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Handmade Market rocks the Yarralumla Woolshed

emd 12 September 2009 71

Oh. My. God. If you’ve been to Handmade Market this weekend, you probably have sore feet, an empty wallet, and the warm inner glow that comes from retail therapy supporting local crafters.

I should state at the outset that I’m a very bad consumer. I don’t buy much stuff (compared to my female friends), and when I do buy it’s generally at the cheap end of the market. But Handmade got me using my calico shopping bags to take home a few goodies. Here’s some of the great stuff that I spotted at last night’s twilight market:

  • Jackson & Kerr organic cotton t-shirts for men and women. The ones I saw were priced at $50. Lovely soft feel, nice designs. Looks like it’s a collaboration between Amy Kerr from Moyou and Megan Jackson.
  • Anthony Hill – Canberra author of books for little kids, teenagers, and adults. He signed a beautiful picture book for my daughter’s birthday.
  • Polbymade had the most stunning dark green silk dress with wide white neckline and waist sash. I think I need one of these dresses.
  • Redmag had the most gorgeous handmade soft toys, with button eyes and pretty cotton fabrics.
  • Little Angel Little Devil is one I hadn’t seen before – handmade baby clothes, hairclips, wraps etc. Quite reasonably priced, and because it’s handmade using whatever fabrics inspire Rachel, you won’t see another toddler in the same outfit as yours.
  • Kemarre Arts had things more suited to gifts for older women – handmade glassware, screenprinted scarves and shawls, and wall hangings. Made by indigenous artists living in Canberra.
  • Rebecca Vavic, another local artist, was there with her baby sleeping in her arms – a beautiful thing to see. Her smaller affirmation pieces are my favourite. The whole mixed media, collage style really fits with the mish-mash of things that make up life.
  • Sydney crafters Born Again Books had a great selection of journals made from the covers of vintage classics. The journals made from grown-up titles were filled with pages made from 100% recycled paper, while the kids journals had Little Golden Book covers and eco-friendly bagasse (sugarcane pulp) paper. I got a notebook for the resident IT worker at our house, with a cover made from an old 5.45″ floppy disk.
  • Rockstars and Royalty have got to be the coolest couture designers in Canberra. I want one of their dresses, and I don’t even like weddings! Actually, what I really want is a tiara. To wear while vacuuming.
  • RedInstead had quite a large stall, with pretty handcrafts (some made by Jen herself, others from places like Larkmade), and craft kits so the inspired shopper could go home and make their own.

I’ve forgotten her name, but there was a busker there playing guitar and with a beautiful voice. Right in front of the Lindsay & Edmunds fair trade organic chocolate stall – a very nice place to stand indeed 😉

There was also wine tasting, Real Chai were there, and Cranky Pants catering for those who can’t shop on an empty stomach.

I had a great time bumping into nearly every woman in Canberra (well, all the nice ones anyway). And I wanted to go back again today, if only to check out what was on offer from Tango & James (Canberra’s Got Style). But when I got out there at 11:30am, there were cars parked all the way up Cotter Road, and I knew it would be elbow-to-elbow shopping inside.

Let’s hope that the huge numbers of visitors to the market today mean they can move to holding them more often. Clearly a quarterly market with this level of quality and value for money (yes, more expensive than Target – value is not the same as cheap imported crap) is not enough to meet demand in Canberra.

Oh, and I LOVED the new venue! Sure, Albert Hall is convenient for catching the bus. Maybe ACTION should put on a special Handmade Market bus service next time? But walking through the woolshed with the smell of lanolin and well-aged fertiliser really made me feel at home (I grew up on a sheep farm), and appreciate that the people selling their wares really do work hard to produce something that is a joy to use and to look at.

So who else wants to see Handmade happen more often in future?

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71 Responses to Handmade Market rocks the Yarralumla Woolshed
Genie Genie 12:50 am 17 Sep 09

I’m just going to clear up a few things from a post I typed a few days ago but it never showed up…

Alot of you are talking about running a market in Gungahlin, “Oh Gungahlin desperately needs a craft market………” as Rottweiler pointed out – there is in fact ALREADY a craft market in Gungahlin. What is wrong with trying to support this one instead of trying to run a rival market !? This market is begging for stallholders. Gold Creek also runs a monthly craft market (however this shuts down over winter)

You were talking about Insurance being $120 for a day, and the $20 charged for the Handmade Market was quite reasonable. FYI you can purchase your own individual public liability insurance to cover yourself and your stall for just under $200 for 12 months with unlimited markets through AAMI. Also if you DON’T have insurance and attend Hall Markets it is an extra $9, and Tuggers Homestead is an extra $7.

