Surya Market Stall Evolution

Surya Nepal stall at Foragers Bulli market
Above: Foragers market, Bulli, 2014

We've missed our anniversary again! Every year on September 20th it seems like we decide not to remember that we set up our stall for the very first time ... well, 6 years ago now! 2008 was the year and now was the time. This year though it did get me thinking ... remembering ... and a little melancholy for when it was all new and fresh and our biggest worry was, 'how do we reorder these amazing products in time for Christmas!' (as we had all but sold out of everything in the first 2 months!)

Below: our very first set up at Laurietan markets on the NSW mid-north coast, 2008.
Surya Nepalese Market Stall Laurietan NSW
Surya Australia early days
Above: our little Nepalese stall showcased the best Nepal had to offer on our home-made 'board', 2008

We were very excited to showcase our amazing products from Nepal at our local markets. Once we came to terms with the fact that we were staying put (and in NSW no less!), we made the most of it and told anyone who was interested that we had been to Nepal! And wow ... look what we bought back!

Our market stall set up left a lot to be desired though, but in true rookie style we did improve ...

Below: Pacific Palms Market, 2008
Surya Nepalese stall Pacific Palms market

We got a uniform!

... and a wet weather contingency plan, as we had purchased a marquee with a shade-sail roof! This particular day - below - is still one of our funniest days ever at a market. It started raining at around 10am, and we had to work out how to get our 5m tarp over our marquee whilst it was erect. We did it in the end (and I think it only took around half an hour)!

Below: Johns River Market, 2008
Surya Nepalese stall NSW mid north coast markets

Sometimes it feels as if we've been trading for a lot longer than we actually have - I think it's because we've crammed so much into our short time, and literally haven't stopped since we began. In April 2009 (6 months after we started our market stall), we headed to Darwin for a season of trading at the famous Mindil Beach Sunset Markets (and of course both Parap & Nightcliff markets). The below pic is from these days ... look at those happy faces!

Below: Mitchell Street Night Market, Darwin 2009

In our second year of trading (2009) we got into the prestigious Woodford Folk Festival in Woodford, QLD. We were a little bit unprepared as to how professional all the stalls would be, and learned quite a lot during the two weeks on-site! It remains our favourite festival, and we feel so privileged to be accepted year after year.

Below: Woodford Folk Festival, 2009
Surya Market Stall Woodford

Our set up was constantly changing during our formative first few years. It's quite hard to display products in a new and creative way, and it's all too easy to fall into the same traps that everybody makes at first. We thought we were so original when we used the 'old suitcase display' thing, the 'hesian table cover' thing, the 'bamboo ladder' thing and the 'bamboo blind' thing - and were always shocked when we 'saw ourselves' everywhere.

Below: Splendour in the Grass, 2010
Surya Nepalese market stall Splendour in the Grass

We didn't see our homemade racks or signs signs anywhere though, and it drove us forward to invent, design and make more of our set up, which we still do to this day. Yo makes all our wooden & bamboo pieces, metal clothing racks, and recycled pallet wood tables and boxes.

We now sell most of our market stall set up equipment, including our gorgeous jewellery displays. Our earring display (below), necklace display and pendant displays are all foldable and handmade by us out of reclaimed hardwood.

Surya Solid Hardwood Earring Display

Surya Nepalese Stall at Kiama Market
Above: Kiama market 2012. Funnily enough this is now our permanent spot!

We became permanent at our first market just last year after 5 years of trade! Moruya market is on every Saturday which is both a challenge and a blessing for our little nomadic spirits! Where once we imagined travelling the countryside year round, we now need to carry too much stock to make it worthwhile, and unless we want to convoy around the country it's just not feasible.

 We are now permanent at lots of markets on the South Coast of NSW.
Every Saturday: Moruya market
1st Sunday: Candelo market
2nd Sunday: Foragers market, Bulli
3rd Sunday: Kiama market

Above: Rainbow Serpent Festival 2012
But not to make light of the many events and festivals we do throughout the year - this side of our business is the absolute creative element, where we can indulge in our wildest ideas of our set up as we're usually set up for 3 days or more. Everything gets inspected and perfected ... slowly.

Over the years we have traded at the following music festivals (in calendar order):

Woodford Folk Festival
Peats Ridge Festival
The Falls Music & Arts Festival
Pyramid Rock Festival
Sunset Sounds
Big Day Out Sydney
Illawarra Folk Festival
Rainbow Serpent Festival
Cobargo Folk Festival
Corinbank Music Festival
Regrowth Festival
Port Fairy Folk Festival
WOMADelaide
Blue Mountains Music Festival
The Gum Ball
St Albans Folk Festival
Bluesfest Byron Bay
Deni Blues & Roots Festival
Splendour in the Grass
The Village Festival
Gympie Muster
Shine On Festival
Psyfari Festival
Southern Blues Festival
Turning Wave Festival
Kangaroo Valley Folk Festival
Island Vibe Festival
Dragon Dreaming
Earthcore
Stonefest
Homebake
Festival of the Sun

And loads more that I've probably forgotten!

Until next time,
Mel X
Surya Ethical Trade with Nepal

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