The Sisters Market in Brunswick was lovely yesterday. It's one of my favourite markets as I always see lots of my favourite customers, blog friends and fellow market girls there. I bought these pretty trinkets from Jay of Finki, who was having her last ever market stall as she is going to concentrate on selling her goods through shops. Her story reminded me what a great stepping stone markets are for crafters who want to develop their hobby into a business.
When I was starting Lark four or five years ago, craft markets were a very different thing, I would travel for miles to a huge field where I'd be competing with professional stalls selling acrylic knitted toys for $2, carved wooden plaques and 'country crafts' that were mostly not handmade. I almost gave up my business idea right there and then, thinking that no-one would ever buy my vintage storybook badges and quirky cotton-knit doughnuts. Then a new type of craft market started to emerge, where the emphasis was on quality and original design, so I found myself at Magnolia Square, and the new Life in Style trade fair, and my confidence was restored. I started meeting like-minded people and found out that my stuff was actually good, and I never looked back from there!
These days I am involved in running a local craft market in my town and I still have a stall a few times a year at Melbourne markets, but now my main reason for going to markets is to meet customers in person and stay in touch with friends who have their own craft businesses. And now I am a retailer myself, I also love to see the makers who we stock in our store, and discover new talent.
So this is just a Yay! for craft markets, for the people who run them, for the folks who buy handmade, and for designers like Jay who are taking the next step in their businesses.