By Lauren Merrick
Waking up is by far the hardest part of a market day for me - especially in winter. I wake up well before the sun, bleary eyed I get dressed, put makeup on, do my hair and maybe enjoy a couple of sips of tea and make some raisin toast to munch on in my 1 - 2 hour drive to the market. To keep me awake if I'm on my own sing my lungs out to a bit of Beyonce, or chat with my husband or sister or parents (whoever I've bribed with the promise of delicious market food to come and help me). Set up is always a bit of a pain, unloading the car, moving the car, setting up the gazebo, realising I've forgotten a display or don't have enough stock of a certain item, making sure I'm ready to go for the lovely people who come to experience.
By far my favourite thing about markets, that happens all year round is the people I get to meet, the dogs I get to pat and the fellow stallholders I get to experience the day with. Often I'll say to my helper "I'm just ducking out to the bathroom" which will result in a stroll around the markets, chatting to stallholders, buying from the makers and grabbing something delicious for lunch. The day goes by really fast and before I know it it's time to pack up, move the car, pack the car and head home for a cup of tea and most likely another round of raisin toast.
I'm at The Olive Tree market and the Avoca Beachside market every month. Soon I'll be at a Sydney market too! There are market folk who do markets every weekend, sometimes both days! I take my hat off to you!
Here are two of my favourite stall holders (the list is very long!)
The Muesli Man - holy moley. The best Muesli I've ever had in my life. Sam and Shannyn create the most delicious blends and if you're lucky you might get in before they sell out of their amazing Chia/Muesli/Fruit jars. Oh my gosh, I'm salivating just thinking about it! They specialise in vegan and organic food sourced and made locally. They're at Olive Tree, Avoca and the Brewery Yard Markets every month!
Market folk spend a lot of time and energy to create an alternative shopping experience for you (a much nicer one than huge department stores in my opinion). Keep an eye out for great markets in your area and leave a comment so others can check out the markets too. The best way to keep up with your favourite stall holders and to find out what markets they'll be at is to follow them on instagram and Facebook and to follow the market social media too.
Looking forward to seeing you at a market sometime!
Lauren Merrick from Lauren Merrick Illustration is an artist and illustrator who spends her days creating custom Family Portraits, Children's Book Illustrations, Blog Headers and commercial business branding. Inspired by the wonders of the natural world, Lauren's work is as playful as it is whimsical. A seasoned market traveller, you can find Lauren at your local east coast artist boutique market or online here.