Monday, July 21, 2014

In The Spotlight: Lauren Williams

Another newcomer to Piccadilly Market on 3 August is Lauren Williams who makes gorgeous Japanese inspired jewellery.

Tell us a little about yourself?
I’m Lauren, I live in Melbourne with my lovely husband and two very gorgeous sons. Jack is 7 and Edward is 4. I work from home on my little business while caring for my boy’s full time. Before I became a mum I was a qualified Horticulturalist and studied Visual Arts at RMIT.

How did you come up with your business name?
Easy, it’s my own name.

Tell us how your product/range came about?
It has evolved over the years. I first started out making cards, which quickly developed into jewellery using chiyogami papers. I made resin bangles and rings for a while. I became interested in all the Japanese fabrics that were available but couldn’t sew. So I started making jewellery/accessories with cover buttons.

 How long have you been in business for?
Quite a while. I started seriously in about 2006. In that time I’ve had two children so it’s been a bit stop and start.

What inspires you?
The fabrics I work with and making stuff. My best ideas have usually come about when I’ve been crating or sorting fabrics. My children’s artwork is a huge inspiration as well as the internet.

Have you always been ‘crafty’ or has it bloomed later in life?

What is something cool that most people wouldn’t know about you?
I didn’t get my license until I was 33 weeks pregnant with my first son.

If money was no object what would be your dream destination right now?
Japan of course!

Favorite book?
A Secret History by Donna Tartt  One of my faves too

What is your favorite website(s) ?        
Made it and Pinterest…I could literally spend hour’s and hours browsing. I hear you

Have you ever met anyone famous?
When I worked as a horticulturalist I assisted different celebrities; Delta Goodrum,  Red Symons and a few different news reporters.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Elevare, a leg shaving miracle

Were you born in the 60's?
Did you start shaving your legs with a razor in the 80's?
Do you still shave your legs most of the time rather than wax?
When you shave in the shower are you doing some crazy leg up on the wall sliding down and about to topple A over T?

I am all of the above so when I met the lovely, clever girl from elevare recently who has designed and made a product to revolutionise the whole shaving process I was excited and immediately took one home to try.

I try to keep my non market type products to a minimum on here but I think every girl needs one of these in her bathroom.

I love it!!!! It is great for shaving, tanning, exfoliating and moisturising with ease.

If you don't want to feel and look like a dork in the shower anymore check this out, you can buy it online here.

I love reading your comments so let me know what you think.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

In the Spotlight: Bebe's Bakehouse

Introducing Bebe's Bakehouse to Piccadilly Market on 3rd August. This is one super creative lady. I LOVE her edible art cookies.

Tell us a little about yourself?
I trained as an analytical chemist, before moving into IT, returning to study for a Masters, and then working as manager of online training for the movie and game industries. After our little monster arrived on Halloween 2011, I decided to turn my baking hobby into a small business starting with gourmet gluten-free puddings for Christmas 2013. After Christmas I expanded my product range with cookies, and most recently with EdibleArt cookies which feature printed artwork like movie posters or holiday-inspired illustrations.

How did you come up with your business name?
My business name is called Bebe’s Bakehouse. Bebe means 'baby in Serbian and when I was born that is what I was called and continued to be called for the whole of my life. To this day no one in my family calls me by my christian name as it would appear too formal.

Tell us how your product/range came about?
All my products are gluten free (with a few exceptions). I had been cooking and baking for friend who is a coeliac for some years now. She has always loved what I make for her and one Christmas a few years ago she asked me whether I had thought of selling my products at markets.  I started with gourmet gluten free fruit puddings: Double Chocolate and Bailey’s, Orange Spice with Cointreau, Double Chocolate and Orange with Cointreau and Traditional with Brandy and we have since included biscuits, cupcakes, fudge, brownies, blondies  and EdibleArt gingerbread cookies.

How long have you been in business for?
I officially started in October 2013

What inspires you?
I am inspired by stories of people who have struggled to succeed through extreme adversity.

Have you always been ‘crafty’ or has it bloomed later in life?
I think I had the average amount of ‘crafty/artiness’ that people have growing up but I’ve taken more interest in creating things now that I’m older so you could say I’m a late bloomer :)

What is something cool that most people wouldn’t know about you?
Not sure how cool it is but I have a current motorcycle license and I rode through the beautiful Rockies in Canada when I stayed there.

