A kids’ market inspired by two Canberra mums who wanted to teach their children how to run a business and create their own products is returning this weekend at the Gordon Community Centre.
Now in its second year, The Little Village Markets is all about supporting children who like to make, bake and create – and sell -while learning useful skills such as customer service, production, pricing, advertising, setting up their own stalls and operating their own mini business.
One of the organisers and mums, Tracy Hall, said the market was a community event that catered to kids from as young as five to as old as 18.
“It’s something that my friend Tara and I never expected would take off like this,” Tracy said.
“Not only is it really important for kids to be able to build all sorts of skills, but I think it’s important that they start to learn to engage with people in everyday life so they have the confidence to ask for things.
“It’s just amazing to see how these markets have influenced little people’s lives and that they’re enjoying themselves so much.”
The community markets were launched in September 2021, and the kids raised over $600 for the Gordon Community Centre and their food pantry to purchase much-needed food for the less fortunate.
“Many of the parents were saying what a great thing it was for the kids to experience not only the customer service and the business side, but learning how to share and give back to the community,” Tracy said.
“There were so many lessons to be learnt and we got such a fabulous community response.
“It was so positive.”
Then Tracy and Tara decided to bring it back in 2022.
Tracy said 40 to 50 kids would be involved in the markets, selling a variety of creative, handmade products.
Tracy’s 10-year-old son, Harrison, will be selling his Chat Cards at the market, which are each carefully hand-drawn by him.
“My son loves to draw, and he draws on these gorgeous monsters and figures,” Tracy said.
“And as I am a graphic designer by trade, I’ve been getting him to draw on blank cards, then we put them in a clear envelope with a sticker on top for him to sell with his business name – Chat Cards – which stands for Christian (his dad’s name), Harrison, And Tracy.”
Tara’s four kids will also be participating in the markets.
Her eight-year-old daughter Annie will be selling friendship bracelets under her business Bear and Bunny, her eight-year-old son Tom will have his ‘Farmer Tom’ stall, where he sells small sweet strawberries (that look like raspberries), her 10-year-old Lucy will be selling handmade cupcakes with her friends and her 12-year-old son Charlie will be helping his dad serve coffee.
Tracy said the markets will also feature buskers.
“We’ve also got a mum-and-daughter-duo running a little beading workshop, some others are making hot chocolates, others are making scones, another little boy will be making and selling stress balls and the list goes on,” she said.
“The quality of the products the kids are producing is just amazing.
“They’re just beautiful and these kids really want to give back to their community, which is great to see.”
The Little Village Markets take place this Saturday (10 September) from 2 pm to 4 pm at the Gordon Community Centre.
Tracy said she was looking forward to holding the market again this weekend.
“The energy that the children give you and their enthusiasm is just amazing,” Tracy said.
“We’d love people to come on down and even just look around. They don’t have to buy stuff.
“The kids just love people being there and engaging with them because they’re proud of what they’ve done, and they really want to show people their creations that are for sale. The enthusiasm that they bring to the market is contagious.”