Tuesday 22 April 2014

My First Market and other current events

When you start your own small handmade business, the general assumption seems to be that you will sell at markets. I wasn't personally keen on the idea. I'm a shy person, and a fairly classic introvert, and a perfectionist, and generally afraid of putting my work 'out there' to be judged (in fact, I basically dropped Visual Arts in high school for this reason). On top of that, vintage-style millinery is rather a niche offering and different to most crafts found at your average local market.

Having said all that, my grandmother Wendy still managed to convince me to have a stall at the Mudgee Makers Market on Easter Saturday. Mudgee is a pretty country NSW town about 2 hours from me, with gorgeous surrounding countryside. It was a beautiful sunny day, although quite cool, and the market was bustling.

Tanith Rowan Designs millinery stall at Mudgee Makers Market NSW

This is my initial setup, although Wendy later arrived with some more of my hats that had been at Wattle Flat Crafts. Setting out my work like this was a fun experience, and a good reminder of what I've created.

As usual my fears were unecessary. People were very nice and full of compliments for my work. Lots of hats were tried on, and I sold a few things, which was enough to make back my stall fees and more. I still wouldn't say that it's my favourite thing to do, but I'm willing to give it another try sometime. Especially if there are more pancakes with berries and locally made ice cream.

One of the new hats I made for the market was this chocolate brown felt.

Tanith Rowan Designs brown felt 1940s style hat

It looks much better on a real person than the mannequin head, but I'm afraid I wasn't in the mood to make myself presentable for some photos, but I'll try to get some later.

Tanith Rowan Designs vintage style felt hat

It didn't attract much attention at the market on display, but I love it on me, so I started wearing it later in the day. I'm tempted to keep this for myself, as it's a style that suits my current hair. It strikes me as a 1940s kind of style. What do you tihnk?

Tanith Rowan Designs forties inspired blocked felt hat

I also want to share my new friend. While we know that kangaroos are regular visitors to our garden during the night, we only see them occasionally, if we get home really late or if the morning is misty and they stay around the local streets longer than usual.

Roo digging in my garden

The last week or so has seen this guy hanging around until the early afternoon. He digs in the dirt patches then lies down. He has a wound on his tail, which he covers with dirt, we assume to keep the flies off. We've called WIRES and they are aware of him and a local rescuer is keeping an eye on him too.

Roo in my garden

It's a nice reminder of the benefits of living where we do. And he's only damaged a few plants!

Roo damaged garden

I have a couple more new hats from the market to show you soon, and I'll be moving on to finally start on the 1950s in my Hats of the Past series.


  1. I think you have taken the right line - a general market is not really the outlet that suits your creations. Specialty markets or rural shows are better. Have you thought of entering the Royal? BTW I can't believe you still have the red and blue floral tablecloth!

    1. I almost entered something in the Easter show about 7 years ago, and I think about it occasionally. I might think about it again in future :)

      I still have the orange and yellow one too! We don't really use tablecloths, but you never know when you'll need them. Besides, they are vintage now!

  2. Nice work, Tanith, that's a great display of your impressive work. :)

  3. Wow, what a seriously adorable garden visitor. We get tons of deer (they're a hefty population of them here and they've long taken to sharing the town with us humans) in our yard and on our streets, but cute as they are, I think I'd rather look out my window and see a kangaroo. I'm sure though, that like deer, they can cause problems and be a danger for motorists, so in a way it would be best if we didn't see either so close to our homes, I reckon.

    Congratulations on your success at the show! That brown felt hat is a timeless stunner and looks very lovely on your mannequin head, fear not.

    ♥ Jessica

    1. He is adorable, but I do also love deer. Perhaps we can swap sometime to get the best of both worlds. Around here luckily I don't seem to see many end up as roadkill, although further out into the country they often are.


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