Markets We Do: Hampstead

2012-08-19 12.07.51This is the entrance to Hampstead Sunday Market.
Snuggled away in the Community Centre on Hampstead High Street, it’s the place to be when looking for unusual, high quality goods and friendly chatter. The market has been running for over thirty years, and some of the traders have been there since the begining, as have some of the regular visitors. This makes for jolly, familial atmosphere, and one which makes it a pleasure for us to trade in.

2013-03-17 14.18.31The gentleman in this photo is Steve. Not only does he run a vintage glassware and pottery stall, but he also part-manages the market from where we have been trading for the last three years. The lady next to him is Gaelle, and she sells some very fine jewellery and some lovely scarves.

The other stallholders you’ll find at Hampstead are a mixture of antiques, books, jewellery and food – all of it intersting and unique

collageThe market does take on various guises though, depending on what Sunday you arrive, and this can be confusing to the casual visitor; one week you may be faced with a room full of cheese, cake and meat stalls, the next it becomes a market with items that wouldn’t look out of place in an episode of the Antiques Roadshow.

As High Spirit Therapies, we trade during the Sundays when the market is an all-round mixture of craft stalls. And though our slot is irregular (we do not trade at the food-only or antique-only days) it is constant enough that we have built up various relationships with visitors and fellow traders.

It can be hard work running a market stall. Not only on the day of trading itself, but also during the run up to it; making the products to sell, ensuring that all publicity is up to date, and that the displays are in a good condition so that they don’t collapse in front of customers. You also need to manage your expectations – you can, and probably will – make a loss. So, you really, *really* have to enjoy doing it, as it will take up an awful lot of your free time. From my point of view, I love doing the market because I like talking to people, and using our business to make difference to people’s lives. It’s very satisfying when people enjoy what you do.

What I love most about trading at Hampstead is that there is a definite camaraderie amongst the traders, and not the usual battle for money that you get at some places. Each trader brings their own personal touches to the market, especially in the way they present their stalls, and this can make it a vibrant and inviting place to visit. There are not very many markets I’ve traded at where visitors can sit down with a tasty home-cooked meal, followed by a chair massage with Jo, and then onto browsing the various stalls to look for unusual items to buy, so if you do get the chance I urge you to visit.

You can check our website for the date of the next market, or sign up to our Newsletter. 😉

But for now, please enjoy the photo’s below.

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2012-08-04 11.28.41

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