How The Handmade Show got started!
It's more than six years since The Handmade Show got its start and 5 years since it moved to its current location at St Anthony's Parish Hall in Glen Huntly I had a quick chat to Elena Perrotta, one of the original founders of The Handmade Show, to get a bit of history for you.
The first show ever was held on Sat 16th January 2010 at the Oakleigh RSL with just five stallholders. Why Oakleigh? Well, apart from the organisers being local,
“…there are not enough recognition and places to display and showcase the beautiful creations that Melbourne crafters painstakingly work on, especially on the South Eastern end of Melbourne.
For too long have we sat and yearn for the fun and joy the Northerners and Westerners of Melbourne enjoy, for too long have we felt the need. So The Handmade Show was born.”
The founders included Celeste Wong from Little Waltz and with Elena Perrotta (those of you who have been stallholders at THS for a while would remember Elena). Elena says: “Celeste Wong (Little Waltz) was the lady who started it all. I met her via Twitter and she came along to one of my EP Designs sales at home. She wanted to start a group of crafty people who had crafty things to sell and originally all she wanted was a place where we could meet every couple of months, work on our crafts and at same time have them on display to sell. She didn't want to call it a 'market', but wanted to name it The Handmade Expo - it was already taken and starting up in Qld, so she named it The Handmade Show.”
By the second 'show' in March 2010 there were 8 stall holders and the market grew from there. Early stallholders who may be familiar to long time market people included Karen from MooBeeTees, Samone from Red Letter Studio (who set up a lot of the graphics including the orange logo). At the end of the first year, a committee was formed to keep the market going, including Elena, Karen, Samone and Bobbie (Creations by Bobbie Mac).
THS remained at Oakleigh RSL until Sept 2011, then moved by Oct 2011 to St Anthony's Hall (the committee decided on October as the birthday celebration month). It’s been at St Anthony’s ever since.
In 2012 only Elena and Bobbie remained as committee members, and in 2014, following Bobbie’s move to Tasmania, Sue, Di, Kerry and Melissa joined the committee to keep the market running.
While Café Handmade has always been a part of The Handmade Show, with the move to St Anthony’s it was taken over by St Anthony’s Parish volunteers as a fundraiser for Tony’s Café, which feeds 100 people a good meal every Thursday.
And right from the early days, THS has been on the lookout for musicians to play on market days.
“THS was all about support and encouragement for stall holders and musicians, a stepping-stone for beginner marketeers, a warm welcoming community, a meeting/destination place for the community.”
We hope it still is!