On Sunday I had a bit of well deserved ‘me time’ and went down to the ‘Frome Independent Market’…alone… it was bliss. http://www.thefromeindependent.org.uk
On the first Sunday of each month (March – December 10am – 3pm) our amazing, creative, quirky little town shuts down to traffic and turns itself into ‘The Frome Independent’. The streets become jam packed with people and stalls, full of fantastic talent and beautiful things to buy and eat! As well as bands and a kids area. It has ALOT more than your average arts or craft market.
I walk from my house and start the market heading down the gorgeous cobbled ‘Catherines Hill’ which is already bustling fifteen minutes after the market officially starts at 10. (I would definitley recommend getting there first thing or later on after lunch if you want to miss the peak of the crowds over lunchtime.)
Catherines Hill is home to the ‘SUITCASE SALE’ section of the market which is basically people selling their wares from their own home made pitch..suitcases, prams, small tables. Anything goes really.
The other areas include;
‘MAKER’ (crafty), ‘FOOD’ (really diverse range of farmer’s market/delicatessen style stalls and street food) and ‘FLEA’ (really good vintage clothes and homeware).
There is also always a kids area that changes with the theme each month. This month the theme was ‘Frome on Sea’ so there was a beach made out of real sand in the carpark, shark mask making for a quid and donkey rides from outside the library with the sound track provided by resident DJ’s Vintage Mobile disco. http://vintagemobiledisco.com.
There is way too much stuff I could tell you about so I am just going to write briefly about the things I thought where particularly cool and a bit different from the usual pheasant on a tea towel.
Karve Design- Timepiece earings and cufflinks.. Made from real watches www.karvedesign.com
Kilda Meadows- Beautiful paper and Clay jewellery. Inspired by Egyptian artefacts and tribal patterns. A want for me. I couldn’t stop looking at them they are that nice! Simple, chunky original and hand crafted. Lush! www.kilda-meadows.squarespace.com
Purple Pollen- A local lady selling the most gorgeous selection of skin care that she makes herself. Beautifully packaged and presented in a vintage pram. But this stuff is more than just a pretty face…it will give you one! As an long term eczema/dry skin sufferer, I applied some of the delicious smelling ‘Linden Blossom and Neroli’ body lotion to one arm and at the end of the day my arm that I had applied the lotion too was noticeably softer than the other. It looks and smells soo good and really works. http://www.purplepollen.co.uk
That moves me nicely on one ‘Salvation for hands’ A lovely, lovely lady who has created a British oat oil and British beeswax skin remedy that comes as a sort of hard balm in a handy tin that can fit in your pocket when out and about and rub on dry skin when needed. What Sarah was also selling, which really interested me was pure British oat oil, which, if you suffer from eczema or dry skin you might already know how good oats are for soothing skin.. if you don’t, check it out! http://www.salvationforhands.co.uk.
I then bumped into my old house mate from London,(10 years ago, Hackney ) Bex who is still looking amazing and doing amazing things. She was selling and makes… ‘Embellished fashion and accessories, hand customized with an eclectic mix of bold vinyl patterns and lovingly sourced unusual fabrics and vintage prints’. If you like Scandinavian style stuff you will love what she does. She makes these really funky baby grows too. http://www.dakotaraedust.com
Moving down the hill is the Bristol Tea company. They have lots of nice teas but the star of their show has to be this ‘Teapot for Life’ . I love it every time I see it and one day when I have a spare £27 I will buy one! www.bristolteacompany.co.uk
We are now down at the bottom of the hill and entering the ‘MAKER’ section and these are stalls that grabbed my attention..
Nadia Medani- MEGA Sustainable, way cool jewellery. If you like a bit of bling like me you will like these.. but even better they made from recycled paper in a well fair trade kind of way by people in Swaziland, South Africa so they are ethical and also really light on the earlobe! www.nadiamedani.tumblr.com
There was loads of art/prints etc but what really grabbed my attention was Hannah Carding. Loads of personality and great expressions on the creatures she draws. Great for a bit of unique, (not breaking the bank) art for the kids bedrooms. www.hannahcarding.com
Next was the amazing ‘Black dog and Ginger cat’ needle felting. This is a new wave of felting that I love (but know nothing about). I wasn’t too keen on the old ‘wet’ style but this is great and you can do classes and buy kits. It’s the new knitting (say’s me). http://www.lydianeedle.com
Danielle Victoria Prints. ORIGINAL prints on homeware and kids clothes. If you like to dabble in making stuff then you will know that you see the same prints everywhere but Danielle designs these gorgeous retro British prints and then actually makes stuff from them, at amazing prices, especially if you know how much fabric costs let along the labour and time involved in making a new print and then the rest! These dresses are £27 http://daniellevictoriaprints.co.uk
As the crow flies. Gorgeous ceramics. I love the peas bowls and the melon soap dishes. firstname.lastname@example.org
Kate Blake- Upcycled deckchairs. What more can I say. They are all old deckchairs up cycled and made well comfy! email@example.com
William and the wolf. Really nice simple handmade baby accessories. Made in Bath and hard for anyone to not like. www.williamandthewolf.bigcartel.com
Last but not least ‘Hive Orginals’. Wiltshire honey, Wiltshire based honey hair and skin products. A hugley important industry to support for local economic and worldwide environmental reasons. Bee populations have been seriously declining in recent years and we need bees to pollinate things so that we can grow and then eat them . They do a honey shampoo for £8.50! http://hiveoriginals.co.uk
oh yeah…then I popped round to the FLEA bit, and HAD to get a ridiculous sparkly jacket from one of the stalls full vintage clothes straight from a US vintage warehouse. Modelled by my darling son
I didn’t have my kids with me this time but my friend said they where at the beach bit for hours, the kids happy building sandcastles and making masks and parents managed to get 3 pints in. Winner!
One thing to bear in mind.. the market does get really busy at points so not really suitable for big off road buggies. I think you will have a much better time if you have babies in a sling or carrier or if you don’t have one, a smaller stroller.
If you have 2 toddlers like me I would probably not advise going there alone on your own with them if you want to do actually have a look around. It makes life a lot easier if you can go with another person and tag team it. One person can chill out, with a nice cold drink, listening to some tunes by the kids area while the little ones are amused. The other can pop off for a browse and then swap. I find most things are so much easier with another persons help when you have two little ones going in different directions and down at the busy market this is especially so.