December 5, 2023


That jolly, joyful time that is the Christmas season is now upon us. Decorations are starting to adorn buildings, winter-themed movies are airing on TV and people are checking their shopping lists more than twice. To find unique items for Christmas, many went to the One-of-a-Kind Christmas Craft Show in Wellesley on Nov. 8. There, only handmade items were sold from the region’s local crafters.

The event made its debut this year with around 20 tables inside the local community centre. Customers could buy crafts that ranged from wreaths and jewelrHS-XmasCS_2y to knitted clothing and engraved wood panels with messages. Although some items were regularly seen at a bazaar, there were items that were out of the norm. These included six-foot measuring boards to determine a person’s height and knitted bowls and hotplates. If patrons wanted to make something themselves, there was even the option of painting ornaments on wood or on the traditional bauble, otherwise known as a Christmas ball.

“I moved to Wellesley last year and I couldn’t find a venue to sell my stuff,” said crafter Pauline Simpson, the event organizer. “I participated in the farmer’s market this summer and met a lot of very talented neighbours there and said, ‘If I put on a winter craft show, would you participate?’ And they said yes.”

Simpson said there were no third-party or imported items allowed at the event. As well, to have more variety of items, only two vendors of a particular type were present. This ensured that all items sold would be from the businesses of local crafters and would give customers plenty to choose from.

One vendor sold her homemade jewelry and her mother’s porcelain Santa Claus and angel head ornaments. Her necklaces, earrings and rings were handmade and were all hand engraved. They were each made from an ingot of recycled metal.

“I do silver and gold work and my mom does porcelain work,” said Rachel Ramljak, a metal smith. “It starts from an original design that she sculpts. She makes a mold and does a limited production run. She hand paints them as well. No two are alike. They are all unique. Same with the jewelry.”

She and her mom, Sharon Rae, also work together on creating bottles made from porcelain and silver that could hold perfumes or essential oils. At the bazaar, they showed off their prototypes.

Susan Prange, who sold her mother’s knitted aprons and hot plates, said there was no previous craft show in Wellesley. She said Simpson had got all of the vendors together, including her mom, and that it ended up turning out fabulous.

The community was made aware of the event though Facebook groups and through flyers made by Simpson. Prange hopes that the event will run again next year.

“A lot of the old don’t go into town anymore,” Prange said. “They won’t go into Kitchener-Waterloo. They’ll go to New Hamburg, Baden, something very close. Being able to just go down the street is fabulous for them and being able to support their fellow townsmen is great.”

Simpson said she was quite happy with the turnout and that she would consider doing it again next year if she received some help.

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