In light of International Women's Day, the lovely team at Urban List Brisbane reached out to ask our founder Sarah about how she found the confidence to turn her weekend side hustle into a full blown business—and what she’s learnt along the way.
THE MARKET FOLK WENT FROM SIDE HUSTLE TO FULL TIME GIG—WHAT DID YOU DO BEFORE THAT?
Before I took The Market Folk full time I actually worked at on a large national infrastructure project—my background is in accounts and finance. My last role at the project was a Risk Analyst before going on maternity leave—very different to what I do now although I feel fundamental mind and skillsets can be transferable anywhere you go! This was a really tough role on me but unbelievably valuable for my business skills.
WAS IT SCARY TAKING IT FROM A PART TIME GIG TO A FULL BLOWN BUSINESS?
In my case it really wasn’t, although if you had of asked me to quit my job a year or two earlier (and run the markets full time) it would have been a different story. Which really just comes down to the right timing for these kinds of things!
This decision all started when I was made redundant from my full time job when my daughter was just six weeks old and I was eight weeks into maternity leave. While this sounds harsh, it was just the push I needed to plan my future, one where I make my own rules, am a part of creative industries and ultimately get to raise my daughter hands on. Having a little baby in your arms changes perspectives! The markets at this point had been on hiatus for two years, so I had a good space of time to get all my ducks in a row before launching the markets again—this time by myself!
WAS THERE A PARTICULAR MOMENT OR IDEA THAT INSPIRED YOU TO CREATE THE MARKETS?
The Market Folk is actually an evolution of Metre Market which was started in collaboration with a close friend of mine in 2015. We were looking for a platform to sell our preloved clothing, sick of eBay and there were no apps back then. You were able to register for your ‘metre of space and sell away’ in a more up-market setting. Over time more and more creative businesses joined our events, which are the markets everyone has come to know today. Preloved is still a very important factor within our market/values however it no longer was predominately a preloved event, so we rebranded to The Market Folk to better capture what we are about.
WHAT DID YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE BY STARTING THE MARKET FOLK?
The Market Folk is a collaborative creative community. Initially as mentioned above the markets were created for preloved fashion but as we have evolved our main goal is to give local independent businesses the opportunity to showcase their work in a relaxed and friendly environment. We are very lucky to partner with some of Brisbane’s best lifestyle precincts which gives these small businesses a chance to trade in spaces and customer bases they may not have normally had access to! On the flip side we provide our partnered precincts with lively community events drawing locals down.
WHAT HAS THE WHOLE PROCESS TAUGHT YOU ABOUT CONFIDENCE AND BACKING YOURSELF?
Goodness, it’s been one year now since I took the markets up on my own full time, I don’t think I could have survived if I didn't back myself and confidence is something that just grew slowly along with me. In saying this, there are still moments I don't have all the answers or know if I have made the right decision! Trust your gut and stick to your character and values is what I have learnt.
What has also helped me is to understand with running public events that not everyone is going to like you, your stalls, your opening hours, your locations and so on, you can’t take it personally, you have to back yourself and keep your business’ goals, values and objectives close in mind. Markets have good and bad days, it’s about setting the right community up to withstand the good and bad!
To read the full article visit https://www.theurbanlist.com/brisbane/a-list/the-market-folk-brisbane
A big thank you to Ranyhyn Laine at Urban List Brisbane