My friend Cathy Browne told me about the Made on Salt Spring event happening at Heritage Hall in Vancouver March 23-25 and we popped down to check it out. We had a lot of fun. We met so many great vendors and chatted with so many cool people. This is an excellent show for those who love handmade, craft and artisanal products because you get to learn so much about how the things you love to taste and look at are made. You get the whole story of it’s birth into the world and what it meant to the person who mad it. I love that, personally. These are some of the folks we met:
Alvaro Sanchez. He makes really beautiful jewelry and he plays the guitar. He sings in English, Spanish and Portuguese and his wife is an artist also. He is one of the organizers of the event and you can read more about him here. Here is a piece made by his wife:
B’s Pottery. Anne educated us on the many steps pieces go through to become functional pieces of art. We decided she’s a clay doula for all her hard work.
Big Bear and The Wolf. The art these folks make is really unique – prints on maple ply. They also had really great gratitude chalkboards which you can write what you are thankful for on. The fellow we met there was very funny and kind.
Creative Flow Glassworks. Their glasswork is stunning and mesmerizing.
Elfworks Studio – These folks make the most awesome wood toys and cutting boards (Paul really wanted the growler caddy, that’s definitely going on the Christmas wish list.) We had a nice chat with the one of the makers who makes woollen hats under their Two Monkeys Design label, knit and crochet. My son likes to knit too and they chatted about fish and scuba diving. Paul also really wants to get one of their brim hats. They are very stylish and definitely going on the list too. Learn more about them here in Made on Salt Spring’s blog.
Green Bananas Eco Products – They made the media tote bags that were very sturdy and lovely.
Gulf Island Cribbage – Inspired by the driftwood, this creative young man makes the most artful cribbage boards. I used to play crib with my grandparents and these made me smile thinking about that. It was a good reminder to slow down, disconnect and reconnect with the people you love while you play!
Hawk and Owl Custom Jewelry – Bill makes really beautiful jewelry from stones from Salt Spring Island and all over the world. We chatted Instagram strategy, how to brine salmon and about his journey from Toronto, to the lower mainland and over to Salt Spring and how helpful his daughter has been with his social media strategy. He’s a super nice fellow who knows a lot about stones and fossils.
Island Soap Company – These folks kindly gave us some beautiful soap and lip balm to try out. I am always on the hunt for great soap as I like to take bubble bath breaks instead of coffee breaks. I was eyeing their collection of bath bombs in mason jars (and on their own.) Their soap is made from olive oil.
Lavender and Black – We learned a lot about lavender at this booth – the medicinal properties, how few people are allergic to it, how great it smells, how they use stills to make things from the lavender, what a hearty plant it is and how lovely it smells. We got to bring a few things home to try and these folks are just the sweetest. Learn more about them here. She also gave me some tips to keep orchids alive, which was very handy.
Monsoon Coast Exotic World Spices – These folks know their spices. We tried out a bunch of them and learned about how they have been blended authentically according to where they are from. We really liked the Delhi Chat Masala.
Organic Gaia Foods – Their food was amazingly delicious and the lady we met there was incredibly sweet!
Queen Bee Design – This jewelry was beautiful and made by hand. Shania Twain bought some of her earrings and her jewelry has been featured in magazines. Truly lovely stuff!
Salish Sea Succulents – Our friends at Salish Sea Succulents taught us a lot about succulent care and we learned a lot. I am the type to easily kill many plants so I feel a bit more confident after chatting with her that I could keep a succulent alive.
Salt Spring Island Artisan Vinegar – Their bottles are beautiful and my son really loved one of the fruit balsamics. They also have fruit wine vinegars and even a very spicy one. The story of how their business came to be was unique, you can find it here.
Salt Spring Sea Salt – Philippe is from France and when he came to Canada he missed great salt. So he hand harvested fleur de sel from the ocean and made the most amazing salt. He has some that taste smoky, some that taste lemony, rosemary garlic and blackberry (and more – so many flavours.) The crystals are beautiful and Philippe was lovely. We are really looking forward to cooking with this elegant ingredient. You can read more about Philippe here.
Salt Spring Shine Craft Distillery – These folks make vodka, gin, and moonshine (and even a liquor that is apple pie flavoured.) The nice thing is that they are gluten free! My sister is celiac and I’m not very good with gluten myself so this was very cool to learn. Their products are made from honey. We chatted with them about beekeeping, and avoiding bee stings. Such nice folks!
Salt Spring Tweed – You can actually build your own bag and have a one of a kind creation, or you can treat yourself to one of their awesome pre-made picks. I love their stuff. I am pondering my own custom messenger bag to haul all my blog gear around.
Salt Spring Wild Cider – We tried some delicious cider and learned about how their first batch came from apples offered to them by other islanders, how their batches have to hang out for about 8 months to become the delicious concoctions we tasted and how their bottles make great glass water bottles when you’ve finished drinking the cider. These folks are very down to earth and I definitely recommend their drinks.
Stefanie Denz – Stefanie had some beautiful art on display. Check out her website to see some of it for yourself. She’s an award winning artist who lives and works on Salt Spring.
The Bubble and Squeak Soapery – Some of the best products are made from love. The lady who makes these soaps started making soaps because her daughter’s skin was so sensitive. This was her first official show, though she’s been making soap for 20 years.
There’s a little section called the MOSS pop-up which had a bunch of neat products from a variety of vendors who make things on the island and the Cobsweb felted soap was Liam’s favourite at the popup. Paul really wanted a Bread and Butter Print Shop apron (I was just checking out their website and they list a tea towel of the month club, which is pretty awesome.)
We had the pleasure of meeting the founders of Salt Spring Slime who also make cool t-shirts. They took their t-shirt profits and invested them into slime supplies. Liam was really eager to meet these young ladies and they go to school with my client and friend’s daughters.
We spent two hours chatting with people and still didn’t get to meet everyone personally, but we really enjoyed the show. My son goes to a ton of events through our blogging and he said, “That was really fun, mom, I enjoyed that!” You can read more about the show here and more folks we didn’t get to chat with here. We are looking forward to next year and it’s meant that my boyfriend is very insistent that we are going to Salt Spring to get some more of the things that you can only get there when the market leaves. I am excited!
Disclaimer: We were provided free tickets to review the show and some of the vendors generously provided samples of their products for us to try. That said, we had a really great time and all opinions are my own and those of my family. My blogs aren’t usually this long but I HAD SO MUCH TO TELL YOU. Go check it out before they leave town!