Guest Blog by Sarah Bowers owner of Toadstools and Tails
The trouble with having a creative mind is that you change it all the time. Once you think you’ve settled on something, another brilliant idea pops in…..and of course you just HAVE to do it!
Finally I have decided on a ‘range’ and I’m going to stick to it. We will now be concentrating on our well known ‘Toadstool & Mouse’ blankets (we also provide monogramming on the blankets), swaddling wraps and an assortment of gift packs. All packaged beautifully and our gift packs are especially ideal for baby shower and newborn gifts. If requested, we will also hand write a personal gift card.
I have to say though, the beauty of taking your wares to market is that you can create every idea that pops into your head as it’s a great way to road test, get feedback and most importantly, see if it sells.
Markets are a fantastic, inexpensive way to get your business some major exposure especially when you’re first starting out. This was why I first started markets. The adrenalin (and nerves mind you), on the day of your first market are exhilarating. You look around at your display and possibly for the first time, you realise just how proud you are of yourself and your products.
It gets better…wait until the market goers come in and start paying you compliments, then it feels amazing and makes all your hard work worth every minute.
Doing your first market is a bit like your first day at a new job…how much stock is enough? How much money do I need in my float? Can I leave my stall? What is correct market etiquette? Obviously do as much research as you can and ask as many questions as you like but at the end of the day, it’s such a wonderful community to be a part of. Everyone helps one another, supports one another’s business and this community is where you will receive the most valuable advice because everyone has been in your shoes.
Before not too long, you’re an old hat at it. Your marquee is up in minutes, you know exactly how best to display your products, you know which markets work best for you, your organised and most importantly of all….you have worked out who sells the best coffee!
You will make lifetime friends, have a laugh and admire the amazing work of others BUT, it is hard yakka, so be organised, always have plenty of stock (it makes your stall look so much more attractive) and practice setting up your marquee and how you would like to display your products. Oh and plenty of sleep! This can save a lot of time and disappointment at 6am in the morning, best of all you will be confident and feeling on top of the world.
Markets and Community had the pleasure of selling Toadstools and Tails products at the GO Festival held in October at the Melbourne Showgrounds, the products were bought as gifts as they were presented beautifully ready to be gifted.
Toadstools and Tails products can be purchased via their website: http://www.toadstoolsandtails.com.au/
Market Tour on Sunday, 26th May 2013.
I have finally had the chance to visit Huckleberry Market held at Cardinia Cultural Centre in Pakenham an outer South Eastern suburb in Melbourne, that has a growing population of young families which is the perfect target market for this baby and children’s market.
Huckleberry Market was started by Amy with support and push from her friends and family to run the market which moves between Mornington, Pakenham and next stop Moonee Ponds.
The market is a babies and children’s market with both handmade and boutique style items. I knew a fair few friends would be at the market and I had been promising Amy that I will make it as part of our market tours.
First stop was Gardening 4 Kids with a stall full of gardening tools for children from first gardening, flower or herb kits, gloves, tools, wheelbarrows etc. They have just started a fundraising unit where schools, kinders, playgroups can use as a fundraiser.
My second stop was Ash from Nest Accessories, what a beautiful lady she is, I have been trying to catch up with Ash at markets for awhile as she is a loyal follower of Markets and Community and also because I love her products, they are simply gorgeous and looks like I will be placing an order for a custom made fire engine clock for my little man’s 4th birthday. You will find unique gifts such as wooden mobiles and clocks (see below), gorgeous canvases that are personalised. I have simply fallen in love with these products.
Another one of our friends from facebook is Dot and Spence who have custom made finger puppets, along with a huge ranges of handmade goodies. The finger puppets can be designed especially for the kids with different characters dressed in different clothing for example a mum, dad, brothers, sisters etc. Perfect for children ages 4 and up who love imaginary play.
One of the main reasons I came to Huckleberry Market was to catch up with Bek from Sweet Bubba. She sells a range of Eco, Organic and Handmade products including Baby Amber Teething Bracelets and Necklaces. Bek is the Victorian admin of Markets and Community’s facebook page and is a valuable member of our team so it was nice to see her own business at work at the markets. Check out Sweet Bubba’s products online.
