little teal hanger

Toronto woman started trading with a tiny hanger and now has a $5,000 painting

A Toronto professional organizer is looking to make a trade with Canadian musician Celine Dion.

Describing herself as a "big fan" of mega-star Celine Dion, Ivanka Siolkowsky was looking to make a final trade in her Little Teal Hanger project with the musician but so far hasn't heard back.

Siolkowsky has millions of views on TikTok for the project, which is inspired by the famous One Red Paperclip trading project where a Montreal man made 14 trades from a paperclip to a house.

She got the idea when she was hospitalized with COVID-19 in April of 2020.

"I became paralyzed from the waist down," Siolkowsky tells blogTO. "I was in the hospital room with nothing to do for three weeks."

She was watching YouTube videos and saw a TED Talk by Kyle MacDonald of the One Red Paperclip.

"I thought this is really cool because I am minimalist and because what I do for work — I am always telling people don't hold on to things," she says.

If something has served its purpose, it is okay to let it go.

"I wanted to do something fun for people to be entertained in what was a really crappy year."

She started on her birthday, Aug. 11, 2020, with a little teal hanger, which was a part of her logo for her professional organizing business — The Tidy Moose.

The idea to make trades for one year.

"There was no end goal."

She traded the first item, the teal hanger with a long-time follower and fan of The Tidy Moose. The woman wants to start her own organization business and has framed the teal hanger for inspiration.

Siolkowsky traded the hanger for a handbag, which then was traded for a bottle of wine from Rosewood Winery and Meadery, which she swapped for a cello, then came an iPad Pro, then a Nikon camera kit, then another iPad, then a cool antique bike table.

The table was one of the more memorable trades. A little girl who lost her mother to cancer needed an iPad for homeschooling. Her father, who had the table, was facing financial hardship and the trade was much appreciated.

Siolkowsky traded the table for an original piece of art valued at $5,000 by Sarah Phelps.

Trading with Celine Dion wasn't initially the aim of the project but in the trade Siolkowsky made with Phelphs they bonded over the loss of their mothers.

"We got to talking about Celine Dion," she says. "She said to me 'my mom's favourite artist was Celine Dion.'"

Phelphs made a custom painting for Siolkowsky with the goal to trade for something with Dion. The singer has been tagged but so far there has been no response. Siolkowsky is now looking to her own contacts through her business to get in touch with Dion.

"I am trying not to give up."

In addition to being a fan, Siolkowsky also bears a striking resemblance to Dion.

"I often get told that I look like her — a lot," she says. "People will actually stop me on the street and ask for photos."

She thought because of lockdown Dion might be interested in the trade. She going to give it a bit more time, and then may open up the trading for the painting to anyone.

The project has been a cool experience, says Siolkowsky. Trades stopped in November during lockdown in Ontario but the project has picked up again and followers want her to continue.

Every trade she has made, she wanted to keep the item but the people she met and experiences were better.

"Just show life is not about the stuff — it is about the people we meet along the way and interactions we have and helping others."

Lead photo by

Ivanka Siolkowsky

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