HEIDI-MARIE OF LUANA'S BOOKSHELF

I'm Heidi-Marie, the founder of LuAna's Bookshelf. LuAna's Bookshelf is dedicated to raising money for schools all over the world by empowering children to help take control of their own education. I travel the world with and find poor schools in desperate need of funding. Together with the children of these schools, I create a storybook to sell and raise money for their school. No two books are the same. Every illustration within the book is a collaboration, each element drawn by different children from the school. The books also contain special elements relating to the specific country they were created in, and each book is printed both in English and the language of the children printed just below, allowing the reader to experience the many languages of this world. By being part of the creation of these books, the children feel that they are in control of their education and their future.  

KIRSTEN MCCARTHY OF BLOOMFIELD NATURAL SOAPS

I believe in giving my customers a soap that is made with love and respect for the natural environment. I think that people really need to start working together and taking responsibility to make nature cleaner. I am passionate about connecting with people and sharing my beautiful soap with them.  

AVE OF AVE MARIABELL DESIGNS

Ave Mariabell Designs is a series of minimalist, city skyline designs. The designs unite people together by celebrating cities that we love, and cities that have changed our lives. You can take a piece of the city you love home with you, whether it is a large-scale wall decal, canvas print or gift item. Inspired by the minimalism, geometry and colour palette of the traditional shoji screen, Ave Mariabell's city skylines look fabulous in a Scandinavian or Japanese inspired home. 

ANITA SHIELS OF ANITA SHIELS ART

Interestingly enough I never dreamed of selling my art as a business. It blossomed from a hobby into a small little business because of the feedback and support of family and friends. I have 2 boys and have been lucky enough to dedicate my time to raising them. Now that they are more independent, I have more time to work on my art. With the piles of art growing around the house, a friend encouraged me to contact a local store to see if they would be interested in selling some of my pieces and that is where Anita Shiels Art started.

MITCH + LEANNE OF THE NIGHT BAKER

We’re The Night Baker and we make handmade gourmet cookies for delivery. We are a husband and wife baking duo and have been delivering all around Toronto to satisfy cookie cravings while spreading the #cookielove.

DAFNA LIFSHITZ OF KNOT YOU KNOT ME

Fast forward to 2017. I remember macrame from being a child of the 70’s and 80’s. We had some in our home as well, and so when my mom asked me to make her some plant hangers, I was up for the challenge. I taught myself a few knots (thank you YouTube) and from there I was hooked.

I started making wall hangings and plant hangers, and opened my Etsy shop in 2017. Soon I started making necklaces for myself. They were fun little projects that I enjoyed making and wearing. When people started asking me about them, I knew I was onto something. Now I mostly make fiber jewellery.

MICHELLE OF MICHELLE VENEDAM

I love sharing my knowledge of plants with people and teaching them new things they might not have known before, especially in regards to succulents. I really love the joy that plants bring to people. Any time people need advice about their plants I’m so pleased to help them. I know how happy these plants make me, so anytime I can share that with someone, i will.

DEVON OF DIRT & DIVINE

As a young child, I always felt a special connection to nature. My childhood playground was the large forest/conservation area behind my home. As I got older, this connection has only become more and more intense. I would now consider environmentalism the single most important thing in my life. Taking care of the Earth truly affects every single decision I make. This is where Dirt & Divine comes in. For the last few years, I had envisioned an eco-conscious collective where the importance of protecting and connecting with Mother Nature was emphasized. Then, after my trip to Yosemite National Park in June of 2017, my drive finally jump-started. I wanted to take the feeling I had while looking at the tall trees, the mountains, and over-flowing waterfalls home with me. This is how Dirt & Divine began.

JANEVA OF JANEVA FAIRCLOTH

My “small business” began after this first year of art school. I created a body of work for a local summer craft show I’d been attending since childhood. I produced a range of craft items but primarily pen and ink watercolour drawings. Most of them featured girls and women (and dogs) facing away, communicating relationships between subjects with body language and subtle gestures in natural environments. The subject matter of my drawings appealed to the cottage show clientele, but this style also really made me happy, and that was clear in the paintings. The mood they conveyed was tangible and nostalgic. My first show went really well, and while I loved to produce at my own peaceful pace, I also loved seeing people admire my work, ask me questions and enjoy the space I created. 