Also a quick mention to another talented stallholder, Bobishi with her baby clothes and accessories, I placed an order for one of the gorgeous tutus which is made from the softest fabric making it easier for it to be worn all the time.
Finally as always I have to buy yummy cupcakes for the kids, I ended up purchasing a delicious array of mix from Amaesing Cakes..Yummy is all I can say.
Country Women’s Assoc Doreen Community Market
Good Friday Appeal Market
When a market organiser decides to run a market on a day like Good Friday, they take a risk of resistance of the stallholders and the community, but the CWA Doreen Community Market has always had its fully fledged support from their stallholders and that is why the Good Friday Appeal Market turned out be so successful in its 2nd year running.
CWA Doreen is a community run organisation, a subsidiary of the larger Country Women’s Association of Victoria Inc. (Association) which is part of the largest women’s organisation in Australia. It aims to improve conditions by community service more especially as they affect the welfare of women and children.
When we listed the Market under our fairs section of the website, we decided to take the opportunity to make it our market tour for the week. Plus I wanted to meet one of our listed stallholders, Made By Elise, whom I have communicated with for almost a year but never met. So I took the long drive from Rowville to Laurimar (only just over an hour), got lost on the way because I don’t like having a GPS but ended up using my phone GPS and arrived in the gorgeous estate of Laurimar. It does look like the adverts they show on TV.
The roads were full of parked cars so I parked across a large lake and walked through the foot bridge with little ducks coming towards me thinking I have food for them. I could see the activity from across the sports oval, so many people, so many stalls and jumping castles. Wish I bought my little ones with me.
First stop was Cheeky Little Fox with her gorgeous little hair accessories. They seem to be at quite a few markets that we list on our site, so I can see us bumping into each other again. It is really nice to know that our social media shout outs work as a few of the stallholders at the market responded to a call our for stallholders at this market.
Next stop is a beautiful lady Janice from Senorita Bonita Children’s Clothing & Accessories with the cutest and most unique handcrafted plush horses. Last year I bought all the little girls in my family Splatt Dolls but this year I will be buying the Plush Horses for them, they are just simply gorgeous. Janice usually sells at school market nights and fetes but will also be at the Melbourne Showcase Market at the end of April.
I finally got to meet Elise from Made By Elise, she was as lovely as ever, and I had a look at her newest creation which was a handmade flower girls’ bouquet. What a perfect place to go for custom made bridal accessories.
Finally I met Homegrown Harvest with their small kitchen gardens. They have a great business with design and maintenance of home, commercial and community kitchens. But the best thing is Kirsten from Homegrown Harvest runs a Mernda and Doreen Produce Swap where the community trades surpluses of their food with other local gardeners. What a fantastic community initiative.
I managed to enjoy a yummy cup of coffee with my little mascot the keep cup and also purchased some yummy biscuits for my little ones from the CWA Doreen stall. The food vendors didn’t expect such a large crowd as many started to run out early.
We put a post up saying what a fantastic market it was the feedback from that post on facebook were from stallholders at the market who had really good days.
The Country Womens Assoc, Doreen holds their market on the 4th Sunday of the Month at the Laurimar Community Centre. They are trying to negotiate a permanent spot for the market as there seems to be some resistance from the local traders for a community market.
We have taken the opportunity at our exhibition booth at the GO Festival held in Melbourne on the 16th & 17th February 2013 to run a raffle to help raise funds for the 3 charities that Markets and Community are supporting.
A number of small wonderful businesses have been so kind to donated prizes towards these raffles and we thank them from the bottom of our hearts for being so generous.
Here is a list of the donated items for the raffle.
Sweet Bubba have donated these Mumma Bubba Teething Pendant Necklace and bangle.
Val & Luc have donated this handcrafted Easter Wreath. A great way to add a special touch to Easter.
Forget Me Not Engraving are so kind to donate this amazingly beautifully handcrafted pendent. It is an original piece and you will not find it anywhere else.
(The pendent is in the right hand side in the middle)
What a wonderful gift voucher for the busy women out there, Day 2 Day Personal Concierge is giving away a 2 hour gift voucher for “Give my your ‘to do’ list”.
