When you buy a gift do you think about how the item was inspired and made or who your money benefits?
Talk of Christmas shopping often includes car park rage, crowded shopping centres and the like. But does it need to induce stress and frustration? You can shop online of course, but what about a more tactile and sociable experience such as a twilight market?
There’s an opportunity coming up to shop among local creative people and taste some interesting flavours.
What: The Ruffled Bazaar “Christmas Spectacular” twilight markets
When: Saturday 1 December, 3pm-8pm
Where: Mount Gravatt Showgrounds, 1644 Logan Road, Mt Gravatt, Brisbane.
Ruffled Bazaar owner Kellie Bull says the venue provides a beautiful and vibrant setting.
“There is a big tree filled shaded grass area that joins the two halls, that are filled with my boutiques. This grass area becomes the meeting point for many shoppers, and surrounded by gourmet food, entertainment, animal farm and even a jumping castle,” Kellie says.
“This venue creates more of a night out rather than just a market. So many of the shoppers arrive at 3pm and are still there come closing time at 8pm.”
Kellie acquired the now “Ruffled Bazaar” business in early 2012 and has been rebranding and building the business.
One of the aspects she’s been focusing on is building a sense of community.
“This is an area that I feel has been lacking in the market world. And my stall holders are really responding well and thanking me for the extra time and attention and help that I give them,” Kellie says.
“I work hard to get to know my stall holders and to create real relationships with them. This not only enhances their experience at my markets, but also creates a lovely atmosphere for the shoppers too.”
“At the moment consumers are watching every dollar they spend. And when they are spending they are looking for that unique, well made item, that they connect with. The start to the Christmas spending season, has been a little slow to get started but as Christmas draws closer, there now seems to be a few more people prepared to make those special purchases.”
Kellie says many markets and stalls are stocking cheap imported goods.
“This is something that I as the market organiser for Ruffled Bazaar I am trying to avoid. Which is why I thoroughly research all my stalls before approving their applications. It makes for a greater variety of products available on market day as well as keeping a high standard across the board. Whilst all items are not handmade, any sourced or imported items are of the highest quality.
Nadia Collins of Carindale will have her Blends to Enjoy products at Ruffled Bazaar’s event.
Nadia, who does the spice blending herself from primary ingredients, says customers are increasingly looking for healthier options, food that is pure as well as full of flavour and easy to prepare.
“Busy people don’t have the time to spend preparing gourmet meals and yet they wish to avoid fast foods and take-aways,” she says.
“When it comes to home-cooked meals, people are seeking a solution that provides time-savings, ease of preparation, great flavours, healthy options, and nutritional value.”
Nadia says she is very impressed with the sense of community between stall-holders in the build up to the Christmas Twilight event.
“Stall-holders have been introducing themselves by emails and have been giving great hints and tips in respect of getting the most out of the event,” she says.
With an online store, Blends to Enjoy’s customers are from all over Australia.
“I would like to see some networking groups, events, and markets closer to home in Carindale,” Nadia says.
Some Blends to Enjoy products are available at Crisp on Creek in Mt Gravatt East.
Sam Gall of Holland Park, the creator of Maddie’s Buttons, says people are looking for something unique at this time of year.
“Something that you do not necessarily purchase in a mainstream store,” she says.
Sam’s business was inspired by her daughter Maddie and her love for hair accessories.
“Wanting to find something special and unique was difficult, so I decided to create them instead,” Sam says.
“Maddie’s Buttons has carefully thought about and purpose-designed, handmade and selected useful products and gifts for everyday use.”
“This is my first time with Ruffled Bazaar and I am very excited as I have heard that this is a great market for, not only customers, but also sellers. It has a great vibe and everyone I have come into contact with have been so friendly and helpful.”
Her business has just turned one and launched its online store in October. Maddie’s Buttons donates 5% of all sales to children’s charities, nominated by its customers.
These twilight markets are also gearing up to be a big dining experience. There’s a large assortment of gourmet foods including dumplings and wood fired pizza.
Adam Gallagher of Knead Dough is one of the food stall holders. He has worked 20 years as a baker and pastry cook and says he’s seeing the bigger demand for “natural” and “preservative-free” products.
A Holland Park resident for nine years, Adam has a home and business delivery bake every Thursday with deliveries from Fortitude Valley through to Underwood.
“I was lucky to have worked at a food ingredient factory for a few years and saw exactly what went into these bread improvers and made the conscious decision then to never use these again in my breads,” he says.
“I now have a mission to create simple, wholesome and delicious baked goods all made with natural, preservative-free ingredients.”
Adam uses local produce and tries to source all his other ingredients from local Australian companies. He only uses olive oil in his savoury breads and 45% roasted pumpkin goes into his pumpkin breads.
“I don’t use any bread improvers in my savoury lines as these contain mainly soy flour that’s been genetically modified and other nasty chemicals go into them,” Adam says.
“I have a wide range of target clients from the health conscious through to the mothers buying for their kids knowing my goods are free from anything artificial and no chemicals or preservatives.”
“I am excited as a first time stall holder with Ruffled to be a part of a collective group of like-minded people, where we put a lot of passion and hard work into our products.”
Adam says it’s tough to break into the market of selling fresh preservative free baked goods.
“I understand the need for families to budget with their groceries, but I also know the benefits that come from feeding yourself and family with good wholesome foods.”
He says he’d like to see more markets in the region such as on sporting fields that remain unused for much of the year.
The Ruffled Bazaar Christmas Spectacular also includes a jumping castle, face painting, card making activities, an animal farm and pony rides. There will be more than 70 boutique stalls with home wares, fashion and accessories, children’s clothing, gifts, games, toys and more.
There is also plenty of free parking available. Will you be attending?