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Updates, News & Interesting Snippets about our Artisan Markets in Northern Ireland

Reflecting on 2024 to Date

The first part of 2024 served as a warm-up for the busy season ahead. So far this year we've hosted twelve market days across various locations/events including The Marine Hotel in Ballycaslte, Glenarm Castle for the Tulip Festival, Cushendun for the Big Arts Weekend, Ballycastle Seafront, Ballymoney Spring Fair, The Rathlin Sound Festival and The Roe Valley Speciality Market in Limavady.

There have been challenges, including the unfortunate cancellation of one market due to Storm Katherine, and an increased demand for services, which is always challenging for our small team, however we work hard to try and ensure all traders are accomodated at some point throughout the year.

With the ongoing risk of cancellations due to weather (wind), we keep our fingers crossed that the weather will be kind to us for the rest of the year.

A Platform for Small Businesses and Start-ups

Throughout the twelve markets so far this year, we've hosted 148 small businesses, each bringing their unique products, food and passion to our markets.

Markets provide an invaluable platform for small businesses and start-ups, offering them a chance to showcase their goods, connect with customers, develop their skills, products and business, receive direct feedback, and build a loyal following. These markets are more than just a selling space; they are a launchpad and development tool for so many small businesses, a real catalyst for growth, and often a starting point for the big names of the future.

Encouraging Young Traders

This year, we introduced a Young Trader Discount during the Roe Valley Market and the Rathlin Sound Festival Market. This initiative aimed to encourage young business owners, offering them an affordable opportunity to test their ideas and gain valuable experience. We are proud to play our part in supporting the next generation of businesses. We are planning to reintroduce this discount during the summer, along with additional support mechanisms for traders who need extra assistance.

Navigating the Cost of Living Crisis

The ongoing cost of living crisis has created a challenging environment for many. Small businesses, in particular, feel the pinch as they strive to balance rising costs with maintaining quality and affordability. However, the support from visitors to our markets has provided a lifeline. Each purchase, each visit, and each word of encouragement has helped sustain these businesses, proving that community support can make a significant difference in difficult times.

Building Stronger Communities

One of the most heartening aspects of our markets is witnessing the community of market traders come together. Markets are more than just places to buy and sell; they are vibrant hubs of interaction and connection.

Our traders, ranging from seasoned artisans to enthusiastic newcomers, form a close-knit community that supports and inspires each other. They share experiences, advice, and camaraderie, creating a environment that benefits everyone involved. This sense of community among the traders fosters a spirit of collaboration and mutual support.

By bringing together people of all ages and backgrounds, our markets also help to foster a sense of unity and shared experience among visitors. The interactions between traders and visitors, the exchange of stories behind local food production, handcrafted goods, and the collective appreciation for local talent and where our food comes from all contribute to building a stronger, more connected community. This network of relationships is priceless and underscores the impact these markets have on our local communities.

The Community Value of Markets

The value of markets extends far beyond economic benefits. They are cultural and social hubs, bringing people together. Markets create spaces where friendships are formed, collaborations are born, and a sense of belonging is nurtured. Whether you visit alone or with family and friends, markets offer an inviting atmosphere where you can always find someone to talk to and feel like part of the community.

Supporting Local Food Producers and Farmers

Our markets are a vital platform for local food producers and farmers. By showcasing and selling their locally sourced, grown and reared produce, we help to strengthen the local economy and promote sustainable practices. Using local produce not only supports our food industry but also ensures that our communities have access to high-quality food, and become more educated in relation to where their food comes from. The food industry is a cornerstone of our community, playing a crucial role in developing a self-sufficient local economy. By supporting local producers, we can all contribute to the preservation of local agriculture and the overall well-being of our region.

Looking Ahead

As we plan for the second half of the year, we will continue to provide a supportive and vibrant platform for our traders, aiming to work with as many small businesses as we can. We are looking forward to the upcoming markets.

We are also looking forward to the introduction of our 'General Markets' with the first pilot in Ballymoney, at the Ballymoney Country Market on Fri 26th July.

We want to express our sincere thanks to everyone who supports our markets. Whether you're a visitor, a venue host, event organisor, a promoter, or part of our dedicated team of staff and volunteers, your support helps make everything happen.

