Handcrafted from the Heart at Venue 114

Image source: Photographer Megan Gill

Embracing individuality over mainstream, Venue 114’s Mega Youth Market is empowering kids to find self-expression in the handmade and second-hand, as Georgia Beard discovers.

Amid a commercial ecosystem of formulaic designs, mass-produced brands and neatly packaged aesthetics, an affinity for personal style is emerging – and young people are leading the charge.

You’ll find them among the bric-a-brac of every op shop and flea market, in search of the original, the eclectic and the unapologetic.

They know individuality can’t be bought from department stores and fashion retailers. Instead, they’re finding reflections of their personalities in all things second-hand and handmade!

There is power in wearing threads and accessories you won’t find on anyone else; unearthing lovingly made décor to outlast seasonal junk; or collecting books, vinyls and CDs long out of print.

When you take a step back, you find all these treasures come together to represent an outward expression of the internal self.

The Sunshine Coast’s youngest generations have mastered this self-expression, going treasure hunting in the first thrift market for young people by young people last summer!

And it’s all thanks to the passionate team at Venue 114.

The Mega Youth Market saw bargain hunters empowered to shop sustainably and authentically, rifling through collections of repurposed clothes, books and games.

Alongside preloved pieces, young artisans and entrepreneurs displayed a myriad of handcrafted wares. From crochet to candles to jewellery to upcycled surfboards, their designs were rich with passion, imagination and sustainability.

As the owner of rahnistarbeads, Rahni Coulter first offered her beaded jewellery, seaglass art and paintings at markets in Moffat Beach. When she joined last year’s Mega Youth Market, her sales more than doubled!

Her online business bloomed out of lockdown boredom after she and her dad began collecting sea glass during their beach visits and gluing the pieces into portraits of whales and turtles.

“I started creating the jewellery for my friends this year because I thought it would be a fun thing to do,” she said.

“I get the majority of my beads from op shops. I crimp a ring or a lobster clip to fishing line, and then I thread the beads through once I’ve measured how much I need.”

Her designs emerge from improvisation – and a little inspiration from Instagram and Pinterest. Now at 14, she’s experimenting with beaded charms for phones and seaglass frames for mirrors in time for this year’s Mega Youth Market!

In the same space, we’ll find 13-year-old Dakota Hasted’s handmade earrings, keychains, cow hide coasters and candles under Coco’s Gifts.

“I get most of the cow hide from The Skin Thing, and it’s all made out of scraps,” she said. “I also get wooden backs for the coasters and glue it all together with super glue.

“For the candles, I melt down candle wax, add scents and colours and pour them into jars with new candle wicks.”

Borne from the intersection of free time and creativity, Dakota’s business is now expanding to multiple marketplaces – both online and across the region!

When developing the Mega Youth Market, Venue 114’s Marketing and Development Officer Kimberley Rider found young people were seeking stalls at larger markets on the Sunshine Coast which required heavy parental commitment.

“We wanted to offer a space that was indoor with plenty of facilities and that connected kids with similar interests,” she said. “Whilst parents attend with their children, it’s a more hands-on experience for the kids.”

At only $10 per stall, Mega Youth Market hosted 40 stalls in Venue 114’s socially and environmentally responsible event space, recognised through their EarthCheck Evaluate accreditation.

“It’s well documented that our younger members of the community are much more conscious of their environmental footprint and have a deeper awareness of how their choices impact,” Kimberley said.

“We hope to have this event on a quarterly basis, which means our young stallholders will be able to plan around this and regularly schedule a ‘clear out’ of their quality preloved fashion.”

Mega Youth Market is returning this year on 2 December from 10am to 2pm, upgrading to 50 stalls with a potential extension into the courtyard if demand is high. Venue 114 is also sending out the call for Youth Buskers, the first step in expanding the market’s range of entertainment!

Just in time for Christmas, Mega Youth Market is the perfect source for exclusive gift-shopping while supporting our young creators and keeping our natural environments free of unwanted products.

As they come home with preloved and lovingly made goods, young people will find their own story told in the clothes they wear, the passions they pursue and the spaces they inhabit. It’s one common thread our kids deserve to share!

Mark the date in your diary and support our young creatives.

To find out more, book a stall or nominate for Youth Buskers, email [email protected]

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Get ready for a festive double feature at @eumundimarkets !

Friday 8 December - Christmas Night Market from 4-8pm! Immerse yourself in the holiday magic with dazzling lights, festive treats, and a FREE climbing wall for the kiddos!

Then, on Saturday 9 December at 9am, join for a Saturday Market day like no other! Join the Christmas Card Workshop – a merry morning of creativity, crafts, and spreading holiday cheer!

Mark your calendars for a weekend of joy and jolly vibes!

Get ready to jingle all the way at the 59th Annual Peregian Beach Carols – the Coast`s OG carolling extravaganza on Wednesday 20 December.

This year, the dynamic trio of @peregianfamilyandfriends , @thevillageperegianbeach and @peregiansurfclub are teaming up to make your holiday season merry and bright in Peregian Park!

What`s on the festive menu?
- Live beats and carol classics by local bands, solo stars, and dynamic duos
- Foodie delights and artisan stalls to snag those last-minute Christmas goodies
- Kid-friendly fun, including face painting for the little elves
- A special sky-diving Santa soaring onto the beach (around 6pm, weather ready!)
- And hold onto your reindeer hats for a surprise grand finale at 8pm!

To unwrap all this awesomeness, just throw in a jolly $15 per family – covering EVERYTHING, from tunes to the main man himself, Santa!

Let`s make it a Peregian party to remember – see you there! (link in bio for tickets)

Sleigh bells are ringing! Have you booked your spot yet?

Join us @coolumbeer on Thursday, 7 December, as the @coolum_business_and_tourism community jingle and mingle to celebrate the merriest time of the year!

Let`s wrap up the year with a dash of holiday cheer and join your Coolum Business and Tourism community for an unforgettable evening, marking the official start of the silly season!

Secure your ticket now for a holly, jolly time by clicking the link in our bio!

Date: Thursday, 7 December, 2023
Time: 5:30pm - 8:00pm
Location: Coolum Beer Co. | Unit 1, 2 Junction Drive, Coolum Beach QLD 4573

Tickets: Members $35.00 | Non-Members $45.00


Join the ultimate canine and craft brew rendezvous @4pinesmooloolaba on Sunday, 3 December, from 3pm to 6pm!

It`s a fur-tastic fiesta with live tunes and `pawesome` prizes for you and your four-legged friends!

Join us in celebrating the triumph of @sculptureontheedgesc 2023 at Arts Connect Inc`s sensational Closing Party on December 10th!

It`s a night of pure fun, networking with fellow artists, and grooving to the beats of unforgettable music and will be MC`d by our Hello Sunshine Podcaster John "JC" Caruso.

Get ready for the Drawing of the Raffle, where the excitement builds with every ticket!

Prizes to be announced:

Artist’s Choice Peer Award: $1000 sponsored by Tina Cooper Glass Gallery @tina.cooper.glass
People’s Choice Award: $1000 sponsored by Montville Chamber of Commerce & Hammond Optometry @montvillechamber @hammondoptometry
Voter’s Prize for People’s Choice: Accommodation package sponsored by Lovestone Cottages @lovestonecottagesmontville

Save the date for a night of celebration, creativity, and the thrill of winning amazing prizes!
(Visit the link in bio to secure your tickets today!)