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Le grand Canada

Posted by Mélanie Ouellette on

La première fois que nous avons rencontré Mélanie Joly, députée de Ahuntsic-Cartierville et ministre du Patrimoine canadien, c'était il y a quelques semaines lors des élections fédérales. Le soir de la Grand Messe organisée par Montréal Inc, nous lui avions offert notre carte du Canada en cadeau pour la féliciter de sa victoire.

Quelques mois plus tard, elle nous a invité à refaire faire notre carte du Canada sur un des murs de son bureau de députée !

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The One of a Kind Show survival guide

Posted by Brice Salmon on

From Nov. 26th to Dec. 6th and for the very first time in history, we’ve participated to the One of a Kind show in Toronto’s Enercare Centre.

Oh what an experience.

For those who don’t know this show, it’s a as huge as fantastic event, gathering hundreds of artisans under one single roof during eleven days, only a month prior Christmas. We’ve heard about it at the beginning of last summer, exactly at the moment we had a massive amount of work on track. Hopefully, at this time, we could count on Marina’s precious help to organize our participation.

This show is the thing we thought you HAVE to do when you’re arrived at a certain point in your development: We’re brand new on the market and have a lot to share and present to everyone. We were full of willingness, energy. It was hard but and at the end of the line, it has been a truly fantastic experience which really worth it. Also, the OOAK organization team was fantastic and I couldn’t thank enough people like Valérie Roy for her help and her energy all along this marathon. That team continuously shared a lot of life saving tips and tricks during the months prior to the event and those helpful information, including a reverse schedule, have been written by show veterans and should be followed pretty much at the letter.

Nevertheless, due to our insane schedule and our obvious lack of experience at this moment, we struggled a lot.

Our 8 surviving tips for the OOAK 

(and all other relevant equivalent shows.)

1. Do not go there on your own

With Melanie, we’ve decided to split in order to handle at the same time the Souk@Sat show in Montreal and the OOAK in Toronto. Definitely, bad idea #1. Participating to a show is not like being at a market with a simple table to decorate. You have a booth to build, kilometers to do, energy to manage… Sounds obvious when you say it but we felt like we could do it anyway.

On top of that, our car broke on Day#9: the gearbox just didn’t respond anymore. Hopefully, Melanie helped me to handle it remotely. 1 000$ and 4 days later, I’ve been able to go back to Montreal.

The booth has to be built AND unbuilt. I mean, it requires A DRILL and a ladder, ok ? These kind of things we definitely don’t use every day at the workshop. Even though our booth was a 5’ x 10’ it was a quite challenging.

Also, having a second look on your setup is nearly impossible except through photos or the eyes of your booth’s neighbours.

Takeaway : Book a long time in advance the agenda of 2 people. Not 1 nor 3. Just 2.

2. Group transportation and accommodation

Obviously for budget and convenience purposes, grouping with other artisans of your city sounds like a life saving idea. Booths and stocks should be grouped in a single van, optimizing loading, deloading and fuel costs.

Renting an apartment with several rooms or even a house, at a walk distance of the exhibition centre is greatly appreciated. I really insiste on the “walk distance” concept which allows you to take a breath prior and after your long days spent in a no-window area during eleven dark long winter days.

Takeaway : Connect with your fellow local artisans through markets and social media groups long time prior to the event and book everything 3-4 months in advance.

3. Be as light as possible

Just like when you travel, feeling light, at ease, is essential whether it’s regarding your belongings or your booth. Some booths were really heavy, made of wood and real furnitures, giving a spectacular real home finish but letting limited space for improvisation and unforeseen events.

Takeaways : Prepare to make a laundry or two, use solid convenient boxes for your stock and booth, bring a trolley...

4. Prepare your stock properly

As good first timers, we had no idea of the volume and kind of items we were going to sale (if ever we would sale something).
So we prepared - at very last moment of course :) - a random amount of stock based more or less on what we experienced during the past markets.

Again, reality is that Shows are very different from markets: Different crowd, different city, different timeframe, different behaviors…

2015-11-28 00.20.29.jpg

Takeaway : A show stock must be consequent and calculated on the income you want to make on a daily basis.


5. Give love to your booth

We’ve built our booth for the first time literally 48 hours prior to the departure for Toronto. Conception was made a couple of months ago on paper but we never had the opportunity to actually make it at this point.

Last time building made us realize that shelves were too large, lighting nonexistent, framing too fragile, panels’ sizes inaccurate… No time left to figure out something, a lot of improvisation had to be expected on day - 1.

