This is the Indie Handmade’s second year in St. Albert, and they’re bringing you the best of Canadian artists and their products. For four days, meet the artists and marvel at their handmade works. Here are seven vendors you’ll meet at the market this week.
Stèphane Marguerite, owner and artist
Business location: Based in Montréal, QB
Length of time in business: Has been operating since 1993.
Product description: The boomerangs are eco-friendly, and all 11 models are handmade from Finnish aircraft birch plywood from regenerated forests. The boomerangs come in two, three and four-armed styles. Each boomerang is hand-painted in original motifs that are inspired by the Australian Aborigine culture.
The “Eureka!” moment: “Well, I have been throwing a boomerang since I was 15-years-old, but it was a hobby and sport at the time. When I moved to Quebec from France at the age of 24, I visited the Salon des Métiers d’Art and discovered that you can actually live with a passion—like making boomerangs for other people. My parents were artisans too, so why not! Nobody really knew about boomerangs in Canada before I arrived. We founded a boomerang club, organised competitions with our American friends et voilà!”—Stèphane Marguerite
Most popular item: The collection with different printed patterns. It’s also a very easy boomerang for the entire family to use.
Kat Cadegan, owner and artist
Business location: Based in Revelstoke, BC.
Length of time in business: Has been in full-time operation for two years, but Kat has been making jewellery for 10 years.
Product description: Handmade sterling silver, bronze and gold jewellery. Kat has studied her craft in India, México, Canada and China. Her worldly education mixed with her love of nature creates a style that is unique, timeless and stylish.
The “Eureka!” moment: “The first time I sat down to work with metal was at a tiny school Pushkar, India. I knew instantly I had finally found my medium. For years I tried my hand at various artistic outlets, but it wasn’t until I picked up a torch that I knew I found my place. I felt an instant connection to the process and a passion that drives my work.”—Kat Cadegan
Most popular item: “Pirate Booty” necklaces because they’re collection of charms that you can build yourself. You can look through the “treasure chest” of charms, decide which ones tell your story and build your own necklace. Some charms include: castings of seafan from the ocean, dragonfly wings, hummingbird skulls, wishbones, vertebrae, tokens, talismans, feathers.
Den Jones, owner and artist
Business location: Based in Comox, BC
Length of time in business: Has been in operation for 12 years, but started sculpting with textiles 8 years ago.
Product description: Handmade felted hats, scarves, headbands and bags that have a 1920s to 1940s flair. Her products are made from crocheted, felted crochet and needle felted pieces that showcase her fine arts degree. Her materials are natural, and the dyes are eco-friendly.
The “Eureka!” moment: “Crocheting was easier for me and, due to its nature, I found I could create my own patterns. As I had previously made sculptures in metal, it seemed a natural step to use textiles and have a go at making hats, as they had a 3-D sculptural element to them. By felting my product, it meant they are malleable, I could form them into the final shape. At this time, I took a short course in needle felting, and it all came together—I found a way to add detail to my hats. When I had my first batch of stock, I began to sell locally at small shows, testing the market, and gradually I progressed into larger shows across Canada when my creations seemed popular.”—Den Jones
Most popular item: The wide brim “Mojo” hat with the ray design, as well as the “Button-Up” scarves.
Sabrina O’Donnell, owner and artist
Business location: Based in Edmonton, Alberta; however, Sabrina Butterfly will be moving to Montrose, 6007-120 Avenue in Spring 2017.
Length of time in business: Has been in operation since 2007, but Sabrina has been designing her clothing line since 1998.
Product description: Comfortable, women’s clothing in distinctive designs made from an array of natural fibres: linen, rayon, bamboo, hemp, cotton, wool, silk and many of the fabrics are blended with stretch for a relaxed fit. All items are preshrunk, easy-to-care-for and available in sizes 4/6 to 16/18.
The “Eureka!” moment: “When I first set out on my own and was doing smaller craft shows, I would have to say my Eureka moment was when customers kept coming back to see what was new or came back to purchase the same design in another fabric!”—Sabrina O’Donnell
Most popular item: The Bella pants have been the most popular item for years, as they’re a great fit for many body types.
Soma Mo, owner and artist
Business location: Based in Edmonton, Alberta.
Length of time in business: Has been in business for 10 years, 3 of which have been in silver making.
Product description: One-of-a-kind jewellery made with traditional Tibetan silver skills, where the silver accessories are matched with natural beads that Soma collects from different Asian countries. Her natural beads are kept in their natural state as much as possible.
The “Eureka!” moment: “I’ve had a dream to be a jewellery designer since I was a child. It’s like the dreams came true after I immigrated to Canada and found that I can make a living by making jewellery—especially since I can use the traditional silversmith skills that I learned from a master in Tibet.” —Soma Mo
Most popular item: Each piece of Soma’s jewellery is one-of-a-kind, so there is no “most popular” category.
Sam & Sandra Thiessen, owners and artists
Business location: Based in Tofield, AB
Length of time in business: Has been in business for 10 years.
Product description: Flavoured honey products using their own honey as a base. There are fruit-filled honeys, tea-infused honeys, vinaigrettes and glazes for meats. All of the products are gluten free and use only natural ingredients.
The “Eureka!” moment: “We developed our first red raspberry fruit-filled honey 10 years ago. It was so popular that we decided add value to our current honey business and launched Beary Berry Honey. Since then, we have launched 23 fruit-filled honeys, 5 tea-infused honeys, 9 vinaigrettes and 9 meat glazes. All have proven to be very popular.”—Sandra Thiessen
Most popular item: The lemon, cinnamon and black raspberry honeys have continued to be the top sellers. The new tea-infused line is proving to be popular.
Tanya, Yvonne and Melissa, owners and artists
Business location: Based in Sauble Beach, ON
Length of time in business: Has been in business for over 45 years.
Product description: A family run business creating and designing Belgian chocolate dipped apples, hand-roasted nuts and homemade fudge. Everything is made in small batches using only premium ingredients. The chocolate covered apples are Granny Smiths that are dipped in homemade caramel, then Belgian chocolate and covered in various toppings. There is an apple dipped in a flavoured caramel such as lemon meringue, wrapped in marshmallow, dipped in chocolate and rolled in graham crackers.
The “Eureka!” moment: “I knew when I was 13-years-old that I wanted to take over my parents business and take it to the next level!”—Tanya Mische
Most popular item: Most popular item in the “Cinful Apple.” It’s a Granny Smith dipped in caramel and rolled in the company’s signature cinnamon glaze. This treat is amazing sliced up for a cheese platter or a dessert platter.