The Gold Coast has long been known as Queensland’s glitter strip, but take a lazy Sunday stroll through The Village Markets at Burleigh Heads and you’ll get a very different view.
On the first and third Sunday of every month, the local state school is transformed into a marketplace with a perfectly chilled festival vibe. While the ubiquitous rows of stalls and food vans seem familiar at first glance, it’s soon obvious that TVM, as locals call it, is no ordinary market.
Founded in 2008 by budding entrepreneurs Marissa Bowden and Sarah Schoeller, this boutique fashion and lifestyle market showcases the work of local emerging designers, creatives and collectors. Clearly word gets around, because the markets are already busy just minutes past the 8.30am opening time.
The Weiner Haus, Hell’s Pocket and other retro vans are already doing a cracking trade, adding their sizzling street food flavour to the markets.
“These are too good, you have to have one,” one market goer says between mouthfuls of German sausage. Like most people here, he has an edgy style that falls somewhere between hippy and hipster.
The market-going fashionistas, many with boho babies and toddlers in tow, blend seamlessly with the artfully presented stalls offering unique fashion, accessories, art, stationary, homewares, vintage wares and even up-cycled furniture.
“There’s such a community feel and people are really positive about your work,” one stall owner says, adjusting her stunningly quirky jewelry pieces.
The tunes of a local musician drift across the stalls, drawing marketgoers towards the shade of the giant fig trees, where they kick back with their favourite street food and soak up the Sunday vibe.
The low-key muso stage is set up near a small play area, which means parents can take time out while their kids are happily occupied and always in sight. While it’s the perfect place to relax, the tolerant crowd tends to laugh and shrug when the occasional toddler invades their space.
Meanwhile, under the long sheltered walkway between classrooms, the monthly pre-loved designer and vintage rack sales are in full swing, as marketgoers avidly search for that elusive vintage gem.
“This is the best market anywhere on the coast,” one local says, her hand resting on a fringed suede jacket on the rack. “You just don’t get this quality and great energy at other markets.”
It’s no surprise then that TVM was named as Gold Coast’s Best Market in this year’s Gold Coast Bulletin poll. It really is the perfect way to spend a lazy Sunday morning on the coast. No bling required.