Takeaway : Give love to your booth, it will become your home sweet home for eleven days. Also, bring some duct tape :)


6. Prepare your budget

In the expenses column, think about:

  • Booth space
  • Travel (you AND your stock)
  • Accommodation
  • Your time
  • Unloading and loading on site
  • Electricity on site
  • Wifi on site
  • Food
  • Stock (enough to avoid costly refills during the event)
  • Insurances

Takeaway : In the cloudy revenue column, here is a good advice for you: During markets, you may usually make 100$, 1000$, 5000$... a day. Don’t expect to do very different during a show. Just take your average daily number and multiply by the number of days of the show. Then, you’ll know by comparing the balance if it’s worth participating :)


7. Be physically and mentally prepared

Tiredness, boredom, excitement, anxiousness, frustration… you live so many extreme feelings for which you have to be prepared. Relax, smile and always be optimistic :)

Also, standing still all day long is quite challenging. Hopefully, my friend Jill Bogart from Doodle and Hoob saved my back by lending me one of those latex kitchen carpet. By the way, Jill and Emily Arbour from Hello Yellow have once again been fantastic and helpful and I hope we’ll meet again in 2016. Check out their awesome work!

8. The importance of having good neighbours

Honestly, without them, I just couldn’t do it. They had my back all day long, teaching me tricks for selling, how to better showcase products, how to manage your energy and your time…

An immense cheer up to Mr and Mrs Andy Benko from Milverton Furniture (Stratford, ON), Mike and Connie Leishman from Leishman Pottery (Stayner, ON), Jay Bell Redbird and Halina Stopyra (Tiny, ON), Danielle Kreeft from Danipress. You are amazing and I’m really looking forward to seeing you again at next show.

Here it is! I hope that these hardly taught tips will help you with your next challenge.
As for us, we’re now preparing for the next big one in May : The National Stationery Show in New York.

If you have any question or need more details, just ask us in comments!

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Lost in translation

Posted by Brice Salmon on

Roppongi, Ginza, The Shinkansen, Omote-sando, konbanwa! … Well… Never heard those words before and above all, I didn’t even expect to have to learn and use them in real life one day.

Two months ago, We’ve been awarded a grant to participate in a world congress in Kanazawa, Japan (The JCI). YEAH!

Surprise #1
The event took place pretty much one month later we’ve been informed. No drama here, who doesn’t love that kind of surprises? :)

Surprise #2
The week prior to the Congress was held the Tokyo Designers' week …OMG… I was so excited, this is definitely “the cherry on the sundae”.

Despite a terrible work overload, Melanie decided to join me as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to discover Japanese culture.

Did we do right?
Actually, it was a very tough decision: We had to fight against already imploding schedule, deliveries’ management, newly hired people, markets’ season opening, new products’ finishing, projects’ launches... Well, our response was simply “YOLO”!  Through the highs and lows, we managed to spend our 11 days there working just a couple of hours at night and keep our momentum.



The 14 hours time difference didn’t prevent us one second from storming through Tokyo. This city is so huge: 32 million inhabitants. Each metro station reveals a new city center bigger than the previous one. Lights everywhere, electronic noises, consistent crowd but also never-seen peaceful places seconds away only from main paths. Also, everything is so clean, tidy and beautiful that the contrast is absolutely breathtaking.

We had here a fabulous opportunity to visit different districts, many attractions but also numerous local stationery shops! Japan is a country both very traditional and modern at the same time.

Its ancient culture transpires in every aspect of Japanese lifestyle: Codes are unique and the way communication is approached is as intriguing as interesting. For instance, there are paper items for nearly everything: Want to stick a word on a friend’s coffee cup? What to keep a record of your daily housework?... Stickers, notebooks, and many other products are made specifically for that.


There, we’ve learned a lot about letting go, open-mindedness and respect.

To conclude, here is my top 5 in Japan

  1. Food - ANY dish is nothing but stunning.

  2. Onsens - Those common traditional baths you can find anywhere and where you can relax and chat respectfully.

  3. Cleanliness - Whether it’s in public or private places, you could “eat on the ground” everywhere. No garbages outside, nowhere to put your wastes, no waste. People are neat and very respectful of their belongings.

  4. Respect - Towards generations, tourists, neighbors, coworkers, citizen… respect is truly part of the Japanese culture. I LOVED it.

  5. Beauty - Japanese people are in constant search of beauty in everything they do: Architecture, food, design, transportation, urban and nature management… Often just mind-blowing for foreigners like us.

If you’ve already been in Japan or if you plan to go there, let’s keep in touch! We’d love to chat and exchange together :)

*note added by Mélanie: THEY GAVE ICE CREAM IN THE PLANE! 

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Hello Montreal!

Posted by Brice Salmon on

I am Marina, 26, a happy French woman who arrived in Montreal a month ago. This is not my first time in La Belle Province as I had the chance to live in Quebec City in 2013. As I fell in love with Quebec, I decided to come back and to live in Montreal.

It has been over a month since my new life started. I began working for Glasgow Studio and Baltic Club 4 weeks ago as a Project Coordinator, and this experience is so rich as I am able to work on several and exciting projects.

I love traveling, going to the cinema, watching a good game of football, eating out and so on. Before coming to Montreal, I had the chance to study in England for 2 years, and to work in Geneva, Paris, Quebec City and Grenoble! I have been to so many places, working for different organizations, that I am not afraid of a new challenge. 

