I started my website about 4 years ago after the birth of my second baby. I loved finding interesting and lovely products that really worked and was looking for a platform to share these on. I also had such a heart to encourage mothers through tough seasons and days of motherhood. I asked every young mother I knew to share with me their Favourite Things for certain seasons, but also their Favourite Advice to make things better. Many wrote in and could share mine.
Then life happened and the website stood still. But people started to contact me telling me of the great products they make or import for babies and kids. Would I not be interested in advertising these on my website? But the website was not meant for advertising, merely for non-imposing referrals and advice from mother to mother. So I got the idea to start a market that sells only baby-and child-related products. The first My Favourite Things Baby and Kiddies Market was held at our private home in the garden and living room. Over 30 exhibitors sold their goods and 150 visitors walked through that morning. Over the past 2.5years we have had many markets in Durbanville, Paarl, Stellenbosch and Somerset West areas. We visited shopping malls, wine farms, restaurants and play schools. Always with the same quality events and products. Every market brought new products, exhibitors and visitors and we grew.
This year we decided to follow the advice we kept getting. Hold 2 monthly markets at 2 fixed venues, on fixed dates. Quickly we saw that this does not suit both exhibitors and visitors. We are spoilt for choice in Cape Town and people will rather visit a once off event than a regular one. I pulled the plug. This was hard. I knew we had to grow and change once again.
I started toying with the idea of going ONLINE. So many people only shop ONLINE. I regularly receive enquiries from exhibitors in other areas of South Africa who would love to be involved in the markets but the venues are too far away. Also most of exhibitors are mothers themselves with full-time jobs, who cannot just get away for a full Saturday. What if we hold monthly ONLINE markets that run in-between the actual events? This way exhibitors can showcase their products on an on-going basis even though the events are less regular. Exhibitors from other areas of the country can take part. Visitors from all over SA can browse these virtual stands filled with the incredible baby- and child-related goods. Some people love market events, so don’t. Some love shopping online. We can reach them both!
The challenge was to keep the market’s feel. To NOT become another online store, and NOT become another online marketing site. I want you to still feel like you are walking through a market and browsing through the stands and products. Read the descriptions, talk to the exhibitors directly and order your own unique product. Many exhibitors are open to “make one in pink” or “take those ribbons and put it there” or “make the wheels smaller”. And remember to return next month when we will have different exhibitors and different products.
And here we are. I am very excited about this new addition to My Favourite Things. Our first ONLINE market will be an Introduction market that will start in June 2014. Look out for STARS that will mean a market special, or extra Info offered. Remember to comment at the end of the market, even just to say that you were here. It puts you in line to win a lucky draw prize at the end of each month! Feel free to ask for products or services you cannot find or give any suggestions and give feedback. Please share the market and send your friends to visit. I hope that My Favourite Things will continue to bring you new and exciting, quality baby- and child-related products and services that you cannot find in the shops, and things to make the hard days better and the seasons of motherhood extra special.
(some of our flyers over the years)