Kiddies of Craft
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Kiddies of Craft

City of Craft makers' market launches its first spring event with a spotlight on young vendors.

City of Craft bunting banner by Rosalyn Faustino. Photo by Celine Kim.

City of Craft Spring
Trinity St. Paul’s United Church (427 Bloor Street West)
Saturday April 21, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
$1 (Kids 12 & under: FREE)

Lliam Booth draws things. “Planes, vans, dinosaurs [and] monsters” are among his favourite subject matter. Each drawing takes him, he estimates, “about a minute” to complete. He embarked on his artistic enterprise “when I was four.”

Lliam is five now.

The young artist and his three-year-old sister Piper are among eight vendors under the age of 14 being featured in this weekend’s City of Craft makers’ fair, the first springtime edition of the popular (and usually Christmastime-exclusive) handmade market. Lliam’s drawings (which are made into buttons) are among several different items up for grabs.

City of Craft co-founder Becky Johnson says the idea to incorporate kids into the mix was inspired by the Crafty Wonderland fair in Portland, Oregon. She also knew a number of kids from within the craft community who would fit into the event nicely. But working them into the holiday show never seemed to work.

“For me, part of the appeal of producing a spring show in general was being able to fiddle with the craft fair format more than I’d like to for the holiday show,” Johnson explains. “The idea to have youth vendors has been in my mind for a while, but doing it at the holiday show never felt right.” Johnson cites the December event’s production demands and two-day schedule as reasons for holding off on young vendor participation.

Liam and his buttons. Photo by Arounna Khounnoraj.

Sisters Azzurra and Sonika Woodfine, aged 9 and 8, respectively, sell an assortment of handmade goods through their Golden Moon Treasures handmade enterprise. The pair work in different mediums; Azzurra crochets hats from yarn her mother, Krystyn, has spun, while Sonika makes block-print bookplates.

The girls are looking forward to the upcoming craft sales—Azzura admits that the prospect of making some cash is “something I’ve really wanted”—but, like true makers, they’re most enthused by the creation process itself. “Making the stuff is really fun,” says Azzura.

“I just want to do everything I can to give them positive experiences in hand-making and business,” says Johnson. “After all, a good chunk of kids today are going to end up in jobs that have never existed before. Supporting their ingenuity and self-reliance feels like a really good investment.”