LEE ANN GARRETT OF FRESH TWIST

Ten years ago I created my first designs, a line of hand knit, newborn hats based on fruit, vegetable and sports themes. The hats were a resounding success and as word-of-mouth spread so did demand. My designs now include knit baby accessories, tea cosies and women's felt hats. These are available at juried craft shows, specialty boutiques, online and now The Nooks Danforth!

I was reluctant at first to turn my knitting hobby into a business but finally decided to take it to the next level. I quit my day job, and after several years I now run my own business, Fresh Twist.

KENDRA ELIZABETH OF DEEP WINTER JEWELLERY

When I think of handmade I think of the tiny imperfections that make a piece of jewellery “art”, as opposed to “a product”. Those imperfections, whether intentional or not, are what make the jewel unique. You can feel a piece of the creator within the item.

JILL AND TESSA OF A PEACE OF THE BEACH

Hi I’m Jill, the mom part of the mother-daughter team that is A Peace of the Beach. My daughter Tessa and I each play different roles in our partnership. I find I’m the creative workhorse, as I go on daily adventures down to the lakeshore to gather driftwood. The best days to gather driftwood are right after the biggest storms, which draw a new wave of pieces from Lake Ontario. Tessa’s role is more focused on the artistic and technical input regarding the quality of the tables. 

MAKERS GIVE BACK // LAURINDA LEE OF KIND KARMA COMPANY

Kind Karma Company was created around giving back! We are a social enterprise that employs at-risk and transitioning homeless youth in Toronto to handcraft quality jewellery. In addition to receiving hourly wages, proceeds from all sales are returned to our youth employees to support their individual goals such as funding post-secondary education, securing permanent housing, or helping with courses for personal and professional development.

MAKERS GIVE BACK // VALERIE RODRIGO-BIBB

How do you give back?

I currently volunteer for City Street Outreach providing food, clothing and assistance to the homeless, street-involved youth, seniors, new immigrants, single mothers and individual/families in need and/or living in poverty.

I also volunteer at the Scarborough Bluffs Community Association as a Board member serving the Birchcliff, Cliffside and Cliffcrest communities. I help to organize and lead community building events and centralize and unite the community under a single banner.

ANGIE HENDERSON OF FRECKLE FACE JEWELLERY

My work is an extension of who I am. I am inspired by current fashion trends but try to take those trends from something that would only be worn on the runway to something that can be worn in everyday life and enjoyed for seasons to come. I appreciate and am influenced by a variety of fashion styles and that results in a variety for my customers and something for everyone. 

AMBER OF PINK LEMON DECOR

After almost a decade in corporate telecommunications I made the tough decision to walk away from my successful career and focus on my family. I loved my job however always felt something was missing. There was no creative outlet in my day-to-day and that was something I craved. I have always been a DIY’er and loved anything that would get my hands dirty. hat is where Pink Lemon came in.

NOOKFEST MAKER PROFILES // ASJA OF AZATORIUM

I learned how to cross stitch at an early age of about six, explained to me by my amazing grandma. A few years ago I decided to pick it up again to make a birthday present for a friend and haven’t stopped since. It is a process driven by nostalgia and this hunger to make the old craft new again. My goal is to make the cross stitch art modern and fun again!

NOOKFEST ARTIST PROFILES // CAITLIN TAGUIBAO

Caitlin Taguibao is an artist with the PATCH Project, an initiative which partners with artists to transform unused public spaces into galleries for all to enjoy. At this year's NookFEST Community Arts and Music Festival, Caitlin will be creating a mural piece on the back wall of 2000 Danforth Avenue.

NOOKFEST ARTIST PROFILE // STEPHANIE BOUTARI

Stephanie Boutari is an artist with the PATCH Project, an initiative which partners with artists to transform unused public spaces into galleries for all to enjoy. At this year's NookFEST COmmunity Arts and Music Festival Stephanie will be creating a mural piece on the back of 2038 Danforth Avenue, home of the Nooks DANFORTH. 

NOOKFEST MAKER PROFILES // AGATA SICZEK OF SIMPLE PANTRY

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always had a creative side that needed an outlet. I enjoy creating things and working with my hands, but it has been a challenge to find something that I can create, share and be proud of.

For the last few years, cooking has been a huge passion of mine. I desperately wanted to become professionally involved with cooking. However, I struggled with the idea of working in a sweaty kitchen restaurant and making minimum wage. I dabbled with different ideas and projects, and had some amazing experiences along the way. I also met a lot of different people that inspired and influenced me. I knew that if I created something, I wanted it to be simple and easy for others to do it too. I believe that everyone can cook, you don’t need professional training. You just need to know the basic skills and if you’ve got that you can work wonders in your kitchen. That’s why I encourage my customers to have fun and be creative with the jar recipes. Add some fresh ingredients to the recipe, or garnish the finished product with something special for a dish that's sure to impress.

NOOKFEST ARTIST PROFILES // ARTIST NAZ RAHBAR OF ARTCAVE

I’m an artist and educator. Art is what I do! I’m making art, teaching it, or thinking about it. I think art is powerful and fun. I don’t know how not to Art! I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts from OCAD University, and a Bachelor of Education from York University with a fine arts focus. Currently I’m completing a Masters of Fine Arts at York University.

NOOKFEST MUSICIAN PROFILES // MARKY MONDAY

Marky Monday is known to fans as the new age Fred Penner, Mr. Dressup, and Mr. Rogers all combined in one.

Marky Monday is a children’s character created and performed by Mark William Pezzelato. Mark began working with children in 2001 as a professional drum and guitar teacher. Eventually his teaching evolved into creating songs and entertaining. By 2011 Mark was performing in festivals and private parties as Disney’s Mad Hatter, turning heads wherever he went with his unique approach, creating original songs on the spot to entertain audiences of all ages.

SHERI STRANGER OF BLUE ROCKET GIFTS

I am a Canadian-born artist and designer who seeks to delight, engage and entertain with my series of playful and cheeky greeting cards. I hope that my funny cards remind us to notice life’s simple pleasures, such as the joy of a good pun or play on words!