Nightcliff Markets Darwin: Behind the scenes with OM Designs

April 5th, 2012 in category Fashion

A wise man once told me ” …that sometimes the most routine things you do in your business are the things most interesting to us, your customers or your prospective customers…” So with this in mind, I have decided to write a blog for you about how I get ready for the Nightcliff Market every Sunday and what it involves to set up my stall.


Getting ready for Nightcliff Market, begins reluctantly, at about 6pm every Saturday Night, (reluctantly because I have been driving my three kids around all day to various activities!). If I have been able to motivate myself during the week and I have already re-stocked, it makes it a lot easier, but most weeks I haven’t, so I normally re-stock on Saturday night, before I pack the car.

Packing the car is a real art! The car is not that big, but the amount of stuff I have to fit into it is massive! If things are not put in the right place and in the right order, it just doesn’t all fit! I have to fit, into a Honda CRV, 4 card tables, one round table with legs detached, 6 clothes racks, a 3 metre by 3 metre gazebo, the sides for the gazebo (in case it rains), towels and plastic sheets (also in case it rains),a long mirror, 2 magnet boards, 2 jewellery racks, 17 clothing busts, a step ladder, an umbrella, an umbrella stand, hundreds of coat hangers, a change tent, an OM DESIGNS sign that I hang between 2 palm trees, 2  x 1.5 metre metal rods that inter-connect, 2 x 6 shelf foldable sweater racks (for displaying my fisherman pants), 12 BIG full bags of clothes, 4 tablecloths, 3 cushions, extension cords, clips, bungy straps, all my laminated price signs, baskets for displaying small items, 7 bags of small items for sale (magnets, voodoo dolls, purses etc…), 6 water bottles, myself and my son!!!

After I have packed the car, I set the time on my alarm clock forward half an hour and set the alarm for 4.30am! So it is really 4.00am when I wake up, but for some strange reason it just makes me feel better about getting up so early on a Sunday morning : ) After I have showered, I wake up my son, he showers and we leave home at 4.30am. We arrive at Nightcliff Market about 5 minutes later! There are 2 food stalls already there when we arrive and soon after we get there other stall holders begin to arrive.

We unpack the car, which normally takes about 1/2 an hour and then I park the car in the street. First we begin to set up the framework of the stall. We put up the gazebo, connect the plastic sides and fold them back, so that the gazebo is open, but the sides are in place , just incase it rains (it is the wet season in Darwin, NT, at the moment). We put up the clothes racks and tables and put them all in the same places each week. My son then puts all the clothes hangers on the racks, whilst I put up the umbrella and then the OM DESIGNS sign between the palm trees. We then begin to put all the clothes on coat hangers and onto the racks. This takes a really long time, but we are very lucky to have a nice woman who has a small stall next to ours, and when she has finished setting up her stall, she then comes and helps us put clothes on hangers! Once we have done the clothes racks, we put the clothes we are wanting to display, onto the 17 clothing busts and then hang them around the stall. We then put the tablecloths onto the tables and we begin to arrange all the stock that we display on the tables. We display the magnets on the magnet boards and the voodoo dolls on the jewellery racks and put all the small items into their baskets. Once we have done this we put up all the laminated price signs and hide all the empty bags under the tables. By this time it is normally 8.30am and time for a coffee : ), breakfast and a day listenning to great live local bands whilst selling clothes!

The market closes at 2.00pm and we begin the process of dismantling the stall and packing the car again. We normally arrive home, totally exhausted at about 4.00pm. At 5.30am on Monday morning we unpack the car again, so it is empty in time to take the kids to school at 7.45am on Monday morning!