It’s My Room have kindly donated this peg which is one large jumbo peg with the magnets to mount on a fridge or similar so it is one piece. People can use it for memo or kids art work.
Elodie Grace Designs have donated Size 4-5 strawberry peasant dress with a head band, hair tie & hair clips set.
Splatt Designs have donated a gorgeous Splatt Doll.
Love Sofia have donated these beautiful “Love Lace Shorts” in size 2 -3 along with a hair tie and clip set.
KMJSelection have donated 3 x state of the art glamorous tweezers contain a LED light and mirror allowing you to achieve those perfectly manicured eyebrows anytime.
Ami-Kay Boutique have donated a $20 gift voucher to use in their in their facebook store.
Arch Angels Inn have offered a 30 Minute Healing Session.
We have decided to take up this opportunity to exhibit on behalf of Markets, Stallholders and Small Businesses that would never get an opportunity to show their business to such a large audience of 10,000+ women.
We would love to introduce the businesses that are showcasing in our showbags.
Hi, my name is Kim and last year I had an amazing holiday on a cruse liner and stumbled across this product “Tweezers with Led-Light”, fell in love with it and decided it is a must have product for all women. That’s why I created my own business called KMJSelection so you could all have the opportunity to fall in love with this product too.
These state of the art glamorous tweezers contain a LED light and mirror allowing you to achieve those perfectly manicured eyebrows anytime, anywhere. Never again do you have to suffer those unsightly public moments when a glimpse of yourself in a mirror exposes all those fine hairs which you didn’t see at home! The LED light ensures that nothing gets left behind! For ladies who appreciate a touch of bling, a white and pink edition with a crystal button is available. For the gentleman, these tweezers are amazing to remove splinters, unwanted hair and fit perfectly in your toolbox or glove box.
If you would like a Unique, Affordable and fancy product please come and visit KMJSelection at my official Website www.kmjselection.com.au OR my Business Facebook Page KMJSelection and have a look at my Designer Fashion Tweezers with a Swarovski Crystal and Ultra Bright Led-light and many other Unique products soon to will be available.
Round She Goes is an eco-friendly and award-winning fashion market event just for women.
It’s an opportunity for all women to book a stall and offload their quality preloved fashion items in a fun and friendly place. At Round She Goes shoppers can buy preloved designer and quality vintage fashion and accessories from different stallholders. There is also locally designed jewellery and accessories and even some cool craft. Round She Goes has become a not-to-be-missed event.
Round She Goes is held at various venues in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide. Please visit the Round She Goes website for upcoming dates.
Langi Designs has been my answer to custom designed and unique jewellery and accessories. I’ve been creating for just over 6 years, during this time my business has changed and grown due to repeat clients and new ones requesting pieces that are unique and individual.
In the last 12 months I’ve grown my business to incorporate a range of hand stamped items in sterling silver and gold filled. These beautiful pieces are treasured keepsakes to help celebrate or remember a special time in your life. These pieces are custom designed to suit the individual tastes and budget. Incorporating but not limited to pendants, bracelets, earrings and keyrings.
Examples of my work and also a platform that is regularly updated with pieces available to purchase is via my Facebook page:
I also tweet and release pictures of images prior to Facebook on Twitter. I can be found at:
https://twitter.com/langi_designs and can be followed via Instagram as langidesigns.
Arch Angels’ Inn:
A Sacred space to honour: Spirit, Angels, the gift of Intuitive Healing, Master Usui Shiki Ryoho and Reiki Principles.
Always practice with the highest of Intent and Sincerity
Value each person that crosses or enters the Arch Angels’ Inn
Respect Spirit as the highest of knowledge, love and Wisdom
Live by the Usui Reiki Principles
To provide a space for love, light, respect and abundance
To acknowledge lessons
To be grateful for abundance
Facebook Link: Arch Angels Inn
Atelier Brazil is an online boutique that sells beautiful handcrafted items from Brazil.
The idea of starting Atelier Brazil came from my long term desire and dream to be my own boss, combined with the opportunity to bring to Australian customers and friends what Brazil has to offer.
