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Everything you Crave

The Crave Party is the evolution of the Tupperware party. It bills itself as the glam-gal evening out for women in Toronto to enjoy spa services, boutique style shopping, entertainment, and the ultimate girls night out. Crave parties are held 4 to 6 times a year and in various locations throughout Toronto. This one was held at my favourite place, The Bata Shoe Museum. The exhibits were open during the party which was an added bonus. I love the museum as a party space. It's not all senseless consumerism, these parties also raise funds for charity organizations and Give Girls A Chance, an education fund dedicated to opening doors for girls and young women, was the charity for this event.

Tables were set up for shopping on the main and ground floors. There was a variety of things like jewelry, handmade soap and bath products, clothing and handbags. Most of the merchants were local.

Snapdragon Designs had brightly coloured handbags all over their booth area. I learned that the fabrics used are all one offs from sales and other great fabric finds. It pretty likely you won't see many people, if any, with the same print. Pam Willcocks, the designer held up a beautiful green check bag. I commented on the fabric and she mentioned that there was only enough fabric to make this one bag. All sizes of handbags are available from shoulder bags to large beach totes.

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Jewelry designers Sweetrox and Blumblebee sit among the handbags and soap. Leigh Courchesne of Sweetrox uses semi-precious & precious gemstones, freshwater pearls, swarovski crystals, sterling silver and 14K gold to carefully handcraft necklaces, earrings and bracelets. She also does bridal and custom work. Katherine Flynn of Bumblebee Jewelry uses beads, swarovski crystal and semi-precious stones in her work. The signature crazy necklace is definitely a conversation starter. In addition to custom work, Katherine also does beading workshops and birthday parties.

Diane Kroe offered her collection of travel friendly clothing. The travel collection is a set of 6 space saving, wrinkle free garments that can be combined into 18 different outfits. The 10 in one dress is another travel marvel that doesn't wrinkle and can be worn multiple ways.

Suzanne Graham For You are homemade soaps for a variety of skins types. Everything is made by hand in small batches with top quality ingredients. The soap flavours are good enough to eat like crème brulee, muffin, lavender butter and ki-lime. The lavender butter soap is really nice, I got a sample in the gift bag.

Stone Fragrances makes artisan natural perfumes and home fragrances. These are usually safer for chemically sensitive or allergic individuals. I'm not a big perfume fan but I loved the combinations that she came up with. They were not over powering and each sense was balanced with the other.

On the way downstairs I tried some Pucker Up lemonade. The story is typical, some grandmother's great recipe for lemonade. It's all natural and made with whole fresh lemons which they procure from various places in the world. It is pretty good and I've noticed it available in Shopper's drug market and health food stores around the city.

Posh Mom makes diaper bags for the style conscious mom. Ryerson's School of Fashion graduate, Sherri Ground used her experience as a retail buyer come up with the ultimate diaper bag. Bright and colourful prints are a trend at this party.

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Twin sisters Jennifer and Fiona Lees created Balmshell by the seat of their pants. They started the venture without any experience in the cosmetics industry. However, they had a love of lip gloss on their side. The packaging for the Balmshell lip gloss is brilliant with its floaty pen attachment; just like those kitschy pens in novelty stores. Each colour has a different scene and after you're finished the lip gloss you can use the floaty attachment as a keychain. I got myself one and I have to admit its really good lip gloss.

Sue Bowen's Suetables is a line of jewelry that you can personalize using fonts that mimic an old typewriter. Sue handstamps each letter onto necklaces, bracelets, charms, rings and key chains. I couldn't help myself and got a personalized necklace. I think I'm obsessed now because when I was young, they never had my name among those personalized name plates and crap.

Poochtini is high quality clothing for dogs. I'm a total cat freak so I don't understand the dog thing too much. The clothing was really cute though with the highlight being the reversible raincoat. I talked briefly with the owner about business. They are doing very well in the U.S and are dumbfounded by how difficult it is to do business in Toronto. She will be a Woofstock this year for your dog lovers.

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Froosh is handmade body treats. All products are vegetarian friendly and made in Toronto. Froosh has conditioners, shampoos, bubble baths, soaps and scrubs. I tried out the Hi Five Manicure Scrub and was impressed with how soft my hands were. My cuticles were all nice and cleaned up too. They have a store front in the beaches.

Domistyle brings fresh and funky aprons to the kitchen. Following the bright patterns trend of the night, these aprons are too good to wear to bake in. Jessica Wong and Vanessa Lee started Domistyle after seeing the lack of fashionable items for the kitchen. I don't have a need for an apron but I loved the patterns. I wonder if I can work and apron into regular dressing.

Other entertainment included belly dancing performances and pole dancing demonstrations from Aradia Fitness on Queen West. Bacardi provided cocktails throughout the night. Overall the night was quite enjoyable. It was a different shopping experience. It's much more relaxing than the mall; the booze helps with that for sure. I was really impressed with all the local merchants selling their goods. I was glad that Crave is doing its part to support the local economy. I didn't see many women take advantage of the exhibitions but I made sure to spend some time with the Chronicles of Riches.

See more photos on my flickr account.


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