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Magnolia Square in Sydney

07 July 2009

I'd read so much about Melbourne's Magnolia Square from their website and blog, so it was with high expectations that I attended their first Sydney "pop up shopping" event on Friday. Magnolia Square position themselves as 'thoroughly unique and overflowing with products and ideas that are exceptional in their originality, quality & style'.

It was held in the lovely Teahouse at the Royal Randwick Racecourse, and from the moment I arrived at the entrance I could see that it wasn't much like a 'market' at all. The thing that struck me immediately was the effort that had gone into styling the venue and creating an upmarket environment.

Tulips in bottles hanging from big twisted branches above the entrance.

Paper parasols, lanterns and mobiles adorned the ceilings and there were beautifully styled little nooks here and there. There was also a nice area for kids to sit and colour in, as well as a little cafe.

There were over 50 artists, designers, crafters and gourmets who had gone to a lot of trouble to present their wares and style their spaces to fit in with Magnolia Square's claim to being the 'premier boutique shopping event'.

I loved Maiike's sweet softies made from patchworked upcycled knits.

A fabulous range of stationery products from Belles and Whiselles, who's signature is lovely embossed black envelopes. Danielle told me that they had only launched their products a few weeks ago. Very impressive!
Equally fab were the taste sensations from Sparkle Cupcakery. Oh my. I sampled a pistaccio and cardamon cupcake which was to die for, and with other flavours like lavender and honey, citrus cloud and oriental flower (lychee and rose cake with sweet rose petal topping) they are definitely not your everyday cupcake.

Sisken had a range of lovely leather products including the most divine buttery soft ballet flats, and they even make my size. Woo hoo! They are now on my birthday wishlist.
I saw redBERRY at the last Finders Keepers markets and was drawn once again to their lovely display of paper crane mobiles, lamps, notebooks and pouches.

Sweet children's clothing and accessories by Betty and Lola.
Funky sustainable design from States of Nature.

Beautiful knits from Grasshoppers, which are designed in Australia and made by women in Zimbabwe who are stakeholders in the business. Amongst other admirable things, Grasshoppers is committed to fair trade and providing work for women with disabilities. You can read more about the aims of the business here.
I love Ella Sanders' knits and the understated design of their space with the hanging scarves, spools of thread and single flower stems was simple and gorgeous.

Lovely jacket and dress for a little girl by Bluebird and Honey, who are a collective of designers.
Online bookstore We Heart Books drew quite a crowd with their story time. They had some really lovely books.

One of my favourites on the day was the porcelain jewellery and mini wall plaques from Angus & Celeste. One of these porcelain plaques is now high on my (always growing) wish list.
A range of beautiful stationery by Alannah Rose was accompanied by gorgeous product photography.

Sweet Dreams Cakes had some amazing iced cookies. I didn't sample them, but they certainly looked fab.
Isn't this the sweetest little Liberty fabric dress? It's by Miss Beba, but unfortunately I didn't pick up a business card and haven't had any luck finding a website for them. Update: thanks to merespring for the link in the comments... not sure how I missed that one! Maybe that's what happens when you write posts after midnight.

Magical laser cut timber wall decorations from Bride & Wolfe.
Fun and funky paper goods from Lox and Savvy.

There were other lovely sellers, like Kindergallery, that I just couldn't get a good shot of, but you can find a full list of retailers from the Sydney event here.

So you can see there were lots of lovely things on offer at Sydney's first taste of Magnolia Square, and I've heard that the November one will be even bigger. Overall I loved it - my only slightly negative comments would be that there seemed to be too many stalls selling children's clothes (although they were all gorgeous), and that by 11am the aisles were gridlocked with pram jam.

Did you go to Magnolia Square? What did you think of it?