I have always seen people commenting about the Brazilian bikini, the brazilian churrasco, the brazilian waxing, the brazilian carnival. But I, with my own knowledge, knew that there was more about Brazil.
Brazil is the country of colours, happiness and creativeness. And that is what I want to bring to Australia.
All my suppliers are artisans, they don’t mass produce, what they do is to create beautiful items, with lots of Love and dedication. My artisans are happy and helpful people, who sometimes do this for a living or sometimes as a hobby, just because they are creative and inspired. And that’s the work I wanted to share with you, my lovely Australian friends.
Our range varies from Homeware to jewellery. From accessories to stationery. And in 2013 we are looking on expanding our ranges, bringing new and excited things, typically from Brazil.
One important thing that is well worth to mention is that soon we will have a range of Eco friendly items, with the Amazon touch. These items are made from raw material extracted from Amazon trees, without making any damaged to the environment. They are also produced in small scale and treated through natural process, without the use of any chemicals. And yes, I’m very proud to be able to introduce this line in 2013 to all of you.
Apart from selling online and making friends, we also attend to some local markets such as Como Markets in NSW, where I have the opportunity to show case our beautiful products, chat with people and have fantastic days out.
What I learnt, from being a small business owner – just starting and trying to make my way up – is that you can’t go anywhere without your friends, your family and the people that sometimes offer you help that you actually didn’t expect. These people are going to do things for you without asking anything in return, they will support you, give what they have best and sometimes make sacrifices to help you.
What I also learnt is that you have to be organized, you have to plan and spend wisely. Be creative and think outside the box, research, know your competitors, your strengths and weaknesses, have the humility to assume something is not working and the ability to learn from that and move forward. But what I also learnt is that you have to have fun and love your business, those times you spend the night awake planing your next move, the moments you have to give up on some of your free time to work. You gotta Love your business. That is the only way you are going to succeed .
And I Love Atelier Brazil.
Owner of Atelier Brazil
I’m Lorena, I’m an artist, wife, and a mother of two. I believe in myself and I believe that I am unstoppable. I’m the founder of “Val and Luc”.
What made me start Val & Luc?
I started hand painting decorations in 2008, enrolling in a class to learn the basics. The class changed my life forever – I knew straight away that I had found my passion! Drawn in by the creative expression and calming nature of painting, I took every class I could and I haven’t stopped painting since. I started painting just for myself, but then my ornaments quickly caught the attention of my friends and soon I was creating gorgeous decorations for them and other people who showed interest. Then, as requests grew and grew, I decided to turn my passion into a business. Named after my two most beautiful creations – my daughter Valentina and my son Luca – Val and Luc was born. I’m convinced that “Decisions change destinies”. Thus, I decided to raise my standards, despite fear, despite being busy as a wife and mother with two kids, despite thinking about what is going to happen… despite everything. And I’m so glad (and proud) that I did.
What does Val & Luc offer?
Val & Luc creates unique hand painted wooden decorations, perfect for warming up any space or event.
Val & Luc decorations can be customised for a special person or occasion, making them the ideal gift for christenings, birthdays, new arrivals and much more. Val & Luc also offers a range of ready-to-buy designs themed around yearly seasons, such as for Christmas and Easter, ideal home decorating!
I have always had a passion for colour, design and creativity. I learnt from an early age the joy of turning an ordinary piece of fabric into something wonderful on the sewing machine. So when my daughter arrived (now 11 years old) I started experimenting, designing and creating unique toys and clothes and so, Splatt Designs was born. I now create totally unique and funky dolls, bags, mixed media canvases, hair accessories and even cushion covers for the home. Each and every doll is individual and can be custom ordered to reflect the favourite colours, eye and hair colour and personality traits of your little ones or even not so little ones. They are made using mostly cotton and calico, with wool or even felt hair, and cheeky hand painted faces. I relish the process from beginning to end, and enjoy mixing and even mismatching the amazing range of colours and fabrics that are available. I predominately use strong vibrant colours, but can also tone them down to use subdued pastels tones as well. I love using the mixture of the amazing colour palettes found in beautiful fabrics, felt, wool, paint, buttons and even raffia (the list is endless). I now have dolls living in England, New Zealand, Thailand and Hong Kong and all across Australia. Please feel free to pop in and say hi and check out some of my work at
Luscious Lollipop Photography is a high quality, flexible and affordable portrait photography studio, specialising in Weddings, Events, Maternity, Newborn, Family, Beauty and Glamour. Luscious Lollipop Photography can offer customised, high quality, exclusive print/canvas/digital photo collections.
