Last Friday, All Saints Hall in Hastings Old Town played host to The Pop Up Emporium, a monthly makers market set up in 2018 by Rachel Mammone of Rachel Mammone Paints to support and bring together Hastings’, St Leonards’ and the surrounding area’s finest creative movers and shakers to showcase their unique artisanal talents. I raided my piggy bank… which is actually a tortoise and not, in fact, a pig… and went in search of interesting people and things to buy.
Hastings and St Leonards are hot beds of creative talent. Actually, East Sussex as a whole seems to be jam packed with gifted craftspeople and folk with a flair for beauty and detail. I run St Leonards by the Sea and am self-proclaimed Cheer-Captain of local small businesses and ventures- in that capacity I follow as many independent shops, makers and creators as I can find and then proceed to tell everyone about them. Cheer-Captain guys, it’s what I do.
One of those wonderful creative types is Rachel Mammone, a super talented artist who paints the most beautiful galaxy paintings as well as being the brains behind the Pop Up Emporium. She also has the most gorgeous business card I’ve ever seen. The whole ethos of her market is to support local talent and promote shopping from independent businesses- which is the definition of community spirit in my book. I asked Rachel a few questions about how she got started and why she set up the markets in the first place.
Hi Rachel, so, what do The Pop Up Emporium markets mean to you?
The markets mean so much to me. As an artist, I paint by myself in my studio and really wanted to create theses monthly markets for somewhere to sell my work alongside others, but also create a community.
I could feel the community spirit as soon as I stepped through the door, do you have an online community too?
We have a Facebook group for anyone who sells with the Pop Ups or is interested in selling with us and that has created a brilliant community between like minded creatives. We also have an Instagram page. I really believe in life that community is key and that’s what makes these markets stand out compared to others! I love organising them, meeting new makers and people from Hastings and St Leonards and am really looking forward to 2020 and how this can grow!
How can anyone who would like to have a stall apply?
You can register to go on the mailing list and get updates of stall availability and dates- then you can email to let me know what date you are interested in attending. I do limit the number of stalls which are similar- so there aren’t too many jewellery stalls, candle stalls etc- and it’s important to note that the Pop Ups are primarily for makers and creatives- the focus being on supporting handmade and local.
Trust me when I say you’ll find so many beautiful, handcrafted items and expertly curated stalls at any of Rachel’s markets- you’ll always find a broad range of businesses offering a vast selection of things. Here are but a few of the wonderful small businesses that regularly appear at The Pop Up Emporium.
Karina makes beautiful jewellery out of… you guessed it… COPPER! Her love of wirework began when she bought some earrings that irritated her sensitive ears and so she decided to have a go at making her own… YouTube, Pinterest tutorials and a college course later Copper Sea was born. You can find Copper Sea on Instagram here.
Nicola is the lady behind Sea Whistle, making stunning vintage inspired children’s clothes using the most gorgeous Liberty fabrics and super soft linens. I want everything in her collection in my size… think pinafore dresses and smock tops. I’m sold. You can find Sea Whistle on Instagram here.
The tagline for Jules’ beautiful creations is ‘Nature coated in pure silver’ and that’s exactly what this super talented lady does… she coats real, organic items such as shells, acorns, leaves and… erm… fish (ask her about the time she coated some fish in silver… it’s fascinating) in pure silver and voila, a unique keepsake to treasure forever. You can find The Silvery on Instagram here.
Charlie specialises in illustrating ceramics, greetings cards, hand-painting slices of wood and much more. Her Etsy page is filled with beautiful decorations which make perfect gifts… her little wooden tree decs are the cutest. You can find Cherry Pie Lane on Instagram here.
This little shop is all about sustainability, which I love. Katie is a beautiful soul (she has the most peaches and cream skin I’ve ever seen too) and her little shop is packed full of vegan, cruelty and plastic free brands. Katie runs the Norman Goes Green markets from the forecourt of Tommy’s Pizzeria on the last Sunday of each month- our Emily wrote about the very first one a while ago which you can find here. You can find One Small Shop in Instagram here.
Here are some of the lovely people I met last Friday.
Sally, who is new to the craft market game, sells ethically sourced crystals, crystal infused bath salts, palo santo incense sticks and crystal pendants- we had an interesting conversation about migraine and the healing power of crystals… ten minutes later I left with a piece of Amethyst and another of Tibetan Quartz in my pocket as well as a ‘prescription’ for some peppermint essential oil to put on my temples.
Now this stall was really something different. Charlotte makes totally unique jewellery and kitchenware from recycled skateboards. Yes, SKATEBOARDS. Really, she is incredible. Her dad, Martin, was also there putting his years of set design and creativity to good use by re-purposing old Christmas decorations into beautiful wreaths.
I loved this stall- Amy was whittling as we chatted and I could see the workmanship that goes into each of her pieces. She makes star garlands, traditional combs, wooden bowls and spoons and lovely little birds…one of which is now on my mantelpiece. You can find The Wood Mungler on Instagram here.
I really could go on all day about the amazingly talented local people that have small businesses and, let’s be honest, I probably will in another post. Small business Cheer-Captain, hell-oooooo! But for now, here is all the information you need on the upcoming Pop Up Emporiums in the run up to Christmas. You can find The Pop Up Emporium on Facebook and Instagram. Remenber to shop local, eat local, spend local and enjoy local this Christmas.