Whether you’re searching for a new piece of art or a handcrafted gift, Sparkles n’ Sawdust is the place to go.
“We’re going for something for everyone,” owner Jacquelyn Miccolis said. “Colourful, unique, eclectic...we have crystals, body products, paintings, everything under the moon and the stars.”
Located at 1574 Argyle St., the shop sells local, one-of-a-kind art and goods including home decor, clothing, jewelry and prints.
Miccolis, an artist herself with experience working in business at the Seaport Market, is this weeks’ midweek mugging recipient.
“I just always wanted to open a shop, and with my experience in the hand-made industry, this came together in full force,” she said.
When choosing products to have at the store, Miccolis said she looks for items that are unique and not usually found elsewhere. However, she focuses on working with artists and creators who live with mental illness or physical disabilities, which may make it more difficult to sell their work.
“They don’t have to be established, they don’t have to sell anywhere else," she said. "It's turned out to be a great way for people to have something to look forward to, have something to focus on."
Miccolis said she knows how difficult it can be to find employment in the city, particularly when dealing with illness or disability. For many of her vendors, selling art in her store is their only form of income.
"I have a soft spot for that,” she said. “I wanted to give people who needed help the opportunity.”
Although Miccolis often finds many of the artists herself through Instagram or the community, she encourages those who are interested in selling with her to apply through the Sparkles n’ Sawdust website.
Miccolis said the store sees a mix of young and old customers, with both students and tourists attracted by the local art.
Along with offering handcrafted goods, the Sparkles n' Sawdust also hosts events including free mental health meet-ups once a month. The next one takes place on August 31st, and Miccolis has invited a social worker to speak about body image. This will be followed by a body-positive fashion show hosted at the Carleton. Miccolis is also planning on holding art classes and workshops as early as September, taught by some of the store’s makers.
For Miccolis, combining art with community support is a passion project.
“I’ve always been the type of person with a go-getter attitude, I wouldn’t feel satisfied until I felt like I had a purpose,” she said. “And for the first time, I feel fulfilled.”