Po’s Ponchos
Cozy and stylish Po Po’s Ponchos helps parents get kids out the door in a snap. There is no more struggling with sleeves. Three types of Ponchos are available: the traditional micro fleece, the reversible micro fleece and a new nylon resistant poncho.
From decorative water cooler covers to eye-catching “that’s my bag luggage identifiers”, Practical Design products are a mesh of functionality and big personality. The Heat Guard Cooling Tie is a deceptively fashionable accessory containing polymer crystals that when activated keeps the wearer from becoming overheated.
Toodlebunny is an imaginative jewellery collection with feminine yet edgy pieces that suit every woman’s taste. Featuring 14-karat gold fill and sterling silver, the asymmetrical designs embody natural elements of bone, wood, horn and semiprecious stones.
HD Art + Apparel
Heidi Denessen’s art consists of mixed media on panel, fabric and clothing design. Her images are inspired primarily by shapes and patterns found in her home and the natural playground of North Vancouver.
Ratatouille Designs are one-of-a-kind, repurposed vintage French and European linen pillow cases and tea towels – a charming accent to any room in your home. The catalogue is always updated with new items gleaned during trips to Provence, France.
Spirit Works Limited
Spirit Works bentwood boxes are beautifully adorned, traditional containers used to store precious possessions. Authentically handcrafted by First Nations people, the body of the container is constructed using only a single piece of West Coast Cedar.
The Vinegar Lady
The Vinegar Lady makes specialty condiments from scratch, namely fruit-infused vinegar, mint sauce, salad dressings, marinades and dipping sauces.