As for ‘Handmades’ comment from last year that I-Filed has presented us with:
#8 posted by Handmademarket
13:01, 17 Nov 2008

Good Morning Genie,

so glad to have such an insightful positive person so interested in the fundraising efforts being done for Motor Neurone Disease. That’s right, I am not making a profit from this event. handmade is designed to raise the profile of designers in the region and MND.

Market Girl

If your not making a profit from this event – please tell us why everyone is mentioning that you pay yourself a wage. I believe that is making a profit. I also don’t understand the claims that the market is running at a loss, you would be taking in $10-15k in stallholder fees. Perhaps if the market is costing more than this to run – your doing it wrong. I’m not trying to deliberately defame you – but an explanation from the horse’s mouth so to speak would be nice.

I’m all for the Handmade Markets it was an AMAZING market, provided ALL stallholders ACTUALLY make their stuff. But I’m not for people who claim not to make a profit, and will be donating money to charity. Then hearing that yes you are making a profit by paying yourself, and the market is run at a loss. The money donated is from a raffle run on the day. Just please explain to us where all the money goes?

I can’t bring myself to support this market in the future, when I have the questions in my mind of where my money is going, are my donations going to charity and is it also going to genuine stallholders, who genuinely HAND make their own stock. Is my money also going to someone locally or from the surrounding areas – not someone who has travel from Sydney for the day. (Yes stallholders from Sydney adds variety to stuff we previously haven’t seen before, but I believe I read somewhere “come visit LOCALLY produced items”)

sepi sepi 1:27 pm 17 Sep 09

a wage is not generally seen as a profit.

and when is the gungahlin market? – I would like to check it out

Pass the Panadol Pass the Panadol 2:11 pm 17 Sep 09

I think the markets are fabulous. All I have seen on the promotional material is that Handmade supports Motor Neurone Disease. I have never seen that it is an exclusive thing or that the organisers are trading off this and making it seem like it’s a charity function. I have never thought it is all for charity.

The products are well made and well priced (no, that does not mean all are cheap). I saw items from $2 up to hundreds of dollars. If there is an issue with ONE stall holder (and there was about 100 stalls) it can surely be addressed but I don’t think it’s worth having an aneurism over. Nothing that can’t be sorted.

Items produced with a whole lot of intellectual input and love from the designer is good enough for me.
Whilst sweat shops would be out the door who could argue with supporting Tibetans?

HICKERY HICKERY 2:14 pm 17 Sep 09

What a shame there are one or two people out there who want to knock something that has been handmade in the Canberra region, and by that I mean hand made a market that not only helps the local economy, a worthy charity and also is fun to go along to. I admire market girl for getting out there and doing something, doing it well and creating what could be a Canberra institution! Ba humbug to those who are nit-picking, just revel in the fact that it is a great market, great for Canberra and everyone except two people seems to absolutely love it!!

Keep on keeping on Market Girl and Handmade!!

Pandanus Pandanus 2:19 pm 17 Sep 09

Genie and I-filed,

You two must be the two most scummy people in Canberra judging by your comments on this blog. I like nice things and I’m prepared to pay for them! If my purchase supports a small business even better.

Genie you sound as if your idea of an ideal market is where grandma’s knits are sold for $5.00 and her crocheted tea cosy’s for $2.00. The Handmade market is a cut above every other market in the ACT and as it is only on 4 times each year is able to maintain that status. Is it clever marketing? you bet it is and good luck to the organisers. We went out on the weekend and had a fabulous time and thought that many items were incredibly undervalued for the amount of work that has obviously gone into them. I only heard people commenting that the prices were incredibly reasonable.

We put the Handmade web site to good use before going on the weekend and targeted the stallholders that we wanted to see. Our kids are growing so we gave the small kids clothes a miss but had to stop for the lemon butter by Cranky Pants and other treats.

It seems to me that your response to this post has been way over the top, so I’d have to question your motives for bagging the Handmade Market out so much.

Pass the Panadol Pass the Panadol 2:19 pm 17 Sep 09

PS Genie go take a pill.

bueslee bueslee 4:00 pm 17 Sep 09

Reading the negative comments on here makes me so sad! All the joy that the event brought to our lives this past weekend, and you people focus on the smallest negative points, making a storm in a tea-cup.

Ok, say for arguments sake (not that I believe it to be true), one or even two of the stalls had products that were not handmade. What about the other 100 sellers?? And wouldn’t it be more constructive to send a polite e-mail outlining your concerns to the event organiser rather than slamming the event publicly and anonymously?

Regarding your doubts that the donated funds are reaching the motor-neuron disease charity, again, how about asking the charity? I am sure they would be the first to object if an event was falsely saying that they support the charity.

