Handmade Canberra has had a very big year. Aware that we would be celebrating our tenth birthday, we made plans to add an extra October market into the calendar to coincide with the anniversary, and when we did the maths, we realised that we could neatly fit in a Mother’s Day event as well. So, in March, May, July, October and December, we put on our show. And the statistics are pretty impressive. In 2018:

  • Around 130,000 people have been to the market
  • We have supported over 1,300 Australian small businesses
  • We have given back to a number of local charities
  • 250,000 of you visited our website
  • 55,000 of you follow us on social media
  • Almost 10,000 of you are subscribers to our newsletter
  • We have contributed $6 million to tourism in Canberra
  • 180 new designers and producers have had a stall at the market
  • We gave away dozens of gift packs and hampers and many Handmade gift cards

We feel like Handmade has grown in stature over this year. More people than ever are enthusiastic about the curation of each of our design categories, making the market a stylish and unique place to shop, safe in the knowledge that you are buying Australian sustainable products and supporting small businesses. Our Gourmet Food Hall is the biggest indoor food market in the region and our design selection is bigger than ever. We’ve cemented our place on the Canberra landscape, with Chief Minister, Andrew Barr, labelling us “a Canberra institution”.

Our Mother’s Day market included floral workshops, where many people learned how to create a bouquet for their mum. We had a champagne and high tea bar, where mums could relax and our designers were on hand with gift advice. Our October Market was so much bigger than we anticipated. As it was our tenth birthday celebration, we were giving you the presents. Every hour of the market, we gave a lucky winner $100 to spend at the market, and we collaborated with some of our wonderful designers to bring you ten limited edition products from candles to soaps and chocolate to tea. It’s testament to the quality of our designers and producers that these items sold very quickly, all wrapped up in our exclusive recyclable tote bag. And of course, the Christmas market was busy, bustling and atmospheric, with many thousands of happy shoppers tasting, buying and celebrating with us, especially at our twilight market on Friday evening.

Next year, we are back to four markets. The first one is on 23 &24 March, where we will celebrate Autumn in Canberra. Our June market will take place on 29 & 30 June, with a Winter festival of food and design. In September, we will be open on 7 & 8 for our Spring event and of course, there will be the three day event in December – 6, 7 & 8 – with our popular twilight market on the Friday evening. They will all be located in the Budawang and Coorong Pavilions at Exhibition park in Canberra.

So, Canberra and our wider community, thank you. Thanks for your support in 2018, and we look forward to sharing our market with you again in 2019. In the meantime, have a safe and happy festive season and a healthy and prosperous new year.