If money was no object what would be your dream destination right now? 
I would love to go back to Banff or Canmore in Alberta, Canada. I spent 15 months living in Banff in the early 90s while on a work visa. I have returned twice since then but it’s always in my thoughts to return again.

Favorite book?
I had a few favourite books growing up because they touched a nerve at the time. As an adult I have many favourite books but one of my all time favourites would have to be
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

What is your favorite website(s) ?    
 I spend a lot of time on where I love looking through current and old movies as well as the actors who starred in them. I love exploring and ‘surfing’ the net and spend a bit of time on youtube looking at a lot of things from including cooking, music, documentaries and comedy shows.
Have you ever met anyone famous?
I met Dick Van Dyke many years ago at a convention in LA. He was lovely.

Monday, July 14, 2014

In The Spotlight: Myindah

Another fab newcomer to Piccadilly Market on Sunday 3rd August in Geelong is Myindah and I have to say I am pretty excited about seeing their products especially the boots.

Tell us a little about yourself?
We are two Mornington Peninsula girls with a love of fashion, summer, Bali and of course, leather!

How did you come up with your business name?
After trying every combination of both of our names, we went back to our “roots” so to speak. Indah in Indonesian means beautiful. MyIndah is “my beautiful”.

Tell us how your product/range came about?
It started from making our own leather for ourselves. We got so many comments on our products collectively, that we decided to sell our products. We started our journey in Java, then came back to Bali and found our suppliers there.

How long have you been in business for?
The concept was 12 months in the making, but we launched our brand November 30. So we are only 8 months old. We started with a summer range, expanded our range in winter by adding Boots and ballet flats. Now we are about to launch Summer 2014.

What inspires you?
Summer and sunshine. A love for fashion. Most of our inspiration happens around sun, water and wine! Ha ha

Have you always been ‘crafty’ or has it bloomed later in life?
Neither of us are “crafty”. We both have a love of fashion and Beck worked in the fashion industry as a buyer for over 12 years.

What is something cool that most people wouldn’t know about you?
We are both “open books”. If we had something cool, others would know about it. Sadly we probably aren’t!!! Ha ha

If money was no object what would be your dream destination right now?
Anywhere with sunshine and bubbles! But Bali is our second home and we would love to spend more time there. Me too

Favorite book?
That’s too hard to give a favourite? There are too many! We both loved The Fault In Our Stars that we read in Bali just recently. A beautiful love story.

What is your favorite website(s) ?        
 That’s easy! Ours!!! Ha ha

Have you ever met anyone famous?
A couple of famous people. Not Beyonce J

Thursday, July 10, 2014

In The Spotlight: Eat Sweet

Who doesn't love some sweetness in their life? I am a self confessed chocolate addict but have also been a long time nougat lover. I start with a little slice and continue slicing until the block is looking much smaller.

I am super excited to have Shannon from  Eat Sweet at the next Piccadilly Market on the 3rd August. I just want to jump into this drool worthy photo.

Tell us a little about yourself?
After being stuck in a job that I hated, I decided that I wanted to do something for myself but I didn't know what! One Christmas, I made nougat and everyone loved it. So that's what made me decide to go with nougat as a starter. Then the experimenting started :)

How did you come up with your business name?
It took me about 18 months to find something that would suit. I didn't want nougat as part of the name as I want to expand into other products down the track. As I love sweet things, Eat Sweet was born

Tell us how your product/range came about?
After making the nougat for Christmas, I started thinking of different flavour ideas as a-posed to traditional flavours. My first creation was the raspberry and white choc and is one of my biggest sellers. My latest is chocolate and smoked salt. Everyone is doing the caramel and salt thing, this is my version I have so many ideas for new flavours but all in good time :)  All sound yummy

How long have you been in business for?
We launched in December last year, so we are still new and getting out there so to speak.

What inspires you? 
My greatest inspiration for flavours is Adriano Zumbo. He comes up with fantastic flavours for all the macarons. My other inspiration was my mum. For someone of her age, she did amazing things - mostly running full marathons and doing the Rialto Stair race (aged 70!) She was also very supportive with the starting of my business. Unfortunately she passed away late January this year after an extremely short battle with cancer. Sorry to hear that

Have you always been ‘crafty’ or has it bloomed later in life?
 I have always loved to cook and bake, starting really young when my nan would let me help her in the kitchen.  I have also been a "foodie" and worked in the food industry for a short while.

