Over the years, when I have been thinking of my pending ‘million-dollar-idea’, I have noticed that collectables in some way, shape or form, are always popular. Maybe it is the the fact that a collection can become a hobby, as you can add and subtract and continually be on the hunt for the next piece. When Pandora bracelets first became popular around 10-ish years ago (maybe it was earlier or later in your area), I was all over the idea of getting the next charm. I loved getting more personalized pieces that reflected my life and personality, like a baby shoe, and then the high-heeled shoe! While maybe it was a fad back then, it has definitely become a trend that has gained a lot of momentum over more recent years. I think anything that is a collectable is definitely a trend, and if you are an artisan that can somehow create that idea and grab that market, you could do very, very well with it!
The hobby of collecting includes seeking, locating, acquiring, organizing, cataloging, displaying, storing, and maintaining whatever items are of interest to the individual collector.
A number of years ago my mom introduced me to the artist Sid Dickens. My mom was still living in the Prairies at the time, and a small local home decor store had about 10 of these particular Sid Dickens tiles that she thought were so interesting. She must have bought me one or two for my birthday or Christmas that year, and a collection was born! We started buying them for one another for holidays, and once I discovered his online store, another girlfriend of mine and I started obsessively watching the new collections launch.
It has been speculated that the widespread appeal of collecting is connected to the hunting and gathering that was once necessary for human survival. For some people, collecting things may be a symbolic way of asserting power over them.
Once I was living in the Vancouver area, I somehow found out that Sid had an invite only-party, every year around the holiday season, where you could buy retired tiles and one-offs. This is a collectors dream! If you are ever inclined to look up Sid Dickens on Ebay or any other auction site, there are a tonne of people buying and selling his works of art. People are obsessive about getting that certain piece! Now with the accessibility we have with social media, I follow Sid and his work on Facebook and Instagram, and I knew that the infamous party was coming up. Since we moved this year and I have re-allocated my collection in to different groupings, I definitely had room for some more tiles in my collection.
As much as I wanted to go to the party, I couldn’t go the first day. I knew from attending other times that a lot of the good pieces (special one of a kinds, etc.) would be gone the first day of the two day event. So I asked my husband and Isabella if they would somehow go down there and take a look. I don’t think they really knew what they were getting into when they agreed to go. Collectors can be….well…..aggressive!
Maintaining a collection can be a relaxing activity that counteracts the stress of life, while providing a purposeful pursuit which prevents boredom. The hobby can lead to social connections between people with similar interests.
I sent them armed with a print-out of a Pinterest board that my friend and I put together of possible tiles we wanted, and others I thought that we could get family members for gifts. I couldn’t take the chance that they wouldn’t be able to access Pinterest on their phones at Sid’s studio, so even though technology was great for gathering our ideas, paper was the best way to go for the event.
If you have never been to a successful artist’s studio, this is definitely something to see! Sid has quite a large building he works out of, and it is fairly accessible to the public in a prominent area of Vancouver. My husband ended up getting a parking ticket because once he and Isabella got there, they saw the line-up, and he panicked and parked in a no-parking zone! His words; it was like a rock-concert with a swarm of women! Maybe not screaming women, but equally as excited and pushy. Sid Dickens fans are very passionate about their collections.
I have to laugh at Isabella and J-P’s re-collection of the day’s events: there were snarky women (very few men) snatching tiles out from under other people; crazy collector’s spreading their tiles all over the floor and musing what holes they needed to fill in; women getting staff to run all over the building to find particular tiles; and people cutting into the hour and a half line-up that J-P and Isabella stood in to pay for the goods. I can’t help that think that if I would have gone myself, I likely would have also been one of the pushy-women they were describing! When they got home, I was so happy to see that they hunted to find the things I wanted. J-P even got in on the act, and bought himself a ‘Captain America’ (his words) tile for his office!
Collecting is for some people a childhood hobby, but for others a lifelong pursuit or one that begins in adulthood.
I am so thankful that they were able to get down to the party on that first day. While I didn’t get any one-of-a-kind pieces, I did get a few rare ones for my collection and quite a few gifts. Isabella was also able to get Sid to sign one for my mom too….I can’t picture all of the ones we got because many are gifts, but once I get the rest of my collection hung, I will be sure to photograph it!
What types of Collections do you admire?