The market is held the second Sunday each month in the Co-op Building, Newmarket Square, Dublin 8. Stall holders and customers are encouraged to dress up in ‘mild to over-the-top’ fancy dress. Shoppers also have the opportunity to win a cash prize should they unwittingly purchase a pre-selected item, know as ‘The Mingle’. Live music is provided by the fabulous Truly DiVine & Burl Esquire. A Buskers' Corner also provides a stage for musicians, poets, magicians, storytellers, and dancers (performers keep 100% of their hat money.)
If anyone is equipped to make a success of it it’s the organiser, Rainey J Dillon. She has an impressive background in art and business. An artist who studied marketing and finance, she’s done everything from portraiture artist to working on the restoration of a mediaeval town in France, while selling hand crafts in the local brocantes. She also makes OOAK steam punk jewellery.
Not a great fan of outdoor markets, especially with Irish weather, Rainey decided to open an indoor one with a twist. ‘I also really wanted to guarantee myself a regular inside pitch!’ she jokes. There was a free Sunday available at the Co-op building so she seized the opportunity.
Yours truly, aka Handmade by Amo'r
‘But why fancy dress? ‘ I ask, joining in whole-heartedly each month but not fully sure why.
‘’As a child I remember my Da taking me to the markets to see my aunts and uncles who sold at Moore St and at Mother Redcaps ‘’ Rainey replies. ‘’ My Granny was a marketeer and my Great Grandfather sold silks & inks at Dublin's markets. Back then you’d always find CHARACTERS either buying or selling... the woman with the 'big lip', Johnny forty Coats, Bang Bang with his imaginary gun, Snakeman, Wild Hair Harry. These personalities led to stories and chat and a feeling of a community, a comradery. Fancy Dress lends a confidence, diluting shyness to a degree. People tend to chat and laugh more when costume is at play. ‘’
As a new stall holder myself, I tend to agree. It can be a struggle finding the balance between starting a conversation and scaring the browser away. People can’t help but smile or comment on the fancy dress, making it easier to engage without putting the customer on the spot.
Several members of the Crafty Ireland Team have taken stalls at the market. Natalie of the Blue Sylph has even entertained with her graceful, tribal-style belly dancing. ‘There's a great vibe’ she says. ‘I love the mix of handcrafted goods and vintage items for sale. ‘
(Camera shy) Judith
Judith of A box for my Treasure comments ‘the effort that some people go to is quite amazing (stall holders AND shoppers) and creates a great atmosphere. The market attracts a pretty diverse group of shoppers - probably more diverse than I’ve seen at other markets where I sell - you’ll find young families; teenagers; college students; women in their 20’s, 30’s and beyond, and even the odd male! As it’s a relatively new market I haven’t found it to be super busy yet, but it has lots of potential.'
Only 5 months old, the market is gradually building momentum and has had some exposure in the media. ‘The market will be what it will be.' says Rainey. 'It will evolve the way it is meant to. As a stall holder I can see it getting busier each month. As a 'seasoned' stall holder and retailer I expect the 'lulls' and so this does not shake my confidence in the market. ‘
The next fantastical Ferocious Mingle Market will be taking place on 14th November. Fabulous fun is planned and there is always something new! With 45 stalls, free parking and a scrummy coffee shop, there's something for everyone. For more info and /or to apply for a stall visit the website.