One of Australia’s biggest design markets is now more accessible, with a wider reach and 24/7 shopping.
The Finders Keepers Market has been hosting independent artists and designers for more than a decade at events held twice a year in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Now, founding director Sarah Thornton has created an online version, so you don’t have to wait the six months between market trips, and you can shop from independent artists that are based interstate.
As with the physical markets, the Finders Keepers Online Marketplace carries ethical, handmade and homegrown products from small businesses throughout the country, so now you can shop framed artwork, tailored jumpsuits, ceramic jewellery, tea-scented candles, cork yoga mats and more from home.
Featured sellers have all, at one point in the past 11 years, showcased their work or hosted a stall at the physical market. There are currently 175 makers online, with more to be added soon (just in time for Christmas gift shopping).
“In no way are we trying to bypass the human connection you get from that real-life experience,” Thornton tells Broadsheet. “This is just an additional experience that supports that.”
The website works through a drop-shipping model. Orders and transactions are processed by Finders Keepers, but the sellers still make, pack and ship their products and maintain relationships with the customers – just like at the market itself.
“So many Australians shop online nowadays, so we knew it was important to offer that experience to them,” Thornton says. “And for our sellers, having that follow-up [from the physical markets] where customers can find their favourite designers all in one place was a definite bonus.”
For the makers, the online store means more consistent business throughout the year, not just during the market events. It’s especially good for up-and-coming sellers, who can reach a wider audience online.
“Starting an online shop on Etsy or Instagram means competing in a crowded marketplace,” Thornton says. “Having the opportunity to go through us and reach our audience, whether it’s in person or online, I think is a really amazing thing to give these designers.”
Finders Keepers Online Marketplace offers domestic shipping throughout Australia, with plans for international shipping in the future.