Ever Wondered How Markets Grow Start Up Businesses? Here’s How

Melbourne’s rich market culture has made the city a haven for start-up creatives and artisans.

The Pantry Detox's peanut butter and jam protein balls.

Since early 2015, The Creators Market has been partnering up with some of Melbourne’s most talented artisans, designers and fine food providores to bring quality handmade items, literally to market.

Now in its third year, the event has taken place quarterly at the Prahran Town Hall. Late last year event manager Megan Luscombe took the market regional with an expansion to Ballarat (which has proved a big success).

‘As a small business ourselves, we recognised how many quality products are out there and how difficult it can be to get in front of an audience, which is exactly why we wanted to create a platform that celebrated those makers,’ Megan tells us, adding it was a priority for The Creators Market to focus on handmade and homemade items.

‘By coming to one of our markets you actually get to speak to the maker, the cook, the designer and see the energy and passion our makers have for their products. You get to support local and actually boost that person’s business. The products you buy are genuinely made with love. You just don’t get that going into a regular retail shop.’

One such business is The Pantry Detox who has been participating regularly in The Creators Market since its beginning. The local health food business has been creating a line of protein balls for over two years and has been moving from strength to strength since starting out.

‘Our first market, where we launched, was the Melbourne Finders Keepers,’ says The Pantry Detox owner, Catherine Suvoltos. ‘From there we met other stallholders and market co-coordinators that led us to other markets such as The Creators Market where we could continue to share our healthy snacks with Melbourne.’

Catherine says participating in markets allows her to connect with the customers, get valuable feedback about her product and allow her to grow in ways she couldn’t before.

‘Markets give our business a chance to be heard, seen, and remembered by people passing by. Customers are able to taste test our protein balls before choosing to purchase. For us, getting out into the public is very rewarding as it gives us the chance to talk to people, connect, and share our passion for health and food.’

Her tips for a creator just starting out and considering markets?

‘Feel comfortable speaking to as many market stall holders as possible for ideas, tips and hints – it may be about marketing, stall setup, signage or something else. There really is a great sense of community and we all want to see each other succeed. We’re only too happy to take some time to have a chat with anyone who is interested in starting down the market path. I have made some amazing friendships over the past two years and know that every market I attend in future will not only be a great opportunity for The Pantry Detox but also an opportunity for me to catch up with great friends.’

Other inventive Melbourne businesses have received an early boost thanks to The Creators Market.

Catherine tells us the year ahead is full of exciting news with more locals being able to access her health products in more locations, new-look packaging and a new flavor to add to their collection. Also on the agenda for the year is a stint at The Creators Market when it returns to Prahran Town Hall on Saturday, February 25 from 10am until 3pm.

‘I love the passion behind The Creators Market. Since my first market with them I have always felt so taken care of. Their focus on supporting small businesses like mine is commendable. They put their stallholders first and will do anything possible to ensure that we all have a successful market day. Being around passion and energy like that is inspiring,’ she adds.

See The Pantry Detox and several other creators at the upcoming The Creators Markets. You can find out more about Catherine and the Pantry Detox at her website.

For upcoming dates, Ballarat and Bendigo locations and dates and a list of all participating stall holders and market info, visit www.TheCreatorsMarket.com.au.

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