Surya Market Stall in Darwin

10 years ago this month we were setting up our market stall for the very first time! Fresh from the experience of just having spent 4 months in Nepal, we were super excited to showcase all the amazing products we had brought back, and to tell everyone we met how fantastic Nepal herself was.

Surya Australia Ethical Nepalese Market Stall

We designed a little board that we set up in front of our tables at the markets. It was such a conversation starter, and so many people opened up to us about their own travels to Nepal.

Surya Mel and Yo in Nepal

We arrived home from Nepal that year just in time for Spring (unplanned of course) - but the perfect moment to begin a market stall. We spent the Spring and Summer of 2008 in NSW alternating between markets on the mid North Coast, the South Coast, the Far South Coast and everywhere in between ... each new market another experience to learn from. Some markets we never went back to (hello Penrith), and others we still do to this day.

Surya Ethical Clothing Stall at Laurietan markets

Our stall set up was a little lacking in those early days, but in true rookie style we did improve - we got a uniform!

Our market stall at Mindil Beach Markets, Darwin

... and a wet weather contingency plan as we had purchased a sun shade gazebo! The waterproof gazebo was a tad too expensive for us at the time, and well we wouldn't be doing a market if it was raining, so it wasn't necessary. 

Surya Australia Ethical Nepalese Market Stall

Just before Easter 2009 we decided to head north to Darwin for the Winter, and try our hand at the famous Mindil Beach Sunset Markets. We spent 5 months up in the top end, and decided to go back every year ... we loved it!

When it became time to plan the trip though, we realised that we ultimately now needed to travel with too much stock, and unless we wanted to convoy around the country, we needed to find a home base.

Surya Ethical Clothing from Nepal in Jervis Bay Huskisson

In 2010 we rented a beautiful 100 year old house in Jervis Bay and settled into domestic bliss ... the first proper house we both had lived in, in 6 years! It was such a blessing and exactly where our little big business needed to settle down to be able to thrive.

Surya Domestic Bliss in Jervis Bay
Surya Australia Ethical Clothing from Nepal Jervis Bay Huskisson

We got super creative having a storage room, a garage, tools, the internet!
New lines were introduced, our website was created, we began to attend trade events and loads more festivals around the country. This is where the Surya that we are today really began.

Surya Australia Ethical Nepalese Market Stall

Yo started to hand make most of our set up items, usually having to design the piece first as what we wanted didn't exist yet. He crafted racks and shelves from wood and bamboo, jewellery stands from old branches, and eventually he learned how to weld to be able to make our super sturdy metal clothing frames. He was in his element, and all the creativity was what drove us forward to make our business the very best she could be.

Surya Australia Ethical Nepalese Market Stall Jervis Bay

I turned my focus toward our online presence, and forged my own Surya path better developing our website. In 2011 I immersed myself in learning everything I could on web design, marketing and all the other basics you need now to run a successful business.

Surya Australia Ethical Clothing Website

This ultimately meant that we needed better images of our products, and in November that year we gathered together a few of our favourite people and went and had ourselves a little big photo shoot!

Surya Australia Ethical Clothing from Nepal Jervis Bay

Since then we've worked with many models and a few different photographers. I absolutely LOVE it - the culmination of our creative year is our clothing designs being worn by these amazing, professional women (and men), being shot by a photographer who is so, SO creatively capable and inspiring. It's the dream end result of everything we work towards all year.  

Surya Ethical Clothing from Nepal
Surya Australia Photo Shoot in Huskisson, Jervis Bay NSW

Yo still finds it a little strange ... although he gets in (and out of) the way when he needs to.

Surya Australia Ethical Nepalese Market Stall

So, what's next?

To be 100% honest, we don't exactly know!

We never have though - throughout our 10 year history it's always hindsight where we see 'how we did that'. That's the way it works for us so nothing in that respect will change. Evolution is always afoot though, so expect some new developments soon!

Perhaps it's not us that forges the path - it's the path that forges us.

Until next time,
Mel Xx

Surya Australia - Committed to Ethical Trade with Nepal