The Village Markets

The Village Markets

Boutique Fashion & Lifestyle Market for Creative Entrepreneurs - Burleigh Heads, Gold Coast & Stones Corner, Brisbane Queensland

Tag: Drift Trading Co

A Day In The Life :: Drift Trading Co.

This month we are celebrating all things small business in support of the local creatives bringing you some of your favourite TVM brands this festive season. First up, husband and…

This month we are celebrating all things small business in support of the local creatives bringing you some of your favourite TVM brands this festive season.

First up, husband and wife duo Lou and Paul behind, Drift Trading Co.

I was at the local fish and chip shop in Currumbin last week and decided to pop down the laneway next door, straight off the beach with sandy feet and wet children (sorry guys!) to check out the humble workspace of Drift Trading Co, to see for myself where the candle making magic happens.

Lou and Paul welcomed me (and my two daughters who love to touch glassware and ask plenty of questions - again, sorry guys!) into their space with open arms. It was so lovely to view the gorgeous space they have created, filled with recycled timber, antique frames and a cute veggie patch.

You could just feel the love that goes into creating their beautiful candles and various other products.

Here we chat to Lou to find out more about their growing business and what it means to them to shop small, this festive season.

What made your pursue your creative passion?

I have always loved making and creating, from a very early age I was the kid crafting, designing, making things and playing ‘shop’.  I never really knew what I wanted to be when I grew up and just kinda ended up working in office jobs in the legal and then in the property development industry. 

Pursuing my creative passion came about when I realised that my days spent sitting in front of a desk were no longer fulfilling – I wasn’t able to be creative and I had this feeling that there was something else I was meant to be doing.  I wanted to wake up in the morning and jump out of bed excited and motivated about the day ahead.

When did you take the plunge and start your own business?

I took the plunge after resigning from a corporate position in property development. I had no idea what I was going to do but I kinda always knew that I wanted to have my own business and to be creative.  Our family went on a little camping road trip shortly after I resigned and it was travelling on the open road in our van when the idea to start Drift came about.

Originally Drift started out primarily to promote my hubby Paul's recycled timber furniture business and the candles were just a sideline – something else to offer our customers. Hubby and I both have a love of style and design and we wanted both the furniture and candles to reflect our sense of style – earthy, natural and paired back.  

What does your brand consist of?

100% hand poured, handmade scented soy candles, reed diffusers, soy melts and room sprays.  Our scents have been carefully curated to enhance a wide range of moods, moments and settings – from everyday home life, to the office, weekend gatherings, sunset drinks and everything in between.  We love the ambience and atmosphere a beautiful, scented candle can create – the soft flickering light combined with an intoxicating scent – enhancing moments and creating memories.

Where is the label designed and made?

The label was actually designed by us.  We wanted a natural, paired back design that would complement a wide range of style aesthetics.  We didn’t want any colour or loud design features – the brief was for the label to have a natural, earthy feel – we wanted it to blend seamless into any home décor and to complement other style elements whether it be flowers, indoor plants, artwork, furniture, bedroom or bathroom.

What inspires you?

So many things inspire us… we are lucky enough to live in a truly beautiful part of the world – the incredible lifestyle here on the Gold Coast is a huge inspiration for us.  Our Summer Blends collection (including ‘Coconut & Tahitian Lime’, ‘The Beach House’ and ‘Thai Lime & Mango’) is inspired by long days at the beach, outdoor gatherings and sunset drinks – blends designed to evoke an endless Summer.  Our earthy blends collection is for nature lovers – ‘The Hinterland’ is one of our more popular blends and is inspired by the aromas of the Gold Coat hinterland – eucalyptus, wattle, lemon myrtle and pine.

What are your plans for the brand and where do you hope it takes you?

First and fore most Drift candles are about quality – this was always number one on our priority list, we’re a boutique hand poured candle company with a focus on producing a quality product. Hand made takes time - we are not about mass production and we have no massive plans for upscaling – we want to continue to produce a quality, handmade product that our customers fall in love with – quality over quantity every time!  We usually release a new blend each season which takes up a lot of time testing and blending as we’re super particular about our fragrance blends. We are actually working on a variation of our product range at the moment which we hope to release within the next month - just in time for Christmas gifting.

What were the biggest challenges when launching your brand?