What is something cool that most people wouldn’t know about you?
 I did a stunt driving course and I have jumped off the Auckland Tower

If money was no object what would be your dream destination right now?
 France  Me too

Favorite book?
How to be a domestic goddess - Nigella Lawson

What is your favorite website(s) ?        
 Temple and Webster

Have you ever met anyone famous?
 Adriano Zumbo, Nigella Lawson, Curtis Stone (he gives great cuddles!)  Lucky you

Shannon is very kindly giving 2 lucky people a chance to win some nougat, pop over to our Facebook page to enter.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Christmas in July at Sovereign Hill

I am not sure why or how it happened but I have never been to Sovereign Hill. Maybe I was away the day my school went or when I changed primary schools I missed out.

Finally I went yesterday and wow, I never realised what I was truly missing out on. It was great to see and experience something new with my children that I had not done before.

Bestie Peggie and her 3 came along also. On our drive from Geelong to Melbourne the rain got heavier and the temp was steadily dropping, when it hit 7 degrees we were worried. We decided to soldier on and give it a go and it was fine. A little drizzle here and there but thats it.

My son Master 10 said he knew it was going to be the olden days but didn't realise it was going to be truly olden days and that great.

Panning for gold was super fun, all 3 kids managed to find themselves some AFTER asking a local how to do it correctly, there is a trick to it.  3 little jars of gold specs came home with us with loads of memories attached.

We sent the kids down the mines as we both get a little woozy in confined spaces, apparently it was the girls highlight.

Sovereign Hill has been running Christmas in July for the past 3 years and I have to say it is a pretty special experience. It really did fill us with feelings of joy. There was a snowfall at 11.30 and it was super cool. I thought it would be a tiny thing for a few minutes but it was more like 15 minutes and felt very authentic. I am a big all things Christmas lover so all the decorations about made me happy.

We had to do the photo experience which was one of my highlights. Dressing up with all the kids was fun and more memory making. It made the 2 Mummy's very happy. The girls loved it but I am pretty sure the boys were not so keen. A little bribery may have been thrown in to help it along.

The kids really enjoyed the schoolhouse which honestly did not feel that different from my own primary school days. Not a screen in sight. Learning to write with the nib and ink was a new thing for them all.

Olden days bowling was fun if not a little challenging, a VERY long alley. I am normally pretty good at that kind of thing.

If you do go you absolutely MUST stay for the lightshow, photos do not do it justice but with the snow and the lights and the music it is a truly magical experience. We already want to make it an annual thing. Next time we would stay the night in Ballarat and do some more sightseeing.

Thank You Sovereign Hill. Hats off to your amazing, helpful, friendly staff. A most wonderful day out.

Christmas in July runs from June 28 - July 13

Thank You Williamstown

Well the weather gods turned it on for me, which they normally do. Blue skies and sunshine. Yesterday was Piccadilly Markets first Melbourne event at Williamstown Town Hall.

Piccadilly Market has had huge success in Geelong for the past 5 years so it made sense to spread our wings and start something new.

We had 65 stalls of incredible talent, it always blows my mind at how creative people can be. Each event I take home a little piece of love that someone has created.

For our first event, I was super happy with how it went and thank everyone who came along.

I decided to do something a little different and invited 10 bloggers arranged by Nuffnang to come along as our guest and experience the market and what we do and what all the stallholders do. Here a a few posts from the day from, always great to see the Picacdilly experience through someone elses eyes.

You can check out some fab photos from the day here.

The next market is August 3rd in Geelong and then November 9th back in Williamstown.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

New Melbourne Market is nearly here

So excited to be spreading our wings and coming to Melbourne.
Hope to see you there.

Monday, May 12, 2014

How to get the most out of your Market Day Experience

I happened to see a great conversation thread on Facebook last week on a stallholder page. The question asked was, what is the most you have ever paid for a market stall? The answers varied wildly starting at $25 and ending at about $1000. Not all markets/fairs are the same just as the price of cars/houses/clothing etc vary wildly.

There were a few people saying they felt they were being ripped off at places they have paid to have a stall which is an awful feeling no matter how much money you have spent.

