Bowerbird is back in 2021, with an event happening at the Adelaide Showground from 7—9 May. You can now browse the list of vendors, a third of whom have not previously appeared at the event.
Bowerbird drops 2021 stallholder lineup
Design and craft market Bowerbird is set to return in May 2021, with the three-day event showcasing the best handmade and Australian-designed products from small business owners.
The market is back to its original running date, happening from 7—9 May, and will take place at Wayville Pavilion at the Adelaide Showgrounds.
Owner of Bowerbird, Peggy Byrne says she’s looking forward to hosting this year’s event, given Bowerbird’s 2020 season was “a bit of a disaster”.
Peggy was forced to cancel the May 2020 event due to coronavirus restrictions and the November event was cancelled twice, eventually going ahead in mid-December, albeit with a reduced vendor list.
“We were the only market of its kind that ran in Australia so we were very grateful and our vendors were grateful,” she says.
“They were actually able to trade, and if you could imagine these are small businesses that might have an online presence but primarily make their income from markets like Bowerbird.”
In the 2021 editions of Bowerbird, Peggy aims to recommit to Bowerbird’s original purpose: “to showcase Australian designers and Australian makers and support these local small businesses.”
“I want to give them a great market and make sure we have great attendances so they are supported and get back on their feet with some pretty hard times last year,” Peggy says.
“We are now looking to see how we can make it easier for the vendors to set up, and nicer for people to walk around to see everything and make sure they have a way to continue their relationship with the designers once they leave Bowerbird.”
Despite the tribulations of the last 12 months, Peggy says she feels well-prepared for the future of Bowerbird.
“I learnt a lot about what the vendors need, what their priorities are and what their capacity is,” Peggy says.
“I learnt who my core market is in terms of vendors and designers, the perception of a business such as Bowerbird and some of the things I needed to do to change that perception and really be seen as a partner for the growth of their business.”
Bowerbird dropped the lineup for its May event on Friday, 26 March, which you can browse here. There are a range of familiar faces on the roster, as well many first-timers.
“About 30 per cent of our program are new to Bowerbird or are emerging artists so they have actually never been anywhere. That is really exciting,” Peggy says.
She encourages new designers looking to take the next step with their business to use Bowerbird as a stepping stone to “grow and channel their products in the right direction.”
“We provide a very engaged audience,” she says.
“Certainly, we have designers from all over the country that come here because they know they will grow a loyal base here in Adelaide.
“For the new designers certainly, they need to make sure they put their best foot forward at the event and really share their stories, because that is what our audience is really interested in.
“They want to know how this came about and what the passion behind various products is so they have a story to then take with them.”
Peggy is hoping grow Bowerbird into an entity that can support its stallholders in between events, creating opportunities to pass on craft and business expertise to help them push their brands further.
“[We want to provide] opportunities off-event for designers to benefit from potentially some learning,” Peggy says, “such as how to use social media better, or some marketing advice, or how to get your packaging to work better for you, how to get yourself on the shelves.
“I purchased this business because it is a support for small business. I’m a small business, I have always been, my husband has a small business, and we understand how hard it is to get a leg up.
“Any institution that can help you grow your reach is incredibly valuable.”
Peggy is expecting a crowd of between 10—13,000 over Bowerbird’s three days, with tickets available for purchase in April.
For more information on stallholders and to check on the availability of tickets, visit the Bowerbird website.
While we had Peggy on the phone, we asked her for three 2021 Bowerbird vendors we should be keeping an eye on.
Millicent Elizabeth is a South Australian women’s clothing brand created by Tiffany ‘Millicent Elizabeth’ Stuckey. The brand commits to producing timeless, ethical and wearable fashion, solely using sustainable fibres. Each garment is designed and handmade in Adelaide.
Windella Farms is a boutique goat dairy and Australian eco skincare business located in Cohuna, Victoria. They produce body and skincare products which are all Australian made with plants grown on their farm. They are focused on crafting toxin-free, eco-friendly products to create skincare solutions that are simple but effective.
Urban Goat is a streetwear clothing brand targeted at late teenagers and young adults which started in the last 12 months. Peggy explains it is called Urban Goat in reference to its target demographic’s tendency to climb, skate and parkour on everything.