Owner Catherine, says “When I take photos I look at these not only as photographs, but also special memories for you to treasure and cherish for the rest of your life. My aim during a shoot is to make you as relaxed and comfortable as possible, to try and capture the ‘real’ you! Relax, have fun, Enjoy a day of spoiling and let me work my magic”.
Catherine has completed a Diploma of Photography and undertaken many short courses and workshops in photography and lighting through various Universities and community colleges.
Over the past 12 months, Catherine has completed a Business Mentoring program with a very well-known Australian Glamour/Beauty Photographer and has a background in Events & Administration.
Hi. My name is Michelle and a mum of 2. Frustrated with the range (or lack of) of name sets in the retail world, I decided to create my own for my first born and haven’t stopped creating, offering a range of quality handmade products, at a reasonable price, to decorate kid’s rooms.
The Name Sets and Paper Mache Stand alone letters are 100% custom made so customer input is imperative. Designs and colour schemes are endless so you choose the colours and/or patterns and I do the rest.
I actually don’t start painting until colours and designs are confirmed and because I love creating, I treat each order as if it were being made for my own children. As the letters measure 6cm high, they are a great height for door fronts and the Paper Mache letters, at a height of 17cm, best suit shelves.
In addition to the best selling Name Sets, we offer a further range of items perfect for any special occasion from as little as $10.00.
- Shaped Name Sets
- Paper Mache Stand alone letters
- Art Hangers (3 varieties)
- Money Boxes
- Door Hangers
- Timber Buntings
- Seasonal stock ie. Easter, Christmas and the list grows…
Please do contact me if you have any queries or would like to discuss something you may have seen on my website. I am always open to discussion and ideas. Custom Orders can take anywhere between 7 to 10 working days to complete so please keep the time frame in mind for orders required for a special occasion.
For all custom orders, payment needs to be received before work commences and can be made via Paypal or Direct Deposit. Pay on pick up is also accepted for locals.
You can find me at:
Day 2 Day Personal Concierge – Give Me Your List, Consider It Done
What is a Personal Concierge ?
Hi my name is Debbie Alford and I am the owner of Day 2 Day Personal Concierge. It is a service for busy people who don’t have the time or the inclination to complete the tasks on their “to-do” list. It’s been described as the aunty; the fairy godmother; the godsend; for women, the wife they always thought they needed; for the men, the wife without the … – well, you get the picture. Above all it is the helping hand when you need it the most.
You may not have the time to get through your tasks, I do. This in turn relieves some of the stress of trying to balance health, work, home, family and friends. You will find you have more leisure time and as Logan P Smith says “If you are losing your leisure time, look out, you may be losing your soul”. It is also comforting to know that you have someone reliable and discreet to call on when you are feeling a little under-the-pump – someone who will not judge you but simply help you.
The majority of my clients are busy women who sometimes struggle with the juggling act of work, business, children, spouse, elderly parents. I’m pleased to say that there has been an increase in the number of men asking for assistance lately. I know that some people have trouble asking for help, but in these busy times why ‘sweat the small stuff’ if you don’t have to. There is help on hand and if it still doesn’t sit well with you – nobody else need know you are asking for it, mum’s the word!
(Most of my clients reside in the eastern, outer eastern and south eastern suburbs of Melbourne.)
Many of my clients are small business owners. Are they wealthy? No, Are they smart? Yes. They realise they simply can’t always do everything. Because most of them are sole traders, they know that if they experience stress related health issues, there will be no one to take over the running of the business. Mind you, one small business owner said recently “I do love telling others that I have a personal concierge – sounds like I have hit the big time!”
Why did I start this business?
I’m probably no different to any other business owner, I wanted to work for myself on my terms. I looked at my strengths, personality, organisational and practical skills and realised that these attributes were not being fully utilised in any of my previous employment – I wanted to share them with the people of Melbourne. I actually get a buzz out of helping people.