I do believe you need to understand your business and what you are trying to achieve. For some it is a part time job on the side for a bit of fun, for others it is how they feed their family and for others it is their passion and are wanting to grow a big business. Depending on where you sit will depend on what market will suit you. Not all markets are the same.

I have been wanting to write this post for a while but more about how to get the most out of your day.

I run 2 markets, one is Geelong Baby and Childrens Market and the other is of course Piccadilly Market, one is $70 a stall the other starts at $165 but the same principle should be followed for both.

  • Once you have been accepted make sure you let your followers know whether it be via social media, newsletter or having flyers at other events that you attend. 
  • One of my regulars, pop a flyer for my market that I always send out to my stallholders into any package they mail out that is in a 100km vicinity. Build up some hype for yourself prior to the big day.
  • READ all the information you are sent regarding set up, it will make it a lot easier on you. I still have people arrive at the wrong door or level, making their bump in harder. Know where you are positioned and if you have a wall behind you etc
  • Do a mock up of your stall to the exact sizing, take a photo of it when you are happy and bring that on the day so you know exactly what to do.

My job as the market organiser is to get people through the door and have an event that is well organised and runs smoothly on the day. I do this through relentless marketing and advertising and always mixing things up and trying new things. I always have flyers in my bag that I can put anywhere I go when I see the possibility. Back of toilet doors are a great one.

Once the doors open and the people flood through, my job is pretty much done. That is when I can enjoy the fruits of my labour and be on hand to help the stallholders with anything they may need on the day, be it toilet breaks, grabbing a coffee or lunch.

With Piccadilly there are 100 stalls so each person has to make sure they are presentable, have a warm and inviting environment and are approachable.

Think about when you go to a shopping centre and what attracts your attention and makes you want to walk into a store. How do you feel if the shop attendant does not look up to acknowledge you? how do you feel if they are on their phone whilst you are in store?

You are ON for the day and it does not matter if you are sick, tired, bored, cranky you need to leave all that at home and greet everyone with a smile.

I see a direct correlation with how well someone does with whether they sit or stand for the day. True!!! Yes I know your feet will hurt but it is worth it. People want to be greeted at least with a smile but I know that I love conversation as many others also do.

Do NOT pick up your phone except to check the time or process a payment. I see stall holders on their phone all the time and have even seen people reading the paper or a book.

Remember that it is not just about the day, plenty of people go away and then will purchase online so make sure you have cards and/or flyers available for them to take. I get a lot of people contacting me up to months after an event asking for details of  businesses. Make it easy for them. I would also suggest having a mailing list (any serious business should have a mailing list - super easy to set up with mailchimp) You could always send everyone who signed up to your mailing list an email a few days after the market thanking them for stopping by and giving them all your contact details, social media handles etc. These little extras build customers for life.

I have seen people give a discount if they like them on Facebook whilst they are at their stall. Great idea for building your community. It can be as small as 5% or a larger incentive.

People often tell me they had a bad position and that is why they did not do so well, in the case of my market there is no bad spot. If you do all of the above and give it 100% it does not matter where you are. Two of my biggest sellers have odd spots that they always ask for every time. They have built a following with great service and great products. I will have someone tell me it was their worst day and then someone 3 stalls down from them tell me it was their best ever.

My advice to newcomers is expect nothing and everything will be a bonus. With the exception of super well known brands like Apple and H&M opening up with queues around the corner we just can't expect to open up a new business whether it be a shop or a market stall and have people handing over their money. They need to see who you are, trust you as a brand and as a person. Build it and they will come only happens in the movies.

A single 1/4 page ad in a crappy local paper sets me back $1050 to advertise the market and I have ZERO knowledge of how it worked. Look at your stall fee as a very cheap add where you get to see what people gravitate to, what colours and products work best, how they react to your pricing. You get to chat to them and understand what may work better next time.

I have had businesses start with me to get their name out there and after a few years they have grown so well they no longer need to do markets. It all takes time and hard work, like any other business out there.

Market day is all about having fun and enjoying the process.  It may take a few markets before people start to purchase from you.

If you have had a bad sales day and the market was well patronised step back and see what it could be. Is it your presentation, your pricing, is your product right for that particular market and/or demographic. Of course sometimes we just have a bad day and there is no rhyme or reason to why but i do often think we need to dig a little deeper.

Good Luck and I welcome any comments for general discussion.


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