All around Melbourne, over recent years, there has been an increase in makers'/handmade markets (and I'd say all over Australia too); And although there will always be a demand for brand name goods, shoppers are discovering more and more the unique, one-of-a-kind handmade goods on offer and they are loving what they find.
I love and prefer the feeling of walking into a market or boutique store knowing that everything being sold has been designed, made/crafted or recreated by the stallholder or local artisan, compared to walking into a store knowing that everything being sold is a trend design which has been mass-produced and imported. My recent visit to The Creators Market (in the old Prahran Town Hall, on the corner of Chapel and Greville Streets), was a pleasure. The market was buzzing with shoppers when I arrived. The hall was filled with gorgeous, quality creations making the browsing exciting and chatting to stallholders delightful. I made a food purchase plus collected a number of business cards from makers I wish to purchase from at future markets or online (I'll share them with you in upcoming posts).
I believe that with the increase of handmade markets shoppers are seeing and hearing more about the benefits of buying handmade goods and how by supporting local crafters and artisans, in turn, also benefits the local community; And with all the posts, groups, photos and sharing of information on Social Media, this too has helped to propel shoppers towards buying handmade and supporting local artisans and micro businesses.
Is it possible to have too many handmade markets in Melbourne? Many of them are found far and wide from my location and I haven't had the chance to visit all. But I say, 'Lucky shoppers', as they currently have a smorgasbord of markets to visit and gorgeous handmade items to choose between. I may be a little biased but to my way of thinking handmade markets and boutique stores give shoppers an opportunity to really savour and enjoy their browsing and shopping time and experience a more personal service from the makers themselves.
Much more can be found on the internet on reasons to buy handmade but one of my personal favourites is the story behind the creation. Who doesn't love a good story? I believe it adds an authentic and absorbing detail, depth of character and an extra dimension to the item by knowing something more about it and how it was born and evolved at the hands of the creator. I guess it's similar to a nostalgic keepsake or a gift given to you by someone close to you - it adds meaning, a memory, a beautiful thought, a reminder of something special.
So, to buy or not to buy things that are made with skill, take time to craft and are embedded with soul and uniqueness? I know which I'd rather choose - so it's off to more upcoming handmade markets for me. If you have any favourite handmade markets or boutiques please let me know about them ... I'll share mine ... please share yours 🙂