What does it matter whether the organiser makes a profit from stall fees? Aren’t they entitled to do so? It is the stall holder’s money, and they seem to be prepared to hand it over as they keep coming back! The market it heaps bigger than it was last November at the first rain-soaked Albert Hall event. You are quoting a statement from her a year ago where she states she did not make a profit… Of course things would have changed by now, as the event has grown to include so many more stall holders. If she was not beginning to earn anything from it, why would she continue to do it? The woman needs to eat!

I enjoyed the market immensely and cannot wait for the next one.

I hope none of the poor stallholders read the negative comments and feel discouraged, as it is a select few who attend handmade who do not love it.

I have my shopping list for the November market already started! I want some hair-clips for me nieces from Posie Patchwork, a “washi necklace” from Kidson Jewellery for my mum, a hair-band from Grace Designs for my sister-in-law and some of those gorgeous chrysanthemum earrings from Sinead Buckney for…. me!! Ooo yeah, and my wardrobe could do with a few Jackson and Kerr T’s if I have any money left.

I’ll be seeing you in November Handmaders!

h2obubbles h2obubbles 5:27 pm 17 Sep 09

No other market in Canberra comes anywhere near the Handmade Market. The Hall, Gungahlin and Tuggeranong markets are incomparable with Handmade.

Perhaps it would help to note that the cost of stalls at other similar events and markets is very high. At similar events in the UK stalls consistently cost between $500 and $2000, then they charge an entry fee to visitors, and all with no charity in sight!

I find the negative comments of two contributors to this thread hypocritical and clearly lacking perspective. These people perhaps should spend less time looking for negatives and get on with life.

Funds raised go to MND (NSW/ACT) who then distribute it (onus on negative detractors to investigate this and provide proof rather than slander the market organiser beforehand). To my knowledge, the Handmade Market raffles have consistently raised more money than a stall percentage would have done. The term “not for profit” does not mean no wage is drawn.

For comic relief, I recommend this post from Genie – she is surely joking… “Salvation Army being greedy buggers. By Genie ? August 28, 2009”.

Genie Genie 6:07 pm 17 Sep 09

Sepi – The Gungahlin Markets is held the LAST Saturday of every month.. Unfortunately the last market only had 3 stallholders turn up on the day to sell their stock. Most of the regular stallholders now pay for short term leases and are found scattered amongst the centers.

As for a wage not being profit, Umm several people claim this market is run at a loss.. So how can she afford to pay herself a wage ?

Clearly all you ‘newbies’ (Pass the Panadol, HICKERY, Pandanus, bueslee, h2obubbles) can’t read as I have RAVED about this market saying it was AMAZING I just feel the operator and some of the stall holder’s are dragging it through the mud… and also I believe you don’t understand the point of this website as for most of you this is the only thread you have only ever commented on – it’s all about having a whinge.

You all seem to want to pass your criticism to myself and I-Filed out because we have some questions which are still yet to be answered and are expressing our disappointed in certain aspects of the market – But now your just resorting to name call by calling us scum, and referring to me as a joke due to a recent post of mine.

Tas Tas 6:32 pm 17 Sep 09

Genie and I-filled couple of points from the side line.

1. I am sure Handmade do want people like you supporting them and welcome such mean spirited persons not attending.

2. I would not put the I can not bring myself to call it a market in Gungahlin in the same category as Handmade. Why is not a success?

3. I actually spoke to the the MND fund raising coordinator for MND ACT/NSW at the Market Friday night who was over the moon with the awareness and money raised by Handmade. To suggest that the money goes to a family member is beyond belief and down right disgusting.

4. Wages and profits are two very different things. Why should Handmade explain to you or any one other people other than than the Tax dept where the money goes. It really has nothing to do with narrow minded people like you.

5. I hope there are many more successful Handmade Markets they are one of the best markets in the country.

I-filed I-filed 9:53 pm 17 Sep 09

Sorry guys, but it’s legitimate to query the disjunct between Handmade’s early statements and change of tune. The market itself has many terrific qualities – but if it’s based on dishonest marketing, I don’t think my concern is addressed by any of the responses above and you haven’t read my posts in detail. All it would have taken would be for Handmade to respond to the points raised, and, as always, I stand to be corrected – IF my concerns are ill-founded.

Woody Mann-Caruso Woody Mann-Caruso 9:39 am 18 Sep 09

Wow – there’s no angry, crazy, spiteful fury like a handmader scorned. Defensive much? You think you’d been keen to find out whether unscrupulous people were diluting your message and misrepresenting their wares rather than shooting the messenger.

Keep sticking the boot in til you get a straight answer, i-filed. “It made me feel warm and fuzzy and just let me just name drop some stallholders and HOW DARE YOU” doesn’t do it for me.

I-filed I-filed 11:17 am 18 Sep 09

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

Wow – there’s no angry, crazy, spiteful fury like a handmader scorned. Defensive much? You think you’d been keen to find out whether unscrupulous people were diluting your message and misrepresenting their wares rather than shooting the messenger.

