The Handmade Markets were on this long weekend at the National Convention Centre, with everything on offer from clocks fashioned out of bicycle wheels and gears, to a stall full of delicious marinades for meat, to hand-sewed foxes wearing trousers.
I went along on Saturday morning, at around 11.00am. The markets had only been open for an hour or so but the place was buzzing. So many people in one place, all trying to get to the front of the stalls that had free food samples or sweet smelling soaps on offer.
Every stall had a constant stream of people and no-one missed out on any attention from buyers.
If people think these markets are a bit of a gimmick with the same old junk that regular market stalls have to offer, they’re greatly mistaken. The Handmade Markets are an eclectic mix of all the great talent that Canberra’s creatives have to offer.
From what I could see, about 80% of the stalls were held by Canberrans, the other 20 per cent held by people from neighbouring regions. I think there’s something great about buying something for yourself, or a gift for a friend that’s been put together by local people in Canberra, putting a great deal of pride into the final product. Nothing you find at these markets is cheap or imported, like a lot of what you would find elsewhere.
The Handmade Market is the sister business, if you like, of the Handmade Canberra store in the city. In the past financial year alone, the markets and Handmade Canberra have made about $2 million in profit. That’s excluding the profit to the owners. This is great news for Canberra’s local economy and for our designers.
The Handmade Market is held quarterly at the National Convention Centre. If you missed it this weekend and can’t wait for the next round, a lot of what was sold there can be found at Handmade Canberra: City Walk, 20 Allara Street.
Did you go along to the Handmade Market this weekend? What did you pick up? I couldn’t resist a block of Lindsay and Edmunds chocolate, but I’ll definitely have my eye on the hand-sewn fox wearing trousers next time around.