It’s been a launching pad for some of the Gold Coast’s most successful creative fashion and lifestyle brands – including the likes of peony swimwear, Zulu and Zephyr and Nine Lives Bazaar – and this weekend, The Village Markets (TVM) will celebrate its 12th birthday.
It’s a massive milestone for the home-grown event, and TVM is going all out for their special day, calling on some of the stallholders-turned-business moguls who have joined them over the years.
Rose Madden and Vanessa Cave, founders of Nine Lives Bazaar, first debuted their collection at TVM in 2012, and while they’ve since gone on to international success, they fondly remember their early days at Burleigh Heads State School.
“Our wares were lapped up by the locals,” says the duo. “We thought we could quit our day jobs after our first market. We couldn’t believe it!”
But Rose and Vanessa aren’t the only two stallholders who have made it big thanks to TVM. Business and Pleasure Co. recently featured in Versace’s latest campaign, shading supermodels Gigi Hadid and Hailey Bieber, while jewellery designer Shannon Rogers of Lotus and Luxe has turned her passion into a bona fide career thanks to TVM.
“TVM has been the most amazing platform for the growth and development of our brand over the last 11 years,” says Shannon. “Early on it gave me a chance to showcase what was then just a hobby, to what has now become an almost full-time job that I run with my best friend.”
The Village Markets was founded in 2008 by marketing executives Marissa Bowden and Sarah Schoeller, who were passionate about changing the perception of the Gold Coast, which was more known for meter maids and high-rise buildings than it was for culture and creative talent.
“I’m eternally grateful for what Marissa and Sarah have created in The Village Markets,” continues Shannon. “I’m not sure if I would be doing what I love without the opportunity that TVM has provided. It’s so much more than just a market. It’s an inspiring, creative community that really supports local small creative businesses.”
“We’re beyond proud of the talent and community at TVM, this has been a highlight over the last 12 years and we’ve made lifelong friends,” says Sarah. “Seeing others succeed and being a part of that journey has been so rewarding.”
And while this year has brought immense challenges to the TVM team – who pivoted their business strategy online to bring an Insta-Market to their loyal followers – Marissa says it has only shown the strength of community connection.
“In this digital world, being able to connect with likeminded people face-to-face in a positive and creative space is just so valuable – it really reiterates how proud we are of the community we have created at TVM and the opportunity it provides for small businesses,” says Marissa.
The Village Markets will be held this Sunday October 4 at Burleigh Heads State School from 8.30am until 1pm and feature boutique market stalls, street food, live music by Dusty Boots and Lily Budiasa and pre-loved designer and vintage Rack Sales.