TAMAR ANI OF LA NOUVELLE ANCIENNE

LNA's main mission is to bring awareness to the public regarding the wastefulness of our consumerist society, where we are obsessed with tossing things away without a second thought about if it is still useful, where it goes and what potential impact it will have on our planet. With this in mind, LNA embraces and promotes a non-wasteful ideology by celebrating creativity, vintage and art— via upcycling!

REBECCA GREENSTEIN + CHRISTYNE GAUTHIER OF SPIRO SPERO DESIGNS

Spiro Spero Designs creates Lucite jewelry for the modern muse. Based on our personal collections of vintage prints and ephemera, Spiro Spero breathes new life into iconic imagery by creating whimsical statement jewelry using laser cut Lucite charms. The line includes Lucite brooches, rings, charm necklaces, and chokers. Our current collection is inspired by the iconography of pin-up girls and is a tribute to powerful women.

AIERON MUNRO OF WE GON TAWK APPAREL

So my name is Aieron Munro, and I am the founder/owner of we-gon-tawk apparel. This concept grew from a joke I had with my friends. Whenever we needed to talk, whether it be serious talk, joking, loud or soft exchanges, we would always say to each other, “WE GON TAWK”. I decided to turn this phrase into a platform for freedom of expression, for using one’s voice. I was inspired to use apparel to broadcast my message simply because everyone needs to wear clothes, so why not display a positive message on that clothing – one that is much needed in today’s world. My hope is that people will feel inspired to express themselves, to use their voices.  Our apparel is a reminder to do just that.

JORDAN CLARKE OF ENARMOURED

My passion for jewellery making has developed fairly recently. In 2007, I graduated from OCAD University in Toronto, Canada with a BFA in Painting and Drawing. After working full-time as an oil painter for nearly a decade, I was drawn to the idea of using my creativity in a new medium. Since I've always loved working with my hands, the tactile quality that jewellery making provides seemed like the perfect next step. This spoke true for me after completing Con Ed courses in Jewellery at George Brown College.

RACHEL LYON OF FORGED BY NATURE

My son and I would often visit the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory. It was warm, beautiful and a great place to spend cold days. I grew to love the butterflies and plants; I started to learn more and more about the creatures that lived in the sanctuary. Their Latin names, their regions and their distinctive traits were fascinating to me.

Fast forward two years, I am now giving new life to creatures that have completed their life cycle and hopefully teaching others the importance of pollinators. The butterflies I use are sourced through the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory or from conservatories around the globe that are imported through their respective wildlife protection agencies. I source the imported butterflies ethically with the help of a retired science high-school teacher, who has many years experience in dealing with importing.

#LoveLocal Maker Feature // Jo of Cedar & Vine

I don’t even remember how I got interested in becoming a maker. I feel as if it is just part of who I am. As far back as I can remember I was always conjuring up some little project. I was raised by the most wonderful, creative workaholics. My parents own a steel fabrication shop and being surrounded by their mentality and atmosphere made me fall in love with the feeling of creating things and using that side of my brain to challenge myself. For me, sometimes what I love about it is not so much the creation of the product, it’s the creation of connections and bonds along the way with like-minded makers. Obviously I love the process too, but what good would the process or product be with no one to share it with?

LISA YOUNG OF LISA YOUNG DESIGN

 I create each piece myself in my home studio in Riverdale. A great sense of colour and design has always been my strength and use it to make accessories that are fun, unique and fashionable. The pieces are recreated from old vintage jewelry, watch parts, discarded treasures and other findings. I love being able to give new life to discarded items.

ZAKIYYAH ALEXANDER OF ZAKIYYAH LUXURY ORGANICS

I am a kitchen alchemist with a passion for healing and a love of fragrance. My path to crafting beauty products did not start here.  My initial journey started at the Fashion School, which exposed me to the world of beauty and design.  This has served me well in the visual aspect of my line today.

DEBBEY OF FOUR WISHES

Life got busy and my candle making plan went to the wayside. Life also decided to throw a curveball our way. My 23 year-old daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumour in October 2016 and had brain surgery.