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Handmade for Canberra, with love

Olivia Afiabo

Though they offer the promise of a quick buy, big stores around Canberra are often lacking in one thing in particular: the handmade touch.

There will be no deficit of carefully crafted, handmade goods at this month’s Handmade Markets, however. In fact, this March there will be a record total of 52 new designers set to make their debut at Exhibition Park so Canberra will be spoilt for choice with everything from clothing, art, food, homewares, jewellery and much more on offer.

These markets come as a delight for people in the Capital who are passionate about high quality and innovative products from across the country. Thanks to the careful selection process of the market’s curators, attendees can be sure that they will be treated to only the best handmade products.

It’s also an amazing opportunity for people to meet with designers and creators and discuss the products on offer.

This month the Handmade Markets will also be focusing on giving back to the Canberra community. Alongside the stalls offering a treasure trove of handmade goods will be charity stalls, there to raise awareness and funds for good causes. Though the markets are free to attend, people are welcome to make a donation at the door to help out and give back for a good cause.

Attending this year, to make a real difference, are Menslink and Share the Dignity. It’s a proud tradition for the Handmade Markets to invite local charities to attend, and an excellent opportunity for people to make a gold coin donation and find out more about some incredible regional causes.

March at the Markets is shaping up to be one of the most unique and exciting yet, with so many items on offer it will be almost impossible not to find something you’ll want, need or love.

To give you a little taste of what will be available—and when I say little, I mean only a tiny fraction of what will be there on the day—I’ve made a short list of some exciting designers and creators who will be in attendance.


Ant Haus design

These stunning pieces of jewellery, handcrafted by Melaney McCleary, are gorgeous in all their simplicity. Ranging from sterling silver, to rose gold to yellow gold, these graphic shapes and designs are accessories that will be wearable with any outfit, offering people their next won’t-take-it-off ring, bracelet, or earrings.




If you’re in the market—the Handmade Market—for a beautiful decorative cushion or wall print, Doris Jurzak’s retro-inspired Blumengarten creations are the perfect way to add a touch of colour to your living spaces. Her works displaying eclectic floral and mid-century designs are unique, eye-catching and fun.



Because we all know that shopping can really take it out of you, it’s lucky that there will be plenty of food available to fill you up in between stalls. Bombolini Doughnuts are the perfect treat for the sweet tooth out there, offering delicious handmade doughnuts with a variety of homemade custards and jams.



Nanna Woo offer a variety of homeware and jewellery, with each piece specially designed to be unique. If you value having one-of-a-kind goods in your home then you can’t go wrong with one of their bowls or platters.


Happy Hands Happy Heart

If you’re looking for a treat for the kiddies—something to keep them busy, happy and entertained—Happy Hands Happy Heart have designed sustainable and all natural playdoughs using fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices. This is a treat for your children that you can feel good about buying. The Happy Hand Happy Hearts team are passionate about providing kids with quality toys that will promote play based learning and fine motor skill development.


Assemblage Project -Kowtow

Assemblage Project -Kowtow

If your conscious about what you’re wearing, and want to be sure that your clothing is sustainable, local and high quality, then Assemblage Project is a stop to put on your list. Their stylish accessories and clothing is made for women who are passionate about fashion and owning something different.



Babs Bodycare offer a range of natural body and skin care products made with all organic ingredients. If you purchase some Babs Bodycare products you can be sure that you’ll be leaving the markets with something cruelty-free and eco-friendly to rub all over.



If you’re a makeup addict, like me, you’ll also relish the opportunity to stop by Just Lippy. With animal testing and unethical practices always in the back of my mind when shopping for makeup, it’s reassuring when I can be sure that the product I’m buying has none of that attached to it. Using completely vegan and preservative free ingredients Karen Green has created a line of homemade lipsticks that you’ll be dying to try.

The Handmade Markets in March will be your opportunity to treat yourself or spoil your friends and family with a range of unique products on offer. Everything is limited, though, so make sure you don’t miss out.

the essentials

What: Handmade Markets
When: Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 March from 10am-4pm
Where: Epic Exhibition Park Canberra

All images via


Olivia Afiabo

Olivia grew up in Canberra before moving off to Wollongong to study creative writing at the University of Wollongong. After receiving a Bachelor’s of Creative Arts degree she returned to the Capital to pursue a career in writing and publishing. The first step in this journey has been interning at HerCanberra and, though she misses the beach, being back with family and old friends has been a welcome change. There’s nothing she loves more than reading, writing and watching football (the ‘no hands allowed’ variety). More about the Author