Two hundred independent designers will showcase their products at the Big Design Market this spring, which is held at the Royal Hall of Industries. We speak to three designers who’ll be appearing at the Sydney markets for the first time to find out who they are, what flies off their virtual shelves and what to expect from their real-world stalls on November 24-26.
1. Kester Black
Melbourne-based nail polish brand Kester Black says they’re Australia’s most innovative ethical beauty brand – and they’ve got certificates to prove it. Their polish is Australian made, accredited cruelty free, and vegan and founder Anna Ross commits two per cent of their revenue to charity. The five-year-old company recently created a water-based nail polish remover, which is non-flammable, safe for children, halal certified and smells like peaches. “Nail polish actually helps your nails become stronger, you just need to use great products,” says Ross. “One thing customers can do to is use a nail cleanser, which removes oils or cream from the nail before they apply their nail polish. If you use cuticle oil after your nail polish has already bonded to your nail that will also stop them from flaking.” Already a fan? Look out for a new line of lipsticks in the new year. $4-$28.
Nude shade ‘Petal’ is their bestselling polish, along with Hollywood red ‘Cherry Pie’.
Make a beeline for…
Their Christmas crackers. “We’re making bonbons for Christmas which are like a surprise lucky dip item.” It’ll include some of their best sellers, including the Pantone colours. They’ll also have festive polishes rose gold glitter ‘Dasher’ and silver hologram glitter ‘Comet’.
They’ll have nail polishes, removers, treatments and skincare, which is 97 per cent natural. Plus, nail artist Chelsea from Trophy Wife is running a nail art workshop. “So you can learn how to do all your favourite Christmas nail art from her – she’s the best in the industry.”
Founder Jana Lindstrom first started painting bicycle bells when she couldn’t find stylish accessories for her adventurous family of cyclists. The Newcastle-based company now has more than 70 amusing designs for adults and kids, from fairy bread speckles to tiger stripes and super kawaii smiley faces. “People have mistaken them for yo-yos and door-knobs but when they ring that's when the penny drops and people grin from ear to ear.” Lindstrom’s mission is to create functional steel bells that are fashionable and sustainable, too. “It’s a culmination of everything that’s important to me. We aim to inspire people to get on their bikes and away from their screens.” The Canadian cyclist handcrafts and assembles the bells herself, working with staff artist Carly Brett. “There's a huge amount of quality control before we give it a Beep makeover; we handpaint them and then bake them to ensure the paint becomes a part of the bell – so it's 100 per cent waterproof.” All the paints are non-toxic, too. $27.50.
“We’re loving a new design – the cactus. There’s a desert pink and a desert green.”
Make a beeline for…
They have a rainbow target, which Lindstrom says is “a bit of pride for your ride”.
Beep Bells’ new range of Australiana designs: “We have a koala, kangaroo, rosella, cockatoo, lizard and a turtle.”
3. Min Pin
November’s market will be the first time Penny Ferguson brings her handmade ceramic ornaments and fine jewellery pieces to the Big Design Market. Last year she ran a kids’ zone, which she’ll be organising again this year with the help of Esther Sandler and Tara Whalley, who’ll mock up an ‘outback’ with free crafts for little ones. Though the Melbourne-based illustrator’s aesthetic is childlike, her products aren’t designed with children in mind – they’re naive and playful designs for adults. Ferguson works in her home studio, sewing and packaging products herself. “I make whatever I’m interested in, regardless of what experience I have,” she says. “It’s always fun working with something new but I get most excited working with gold and diamonds – you can’t help drool over those beautiful gems.” Min Pin’s jewellery often comes with a face; stern, bemused, smiley and fanged. Her ceramic animals are one of a kind, ranging from chunky gorilla to a smug-faced dish. The Play School-style animal printed tea towels and pillowcases are some of the most popular styles. $30-$280.
A3 prints of animal illustrations are big sellers, like Big Buddy the dragon or Batman the bat.
Make a beeline for…
Her ceramic brooches – they’re all one-off, from stingrays to tiger heads. $35.
What’s available at the markets?
Min Pin’s new Pet Shop Collection, including brand-new cushion toys and bags.
The Big Design Market takes place at the Royal Hall of Industries from Nov 24-26.