Buying local feels like the right thing to do in this Crazy Consumer driven World. We can get strawberries in Winter, toys from China and Robinson’s Orange Squash in the English section of the supermarket yet at what cost to the Environment? Whenever I get a chance to support the Local Economy I do and last Saturday I was spoilt rotten with Boulevard Day in Havelock North. This is a day when shops put out trestle tables groaning with books, jewellery, clothing, toys and everything inbetween. You can nab a good few bargains and I’m sure Christmas was on everyone’s minds! The lovely, bubbly Kristen from Visage was selling Smashbox makeup at a huge discount so I nabbed a couple of nail varnishes here. Christmas shopping is underway…..
Phoenix cards were doing a roaring trade with their lovely cards, wrapping paper and advent calendars. I bought a couple of Door Hangers for the Figlets. I’m sure they’ll love these as you can tell people to Keep Out! The Phoenix Trader, Mandy, started selling through Phoenix since arriving in New Zealand a good few years ago. It was a great way to meet new people and she sells at all the local markets and fairs throughout the year. I used to buy Phoenix cards in the UK and loved their fresh designs and price point. Phoenix cards started out as a “Kitchen Table” operation by two Mums!
Then I got chatting to Tessa who was selling some wonderful Eco Food Pouches for sandwiches and cookies and anything else you think you might want to eat on the go. Ditch the cling film and wrap your sandwiches in one of these safe in the knowledge that you’re doing Something Good for the planet. Tessa is part of the Young Enterprise Scheme which is so commendable that I had to snaffle up a couple of the cookie pouches for the Figlets.
The lovely Helen was out in force for Te Mata Figs. Helen and Murray started Te Mata Figs after being spoilt for choice for fresh figs in Australia but unable to find them when they returned to New Zealand. They now grow 23 varieties of fresh figs and use them in some mouth watering products like fig salami and Spanish Fig cake. They have won awards for their Just Fig Jam which, amazingly for jam, only contains 25 per cent sugar. I can vouch for their Fig syrup drizzled over ice cream too – yum!
The Handmade Market was bustling with talented locals selling their creative products.
I had to laugh because eldest Figlet told me to try and find a panda hat for her friend who is having a birthday next week. I raised my eyebrows thinking who will be selling panda hats at a market? Look what I found…..
……a panda hat along with a whole range of beautiful, soft animal hats. Sue makes these hats purely out of enjoyment and it shows in the attention to detail and the quirky little designs like the seaside themed hat complete with starfish and seaweed! Just gorgeous! Another serendipitous find was Lynda, also known as the cushion lady!
Lynda’s cushions tick so many boxes for me. She recycles pure wool blankets and transforms them into cushions and blankets with native bird/owl designs. I love the way she remembers where she got each blanket from; makes for a personal and thoughtful gift and I bought two of them – couldn’t resist!
Saturday was also a hive of activity at the Hawthorne Market where you can chill out with a coffee from Hawthorne’s and amble around the market which is stuffed to bursting with top quality, quirky and downright gorgeous products.
You can always find something that catches your eye and my eye zoomed in on this adorable paper dress bunting.
Aren’t they gorgeous and I’ve never seen anything like it before. Skyla is the creative genius behind the bunting which she started making for a school project. She then thought about trying to sell at her friend’s stall to raise money to get to Canada with her friend. Another young entrepreneur; very inspiring!
I then stumbled upon one of my favourite local sellers…..
Now there is a story here as to why they are one of my favourites….. when I arrived all those years ago to New Zealand I lost my Shopping Compass. You know…I just didn’t know where to shop or which shops were “cool” so I had to start from scratch and would often try and find Substitute Shops. I first saw Flossy and Tosh at a Christmas Market and as soon as I saw their pyjamas my shopping compass whispered “The White Company!” to me. I took a closer look and yes, their pyjamas were as beautiful and top quality as The White Company pjs I used to buy the Figlets. Then things got even better….I started searching through the racks of dresses and tunics and my Shopping Compass whispered “Boden!” and it was right. Bold, modern prints mixed with florals in vibrant colours; lovely details like buttons and gatherings; I felt as if I had Come Home! The Creative Geniuses behind the brand are the delightful Lissie and Jeannie….
……who both have a great eye for detail and quirky knack of searching out the best fabrics. I really have Flossy and Tosh to thank for helping me manage my Boden habit and save heaps on postage!
There are so many other things for sale like jewellery, handmade cosmetics and lotions, children’s toys and adult clothing I may have to do another post but here is one more stall that I was drawn to…
There’s only one thing I love more than Buying Local and that is Buying Seasonally! These peonies are the last of the season and they are beautiful. Remembering what Linda Hallinan said at The Edible Garden Show about the chemically drenched commercial flowers I snaffled up a couple of bunches and was told how they would open up and gradually fade form a deep pink, to paler pink to peachy. What a delight! It was this stall owner’s first market and she had a gorgeous array of goodies on display.
So in the mad run up to Christmas try and visit as many Local Markets as you can and support those creative locals that add a bit of colour and cheer into our lives!