It was a crisp morning, but the stall-holders braved the breeze to bring a little creativity to town for the annual Children’s Christmas Markets. It was an opportunity to shop for bespoke hand-made gifts, that little something special that no one else has. The majority of the stall-holders were “mumpreneurs”, parents who were tapping into their creativity to generate a bit of extra income during their children’s early years. For some, like Beth Betland of Bits and Bubs sewing was “a bit of a hobby that sometimes pays”. Others were operating with a more expansive business model, such as Cassie Gates, owner of Antholgie, a multi-faceted business that specialises in creativity, custom-made books and frames.
There was plenty of gorgeous hand-made clothing on sale, with styles to complete any infant wardrobe. Scrap Box Patchwork Designs offered creatively constructed quilts, as well as some more unique sewn products, such as a patchwork cover that turns a balloon into a ball, and an “I-spy bag”. It is an interactive bean-bag with hidden objects that keep little minds occupied on car trips or in waiting rooms. These ingenious products have also sold well in support units, or for use with dementia patients.
Craft stalls allowed kids to explore their creative side, making clay toad-stools or sand art, and there was a free jumping castle. Now in its sixth year, the markets raised funds for the local Australian Breastfeeding Association group. Breastfeeding Counsellor Kylie Matthews said their local group provides individual guidance, as well as support groups, and education classes for pregnant women. “While breastfeeding is natural, it’s a learned skill, and things don’t always go to plan,” she said. More information can be found at https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/local/nsw/parkes-forbes-nsw
By Raen Fraser