Stress Free Market Day

Stress Free Market Day

You’ve decided what items of clothing, shoes, accessories, and so on, to move on. Fantastic – that will feel quite cathartic. The next step is to ensure your transition to stall is smooth (aka stress-free), and doesn’t undo all the great feelings that come with having made some amazing progress.

Don’t spin out of control!

Over the years, I’ve observed stall holders arriving at market venues and setting up. I’ve also been that person myself on countless occasions. It’s fabulous to watch as stall holders create their space, their collections coming to life with colour, texture and frivolity. But it can also be painful to see some struggle, traipsing multiple times to and fro from their cars – weighed down with an eclectic mix of stuffed bags, random items, boxes, and bits and bobs piled high in their arms. No rhyme or reason to the whole affair. Why does it matter, one may ask? It can.

Whether it’s a smooth ‘bump in’ or a struggle-start can make a lot of difference to how you feel as the market doors open on the big day. If you’re exhausted and feeling under the pump before the day kicks off, or you feel like your stall’s not quite ready as the doors open, this invariably shows on your face.  It can also have you not coping with the small hiccups (realistically, there are bound to be a couple). And, this can then go on to affect your market day’s experience – which is a shame, as market day ought to be great fun!


So, how do you breeze through to market day setup like a pro?

It’s tempting to start off with the obvious and irritating first tip – BE PREPARED! But I won’t because this may mean very little, and can be equally stress-inducing if you don’t quite know where to begin.

One: Taming your pile of clothes

Hang as many clothes as possible. Choose hangers that won’t let your clothes slide off in transit. Displaying quality items on a rack is appreciated by shoppers who want to see what you’ve got at a glance.

If you are selling items at individual prices, label everything before the day. Your customers will be more comfortable knowing the price without needing to ask. Choose labels that are least likely to fall off or come unstuck in transit. Safety pins and jute through hole-punched cardboard work wonders.

If you’re hanging clothes in price brackets, tie grouped hangers together or place each group in the car so they’re easily identifiable at your destination. Make your signage at home.

Sort loose items into $2, $5, and $10 lots (or whatever price lots work for you). Prepare any and all signage at home.

Place these items into individual containers – ideally whatever you’re going to display them in on the day. Or, if they’re being displayed on a table, place them in individually marked containers ready to unpack efficiently.

Look cool, calm and collected (even if you don’t feel it)!

Two: Getting clothes from A to B

  • Clothes on hangers can be placed in a suitcase or simply laid in the back of a car (wrap in cloth such as a sheet to protect if necessary)
  • Place containers of other items in next, and to one side if possible.
  • Locate your rack, table and props in the car so they’re first out.

Three: The 30-minute Setup

Check in with the market organiser and find your spot.

Unload and set up your rack, table and props first. If you need to move a car away from the venue straightaway, set up racks as you bring them in and then hang all your clothes straight onto the racks (in price groupings if that’s how they’re sorted) as part of the unloading. This avoids double handling time. Finally bring in your boxes of accessories, etc. 

Then have some fun shifting your props around in your spot until you feel you’ve made the best use of your space whilst being mindful of, and even complementing, your neighbours’ display.

If accessories etc are in pre-labelled containers display them ready to go. If not, place containers to one side (such as under your table) for now.

If you are grouping your hung clothes into price brackets, do this now if you couldn’t earlier and attach your previously made signage, accordingly.

If all your hung clothes are labelled, they’re done and ready for market opening.

Now relax…you’re in control, and looking ready.


Make sure your money belt is on and full of some coinage. You want to be well ready to accept those sales!

The next bit can be done at your leisure and it won’t matter too much if the market opens and shoppers are looking because they have a fab rack of labelled items to check out already, and possibly self-explained containers on tables to rummage through.

Give yourself a mental high-five as you’re all set with change in your money belt and looking cool, calm and collected!

If you’re unpacking loose items do this now, and place related signage as you go.

Finally, have fun dressing your props (mannequin etc.) and laying out smaller items like jewellery, shoes, belts, bags and hats.

This can all take less that 30 minutes. Believe me, I’ve got it down to 20, tops!

Let your personality shine through.

Buy it slow. Wear it more. Can you rise to the challenge?

Buy it slow. Wear it more. Can you rise to the challenge?

I have to confess that I’m not quite at the point where I can come at near zero purchase of new clothes. But, the ratio of new to preloved is shifting steadily. Increasingly, my thinking includes a greater consideration of why I am buying, what I am buying, and how it fits with what I already have in my wardrobe.

Slow fashion, at it’s very simplest, is a deliberate choice to buy in a more considered way. So, how to slow it down? Here are a few questions I ask myself – with the caveat – the answers don’t entirely eliminate the frivolous, spontaneous or ‘you only live once’ kind of buys!