And lastly, a shout out to the traders that have attended our Markets so far this year:

  • 6 Elements Nutrition

  • Á Mcg 27 Crafts

  • Aidenville Pottery

  • Aloha Beads By Alex

  • Amazin Grazin

  • Annie's Delights

  • Bad Tempered Baker

  • Bake 'N Joy

  • Ballycastle Rocks

  • Ballylather

  • Bathe Botanicals

  • Ben Madigan Honey

  • Berecko Woodcraft

  • Bernard Woodwork

  • Big Ted's American Cookies

  • B'jewelled Beads

  • Blackfire Food

  • Bluebell Handmade Jewellery

  • Bough And Burr Furntiure

  • Brege Stanley Art

  • Broughgammon Ltd

  • Burrow Crafts

  • Buttercup Unlimited

  • Button Home

  • Café Elysium

  • Castle Creations

  • Causeway Coast Air Imagery

  • Causeway Cookie Company

  • Cece's Cakes And Bakes

  • Celtic Irish Art

  • Chestnutt's Farm

  • Christian Ghio Photography

  • Cj Creations

  • Conor Edgell

  • Corndale Farm

  • Cottage Garden Plants

  • Counterculture

  • Crafts By Vhari

  • Crafty Grannies

  • Crafty Caroline

  • Crawfords Rock Seaweed

  • Crispstix

  • Cultured Bakehouse

  • Dana Cosmetics

  • Deirdre Kinney Art

  • Devil's Churn

  • Dilemma Crafts

  • Doganic Barkery

  • Doodlesbyjohn

  • Dundarave Estate

  • Ed’s Woodturning And Crafts

  • Emer Dixon Jewellery

  • Ertha Pottery

  • Facepainting By The Sea

  • Festival Glam, Henna, Braids And Gems

  • Figment Ceramics

  • Flana Bakes

  • Found By Fiadh

  • Fros Bows

  • Fruitonic Juicbar

  • Galgorm Melts

  • Glass4class

  • Gold & Browne's

  • Grainne Dixon Art

  • Granny Shaws Confections

  • Halfpenny Treasures

  • Hand Printed Irish Linen

  • Honeycomb Cabin

  • Hugable Bears

  • Ireland Landscapes

  • Irishanna Crafts

  • Irishmanlost

  • Jackson Roze

  • Jnj Candles & Melts

  • Kellee Cottage Crafts

  • Kennedy Bacon Ltd

  • Kerrie Illustrates

  • Kith&Kin Knitwear

  • La Tia Juana's

  • Leo & Lyn Candles

  • Linda’s Original

  • Little Creative Crochet

  • Little Popcorn Shop

  • Little Woolly Sheep

  • Louisa Kelly Artist

  • Marshall Beekeeping

  • Maurice Shannon Art

  • Mc Cluskey Pottery

  • Meadow Park Beading

  • Moneyvart Ceramics

  • Mooncraft Bows

  • Moss Pigs

  • Mrs B Designs

  • Mrs R’ganics

  • New Life Force

  • Nitro Coffee Co

  • Nitted Things

  • North Coast Maid

  • North Coast Smokehouse Ltd

  • Northern Wave Art

  • One Of A Kind

  • Peckish Pony

  • Plumpy Balms

  • Pyrocrafts By Shauna

  • Ratbags Jewellery

  • Red Buckets Resin

  • Renu Design Studio

  • Revive Aromas

  • Rjp Turning

  • Robins Jewel Company

  • Rspb

  • Ruby's Deco

  • Sage And Soul Ni

  • Sam Allen Arts

  • Scenic Woodcraft

  • Scorched Earth Designs

  • Sea Gem And Bead Craft

  • Seasons Of The Glens

  • Shauna Mcateer Art Design Texiles

  • Shoreline Studio Ni

  • Simple Home Holism

  • So&Sew Crafts

  • Sparkles & Pearls By Emma

  • Stitched Stuff

  • Susie Corlett Art

  • Symphonia Spirits

  • The Candle Bottle Bank

  • The Cheesecake Kitchen

  • The Curly Pigs

  • The Dessert Pod

  • The Fluffy Meringue

  • The Lamb Van

  • The Mermaids Jewellery Box

  • The Morelli Pod

  • The Oystercatcher

  • The Snowdrop Workshop

  • Tom And Ollie Ni

  • Tony's Griddle Goods

  • Tree Tops Decorations

  • Tully Farm Shop

  • Two Spoons

  • Two Goats Soap

  • U.Fitz Art

  • Ulster Wildlife

  • Wild Shore

  • Winnifreds Wreaths

  • Wooden It Be Nice

  • Woolly Wild Folk

  • You Rock

Check out the remainder of our JUNE 2024 markets HERE


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