OOAK Maker Spotlight: Cinderella Garbage


Canada's largest handmade show is just around the corner and we're getting super excited to meet the makers and browse all the unique goods! This year, Toronto's One of a Kind Christmas Show (OOAK) features the work of 800+ Canadian vendors - many travelling from all corners of the country to be part of the fun!

In anticipation of the show opening next week, we've teamed up with OOAK to present the OOAK Maker Spotlight series - a glimpse at the story, process and preparation of 7 select participating vendors. Take a peek inside the creative life of Kimberlee Clarke, owner of Cinderella Garbage.

How does Cinderella Garbage support ecological waste management and sustainable development?

The search for a responsible management of garbage is a growing concern worldwide. The present practices, such as incineration and landfill create considerable risk for the environment. Therefore, more and more, because of growing regulations, lack of space, and mostly because of a global awareness towards waste management, the global community is moving towards resource recovery. This is why Cinderella Garbage wishes to promote a waste management that is less polluting and which fosters sustainable development. 

All of our products are made from the same material, which is vitrified garbage. We work with engineers that have developed a plasma technology that transform waste into an inert material that has many similar characteristics than quartz. We treat this material as if it was precious, we sculpt and facet it as if it were diamonds – our own contemporary diamonds.  They are precious to our eyes because they reflect society’s consumption. 

Can you tell us a bit about your creative process?

All of our jewelry is hand-made with every intention of being ecologically loving. The idea of Cinderella Garbage was developed under the circumstances of an endless love for art, culture, society, uniqueness and feminism.  We wish to create pieces that are exclusive because of the unique possibility of wearing trash, of capturing the consumption of society within a beautiful object that pushes the limits of recuperation to a new level of elegance and finesse. 

We also believe in creating pieces that are “wearable” in every occasion – from a casual coffee with a friend, to grocery shopping or to a glamorous party. To me, wearing a piece of jewelry must have some sort of significance. For instance, our upside-down heart collection is meant to be a constant reminder to the person wearing it to be kind and loving to herself – hence the upside-down heart facing toward the person wearing it. We are sometimes very hard, demanding and unforgiving towards our self, so this piece was created to remind women to be gentler.

We'd love to learn a bit more about how you prepare for a show of this scale. When did you start planning and preparing for OOAK?

We started working on new pieces this past September and since then we have been building our inventory for the OOAK. 

Walk us through a bit of the prep work you’ve been doing for the show.

All of our stones are facetted by hand, so there is a lot of work going into that. We are also finishing up our new pieces. Stamping business cards and making sure we have enough pamphlets. All of our packaging is made by hand so we have been making a lot of those ! All of our little booklets are also hand-sewn, it’s the most relaxing work to do, but it does take a lot of time.  

Why is shopping small important to you?

It is important for me to know the person behind the product and the amount of love put into it. I truly believe that it makes me care for the product so much more. I also enjoy having unique pieces found in a little store in my neighborhood. The activity of shopping in little boutiques is so much more pleasant for me than being in a shopping mall for a couple of hours. 

For more of Kimberlee's work: cinderellagarbage.com, or meet her in person at the show!


We've got two sets of 2 tickets to give away! Join us Wednesday November 23rd on the @makersmovement Instagram feed for contest details.