There are many reasons people shun main street stores in favour of markets. Chief among them is the opportunity to pick up one-of-a-kind products that have been crafted with care. And with more than 100 stalls and shops, The Collective Markets @ South Bank is one of the best places in Brisbane to indulge this urge for the handcrafted, the different, the one-off, the quirky, the eclectic, the cool and the made-with-tender-loving-care.
Attached to every stallholder who has hung out their shingle at The Collective Markets @ South Bank, there are dozens of backstories. Have you ever, for instance, experienced the primitive beauty of a wooden wick candle? Founded in 2012, the Sunshine Coast-based Crackling Candle Co wanted to bring this safe, eco-friendly Australian product to the people. Its wood wicks burn with the soft, gentle, crackling sound of a fire. Crackling Candle Co also sells soy wax melts that seriously smell good enough to eat. Latte anyone?
For those who wish to brighten and beautify their homes with original artworks, works by Maree Davidson are available from The Collective Markets @ South Bank. People who come into Maree Davidson's Art stall just love how 'real' her animal paintings look. 'They often stand in awe and say, 'Wow! Look at the fur, and the eyes!', or, they may just begin giggling at the funny, quirky, lifelike animals,' she says. They also like watching Davidson at her easel. 'Customers can also place an order for their very own commission of a treasured pet, or favourite animal,' she adds.
On the fashion front, there is the bohemian-inspired Dinjuan which is a riot of goddess dresses, harem pants, boho kaftans and tribal necklaces. According to fashion designer Juanita Machado, Dinjuan is ultra-feminine, multi-ethnic and cosmopolitan, featuring ample animal prints, fiery colours, hints of Africa, and expressing the virtues of nature and wanderlust. 'Dinjuan is an eclectic essence of chic weaved into every day,' says Machado.
The Collective Markets @ South Bank has all of this and so much more to offer. The markets are open on Friday nights and during the day on Saturdays and Sundays. Stop and chat to the stallholders - the best way to make your own, surprising discoveries. Perhaps check out some of South Bank's exciting new eateries while you're there, such as the South Side Diner. But even if you've run out of cash and maxed out your credit card, South Bank is still a great place to spend a few hours, with 17 hectares of parklands and Brisbane's best river views.