Join us in the lead-up to our AW19 season as we share a collection of incredibly inspiring quotes from stallholders & FK team members around the joys of being a Finders Keepers stallholder! Application for Sydney & Brisbane are open now and Melbourne you’re next!
Finders Keepers Melbourne AW18 – image captured by Samee Lapham
1) For connecting with real people
“One of the most beneficial aspects of participating in The Finders Keepers Markets is the ability to make new connections with both other stallholders & shoppers to the event. McKean Studio has exhibited at Sydney and Melbourne Finders Keepers events over the last 18 months, and each time have met new people, and grown our network and provided further opportunities that possibly wouldn’t have come about otherwise.” – Megan, McKean Studio
“Meeting your customers and building relationships! People want to see you, meet you and hear your story. We have an online store, so the highlight for us was the awesome people we had the privilege of meeting. It’s thrilling to meet people who like your work and have the same creative interests as you.” – Amanda, The Adventures Of
“I started K is for Kani, an online store selling handmade flower crowns and accessories (perfect for weddings, spring carnivals, parties and more!) as a side project whilst studying Commerce & Law in university. When I graduated, I decided to focus on it full time as I just loved the idea of creating my own products by hand and working on my own business. I always operated online only so when customers started asking if it was possible to visit in person or if I was going to be at any markets, I decided it could be something I have a go at. I love Finders Keepers – it’s always been one of my favourite design markets so I was super excited to be accepted at Finders Keepers AW 16 in Melbourne. We’ve done every Melbourne Finders Keepers since”! Coni, Connie and Luna (Formally K is for Kani)
“What makes these markets special is the new and lasting friendships made with other makers, supporting each other to be the best we can and the audience, a special group of people that embrace all thing handmade and understand the love and dedication that goes into our makings”. Dana, Dana Kinter Art
“I think every person who walks through a FK door knows they’re going to fall in love with something new. To now be a part of this group of crazy talented people, this calibre of brands, is totally motivating in itself!” Kate, Gertrude and the King
“Being involved as a stallholder at The Finders Keepers Markets has played an integral part in the success of our brand, as it’s allowed us to get in front of an independent-design loving audience throughout Australia and has pretty much made it all happen for us. We couldn’t be happier”! Donna & Jen, Frock Me Out
“We were really nervous and not sure what to expect, but the Finders Keepers team put us at ease immediately. Everyone was friendly, professional and generous with their time and knowledge. We made an effort to get to know other stallholders throughout the weekend and this made our time at the market really enjoyable. We found the Finders Keepers market a wonderful place to connect with people, gain valuable advice and information, and to meet collaborators. We’d highly recommend being involved in a Finders Keepers market”. Kallie, Turner & Turner
2) Making it personal!
“Getting off the Internet (and my beloved Instagram) and meeting our audience in real life is hugely beneficial to our business – it re-enforces the fact that we’re real people making these products, and in our case especially, we’re passionate about travel which is something people love to have a chat about while they’re buying their favourite City Bangle or Souvenir Scarf.” – Megan, McKean Studio
3) For the customer and product interaction
“Since we have an online store it’s great for people to actually see a tangible product which they feel. We print with metallic foil for many of our products, and we often heard people say how great the cards look in person. Having a store at the markets is particularly good for people who usually trade online.” – Amanda, The Adventures Of
“We love going interstate for so many reasons. Firstly, it’s the best way to meet a whole new world of customers, and for them to meet you.. And it also gives people who are already following and engaged with your business, but are interstate, to meet you in person, and in turn, for you to meet them! The community of Finders Keepers is so wonderful, and like-minded, so the more markets you can attend, the more you will engage with, and be a part of, the wonderful Australian creative community”. Joel, Frank & Dollys
“Take time to talk to your customers. As a predominantly online business, our customer interaction is limited. Being at Finders Keepers gives us a chance to understand our customers’ needs and wants and get feedback on our garments. So invaluable”! Rhianne and Cheryl , Devoi
“Finders Keepers is a fantastic way for me to connect with the people who actually buy our products from the retailers we stock. Getting a like on Instagram is just not the same as someone telling me in person how much they love the range”.– Earth Greetings
“You have to know that it is about getting your product seen and loved for the long term and not just on a sale on the day. Don’t get me wrong it is about selling, that is why it is called a market, but like life there are ebbs and flows and if you are planning to stick with it know that sometimes something you’re not expecting might come from it. And there is so much to learn from just selling and talking to customers face to face, watching their reactions about price, colour, style, size etc… these things can only be seen by observing a customer in front of you at a market and can inform where you go forth from there with a product or whole range”. – Jodie, Paper Boat Press
“My first Finders Keepers market, in 2011, was such a game changer. Not only did I find a community of artists who also design and make their wares locally, I also met wonderful humans who truly appreciated the effort I put into all of my designs! This really pushed me forward creatively and encouraged me to keep doing what I’m doing – and I haven’t looked back”! – Alice, Alice Nightingale
4) For the client and collaboration opportunities
