That Time I Started A Market

This time last year I was chatting idly with a new, very good friend about how cool a new market in Waterford would be, that would be looked forward to as a day out, that would be accessible for everyone. In all honesty I was completely dismissive of her following suggestion – “you could do that! Why don’t you start one?”. Thankfully she is an amazing builder of confidence in people, the likes I’ve never seen, and I couldn’t get the idea out of my head. The following week I said “fuck it, I’ll give it a go!” and the Copper Coast Market was born! One year on and we have a 25 strong regular list of food, crafts. art, design and more traders with an equally as long waiting list, and have had great success with each event success since our first event in May 2019. Most importantly, I’ve made connections and wonderful friendships with the most bad-ass group of talented local small-business women who lift each other up, listen, talk and support each other. It is AMAZING and my favourite part of all of this!

So back to how this happened. The first thing I did was pick the name and set up the social media accounts on Instagram and Facebook then put the feelers out through some connections I had with local food businesses and people who traded regularly on the market scene. I was thrilled that people were interested and excited even though none of us really knew what it was going to be just yet – other than a new market. I decided that once a month to run would be ideal – giving plenty time for traders and customers to look forward to it and prepare.

My budget was zero. I’m a full time mature student and just didn’t have the funds for the insurance (luckily the insurance company worked with me on this) or advertising so this left it down to a few posters printed on my home printer, and a lot of hope on organic advertising on the ole social meeja. I had fantastic support from friends, my partner Eoin and family to get things done. We used what we had and up-cycled an old headboard for our sign, we made pompom garlands, I got some upholstery scraps from a lovely lady I took a sewing class with and made bunting.


Over the weeks, I practically stalked local creators on Insta and chatted and encouraged and advertised and received enquiries. I took advice I liked, I ignored advice I didn’t like. I eyed every possible location in Waterford but kept coming back to one which I pass every day in Tramore – ChiaBia and Bia+Brew. I worked up the nerve to approach them through email, and later that week I met with Claire and Barrie who were so supportive and open to my ideas. A few weeks later, we had our first event on Sunday the 26th of May 2019. We had some minor hiccups, parking being one, but we worked through them and learned – we are still learning.


What we were not prepared for were the crowds that came in their droves. It really showed how supportive the communities of Tramore and Waterford are and it blew us all away (kind of like the wind almost did at the second market but we won’t go there! We still got crowds though 😉 ). Our name was out there and we had interest and features from the local newspapers and radio. When I look at it now it’s not a surprise. We had lots of new businesses starting out with us who’s wares are unique, creative and so bloody super cool! And we had some seasoned market legends in our midst too.

We ran our Spring/Summer markets last year on the last Sunday of the month from May to August at the ChiaBia site in Tramore, and we had a spooky Halloween Night market in October at the stables at Annestown House on the Copper Coast which was a scream! We were delighted to be a part of the Harvest Festival and Winterval 2019 thanks to the LEO who saw what we were doing and were very encouraging.  We were the featured market as part of Tramore Christmas Festival in December also which was incredible! There are some exciting plans for 2020, our second year so keep an eye out, we will be back in late spring 😉 .

It’s a lot of work but I love it. I absolutely adore Copper Coast Market and everyone involved and the support means the world to me. It’s opened many doors for both myself and some of the traders and it’s taken on a life of its own. I’m so grateful for everything that has come from it – the support, the learning, the opportunities, the personal growth, the friendships.

Here are some of the mega-talented traders I’m thrilled and lucky to know and work with and deserve shout outs:

Ashling Donnelly Photography occasion & landscape photography
Aishwarya’s Patisserie & South Indian Street Food french style patisserie & South Indian Street Food
Azzurro Wood Fire Pizza hand crafted , wood fired pizzas
Bear Grillz Street Food gourmet burgers & fries
Bespoke Button Designs handmade gift frames & keepsake boxes
Boho Dreams Studio handmade polymer jewellery
Cementique handmade geometric style cement pots & plants
Dark City Hippy vintage designer clothing & statement pieces
Freezin Freisian hand rolled ice-cream & frozen yogurt
Funkiture Sue Retrostyle vintage style handmade home decor & vegan treats
Golden Stitch Designs hand-dyed, hand-spun & hand-woven tapestry weaves & workshops
Huggable Home colourful hand- knitted & crocheted home decor & clothing
Jac’s Sassy Pots & Plates self love & feminist art on ceramics
Kilfarrasy Soap Co. natural handmade vegan soaps
Lazer Steak retro video-game & movie T- shirts & more
Lisa Keane Art beautiful paintings of recognisable Waterford places
Love Tramore Tramore themed design home-ware & stationery
Outright Promotions specialised hot drinks & sweet treats
PhatPoly funky & kitsch handmade polymer jewellery
Polly&Andy super soft bamboo socks
Rocky Valley Rocks hand-painted decorative rocks & jars
Sapana’s Kitchen vegan & vegetarian Indian food
Tacos Don Ron authentic Mexican street food
The Crepes Station sweet and savoury crepes
The Famous Black Velvet handmade reclaimed copper jewellery & handmade soaps
Trá Coffee Roasters locally roasted small batch specialty coffee
Youme zero waste groceries & reusable products

I can’t wait to jump back into market season with this amazing bunch!

See you in late Spring,


Emma x


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