Remember that glittery, Mother’s Day card you made in elementary school? Or the mixtape you scrapped together for your failed rapping career?
Maybe it’s time you revived those neglected creativity skills and started selling your craft on Etsy – the whimsical online marketplace for the hobbyist in you.
To inspire you (or just contribute to your shopping habit), here are five Toronto-based craft vendors you should check out immediately.
Let’s be honest, neckties and bowties are the dessert of men’s fashion. A simple, black tie is great – like a Hershey’s kiss – but wouldn’t you prefer a rich, chocolate cake with juicy strawberries atop light buttercream frosting? The equivalent of that chocolate cake is Handsome and Lace’s gorgeous creations. This shop has transformed the plain, black tie into fabulous pastel-colored ties featuring designs from floral patterns to batman’s mask. Since starting her Etsy journey in 2010, owner Keira Morgan’s creations have been featured in British GQ, and on the necks of beloved actors such as Benedict Cumberbatch. If that doesn’t sell you, nothing will.
This shop gives life to modern illustration and lettering. In a world where everything seems digitized, the unique pieces Love Lettering creates by hand are a breath of fresh air, and ideal for summer tea parties, wedding showers and birthday parties. Or that photo booth you have permanently installed in your living room. This “I Love Canada” card, for example, is pure gold.
First Edition Tea Co has brilliantly meshed unique tea combinations with literary classics and famous cities. Since 2015, owner Stephanie has developed 34 different teas divided among its “Literary Collection” and “Wanderlust Collection.” The Literary Collection brings to life classics such as Alice in Wonderland and Sherlock Holmes, while the Wanderlust Collection gathers the tastes and smells of cities such as London and Marrakech. Stephanie has travelled around the world to gather the ingredients for her tea, making this shop a perfect gift for wanderlust, book-crazed tea lovers everywhere.
As the name suggests, this card shop celebrates the little things in life – like green beans, colourful monsters, and llamas. With a vast selection of over 90 cards, owner Aparna Varma has created a paper world fit for the chill millennial. Her cards range from Mother’s Day greetings like “I’m Possum coz you’re Possum!” to birthday cards like “Avo-card-fo-you,” which of course features two friendly, cartoon avocados exchanging gifts.
This shop is heaven for the crazy cat ladies of the world. Opening her Etsy store in 2014, Cat Kazmir has created unique gifts and necessities for cat-obsessives, such as his-and-her “Adopt Don’t Shop” shirts and all natural kitty litter supplies. House of Cat even sells clever “Meowy Christmas” cards for the holidays – where else could you get that?
To check out these Etsy vendors in-person, be sure to attend next year’s “Made in Canada” event held around September. This year, over 130 Toronto-based Etsy vendors showcased their unique products and talent, including the five vendors above.