In 2014 a spate a new night markets and ladies markets began cropping up across Perth. They quickly became hugely popular with people begging for more. The team is known as MiLi Markets and Events, but just who are the people responsible for this new trend in markets?
Who are you (Mi and Li)? Michelle Thompson (mum of three boys aged 26, 22 and 5) and Lisa Malynn (mum of two boys aged 7 and 2, and a girl aged 5)
What were you doing before you became MiLi Events?
Michelle was operating Cozy Cot Quilts (nursery décor) from home, and Lisa was running Luli (kids clothing) from home. We met doing markets around Perth with our own small businesses.
Tell us about the first market you did together? Was it a success? The first event was 25 July 2014 in Currambine, we had no idea about council event approvals, food licensing, insurance etc! We served cheese and olive platters and a staff member from City of Joondalup came to visit the market, later informing us that she had "turned a blind eye" to our food service! Needless to say we are now 100% compliant with all food licensing and insurances.
We hardly knew each other at all, and the first market was predominantly organised via email and Facebook messages to each other, we never met face-to-face! Little did we know that this business would grow into full time jobs for us both, and we would develop a friendship along the way.
What made you decide to move into organising markets full time? We had such an overwhelming response to our markets in 2014 that we decided to triple the number we were running in 2015. We've made so many new friends and absolutely love the camaraderie and feeling of "community" that we get at each market.
What are the three essential things a good market needs? Atmosphere - music and food make people sit and stay a while! A variety of stalls. And good advertising!
What makes MiLi markets unique? We love hawker stalls and unique arts and crafts. We admire people who set up businesses after researching gaps in the market and create something that people want to see.
We work super hard to promote our events. We only give 10% of our stalls to Direct Selling/Consultant type businesses, and we require that all stalls have sale items at the event. We accept non-handmade stalls too, which a lot of market organisers don't. We're all about supporting small home businesses.
Anything exciting in the works we should know about? We are working with ECU Joondalup and ECU Mt Lawley to bring the Lunchtime Markets to those campuses for 26 weeks next year, they were a huge success this year! We'll be back again running ECU Joondalup's Open Day market, and probably Mt Lawley's as well! Also keep an eye out for a MiLi Market to appear in Bunbury next year!!