Are you on social media? Please join me…
My name is Lisa and I am the Owner / Operator of Lisa’s Loot ~Preloved Odd’s and End’s ~ as a busy mum I understand about making ends meet and stretching the budget, as a child it was my grandparents who instilled in me that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure and do I have some great loot in stock!
I specialize in the location of and distribution of pre-loved (and sometimes brand new) odd’s and end’s – I look for those hidden gems, remarkable items, unique bits and pieces and strive to give them new life and a new home. I deal with various businesses in order to find things that I’m looking for. I accumulate various items from trash and treasure, collectibles, everyday items and basic odd’s and end’s – if I think there’s a market and I can recycle an item I’ll buy it.
I buy and sell with various local and international sellers – I have a high eBay rating and always make sure my customers come first.
If you’re looking for that special, unique something or just want to browse please feel free. My website is www.lisasloot.com.au
If you’d like me to try and locate a particular item please use the contact form on the site, I’ll get back to you as soon as possible with an answer and an estimate.
Although most items in albums will say pick up I am happy to arrange a drop off if reasonable – as well as this service I can also look into postage or freight if required.
Bambina offers busy women Beautiful Books and Gorgeous Gifts. * Surround yourself with Chanel, Manolo Blahnik, Dior, McQueen… * LESS than retail prices. Our books are always on sale – Belissima! * Simply order online or we’ll come to you (currently Melbourne only) * Perfect for girl’s nights, fundraisers, fetes and markets! Contact us to book now. Naturally we also have a great range of other gifts – Ecoya Candles, Kitchen Accessories and even for Gym Junkies and Mums and Bubs!
Win a Double Pass to the GO Festival
If you will like to win a double pass to the GO Festival, click on the link below and enter. There are 10 double passes to give away (Giveaway closes on 13th February 2013).
This is my second market tour of this market, (I haven’t put the first visit post up yet), today is the last market for 2012 and whilst the plans for 2013 markets dates haven’t been released yet due to some issues with the venue (due to the parking constraints) we anxiously await the next market.
Grassroots Community Market is a well planned out and successful market, set in the foothills of Dandenongs with many stallholders chosen from the local area. The market is a handmade and community market, therefore displaying an array of gorgeous products and foods.
I live in the nearing suburb to Upwey and driving to this market, I thought to myself, how lucky I am because this is what i drove past, rolling green hills of acres of land with horses and cows grazing (hopefully not zoned for development) and the quiet hilly roads filled with beautiful native trees. The best thing is this is only just over 5km’s from me.
Back to the market, well like the summer market, I walked in to a very busy market with all the stallholders having someone browsing through their stalls. I spoke to my friend Amy from Lillebeart who also runs the Kallista Community Market, it had been a few months since I have seen her, so it was good to catch up.
Next stop was CuuRLeaV where Christine had her baby massage and pregnancy oils, girls perfect for your little bubs. She had a beautiful looking stand that I was eying to use at my exhibition booth at the GO Festival that her husband had made, when you put a special touch to your stall it does go noticed.
I then purchased some soaps from BodiLuv Handmade Spa & Produce for my girl friends birthday presents, I love buying handmade for my family and friends, it makes it special. Had a lovely chat to Violetta hoping to catch up with her at Mulgrave Makers Market soon.
After purchasing some yummy food and drink I met up with another friend from Indie Market Place, Bubidi Boo who makes BOOTIFUL kids gear at awesome prices. You can also view her items at her showroom in Rowville, Victoria.
I had a long chat to Jen’s Soaps, who also sells at Emerald Market, Gully Market and many other markets around the area. Her soaps are in shapes of balls and it was an instant attraction to kids which in turn leads mum’s buying these great looking soaps. Anything to make bath time fun.
Finally we had a little visitor to the market, this social butterfly really enjoyed the attention of the cameras clicking away. It decided to land on one of plants of Kookaburra Fields.
I truly hope that GrassRoots Community Market will come back to their roots, as it would be such a shame to see a wonderful market fold in where the organisers have taken so much of their time and love to build.
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