The Sunday market on Brick Lane in Shoreditch is bursting with creative energy. Every week, this vibrant part on London swarms with a diverse crowd of traders, avid collectors and intrigued shoppers as the surrounding warehouses are transformed into vintage wonderlands and world food markets. Each Sunday over 100 stalls pop up all over the 11 acre site selling everything from records and vintage frocks to cameras and cupcakes.
In The Backyard Market, dedicated to an eclectic mix of handmade products, is JoBo Boutique, run by Jo Hobden who sits serenely amongst the bustling crowd using her stand as a prop to help her make an intricately detailed leather beaded bracelet.
She has bought a beautiful collection of handmade ethnic jewellery to sell at the market, much of which she made herself and the rest she had carefully sourced from across the world. She has just come back from trips to South America and India where she explained she had been adding to her unique assembly with 3 inch feather earrings and hand-etched metal cuffs. Her own pieces she describes as “handmade with love using healing crystals, hand beaten brass from India and silver beads.”
Jo splits her time between Goa, where she trades during the Christmas period and London where she returns for the summer months. She added: “Then I do a bit of travelling in between to find interesting things.”
She believes Brick Lane is the right place to sell her work:“Last year I was trading in Camden, a little bit, but I much prefer Brick Lane because everyone’s so friendly and it’s [full of] creative people so they are more aware of handmade and they get it.”
She continued: “Camden, although it is supposed to be a sort of crafty market a lot of it isn’t [handmade], and it’s difficult because there’s so much there a lot of it gets filtered out and people can’t see the rubbish from the good stuff.”
The appeal of Brick Lane market, for traders and shoppers alike, is not just the array of fascinating goods for sale but also the vibrant atmosphere. Jo adds: “The people are so nice.” She explains how welcome the other traders made her feel, and describes the close relationship between them all, claiming, “It’s like a little community.” After the market closes they all socialise in the many local pubs and bars.
Jo will based in The Backyard Market every Sunday over the summer apart from a few weeks when she will be off selling her creations at festivals.
By Louisa Plumstead