Etsy Made in Canada // Ottawa 2018

The weekend before last I held my FIFTH annual Etsy Made in Canada here in Ottawa.

It was amazing.

Best ever.

We changed up the venue this year due to a scheduling conflict and despite the stress that added to my life a few months ago, it turned out to be completely serendipitous.

Our new venue (Carleton University) meant I could host a greater range of vendors, offer shoppers some wider aisles (though there was some debate as to whether that was a positive thing for sellers…the argument being that perhaps a more crowded feeling space would add a certain sense of urgency to purchasing…I dunno.), more ample parking, accessibility to transit, etc etc.

Overall I feel really good about it and will definitely use this space again.

Our Etsy Made in Canada Ottawa makers! And this isn’t even all of them!

Five years of doing this show and this is literally the first time I’ve felt this confident in the product I have to offer both my makers and our guests.

I can’t tell you the number of shoppers (like more than a dozen!) who came up to me during the show to comment on how amazing our makers are and how impressed they were by the show.

We always get a lot of feedback about how talented our vendors are (because duh), but I usually also wake up on post-show Monday morning to an inbox of people who were disappointed with the temperature of the space, or the parking situation, or a number of other things I can’t necessarily control…but this time?


The complaint department was crickets!

What a thrill that was for me and my paper thin skin.

That’s not to say it’s easy, or that I don’t have a week of nightmares about being unprepared in some way leading up to the show, but they really do just keep getting better.

I keep adding to my pre-show checklist and try to anticipate any issues that might arise.

And it’s working.

Me showing just a fraction of my excitement that the weekend has finally arrived.

As always, I hired Shoebox Pics to capture the event.

Enjoy the following pics and I’ll hope to see you at the next one!

Join our mailing list HERE and we’ll keep you in the loop!

xo Em

PS. Makers, if you see yourself here and want a copy, send me a note!

Alicja Confections

Among the Pines


CJ Designs

Craft Collective

Our amazing volunteers Sam and Eric!

Fletch Robbins

Frisky Misky’s

Julie. Aka half of Hollow CLAYWORKS.

Mississippi North.

Nomadic Chicken

Pip Robins


Sadie and June

Sadie and June

Sprig Studio

Sweet Cheeks Kitchen

Vera and Mordy live painting her beautiful studs!

Wild Things Jewelry + Decor

Zoe’s Corner


    Summahtime // Round up

    Summer goes by in a FLASH around here.

    Save for a couple weeks leading up to Christmas, summer is our busiest time of year here in the shop. So busy that I haven’t had a moment to stop and take note of all that we’ve been up to these last couple months.

    It’s been a fantastic season here in the friendly town.

    The weather has been perfection and we’ve easily had our most successful summer since opening five years ago.

    I (half) joke about the shop being my “loss leader” as far as my businesses go. It’s my most faaaavourite revenue stream, but with the overhead (and stress. Oh the stress!) that comes along with having a brick and mortar, it’s by far my least profitable.

    Without being dramatic I actually think most people would be shocked by how much totally crap work is actually involved in running a retail shop. My strengths are surprisingly limited when it comes to the actually RUNNING of the business.

    Bookkeeping? Yeah, no.

    Having hard conversations with staff?

    Not my favourite.

    I really just want to source cool stuff, turn customers into friends and manage the marketing.

    Ask any of my staff what they hear me say most and I would bet they’d tell you it’s “We should have a staff meeting. Next week when things aren’t so crazy.” (Either that or “Please don’t leave me.”)


    Next week.

    But I’m newly hopeful that I can get my shit together. I mean it’s been 5 years.

    I’ve made some new investments in my shop this year.

    From hiring professional help (shout out to my Bash Sisters) to keep our windows fresh and taking a step back from the front of house to focus on working ON the business rather than IN it, to bringing on a full time assistant to alleviate some workload, and dedicating more effort to growing new projects. I am finally getting a grasp on what a truly sustainable career in retail looks like.

