It's market day at Made 'n Thornbury and for the first time in five years, I'm not there.
It was a bitterly cold July Melbourne evening. We'd just moved back to Melbourne and as is always the case, getting to know our new neighbourhood....mostly through trial and error and happy misadventures.
I was walking Wogan in what I thought was our closest dog park (turns out there was at least 3 closer) when an unmistakable buzz caught my attention....
It was the buzz of months of planning, making, women chatting, friends greeting and neighbours meeting. Within the buzz was a trusty whir of a coffee machine and the click clack of knitting needles. The scent of anticipation and something delicious and tangy were in the air.
Yes, I'd stumbled upon my very own local handmade market !
The sweet and tangy scent was the delicious aroma of Melbourne Epicure's lemon tarts. The anticipation and chatter was coming from a group of local women who gathered in a hall to sell their wares, share their skills and form a community.
I wanted in !
I wandered in and marvelled. At the handmade creations, the quaint hall, the community and (did I mention) the lemon tarts. I learnt it was a quarterly market, I could apply to have a stall and best of all, the neighbourhood house responsible ran a handmade business course - Make Craft Your Business.
The market even had a blog ! (This was over FIVE years ago and a VERY big deal) When I got home from that first market/dog walk, I spent hours jumping from the Made 'n Thornbury blog to local Melbourne crafters and a whole world of handmade ready for me to explore.
I enrolled in the course and prepared for my first Melbourne market. I met women who are friends to this day. I learnt an incredible amount of important info.
Most of all, I learnt that you can't run a community market without just that, community.
Not content with just being a Stallholder and knowing that I needed to up skill, get out of the house and DO something, I volunteered to help promote the market.
Well, I'm sure you know the story from here....
For the past five years I have volunteered promoting and coordinating Made 'n Thornbury Craft Market. And I have loved it.
Quite often hard work, always surrounded by talented, vocal, passionate and creative women. I have met truly amazing women. Many of whom I call friends, close friends.
As with everything, it hasn't all been smooth sailing and at times I've been frustrated and exhausted. But. There's always been the next market, the next new Stallholder making their debut, the next mention in one of my favourite blogs/magazines.....the next lemon tart.
Made 'n Thornbury has taught me so much and allowed me to create new markets and new ventures. With clever, creative and beautiful women.
The time has come to move on though....a decision I did not take lightly or make easily. I haven't left Made 'n Thornbury due to new opportunities, but I am excited to see what happens next.
I wish everyone at TWNH and Made 'n Thornbury the very best and look forward to venturing to Leinster Grove for a visit. Soon, but not just yet.
In the meantime....I need to get that lemon tart recipe....!