Ask any aspiring designer if it’s easy to realise their dreams in the competitve world of fashion and the answer is the same. “It’s really tough. Everyone wants fast fashion, the retailers want to get things as cheap as possible. It’s also hard to do everything, you have to be your own marketing manager, seamstress, accountant,” says UNCLE PHUNCLE designer, Ashley Kontis.

So for many, THE VILLAGE MARKETS is a godsend. A place wedged between the sewing machine and the somewhat elusive catwalk or boutique, giving many of our local talent a boost to the next level. “We definitely see a lot of stall holders progress. They might find this is a great platform to launch their label and then they progress to having their own boutique and stocking online. So we do see a sort of natural progression”, says SARAH SCHOELLER, co-founder of TVM.

So far there’ve been success stories for Kivari, Drowning in Decadence, Faith Design, LoveBird just to name a few.

Yet, only six years ago TVM was just a seed in the minds of founders SARAH and her then co-worker MARISSA BOWDEN as they sat in the office of the financial company where they both worked. When they were retrenched they decided to turn their idea into a reality. “We developed a concept around a fashion market and what we like to see in a market so THE VILLAGE MARKETS was born just out of something we wanted the Coast to have”, says Sarah.

After putting an application through Council they got approval for a fifty stall market. With just nine stalls the first week, things gradually picked up and TVM soon became the hub of aspiring designers, vintage lovers and fashionistas. “It’s just a great place. You’re amongst fellow creative types, you all give each other support”, says designer Ashley.

Nowadays those fifty stalls are never short of a taker, and there’s a waitlist to boot. “About fifty percent are emerging designers. We have designers travelling form Melbourne, Sunshine Coast and Sydey to have a stall here. The other fifty would be vintage, pre-loved so jumble stalls. And then we’ve got art, furniture and homewares,” says Sarah.

THE VILLAGE MARKETS are on the first and third Sunday of each month at BURLEIGH STATE SCHOOL from 8am to 1pm.


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