The Foreshore Market in Port Macquarie showcases beautiful produce and remarkable arts and crafts each month. Three young entrepreneurs displaying their creative flair at the market are 13-year-old craft whizzes, Erin Duly, Abi Smith and Eryn McDermott …
Please tell us a little bit about yourself …
Erin: My name is Erin Duly, and I am 13 years old going on 14 in one month. I have been at St Columba for 3 years and have enjoyed every minute.
I am a full-time dancer at Port Macquarie Performing Arts. I have been dancing since I was three and have never forgotten my passion for dance. I am at the studio 24/7 practicing for exams, eisteddfods and performances. I can never stand still at school, at home and especially at the studio – you can ask anybody. When I leave school, I would like to have a career in dance and teaching. I love to dance. I love to be crafty.
Abi: My name is Abi Smith. I’m thirteen years old, and I go to St Columba Anglican School (SCAS), where students are encouraged to work hard and become entrepreneurs. I love craft, dancing, sewing and horse riding. When I finish school, I would like to be an architect /interior designer. At the moment, I’m actually redesigning my room.
Eryn: My name is Eryn McDermott. I am 13 years of age – a student at St Columba Anglican School, just completing Year 7. I adore sewing, embroidery, learning about etiquette and DANCING. I strive to obtain my dreams to love and live DANCE.
When I finish school, I would like to go to university and study to be a physiotherapist or an interior designer. To support this, I would like a part-time job as a dance teacher, teaching ballet, Jazz, modern and contemporary.
What is the name of your business, and what products do you make?
Erin: My business is called Button on Kidz. Products I design and decorate range from: door hangings to clips, pencil cases to frames. My main sellers are canvases, clips, bags, cards and magnets, but I have much more. Especially next year, as I plan to design new products like glasses cases, new bags, canvases and toys.
I love making all the products for the markets. I have so much fun with my friends.
Abi: ‘Bling Abbey’ is my business name – I made the name up myself. The ‘Bling’ part of it comes from my products, which all have an element of bling, and the ‘Abbey’ part comes from my name.
The products I sell at the markets are environmentally friendly bags, home made cards, DIY pasta necklaces and bookmarks, Wooden Word Art signs, gift tags, fridge magnets, phone covers, baby singlets, baby bibs, gift boxes, decorated note books and fabric owls.
Eryn: My business works with beads, bits and bobs and is named Bodacious Beads Bits & Bobs. My business sells handmade jewellery and gifts for family and friends.
How did the idea for your business originally come about?
Erin: Everyone seems to ask me, “Where do you get the time to make all the products?”
Early this year I had an operation on my leg and wasn’t allowed to dance for twelve weeks … that was hard! I had nothing else to do. Abi, from Bling Abbey, had started making her own products, and she asked if I would be in interested in doing something crafty and sharing a market stall. I said yes, and ever since my business has grown. I am now back dancing full-time.
Abi: The idea for ‘Bling Abbey’ came about after I visited family in South Africa last year. A close family friend had started doing markets there and allowed me to help her. She sold phone covers, photo frames and other little trinkets. I came home with a head full of ideas.
The markets have given me a chance to feel what it is like to earn money and to have to manage a budget and what I buy, as well as how I spend the money I make and what I spend it on … the markets are a great way to spend weekends.
They also provide a hobby and a craft to do when I’m bored and have no homework – which I can assure you is not too often!
Eryn: Erin Duly, Abigail Smith and I came up with an idea of developing a stall at the markets. After discussions, we decided on a different theme for each part of our stall: Erin Duly with her Buttons, named Button on Kids, Abigail Smith with her bling named Bling Abi, and myself with my beads, bits and bobs, named Bodacious Beads Bits & Bobs.
What has your experience at the Foreshore Markets been like so far?
Erin: I have enjoyed the Foreshore Markets this year. My products are going really well. Each market I make some profit to make new products. The customers are very nice and are always amazed by the products we each sell.
The Foreshore Markets have been an amazing time: from gazebos flying away, to products blown away and ending up three stalls down and the freezing mornings! But the markets have been great! I love owning my stall and hope it will grow bigger in the future.
Abi: The cost to join a market was expensive for me to manage on my own, so I joined with 2 of my good friends, and we share the costs. My experience at the Foreshore market has been exciting, fun and really enjoyable! I’ve had the chance to meet new people and see all the AMAZING crafts that people from different backgrounds make. My products have sold very efficiently – all customers seem happy with the items! I enjoy doing the markets with my friends Erin and Eryn.
Eryn: I have enjoyed the Foreshore markets and other markets such as Laurieton markets. Kind customers are helping me support my dreams. My overall experience has taught us that life is never easy and that we should be grateful for what we have – and life is not about money; it’s about building strong healthy relationships with friends and family.
Interview by Jo Atkins.