    Our beautiful and SUPER colourful summer window display. By the Bash Sisters.

    It quite literally is taking me a village.

    Maybe THIS is what they mean when they say it takes five years to build a solid business. You need this much time to learn what works.

    You can’t fast track this stuff.

    I have an amazing team here at the shop, and that’s something that’s taken time too.

    I can’t tell you how lucky I feel to have these women on my team.

    CM Bday-27

    Michelle, Emily, Julie and Tamara. Not pictured: Chloe, Emily and Maddy  #dreamteam

    With their help we put on a fantastic birthday bash to celebrate our five years on Mill Street.

    CM Bday-3

    We greeted each of our guests (2 legged or 4) with a free “Handmade Cheerleader” tote bag, a cupcake bar and a chance to “spin to win” a discount or free gift.

    I love our customers beyond.

    Thank you if you’re one of them.

    Earlier in the summer I hosted our 2nd annual Canada Day Market at the Almonte Old Town Hall.

    Featuring a pop up cocktail bar and approximately 4o makers. On the hottest day of the summer.

    Last year it poured buckets, this year we did.

    I don’t know if I can do it again tbh.

    We’ll have to see, but I have been doing a bit of soul searching lately and I think when 2018 comes to a close you might see a few tweaks to the ole business plan.

    Events that hinge on the weather may no longer be my bag.

    It was well attended given the weather, but it didn’t meet my expectations for the amount of effort I put into organizing it.

    I dunno.

    You watch. If I cancel it next year the weather will be a breezy 24 degrees.

    And now summer is behind us and we get a teeny tiny break between tourist season and Christmas.

    I always worry in the fall, as sales slow down and the streets empty out, but this year I’m trying hard to be grateful for the opportunity to take a step back, pause and plan for exciting times ahead.

    I’m working on a bunch of new projects and we are <this> close to starting the renovations on our 1980 Airstream so follow along on Instagram @cheerfullymade or join our mailing list to stay in the loop!

    Hope to see you soon!

    xo Em




      Etsy Made in Canada // What to Expect

      This weekend I’m hosting my FIFTH annual Etsy Made in Canada event here in the 613.

      It’s being held at the Carleton University Fieldhouse at 85 University Road, Ottawa and will host 193 Etsy sellers under one roof.

      Here’s a Google Map!

      And a real map!

      Just thinking about all those amazing makers (they’re all listed below) gives me heart palpitations.

      Both from excitement and anticipation but also just a leeeeeetle bit from “oh my god that’s a lot people to disappoint”.

      I know it’ll be great. It’s probably healthy for the organizer to be a little nervous right?

      Certainly fuels me to work harder anyway.

      I wanted to take this opportunity to share everything you need to know about this event, and how to have the BEST possible experience attending.

      Let’s tuck in to some basics.


      Etsy Made in Canada is an event that features sellers and is held all across the country on the same weekend. This year (it’s 5th anniversary) the show will be held in 37 cities nationwide.


      The Ottawa show takes place at the Carleton University Fieldhouse Friday September 28th from 6pm to 9pm, Saturday September 29th from 10am to 4pm AND Sunday September 30th from 10am to 4pm.


      Admission is $15 (in advance only) for our Friday Night event. (Limited tickets still available and more information about our Night Market HERE).

      Admission on Saturday AND Sunday is $5 at the door each day. Kids under 16 are FREE.


      We will be donating $5000 to an awesome local charity called highJinx. If you have a charity you’d like to propose for a future event, we’d love to hear about them! Please let us know by emailing


      Free tote bags will be given to the first 100 shoppers in line each day.


      Yes! Our event is on level with the street and is easily accessible and navigatable (I know that’s not a word, but you get it) by wheelchair or stroller.


      We LOVE pets, but due to the nature of this space (it’s astroturf) only service animals are permitted.


      Parking is available for free in Lot P5 (you can spot it on the map) and for $3.50 (according the university website) per hour in Lot P7. Street parking is also available.