How often will I wear it? For the most part, only buy an item of clothing if you know you’ll wear it many times. In fact, Amanda Stavropoulos in the Rise and Rise of Slow Fashion in Australia says, at least thirty times.  I expect most of us have items we wear much less often than that, but some certainly get a really good run. Those ‘go to’, throw-on-and-know-you’ll-feel-good pieces. So, next time you’re standing at a rack of new clothes, slow down, and ask yourself, will you wear this item thirty or more times?

Do I need it? A straightforward question. But often hard to answer when that item is just begging to be owned! There are many days when we ‘need’ a gorgeous dress or a sensational pair of boots! Chocolate can be the cheaper option, but sometimes that doesn’t quite cut it! The answer is to get to know what’s in your wardrobe. And once you know what’s hanging there, you’ll know where the gaps are, and what ‘needs’ will enhance what you already own.

How do you get to know what’s in your wardrobe? You declutter, and reduce down to what you know you’ll wear. Then, add in a few pieces of ‘special’. It is said that the average woman wears just a third of what’s in her wardrobe.  I was certainly guilty of that. Then I discovered how much happier (and lighter) I was with the decluttered world of slow clothing – owning fewer, better-considered items, and reselling pieces to see them get a new lease of life in someone else’s wardrobe. That feels so good.

Will it bring me joy? Slow clothing is a philosophy says Jane Milburn of Textile Beat. A way of thinking about and choosing clothes to ensure they bring you joy. Everyone finds their own meaning of joy. For me this is, aka, feeling good and confident when wearing it. And, with particular pieces (especially the right footwear), it also means I feel like I can stride it out and ‘take on the world’!

It feels good to take charge of your wardrobe and/or dresser, and to know that when you wear any combination of your collection, it works for you and it brings out the very best in you. That it is uniquely you. Take up the challenge today and exclaim, ‘slow fashion; I can own it!’


My living with less challenge

My living with less challenge


The Living with Less challenge was inspired by the team from a New Zealand company called Little Yellow Bird, an ethical clothing company that manufactures and designs uniforms. I wholeheartedly agree with Nicole McCallum, the original @livingwith10 queen – there are a lot of environmental and social (and economic) reasons to take part in this challenge, plus I hope to raise awareness of (and challenge myself to adhere to) the values of slow fashion.

The challenge – what I coined 10:100– went something like this…Wear 10 items of clothing for 100 days. This excluded jackets (impossible to say what Tassie weather will bring, even in Spring!), shoes, accessories, workout gear only worn for workouts whenever that happened and underwear 😟. And, absolutely no shopping, op or otherwise.


I kicked off on the first day of Spring – Friday 1 September 2017– my commitment was locked in by making it public. There was no going back without losing face! So my Facebook and Instagram feeds @prelovedclothinghobartrecorded some of my outfit choices, and how I held up to the challenge.

The result. A wonderfully smug feeling of having achieved something amazing. As silly as that may sound, it was an achievement, however small in the scheme of things. But I proved to myself that it was doable and not as freaky as it sounded when I was considering the idea. All I can say, is give it a go.

The final outcome has been strong sense of what I do and don’t need in my wardrobe and what my style really is; a capsule wardrobethat has a few variables added in for some spice; a good idea about what gaps I have on the rack and what I’m looking for when I op and market shop.

All in all …brilliant! The perfect tonic if your style is stagnating, and your spending is more than you’d like (ever in search for the ‘one’ outfit that’ll create the fantasy you). Pare it back and start over. Invigorating.

Next, I might be game enough to try the one dress for 100 days…yikes!


UTAS Pop-Up Preloved Clothing Night Markets

UTAS Pop-Up Preloved Clothing Night Markets

It’s on again! The Preloved Clothing Market and UTASLife collaboration went down so well in June that we’re going for take two. Bookings are open for the second UTAS Pop-Up Preloved Clothing Night Market on Friday 28 September, 4-8pm at UTAS CBD Apartments, 157 Elizabeth Street in the city. Have a read of the Stallholders Info and Book your spot.

In June 2018, The Preloved Clothing Market joined the University of Tasmania to kick off Semester 2 with something a little new for students, staff and the local community with a Night Market.  

The event was resounding success with the Ref pumping with preloved fashion, live music and enthusiastic bargain hunters. No-one was to be disappointed with the turn out and the fab fashions on offer. Many walked away, arms overloaded with their finds.  The mood seemed to be that one can never be too wildly overdressed!

We predicted we’d be back! Don’t delay…get along for a fun night bang smack in the heart of Hobart!