Originally, this was supposed to be one big recap but once I realized that I could talk about Circle Craft forever, I thought you would appreciate a bit of an intermission.
Circle Craft Christmas Market 2010
Circle Craft really was everything I thought it would be and more! We were lucky enough to have this year's event at Vancouver's New Convention Centre and despite what some people might have to say about Olympic spending, it may not have been money well spent but it definitely made for a breath-taking venue. The New Convention Centre is perched atop Vancouver's Coal Harbour right over the water. The angled floor-to-ceiling windows with completely uninterrupted views make you feel like you're standing on the edge of a cliff, and the modern yet West Coast decor is truly serene. Okay, and that's my plug for the New Convention Centre.
The market really got me in the Christmas spirit early this year. I'm not sure if it was the scent of Christmas pudding in the air, the sight of twinkling ornaments or the fact that everyone seemed to be doing their Christmas shopping in November but by the end of the show I had definitely jumped on the bandwagon. The show was busier than ever with almost 40,000 in attendance over the 5 days. We met vendors from across Canada and made at least a couple hundred Vancouverites official D&C-ers. I got the warm-fuzzies at least a handful of times when we met some of our customers and could finally put a face to the clutch. Even more so when they gave us live testimonials and sold a couple of clutches on their own. (I swear they weren't paid!)
There are almost too many vendors to name but a few favourites were:
- Von Hardenberg Beeswax Candles - This vendor was right across from us in the show and had the most pristine booth I had ever seen! Aside from being pretty much perfect, their candles and beeswax products were beautiful and had a wonderful natural beeswax scent to them. Not only was this booth one of our favourites but the couple that ran the business was equally as amazing. When they're not making candles and attending shows in the fall and winter, they're tending to their waterlilies that they sell in the spring and summer. Truly inspiring!
- Vincent Van Designs - There was a constant crowd around this booth and on the last day I found out why. This local vendor from Victoria specializes in Christmas ornaments that they personalize right on the spot. The ornaments feature families of every size and kind (penguins, polar bears, black bears, snowmen... you name it, there's a family for it!) and they write every family member's name on it. Definitely beats anything from a department store!
- Chocolatas - An old favourite that I just keep going back to. This Granville Island-based chocolate vendor makes edible art. Each piece of chocolate has a truly unique flavour (imagine lavendar, Earl Grey, grapefruit) and is thoughtfully presented in beautiful tins and boxes. Some of their more awe-inspiring collections feature hand-painted chocolates that are sure to make any art-lover melt.
- Kama Natural Soap - Yes, as you can tell, I'm a complete girl. This list is nothing but chocolate, candles and cute things but I really couldn't help but mention one more. This vendor from Salt Spring Island makes absolutely decadent soaps. Using nothing but natural and sustainable ingredients you can rest assured knowing that you are really treating your skin to something special. I picked up the Orange Spice and Restorative Hemp bars that are going to make a couple of great gifts.
And to reward 5 days of hard work, a celebratory girls' dinner!
I'm sad that it's over but the end of Circle Craft always means that the holiday season can officially begin. Already itching for Circle Craft 2011!