      Here is a SUPER handy link with all the public transportation routes that access the campus. The bus stops right across from our venue!


      Here’s an alphabetical list!


      The majority of our vendors accept Mastercard and Visa, many accept debit and ALL accept cash. We have rented 2 additional ATMs (there’s one inside the university concourse as well) for your budget blowing convenience.


      The best way to keep in the loop for all our future shows is to join our mailing list HERE, or follow us on Facebook and/or Instagram.

      Hmmm…that’s all the questions I can think of right now.

      If you have more PLEASE feel free to post them in the Facebook event and I’ll get back to you stat!

      Also, if you check in there you’ll see some posts from our makers with special show offers and more details. OR follow me on Instagram where I’ll be spamming the internet with sneak peeks. Search #etsy613.

      And now…without further adieu, and at risk of leaving people feeling like I’m not giving them enough attention (I can’t realistically share 193 pictures in one blog post!) I’d like to share a small, itsy bitsy sampling of some of the incredible makers you can expect to see here in Ottawa this weekend.

      You ready?

      Me too.

      Hollow CLAYWORKS

      Craft Collective

      Ask Yo Mother

      Hey Sugar Candy Co

      Blondie Apparel

      mississippi North

      Pip Robins Accessories


      Simply Steph Ko

      La Marcotterie

      Blossom and Sweetpea Critter Co

      CJ Design

      Thimble and Bee

      Pure Colour Baby

      I have to stop now.

      It’s too much. That’s only FOURTEEN vendors I just showed you.

      So, like, you get the picture right?

      193 amazing vendors showcasing handmade goods from all categories from home decor and fashion to bath and body, kids and baby, edible goods and more.

      Join us THIS WEEKEND and tell us you’re coming over on our Facebook Event page!

      Hope to see you soon.

      xo Em

        Almonte, Life, Shop

        CHEER Challenge // Spread the Good

        I have been sitting on the idea of having a “Cheer Challenge” as part of our Christmas marketing here at the shop.

        I hadn’t had a chance to flesh out (man that’s a gross saying when you type it) the idea entirely, but the concept was to basically ask folks to share any acts of them spreading cheer in exchange for a chance to win a gift certificate or something.

        I started to write it out, but it was feeling too forced.

        And then this morning I woke up to a teeny tiny article in our community’s online newspaper.

        It was the kind of story that probably wouldn’t normally make the news, but it struck me as the kind of story we could all use a little more of.

        And it inspired me to revisit my idea.

        It features a friend of mine, the town I love and one of our new Syrian families.

        It’s just a story about a big corporation doing something very human and I’m really proud that someone took the time to write it, and our local new source deemed it worth sharing.

        You can read it here.

        Photo by: Saffron Blaze

        It IS worth sharing.

        We need to share more of this stuff.

        Being good and spreading cheer doesn’t have to be complicated. We can do it every day.

        So here it is.

        Forget waiting for Christmas, I’m proposing a A CHEER challenge starting TODAY.

        Here are some suggestions to get you started:

        • Send positive letters to the editor like this one.
        • Engage with a stranger.
        • Help someone who didn’t ask.
        • Go out of your way to make someone’s day easier.
        • Step away from your computer and invite someone to lunch.
        • Tell someone how wonderful you think they are. And why.
        • Write a letter to a friend. Or your mom. Or a kid! Kids love getting mail.
        • Resist the urge to share a grievance or a negative news story online. That’s a hard one. But do it anyway and share a positive story instead. Share something goofy that makes people smile. Keep things light for a change.

        CHALLENGE yourself to spread cheer instead of adding to all the other crap that we read way too much.

        So how do you participate?

        Simply do something that spreads cheer (aka is positive), share it online in a way that doesn’t make you feel like a narcissist, tag me in it @cheerfullymade and use the hashtag #cheerchallenge.

        For bonus points (which I will be totally unable to track), encourage your friends to do the same!

        The challenge will go from now until December 1st (or forever if it feels good) at which time I’ll put all the entries in a virtual hat and pick FIVE winners.