Keep sticking the boot in til you get a straight answer, i-filed. “It made me feel warm and fuzzy and just let me just name drop some stallholders and HOW DARE YOU” doesn’t do it for me.

It’s actually a relief to see that even Handmade’s “nice people” are happy to reveal their shadows ! …

Handmade would you object to putting on the record that you paid the commercial rate and not the community discount for hiring the Albert Hall? Again, in the interests of transparency.

Granny Granny 11:54 am 18 Sep 09

For my part I was offering support for something I had been led to believe that Market Girl wanted to do i.e. hold her markets in Linnear Park.

I probably won’t bother in future.

The Albert Hall markets were a great day out, and I wish her well, but am also a little put off by the attitude taken.

I do understand that she was probably feeling hurt and upset when she responded, however, and has less experience in this forum than most.

Genie Genie 2:51 pm 18 Sep 09

All some of us are asking is to have our questions answers, and instead we are being called negative and nasty horrible people.

As I-Filed has said, answer our questions – if we are wrong. Then we will be quiet

thesideline thesideline 7:43 pm 18 Sep 09

Order! This Kangaroo Court is now in session, judge, jury and executioners, Genie and I-filed, presiding.


or we will keep stamping our feet… and keyboards!

I-filed said :

All it would have taken would be for Handmade to respond to the points raised, and, as always, I stand to be corrected – IF my concerns are ill-founded.

Genie said :

As I-Filed has said, answer our questions – if we are wrong. Then we will be quiet

Tas Tas 7:58 pm 18 Sep 09

From what I have read handmade have answered your questions……. Then you make up more ….

All there advertising says supporting MND and as I said above MDN are over the moon with handmade if you require confirmation contact them yourself oh… and do not forget to make a donation…..

From where I sit so what if someone is making a profit that is benefiting Canberra why should they explain it on a public forum..??


Below is handmades reply how I read it is that she was going to run a smaller market in Linear Park…..

As for Gungahlin Handmade was never going to be held there, we wanted to custom design a local market that would have similar values but more suited to the local community, support the local shops and designers. Handmade was always going to be the “big sister” of the Gungahlin market.

Market Girl the best advice is stay away from poisonous public forums the market is a standout success and good luck to you and well done on a fantastic event don’t bother replying people like this will never be happy. 🙂 Jealous of success possibly…

Granny Granny 9:35 pm 18 Sep 09

This forum has been supportive of Handmade Markets from Day 1, myself included. I think Market Girl has handled this badly and the rest of you are just making it worse for her.

Do you really think that insulting the 60,000 Canberrans that like this forum and don’t consider it ‘poisonous’ is the best way to help your friend and her business?

Some courteous explanations and reassurances were all that was required. The rest was both unnecessary and unwise.

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 7:00 am 19 Sep 09

Well Ms GA is organising a big conference, and has just ordered 50 lamps from Handmade marketeer Electric Firefly.

So there’s our vote of approval for the markets, and everything Marketgirl is doing.

Is it a new business, with the audacity to start-up during a (near enough) recession, and looking to have captured the minds of thousands of Canberrans? Tick
Does it fund-raise significant amounts for a charity, even though it would have absolutely no obligation to do so? Tick
Does it apply a higher standard of entry for local input than EVERY other market in the region? Tick
Are the products of a consistently high standard rather than junk imports and copyright rip-offs? Tick
Do we wish she could run markets (either new ones or boost the existing ones through some management arrangement with current operator GRCS) in Gungahlin? Tick tick tick

Tas Tas 9:14 am 19 Sep 09


My opinion is this thread is poisonous not the whole forum. I do not believe the the other 60k would think otherwise.

I doubt very much that she will ever log back into this thread. She answered the all concerns courteously in post 25 but was not seen as good enough.

Her supporters and market girl have a right to be upset with unfounded accusations such not giving the money to MND. Very easy to check if any one feels the need, as mentioned above she even made it easy for everyone with a link. She also explained about the targeted 1 stall holder…. marketgirl has said she checked here bona fides and is happy with the evidence provided.

I am unsure how any one could believe more could be raised from set dollar amount from stall holders than having the opportunity for all 12k that attended to buy a raffle ticket.

The raffle prize this time was a lovely quilt from a lady that had died from MND the last thing she had handmade before her passing….. this was explained to me by the MND fundraising coordinator who manned the MND stall friday night. As I mentioned above MND NSW/ACT are over the moon with what Handmade are doing in raising money and awareness from a horrible disease that does not have public awareness.

I agree in some instances supporters have added fuel ….. why?… market girl had already addressed concerns.

She has answered your questions ….

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