Design Federation talks to the creators (Sarah Thornton and Brooke Johnston) of the Hope Street Markets and gets all the inside info!
What is your name and where are you located?
Names: Sarah Thornton and Brooke Johnston. Location: Sydney
What is your background in design?
Brooke has studied Jewellery and object design. She has collaborated in numerous markets and exhibitions across Sydney over the past 2 years.
Sarah’s background is in Fashion Design. She has worked in the Industry in both clothing and accessories design. She has also designed her own collections and participated in fashion parades and markets in Sydney.
Tell us what are the “Hope Street Markets”?
It’s a collaborative market combining art, clothing, accessories, jewellery and object design. We are targeting young emerging designers, who haven’t yet gained exposure in the wider community. We’ve created a unique environment for designers and the community to meet and connect. The difference of Hope Street Markets to regular markets is the space that we are using is in an indoor venue, that is usually used for entertaining. So we have the capability to create an atmosphere as opposed to a selling environment.
What made you decide to work together on this project?
First of all our friendship and support for each other! We’ve always connected over art and design. We get excited about new ideas and ways of creating. We both have similar taste and interests in art and fashion and feed off each other because our creative fields and skills are different.
Why did you decide to create the “Hope Street Markets”?
We are both passionate about art and design, and have always particularly been drawn to aussie undiscovered talent. We looked around and realized how many people we know that haven’t had the right exposure to help their work. After thinking that there was lack of opportunity, and a sterile environment. We found a gap in the offering of markets in Sydney and a lot of local designers were competing with mass produced made in china clothing and accessories.. Being involved in pretty much all the markets offered in Sydney, we found it a hard atmosphere to promote ourselves. We needed the right people and the right atmosphere and we couldn’t find it. A few wines later, we thought why not start this ourselves? And the rest is history..
What makes you passionate about helping others gain exposure?
From our own experience, we have both felt a struggle in getting a label off the ground. We have a lot of friends in the same situation that have been a part of fashion parades and had great success in exhibitions, yet the next step isn’t there for them. We want to help guide them to the next level and give them an opportunity to make their product a reality in the market place.
It says on your website that “We will be donating money from the markets to help support Hope Street – Urban Compassion”. Can you tell us why you decided to donate, and why to this charity?
We aren’t creating the markets for ourselves, and don’t see it as a money making exercise. So we wanted to help a greater cause, and really loved that we could be a part of encouraging the artistic community. We were given a unique opportunity, some could say a we are very lucky, to use a fantastic space through Hope Street – an outreach organization that helps Sydney’s homeless and connects with the local community. We liked the concept of Hope Street meaning “giving Hope to the Street” that we decided to adopt the name for the markets as we feel we want to give Hope to designers!
How do you think/want other people to respond to the markets?
We’d love people to embrace the markets, not only to encourage the designers but also as a space to encourage others and hang out! We also want to offer really great product design that people are seeking, and can’t find already.
What has been the response so far from art/design the community?
The reaction so far has been fantastic, considering we haven’t even advertised yet we have had a great response through word of mouth. People are excited about what we are creating and the greater aims of Hope Street. Myspace has actually been a great networking tool for us and we’ve had a lot of people emailing us and finding us on there.
What motivates/inspires you?
Our ongoing obsession with everything and anything arty! Our love of local galleries, new art exhibitions, markets, cool and quirky shops, music and local success stories. We are motivated by the vast array of alternative artists and designers in Australia that push the boundaries on commercial design.
How will you measure your level of success/achievement?
Our first aim is to offer a high standard and great variety of design at the markets. We want to be able to help create a beginning for these designers to propel them to success. Ultimately we’d like to see these connections as the event progresses. We’d also love to have a great crowd of people involved!
Can you let us in on any trade secrets?
Not yet! But all we can say is.. Learn from your mistakes. Be open to learning. Be proactive and be your own number 1 fan, because as much as you have heard this before, you got to believe in yourself!