A collective of young entrepreneurs have joined forces to host a bi-monthly artisan market, Youth Forge, that will start in June.
The talents of makers and creators from the home school community will be proudly on display and the community is encouraged to show their support.
Home-schooling mum Melissa Vaughan has taken the reins of the previously run market.
She said since it was a great experience for the kids they had decided to make it a permanent occurrence with Youth Forge.
“I didn’t realise just how many creatives were in our region until the original organiser invited us to participate in an artisan market last year,” she said.
“The first step was getting more organised by having a central place for all the interested members of the community to meet.
“As we are scattered all over the region the best place for this to happen was online.
“The idea is to create a real sense of community between these young entrepreneurs and their families even though they may not see each other all the time.
“Creating an environment where they can support each other, find help when they need it, get and give inspiration and generally become a great team of young makers and achievers is the ultimate goal.”
Youth Forge will have a variety of stalls, with everything from woodcraft, dog treats, paintings to cosplay costumes.
Beto Vanderburg from DIY Cosplay is one of the young creators who has been designing and creating cosplay props for some time, and his passion is evident.
“What I love about his artisan market concept is that it is unique and innovative, we have never had anything like it featured at a market before and I believe that it will have great appeal,” Melissa said.
“Just the fact that he is bringing a bunch of cool cosplay props to the market to display will definitely create interest for community members that may not have considered attending in the past.”
Then there is Melissa’s son Diesel, 12, who is also known as The Woodsmason, a tinkerer who knows how to think outside the box.
Diesel started woodcraft at the age of 11, and he is now branching out learning new design and production skills.
Melissa said he had undertaken an entrepreneur course, and he has sought out mentors in the community to assist him to develop his ideas further.
“He recently put an expression of interest in to participate in the twilight artisan markets at BRAG and was accepted,” Melissa said.
“He was over-the-moon and had an absolutely fabulous time at the markets, talking with customers, the gallery representatives and other stallholders.
“Many of the stallholders were particularly impressed at the quality of his work and his professionalism at such a young age – and we are too!”
Melissa said the interest for the market had snowballed this year and there were many keen participants with absolutely fabulous ideas.
“Many of our makers have a strong commitment and focus on sustainability which is wonderful to see as well,” she said.
“I imagine that the wider community is bursting with untapped talent and youth that are eager to imagine, develop and create all manner of things as well.
“It would be wonderful in the future to be able to support the development of all youth in the region in this way through the Youth Forge initiative.”
To find out Youth Forge artisan market dates, or more information click here.
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