Local crafter among the best in Canada

STITTSVILLE – Having a child changes most of our lives. For Leslie Long (McClean), having a daughter was the inspiration for a business.

Long was dissatisfied with some mass produced products designed for girls and so formed a business called Elk & Ivy to produce handcrafted dolls for her daughter.

Long has recently been accepted as a vendor at Toronto’s Christmas One of a Kind Show, that has 200,000 customers pass through in 11 days. Since 1972 when it formed, the goal of the One of a Kind Show is to create a juried marketplace for the best handmade products in Canada.

Though Long was born in Edmonton, she grew up in Barry’s Bay and went to school at Madawaska Valley District High School (MVDHS).

“There’s nothing like growing up in the Valley. It’s just a different sense of life out there. I think it’s a different sense of moral value and responsibility, hard work,” Long said.

Long considers herself creative and credits a former MVDHS teacher for fostering that skill.

“Mark Robbins was the music teacher at MV for 30 plus years…. He was a phenomenal mentor in our community for young people in the arts. He helped build up a young generation of us who were pretty serious about the arts,” Long said.

Get your August 31, 2016 edition of The Valley Gazette to read the full story.