Big hopes for little market

Overseas 'market culture' inspires organiser

LOUIS HOULBROOKE
Last updated 11:17 08/08/2014
Nicole Joyce
PETER DRURY/Fairfax NZ

Nicole Joyce tries a coat on her 2 year old son Aiden from her collection of clothes to be sold at the Scallywags and Munchkins market.

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Pint-sized pullovers, pinafores, pyjamas and more will soon be bought and sold at a regular Hamilton market.

Parents and retailers will set up shop for the second time this year in Hamilton's Chartwell Cooperative Church on August 30, trading maternity wear, baby clothes, and kids' toys.

The organiser, mother-of-four Nicole Joyce, hopes to make her 'Scallywags and Munchkins' market a monthly event next year while continuing seasonal markets in Te Awamutu.

Joyce said that even after the advent of online shopping, community markets still have an important place in New Zealand.'

'It's nice to be in touch with the person you're buying from and knowing where your goods are from or who's selling them to you.''

For a fee of $20 (or $25 for retailers), anyone can set up a stall and sell baby gear. While most will be selling for their own purposes, others will be earning for charity.

''I always have a fundraising stall,'' Joyce said. ''This coming market it's the Pirongia Plunket - they've got a fundraising pre-loved stall and cake stall.''

Joyce was inspired to start the markets after living in England, which she says has a strong ''market culture''.

''Every town and village has a market of some sort. I think it's because they're such an old society and markets were always the way things were sold.

''I really enjoyed being a seller and I came over here and noticed there were some, but there wasn't one that happened routinely every month.

''I want people to have that opportunity.''While prospects of a bargain may attract parents, the market will keep children happy too.

''They love coming along for face painting, and some of the stallholders give out balloons and things; it's a nice atmosphere for them to come along. They can touch and feel the toys, it distracts them, and it tells parents what they might like.'

'They're kids and they don't really mind where their clothes come from, or where their toys come from. They're not fussy.''

Joyce's first Hamilton market drew more than 200 punters, and she expects word of mouth will make her next one even larger.

''It's nice to be able to help people pass on what they have cluttering their house, and also help people find a bargain and save a bit of money for their family.''

Louis Houlbrooke is an AUT communications student.

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- Waikato Times

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