Ah, where do I start… lol!  Becoming noticed was probably one of our biggest challenges – we wanted to stand out and for our brand to become known for its quality and natural, earthy style / design features. Building our online business was a little tricky - trying to describe a scent verbally and to sell something that relies heavily on the senses is quite a challenge.  Social media relies heavily on image so capturing the essence of Drift with lifestyle photography has been paramount for us – relaying the Drift lifestyle aesthetic/feel to our audience. Markets have been incredible for us – they’re a great way to get your product directly in the marketplace. Customers can physically pick up our product, touch and smell plus they get to ‘meet the makers’ – the real people behind the brand.

Find Lou and Paul at TVM this Sunday 1 December (and every other TVM event, always!).

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How to Nail Your Stall Presentation :: With Drift Trading Co.

There’s market stalls and then there’s aesthetically pleasing market stalls – the kind that present your brand and products in the best possible light. Let’s be honest – if it…

There’s market stalls and then there’s aesthetically pleasing market stalls – the kind that present your brand and products in the best possible light. Let’s be honest - if it looks that good on the outside, chances are the products inside are just as dreamy and your customers are more likely to want to connect with your brand.

A standout in the stall presentation stakes at TVM is Drift Trading Co, the lovechild of Lou Martin and her handy husband Paul (a qualified carpenter/joiner). We spoke to Lou to get the inside tips on how to nail your stall presentation.

Your stall is known as being ridiculously good-looking, how important is a well-presented market stall?

Ha, ha that’s very kind!  We do put a lot of effort into our stall.  I guess we kind of see our stall as our little shop front – it’s the face of ‘Drift Trading Co.’  We work super hard to produce a quality, handmade product and we want to display it in the best light possible – it needs to reflect our brand.

One of our motto’s from the start has been to continuously improve our stall fit-out – at the end of every market we reassess and ask ourselves how could it work better practically or look better – it’s evolved quite a bit from the early days.

We both actually really love doing The Village Markets twice a month – I guess when you’re working fairly autonomously all week it’s nice to get out and meet your customers – I also think our customers enjoy seeing the face behind the brand.  We’ve gained a really lovely repeat customer base and it’s a really great feeling seeing a familiar face walk back into our stall – nothing beats praise for something that you’ve made with your own two hands.

How did you design your stall layout?

Our stall layout has evolved over time as our product range has grown.  We’ve always had a stall that allows our customers to walk in and around, rather than just walk past (i.e. past a table front) - it creates more of a shop feel and makes it easier for customers to browse without feeling hassled or pressured to purchase.  We use a lot of recycled timber as it’s our thing and it’s where Paul’s talent lies – it also works beautifully with our product story and branding.

Paul had the idea for our current fit-out for quite a while before he actually built it, however the vehicle we had at the time was too small to transport the solid wall structure he had in mind.

The actual construction of our ‘mini shop’ took a weekend for Paul to complete – this is bearing in mind his background in building.

How long does it take you both to setup on market day? Do you have any cheeky tricks to make life easier/less stressful when setting up - given it's a limited time frame?

Hmmm, we are usually the last to finish setting up and the last to finish packing up but we do have quite an elaborate set up!  We go pretty flat out for an hour and a half before our stall setup is complete.

In terms of set up tricks, trolleys are definitely our friend when it comes to transporting product and display items to our site.  We each have our roles during setup time so that we don’t get in each other’s way and we maximise the time to our best use - you kind of get into a bit of a rhythm after a year or two!  We also have a checklist that we run through when packing for the market so that we don’t miss anything.

Drift Trading Co’s Top Five Tips for Market Stall Presentation:

  1. Think about how you would want your products displayed in a shop – what would the shop look like? What kind of feel or image do you want to portray?
  2. Make sure your products are displayed at eye height and easy to access.  People like to pick products up and touch, feel, smell – that’s the difference between online shopping versus brick and mortar shops – it’s the experience.
  3. Add some greenery or dried flowers – make it feel welcoming and enticing.
  4. Make sure your prices are displayed and are easy to read – some people don’t like to ask how much things cost and will end up walking out if pricing is not displayed.
  5. Keep evolving – make sure you change things up every now and then – even if it’s just simple changes that keep it fresh and interesting.

 Thanks so much Lou (and Paul!) for sharing this with our TVM community! Find Drift Trading Co. at TVM this Sunday 1st July 2018 and at every other TVM.

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