I can’t wait to keep discovering the great city of Montreal as well as enjoying this brand new experience. With Glasgow Studio and Baltic Club, I am sure that some great projects are coming up and I can’t wait to tell you more about it next time!


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Posted by Brice Salmon on

First letter of a serie made to get to know us a little bit more as well as our awesome dynamic here at the studio :)

Mélanie : A comme ART ou ANIMAUX. Les animaux parce que c’est l’inspiration de notre quotidien et l’art c’est comme toute la question de la definition de faire de l’art, faire du design ou faire des illustrations que les gens aiment et veulent. Est-ce qu’on fait c’est de l’art ou pas, tout ça…
Brice : Est-ce que tu trouves que ce qu’on fait c’est de l’Art ?
M : Non je ne pense pas.
B : C’est quoi ?
M : Du fun
B : Donc quand tu design des trucs, tu considères que c’est du fun, pas de l’Art ?!
M : … Ah bah on va prendre « Animaux » alors…
B : Ok. Alors pourquoi « Animaux » ?
M : Ils sont une source d’inspiration neverending… Tu penses que c’est de l’Art toi ce qu’on fait ?
B : Je trouve que c’est un peu de l’Art quand même. Peut-être que tu n’as pas assez de recul sur ce que tu fais.
M : C’est quoi de l’Art ?
B : On part dans quelque chose de pas possible là… Et si c’est du fun, pourquoi n’en fais-tu pas davantage ?
M : Parce qu’il faut que je fasse des sites internet
B : Faire des sites internet pour vivre et pas vivre pour faire des sites internet
M : C’est ça !
B : Bon et le rapport avec les animaux là-dedans ?
M : L’inspiration et aussi JE LES AIME !!
B : Qu’est-ce que tu aimes chez les animaux ?
M : On s’en va là-dedans là…
B : Est-ce que c’est leur viande ?
M : Non !? À part le chorizo. Ce que j’aime chez les animaux c’est que c’est dommage qu’ils ne puissent pas parler parce qu’ils ont toujours des têtes pas possible, ils ont toujours l’air de raconter des histoires pas possible avec leur tête. Tsé ? Mais ils peuvent pas parler, c’est vraiment dommage.
B : Ce que t’aimes c’est quoi alors ? C’est qu’ils fassent des têtes sans parler justement ?
M : C’est qu’ils soient FLUFFY. C’est qu’ils soient beaux... Je peux te dire quelque chose de plus réfléchi du genre « Amis »
B : « Amis » quoi ?
M : C’est important les amis. C’est important que tes amis aiment ce que tu fais. Pas qu’ils s’en foutent.
B : Mais, on parlait d’animaux là…
M : Ouais
B : C’est quoi que tu aimes dans le fait qu’ils soient fluffy, qu’ils fassent des têtes pas possible et tout ? J’essaye de comprendre.
M : On dirait qu’on rationalise un truc pas important.
B : Donc c’est ça ? C’est ta conclusion ?
M : Je peux y repenser ?
B : Oui.


Mélanie: A like ART or ANIMALS. Animals inspire us daily and Art is all about the question of what it means to perform arts, to design or to draw what people like and want to see. It’s about wondering if what we do may be considered as Art or not...
Brice : Do you think that what we do is Art ?
M : No I don’t think so.
B : What is it then ?
M : It’s fun.
B : So when you design something, you consider it’s fun and not Art ?
M : Well let’s choose “animals” then…
B : Ok. So why “animals” ?
M : They’re a neverending inspiration… Do you think that what we do is Art ?
B : I believe that it may be a little bit Art. Perhaps, you do not have enough perspective on what you do.
M : What is Art ?
B : Well this is getting complicated… And if that’s fun, why don’t you do more ?
M : Because I have to create some websites.
B : To create websites to live and not to live to create websites.
M : That’s it !
B : And what’s the link with animals here ?
M : Inspiration, and I LOVE them too !
B : What do you like in them ?
M : This is getting tricky…
B : Could it be the meat ?
M : No ?! Except for chorizo. What I like with animals is that it’s a shame that they’re not able to talk even though they always have some funny expressions. It seems that they’re always telling some crazy stories, you know. But they can’t talk, it’s too bad.
B : What do you like then ? Is it about the fact that they’re having some expressions with their faces, without talking ?
M : Well, because they’re FLUFFY ! They’re beautiful… I may tell you something a bit more thoughtful with “Friends”. (Amis in French)
B : “Friends”, what ?
M : Friends are important. It’s important that your friends like what you do, and that they care.
B : But we were talking about animals…
M : Yep.
B : Why do you like the fact that they’re fluffy; is it about their funny expressions ? I’m trying to understand.
M : It seems that we are trying to rationalise something that is not so important.
B : So, that’s it ? Is that your conclusion ?
M : May I think about it ?
B : Yes

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