Cocoon & Chic Interview

In Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne it’s The Finders Keepers market. In Adelaide it’s Bowerbird Bazaar a market for designers and makers alike. Here I interview the founders of Bowerbird Bazaar - Jane Barwick & Rebekah Cichero (thanks ladies!) – to find out what’s going on in the Adelaide design scene…
How did Bowerbird Bazaar come about?
We were both exhibiting interstate (Jane – in-sync design and Rebekah - sprout design) and kept bumping into each other and talking about the fact that Adelaide really didn’t have a high-quality market for designer/makers. Rebekah called me one day and asked shall we organise one? And I said yes!

What was your motivation behind creating Bowerbird Bazaar?
We saw a gap in the market in Adelaide and a need for a selling place for South Australian designer/makers locally, as well as an opportunity for interstate designer/makers to tap into the Adelaide market. We wanted to create an opportunity to promote the makers and invite retailers and media to the event too.

What do you look for when choosing artists and designers to sell their wares at Bowerbird Bazaar?
The design base of the products, presentation, the professional approach to the design and business. Products need to be designed by the applicant and preferably made in Australia.

Do you have any advice for aspiring artists and designers looking to sell their products at local markets such as at Bowerbird Bazaar?
We provide stallholders with a lot of information and support, particularly to those who are emerging and have less experience in both wholesaling and retailing. Join mailing lists so you can be notified when applications open. Accompany an application with good photography. Treat your stall like a temporary shop front, i.e. merchandise well.

What would I expect to find there?
Beautiful products and the chance to meet the makers behind them… Everything from a rug for your floor, cushion for a chair, textiles, furniture, wall art, jewellery, glassware, ceramics, clothing, leather goods, stationery. Wonderful local gourmet food, wine, beer and coffee too! Over 80 stalls.

What has the response been like to Bowerbird Bazaar?
Overwhelmingly positive. There’s a hunger for good design and the venue, a wonderful historic gutted theatre in the CBD, has a character of its own. It’s a great shopping and socialising event. We had 6000 people through in March – and it was only our second event. Many local stallholders are now participating in events interstate.

And...where to from here for the Adelaide design scene?
There’s a large design and artistic scene in Adelaide that’s largely been underground. There’s now a strong platform for designers, makers and artists to promote that work directly to the public and retailers. Adelaide can only be acknowledged more and more as a design town – as a destination to find good design, as well as a place to come to and sell and promote Australian design to a design hungry market. There will be more and more South Australian Design seen interstate now too.

These are some of the great designs on offer - see more at their web site & blog.

The next Bowerbird Bazaar is being held this weekend from 8 - 10 October. If you're in Adelaide you should definitely check them out. I'll be there and hopefully I'll walk away with some goodies to talk about in a later post...