If you’ve seen our social media accounts over the weekend just gone, you’ll know that Saturday 3rd of July marked the date of Arias Design Co’s first venture into the world of craft markets. Safe to say, we’re hooked.
After frantically working until midnight on Friday, finishing off a few extra earring designs and adding the final touches to our market display, Jack and I woke up bright and early on Saturday morning, ready to go. I was lucky that I had excitement on my side to motivate me through the cold of the morning – a nice change from the whole ‘drag yourself kicking and screaming to the coffee’ routine I usually rely on!
Eventually, after panicking about having enough earrings for sale, having enough information on my boards and enough payment methods available, our earrings were delicately packed into a cardboard box, wrapped in tissue paper for extra protection and finally loaded in to the car for our first foray into Central Auckland. Ellerslie to be precise.
It was amazing! The whole market was fantastic in every way. This particular event was hosted by CT Markets, whose passion is to bring together a wonderful collective of creatives from all over Auckland and beyond, to curate high quality shopping events for kiwis. The range of vendors was great, carefully selected to ensure variety and quality. There were incredible handmade goodies on offer from so many talented New Zealand makers and creators – including some beautiful hand painted planters, gorgeous beeswax candles and honey (these guys keep their own bees!), whipped soaps… the list really does go on.
I have to admit I was a bit nervous about the display – would it be pretty enough? Is it easy enough to digest? Can you see everything clearly? BUT, it turns out my fears were unfounded. It was a lovely day, getting to chat to so many lovely Aucklanders about earrings, about our processes and about our mission.
I really enjoyed answering questions about the making process; about the polymer clay we use to craft our pieces, and different techniques you can use to breathe life into every pair of earrings! There were questions about the metals we use too, particularly regarding whether we use 925 silver or silver plated (at the moment, it’s silver plated, but never say never!) and whether or not we’d thought about those with sensitive earlobes (we have!).
One of my favourite parts of the day was getting to talk about our Lend An Ear campaign and what it means for Arias Design Co. Raising awareness around mental health and starting conversations within our communities about the stigma and issues surrounding mental health is one of the main driving forces behind this small business of mine, so it really was a treat to speak on it, and to feel heard. We even had a visit from our wonderful friends at The Mental Health Foundation pop in to support us!
This post wouldn’t be complete without mentioning another highlight – one of our first ever market customers was a local politician who selected a pair of particularly beautiful sage green donut earrings. We reached out to let her know how much her visit meant to us, and received a response saying that her new earrings will be worn in Parliament this week! How exciting is that! I honestly couldn’t (and still can’t) get over it.
I think it’s fair to say that after Saturday’s market, Arias Design Co is hooked on market life. It was so exciting to meet people in real life, and really refreshing to do something with Arias Design Co outside of social media. While I love the freedoms Instagram and Facebook offer us, it’s great to connect with people face-to-face. After all, social connection is one of the five pillars to wellbeing!