Based in Melbourne, Maker’s Mrkt is the brainchild of New Zealand illustrator Kelly Thompson and its offering includes kitchenware, ceramics, original art, prints, fashion and accessories. If you like to shop small, Makers Mrkt is where it’s at.
“I’ve worked as a freelance illustrator for 14 years and also a creative consultant for brands and agencies. I’m always someone who likes to shop small and local where possible and I guess I’m lucky to have a circle of friends and acquaintances in the creative industry, many selling great things which made it very easy for me to find beautiful products,” says Kelly who set up the business to make it easier for everyone to have the same access.
“Last year I was looking for a few gifts online and it dawned on me that if you wanted to support local makers and shop small it would be really hard if you weren’t also a maker yourself. How do you find these people if you don’t know their individual websites or happen to stumble across them on the rare occasion that their work is in a physical store? That was the thought that sparked it. The idea was to bring all of these amazing talents onto one platform so people can shop a variety of products without trawling the internet forever!” says Kelly.
Run from Melbourne, the site features a range of products that are small run, ethically produced and often made by hand as well as a ‘Meet the Makers’ section where featured creatives reveal what drives and inspires them. “We like to educate our customers about why the products are so special, how they are made and who makes them. It’s a site that offers beautiful products with heart and we hope it will encourage people to shop from small companies who genuinely appreciate their patronage!” says Kelly.
For Kelly, the appeal of the handmade lies in its individuality. “For me personally, it’s that each item is individual and special just for me. I also really appreciate the fact that someone has touched it and considered it and put the time and heart into making it, It’s the love and time behind it that I really appreciate,” says Kelly.
As for Kelly’s favourite makers, she’s a big fan of Wera Jane’s modernist lampshades. “They are made using discarded thread from European fashion factories – the ultimate upcycling!” says Kelly. The New Zealand ceramicist Gidon Bing is another favourite as well as Melbourne based ceramicist Ghostwares. “Ghostwares makes such perfectly formed ceramics it’s amazing that they are made by hand!”
One of my favourite finds on the site is the ‘Fellows Mobiles’ who makes elegant mobiles that are just as much for adults are they are children. “Kerryn Levy is a sculptor making vases in very organic forms and we also have a range of photographers and illustrators selling prints so there are many to choose from, we love them all in different ways!”