Tag Archives: buy local

Christmas and how you spend your dollars

Christmas, not only is it coming faster and faster each year, the retail push to spend, spend spend is increasing.

But before you pop down to your local big name retailer this Christmas have a look at the alternatives. Namely people like yourselves who are trying to get their small businesses started.

A solid Christmas sale can mean so much to an independent label. Not only is it valuable money the morale and confidence boost it can offer is far greater.

So take a look at

etsy

local markets (the Sydney Morning Herald has a quick round up across all states here)

and your local independent stores. You will find individual gifts that can be so much more exciting than the bland big corporate offerings.

So take a look around and see if you can make this Christmas a handmade Christmas.

image via etsy

Oxford st and the Paddington markets

On Saturday we took a walk up Oxford St to the Paddington markets. These are my closest markets yet I rarely get a chance to go as I am so often working on a Saturday.

However it was a warm sunny winter day and we thought it would be a nice morning out.

On the way up it was disappointing to see empty shops, shops closing down and even those who were having half yearly sales looked like they were doing the very bare minimum when it came to window display and instore presence.

There were even shop assistants standing in the doorways smoking and making it so you would have had to ask them to move put of the way for you to get into the store.

All in all it was really depressing and certainly not encouraging anyone to go in and spend money.

The most saddening part was that the markets were even worse!

Lots of empty spaces, less than a handful of stalls to get food ( what happened to the great vegetarian pastry place???) many stalls which are exactly the same as they have been for the last 15 years.

It was dull, the stock was set out in the most uninspiring ways and clothing wise you choose from childrenswear, designs that look like they were imported cheap from China or middle aged womenswear.

The entire street and the markets all  seem to be scraping by on the glory they used to have. It was not the vibrant happening fashion centre it used to be.

How did this happen?

– Bondi Junction was redeveloped with a Westfield
– the city was redeveloped with a Westfield
– some of the designer stores moved out, some replaced with bargain basement fashion or even worse seconds stores
– rents staid high
– the markets are content with their regulars and not taking on enough new designers

But it is also more than outside factors it’s also

– the shops aren’t trying. I mean designer stores whose mid year sales are advertised with signs it looks like you created in word and printed on your home printer?
– complete lack of exciting design of windows or instore display
– staff who don’t care. When you do walk in they don’t talk to you and that’s when you can get past them smoking at the front door
– not enough food places that are interesting enough to get people to come for breakfast/brunch/lunch and then go shopping

I’d really love Sydney to have a more vital retail scene that can sustain emerging and existing designers that is exciting to go to and makes you want to spend money. Apart from twice yearly markets like the Finders Keepers we don’t have that at the moment.
Let’s hope councils, store owners and designers cam get together and come up with more ways to make this happen or the homogeneity of fashion will continue as everyone just shops from the very basic big name chain stores as they don’t know where else to go?

The Finders Keepers markets this weekend

If a blog could set homework then I’d be setting the attendance of Finders Keepers markets as a Fail or Pass grade. Get along and have a look at some of the most talented designers, artists and crafters Australia has.

Direct from their website

The next Sydney markets will be Autumn/Winter 2011 held on the evening of Friday 20th and all day Saturday 21st May 2011. The markets will be held at Sydney’s best contemporary art centre CarriageWorks in Sydney’s Inner West.

The Finders Keepers Markets are a bi-annual FREE event that showcases the work of over 60 emerging designers and artists from both local designers to areas all around Australia. In addition to design & art we also showcase some local musicians at our Finders Keepers stage.

The next markets are:
Friday 20th May from 6pm – 10pm
Saturday 21st May from 10am – 5pm

More details and a map can be found on their website.

5 things Friday – local shopping, PayPal fees, worn in jeans and more

1 – a fascinating article on buying local from the BBC News. Buy from Babushkas’

2 – using PayPal for your webstore and need to calculate the fees more accurately? This article from swissmiss will help you out.

3 – customers paying top prices for “worn in” jeans. More here

4 – finding your social media results less than stellar? Perhaps these tips may help you understand why? via Designers Couch

5 – last but by no means least now that you have read the article above and know what NOT to do on social media check out this article from mashable that shows 5 small businesses successfully using social media.

Have a great weekend everyone and remember if there is a specialised topic you’d like to know more about leave a comment and it will be added to the list of topics to cover.