        What’s in it for you besides the warm and fuzzies?

        Now, I’m not a rich woman, but when I enter a contest my favourite thing to win is MONEY.

        So, sometime during the first week of December I’m going to give away a $100 gift card to FIVE cheerleaders AND this cozy sweater that I hope you’ll wear proudly.

        Time to grow this cheer squad peeps.

        Let’s make spreading cheer where it’s at.


        xo Em






          Craft Show Booth Inspiration // The day I lost 6 hours on Pinterest

          You know when I’m most productive?

          When I’m busy as a mofo. Pardon my french.

          At the moment I am

          • 6 days away from my BIGGEST EVER craft show (Etsy Made in Canada Ottawa. Our 5th annual!)
          • 1 week into an 8-10 week home renovation (our Kitchen. Follow my Instagram stories for the progress!).
          • Living in a tiny apartment behind the shop
          • Planning and booking speakers for my first annual Maker Retreat (Feb 2019)
          • Coordinating the makeover of the airstream that’s been sitting in our side yard since July,
          • Redesigning the packaging for Campy candles, and
          • In full on holiday ordering mode to prepare for Christmas at the shop.

          So, naturally, I’m spending every free moment taking care of the existing items on my to-do list right?

          Yeah. No.

          Yesterday, on a whim I decided to take a online course on how to up my Pinterest game and fell head first into the abyss.

          Actually it was great. And fun. And so inspiring.

          I’ll talk about what I’ve learned once I finish the course, but that’s not what this post is about.

          This post is about Craft Show Booths.

          Beyond hosting next weekend’s show, I’m also a vendor in it with Campy, and I’ve been scouring the internet for new display ideas.

          Guys. I found some.

          Check out my Pinterest Board for some great ideas and tips for creating THE best craft show display for your product. Displays that sell and set you apart from the rest regardless of the size of your space.

          Because some shows be cray.

          How are YOU going to stand out?

          What’s the best way to both highlight your product while still being able to engage with shoppers AND fit everything in the footprint you’ve been allotted?

          How is YOUR space going to feel like it’s own entity in a sea of other booths.

          How can you make your space feel…spacious?

          On my Pinterest board, you’ll see lots of examples of intelligently designed booths from all over North America.

          But I’ve also rounded up a few of my favourite booth examples from shows I’ve hosted right here in the Ottawa area.

          Here are some of my faves:

          At last year’s Etsy Made in Canada show here in Ottawa, Simply Soak completely reinvented their display to represent their brand (calm, soothing, earthy) and really beautifully showcase their products.

          They put this wall at the front of their space which allowed lots of room behind for extra stock and storage.

          They were able to walk freely around their booth and interact with customers.

          AND it stood out as a bit of an oasis in a sea of colour and madness.

          I always tell my makers to build UP and not OUT.

          Here are a few truly stellar examples of that:

          Gold and Ginger (pictured here is “Ginger”) have been with our shows for several years now and over the past few they’ve really perfected their booth. This thing collapses down into it’s own mini storage unit. It all folds up, they pop on a dolly and roll this sucker out the door at the end of the day.

          I mean…goals.

          Hollow CLAYWORKS is another great example of using height to display your work.

          Now I know for a fact that this display isn’t the lightest to cart around, but these girls need that weight to keep their pottery safe, so it works really well for them and is a great way to showcase many many pieces of their work in a small space.

          There are SO many ways to merchandise your work at shows.

          Scroll down to see even more from our past shows, and take a peek at all the amazing examples I’ve curated over on Pinterest.

          I’m inspired to take on this weekend’s project of stepping up my craft show booth game.

          Everything else will just have to wait till Monday…

          Chatch & Bo 

          Cottage Blue Home

           Paw Parade

           Blondie Apparel

          Boucle d’Or

          Call Me Sugar Handmade Cosmetics

          SplitTree Cocktail Co

          Pure Colour Baby

          Femme Mechanique