A guest post by Monica Dickie from the Griffith City Library.
The aim of the Twilight Youth Market was to give young people who may not have the resources, money, equipment or confidence to attend local markets the opportunity to start their own small business. The Library provided a free ‘retail space’ to enable our youth to develop entrepreneurial and customer service skills, build confidence and gain retail experience within their very own business.
Griffith City Library had previously operated a Y-shop within the Library and were fortunate to have 8 contacts as a result. Many of the Y-shop store holders were happy to participate in the Twilight Market which gave staff a strong starting platform. Existing stall holders were urged to encourage friends, family members or any one they could think of to register a stall which was a very successful way to build our base.
We approached our local FM radio station, 99.7 Star FM and they were immediately interested in the concept and were an asset in promoting the event. We also target our Facebook page and utilised local print media. Our Facebook campaign ‘Meet the Marketeers’ featured a new stall holder every day on our cover photo and profile picture which was a huge success and bumped our Facebook ‘likes’ up by 60 likes in 4 days! This created a lot of interest and I believe was a major force behind the success of the event.
Our goal was to sign up 15 stall holders (ideally we wanted that number to be 20) and we spent a lot of time visiting schools, emailing contacts and youth agencies. I found that word of mouth played quite a big part in gauging/ sourcing extra stall holders. Schools responded wonderfully and added our flyers in their newsletters, which were then sent home to hundreds of families in the area. Originally we put the call out for ages between 12-25 to coincide with the National Youth Week recommendations but we decided to open it up as we had interest from as people as young as 9 years through to 27 years. And by the way, we reached 20 stall holders!
Local youth service providers were contacted and we were very lucky to have The Blackdog Institute and our newly opening Headspace participate with information stalls. To add an extra buzz to the evening I went in search of someone to cook a BBQ and once again was very happy to stumble upon our local Rotaract Club who were more than happy to provide the sausage sizzle.
The market was held outside the Library to attract more interest from passing traffic, and was held between 4:30pm-6:30pm to catch people after work as we are situated in Griffith’s Main Street. The Library provided tables and chairs and the stall holders brought along everything they needed. We had reserved parking for the stall holders to unload and load their goods as some items were quite heavy! Finally we set up fairy lights through our beautiful plain trees which line our main street - the icing on the cake!
So our stall holders (aged from 9-27 years) provided works consisting of:
- Watercolour paintings and foil cards
- Handmade macramé wall hangings
- Paper craft art
- Henna body art
- Handmade sterling silver jewellery
- Specialty balloons
- Younique makeup
- Tarot readings
- Paper flowers frames and unframed
- Recycled soy wax candles
- Welded metal sculptures (9 year old)
- Visual art
- Handcrafted cements pots with succulent plants
- African and Italian photography
- Upcycled clothing
- Biscuits and cakes
- Information stalls
- Sausage sizzle
The stall holders were extremely happy with the amount of foot traffic and all sold items - our youngest stall holder Ryan sold out and had to take orders!
We would have loved to have had a guitarist/busker but couldn’t source anyone who had the confidence. However since the market has passed, I have received a number of names of people willing to participate, as well as new interested stall holders. Sometimes all you need to do is break the ice and the flow on effects can be marvellous!
We had overwhelming positive response from stall holders as well from the public, with many people asking if it will become a regular event or when the next one will be held.
All of this of course is not possible without the assistance from our local Council including planning and works departments, roads, environmental health officer and parks and gardens crew as well as loads of paper work risk-assessment, inductions etc to ensure a safe and risk free event.
Positive feedback from our stall holders
“I thought it was a great success! Just a great idea to allow young people to showcase their works without worrying about insurance and rental costs. There were stacks of people walking up and down the markets, having fun. Everyone seemed to have customers looking and buying at all stalls.”
“Location was much better than inside the library - I think it was perfect! It caught people’s attention.”