“Opportunities for collaboration have come about for McKean Studio through The Finders Keepers, as the markets attract such a broad range of shopper – you never know who you might meet who needs a mural done in a restaurant, or a commissioned piece for their business, or a collaborative range with someone working in a totally different field to us. It makes it a really fun experience – you never know if you don’t give it a shot!” – Megan, McKean Studio
“I admire so many of the Finders Keepers designers. Some for having amazing products and some for having a new and innovative ways to displaying their products. Simple / functional stand design is so good. Everyone knows I’m besties with the lovely Waan from You, Me & Bones. We met at Finders Keepers in 2014 and have collaborated on new products together”. – Sarah, Club of Odd Volumes
5) For the wholesale opportunities
“It’s all about the opportunities you can create and take advantage of to increase your customers. As part of being accepted as a seller, you get your business listed on The Finders Keepers website, which is a real go-to site for retailers looking for new products. You should also expect wholesale enquiries when you’re at the market. Make sure you collect the contact details of everyone who enquires – don’t leave it up to them to follow up or you may end up disappointed. Have a printed price list ready to go with pictures of some or all of your products to hand out to them too. This looks really professional and means they are less likely to overlook you later!” – Mel from Fizzy Lime Creative
“We also picked up a bunch of new stockists whilst trading at the finders keepers markets, it’s almost like an undercover trade show. It’s also great to put a face to a name, we found that we had already been in contact with some stores over email, so it’s nice to actually meet people face to face.” – Amanda, The Adventures Of
6) For the visual merchandising opportunities
“Creating a physical store set up means you can create a presence for your brand. I learned that how our products are displayed can be just as important as the product itself.” – Amanda, The Adventures Of
“Having the opportunity to take your products offline and share them in person with such an engaged community can be so valuable. Simply setting up shop for the weekend and displaying your product in a different light can help solidify your branding and bring your story together. It may even inspire the creative process and kick start ideas for collections to come!”. – Monique, The Finders Keepers Content Specialist
“It’s such a great opportunity to stand out. A beautiful display, smile, demonstrate how you make, tell people your story, show people how you are different. That point of difference is always what people remember, whether it is a story or a memorable display. With so many amazing brands attending Finders Keepers, it is nice to be the one people remember and talk about”! – Kate, Gather & Moss
7) For the digital and social media growth and interaction
“I picked up hundreds of new followers, especially on Instagram literally overnight!” – Mel from Fizzy Lime Creative
“We put so much heart and energy into educating our FK social community on as many stallholders as we can – all year round! We want you to be discovered & successful and are always looking for news ways to showcase innovation. Our organic growth in the social space means our audience is incredibly engaged – exposure to these art & design lovers is super valuable as both a start-up or an established brand” – Kitty, The Finders Keepers Marketing Manager
“The internet/Social media (Cliché- but a huge life line). During the lead up we use social media to reach out to all our customers/ subscribes. We have special offers exclusive to them that we promote during the 3 days of the Finders Keepers. We use this time to do giveaways and offer customers that shop and come down during the market special offers. It’s a great way to show our customers all the behind the scenes action through snap chat and IG live”. – Fatuma, Closet Collective
8) For the shopping that continues at home
“It also helps for people to be able to buy your products after the market. A lot of people find something they love but don’t have the money right now or want to buy it as a gift for someone later on. This is where having an online store is really important. Getting ongoing sales is just as critical to your business as having a great market day.” – Mel, Fizzy Lime Creative
9) It is easy to apply and it is fun!
“Another bonus is that it is super easy to apply! There is loads of information on their website which tells you exactly what they are looking for. You apply using an online form so just open it up and jot down all the questions. Type your answers into a word processing program (or similar) first. This way you can make all the corrections you need to, check the word count and be really happy with the content. Then all you need to do is copy and paste the answers into the form. You’ll also need some great photographs. They don’t need to be the fanciest photos in the world, just make sure they are clear and relatively simple and show your product at its best. Have all your photos edited and ready to attach before you start filling out the form too! If you don’t get accepted the first time you apply don’t give up!! Different businesses apply all the time and you never know when you’ll be chosen. Persistence can really pay off especially if your product changes or another similar business to yours doesn’t apply the next time.” – Mel, Fizzy Lime Creative
“It’s loads of fun! It’s hard work but most importantly a really rewarding experience” – Amanda, The Adventures Of
“The most important resource for my brand would have to be the creative community which exists at these markets. The amazing people you meet at markets like Finders Keepers are the most supportive and helpful group of people. It’s so great to be able to get advice from people going through the exact same thing you are and even just to be in an environment where everyone loves what they’re doing is so wonderful”! – Marit, Marit Hamer
Can’t wait to be involved? Apply now!
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Loved reading this – all of the Finders Keepers articles are super-helpful but having the WHY questions answered is so useful – especially for those who have never attended before (as a visitor due to travel distance). I also love hearing from other creatives about their experiences.
This looks like a great event. I especially like the section about visual merchandising.