Thursday, 21 November 2013

My Store! All Forty-Six Glorious Inches of It!

My big news of the season is that I have a space in the Arts Market's 846 College Street location!

Have you heard about the Arts Market yet? It's like a permanent, indoor craft sale! Indoors! No boiling, freezing or getting drenched! No dreary schlepping of the display every time! Not even having to be there in person, because someone wonderful is minding the store, five days a week! How liberating....

Daniel Cohen dreamed it up and was musing about it when he was a fellow vendor (selling his photography) at St. Lawrence Market two years ago. He thought it would be great to have a store where makers of various arts and crafts, and purveyors of vintage goods, could rent a space, do it up the way they like, and not be subject to the vagaries of weather. He opened the Leslieville store that very year. It really took off, and earlier this year he opened the College Street location, at the corner of Ossington.

I have been watching the Arts Market blossom since its inception. I'm so impressed by the level and mix of talent Daniel has curated. I'm not alone; it won Now Magazine's Best Unique Gift Store for 2013! I like being among the best. I do that in the summer, too.

So I applied, waited for a spot, one opened up at College Street and I grabbed it. Forty-six inches of wall, plus a tiny corner. Now all I had to do was think of it a teeny store, and furnish it accordingly. First concept to jettison was grid wall. I had walls I could have my way with!

I must thank whoever threw out the dresser I spotted on a neighbourhood walk shortly after signing my lease. That became the major piece. I also thank the other neighbour who discarded a folding plant stand two years ago. That was brought into play, too. I thought I might squeeze in a new hat stand I got a great deal on very recently, but it wouldn't fit. Mercifully, I had a eureka moment and found a way to put at least some of it to work....

It also helps to have an indispensable Scott around. He is literally indispensable to my millinery business. I couldn't do what I do without him "roadie-ing" (his expression, recovering musician that he is), or his handiness with paint and hammer, or his unfailing patience and easy-going nature. He is the one who made the space come together. All this, while waiting for his very first book, written or published, to be released this Saturday! I am one lucky cuss, I'm telling you. Thank you, Scott and kind universe.

So I'm in! Please come to the Arts Market at 846 College at Ossington, see my little retail space and buy a hat or hair toy! It's a very fun place to shop, you'll see!

On with the show:

We begin with a freshly patched and painted wall, courtesy of Scott.

Scott in the Vendors' Hang area in the back of the store, waiting for paint to dry, looking at a vintage magazine ad on how to cope with orangutan hair. (They must have eradicated it. I never hear about it, at any rate. Well done, advertiser!)

My hero!

At the end of our move-in day, last week, a rudimentary set-up. Other commitments interrupted, then we were back yesterday to continue.

Scott and me at work yesterday.

Scott putting up shelves. Not only that, but he sourced them too. Little rounded corner shelves, dusty and forgotten on the bottom shelf of a hardware store. Just as I had imagined. Probably the last to be had. What a guy!

As Scott hammered, leveled and painted, I attached grey corduroy liners I had sewn at home inside the dresser's drawers.

Here's the top drawer, nestling my fascinators.

...and the second drawer, with clips...

...and the third drawer, with cozy toques. I'm strangely proud of these liners. Okay, I'm proud of the work inside them, too.

We weren't the only newbies moving. Bev Pines was painting her new space, which she will stock with her homeopathic skin products. She had me try a hand cream, which was lovely. I do love handmade skin products.

An Ikea star Scott dusted with gold paint to hold my hair bands.

My neighbour's ex-plant stand, painted white and gold by Scott, now a hat stand. I papier mache'd these "girls" with tissue paper flecked with gold and silver.

I never noticed before today the little A's on the feet! Kismet!

Told you I had a eureka moment about the new hat stand! The nice man at the hardware store a few doors east found us what we needed to mount it and make it spin.

Spin, but spin slowly, friends. I thank you.

I'm among friends here, and I didn't even know it until we moved in. This is Roberto Riveros's space, our photographer buddy from St. Lawrence Market...

...and here is a snippet of Maria's space, another Market friend. She and Salome are sharing the window at the Leslieville Arts Market location. And it looks stunning, as is their work.

Danielle, on the left, on her way out, after primping her wonderful space full of vintage clothing and furniture. Stephanie, on the right, is the cheerful staffer who minds the store>. She also makes whimsical accessories using keyboard keys and other for her own space, right beside the awesome big front desk.

The big reveal! All done!

Once more, for emphasis.

And just as I was leaving, Barbara Ann came by my space. She loves hats, and looks great in this one! I do hope she comes back with her wallet....

So there you go, my mini retail saga. With your help it will be an ongoing story! Thanks for reading this far!

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