Yesterday we made the journey east to Proud East in Haggerston for The Mother Maker Weekend Market, the second weekend shopping event from The Mother Maker – a fabulous online (and obviously occasionally not-online) marketplace of products that have all been lovingly made by mothers.
Established in March 2017 by mother of three Christabel Saul, who set up the business after connecting with an enormous network of creative mothers through her blog, The Mother Maker has already attracted a large, loyal following thanks to Christabel’s great eye for design, her dedication to supporting creative mums – enabling them to work around their kids – and her flair for putting on a great event.
While everything about The Mother Maker markets is child-friendly, from the reams of buggy space to the huge soft-play area, craft workshops, face-painting and the fact that the majority of products on sale are either made for children or infant-appropriate, this still felt like a reassuringly grown-up affair, with an on-site bar, a Dads on Deck disco featuring adult-friendly tunes to drown out shrieking infants, and plenty of eye candy in the form of beautiful handmade jewellery, accessories, toys and clothing designed for stylish people of all ages.
I particularly loved Rosie Girl’s impossibly dreamy rag dolls, which came in the shape of Frida Kahlo, Coco Chanel and Iris Apfel, amongst other icons, and I could easily have bagged the entire stall had money and living space been no object (though sadly they are and I’ve been banned from buying any more toys that I claim are for Bab but are actually for me). I’m also obsessed with the lovely Golly Gumdrops’ gorgeous knitted jewellery, which is available in a variety of colours and forms – from chunky shimmer necklaces to rainbow-pastel bangles – and is all handmade from recycled jersey; and Coco + Indie’s hip printed clothing, which comprises marble-print leggings, mummy-and-me twinning T-shirts and amazing Shirley the Sloth T-shirt dresses, to name just a few great pieces. Other top brands included Matachu, who makes awesome camera toys; Marian Haf, designer of lush personalised nursery prints, and Nadien Klages with her genius upcycled kidswear.
On the verge of horrendous, vomit-inducing sycophantism, there wasn’t much not to love at this fabulous market, but the thing that really made it wasn’t the cute stalls or the soft play or even the copious alcohol, but all the amazing people involved: from Christabel’s son who greeted us at the door, enthusiastically thrusting flyers into our hands and instructing us to “GO ONLINE”; to the talented mum makers who clearly had so much time for their customers and such passion for their products.
Finally, of course, there was Christabel herself, who was so welcoming she told me about the win-a-bag competition twice and without whom this celebration of ingenuity would not have been possible. I was genuinely blown away by the palpable sense of community and sisterhood at this event – something that’s sadly pretty rare in this relentless ordeal we call motherhood – not to mention totally awestruck by Christabel’s ability to organise an event that was equal parts child-friendly and awesome. Big love to everyone involved and bring on the next event.
Dolls by Rosie Girl at The Mother Maker Weekend Market, Proud East, Haggerston.