In Haunt

Markets are often the place where the most exciting and innovative traders can be found, from quirky crafters to independents offering something delightfully different. This format of collaboration and creation allows many alternative creatives to shine, something that really matters not only to us here at Haunt, but as part of contributing to a diverse and rich culture.

Yet marketplaces have largely not been able to function in their usual physical form during the Covid-19 lockdown, meaning that many independent traders have faced difficult circumstances and significant loss of revenue. In response, and following on from our previous article 'Support alternative independent traders in Greater Manchester & beyond – celebrate creativity, shop online', Haunt Manchester has decided not only to join forces with sister site Haunt Bristol but also Bristol Goth and Alternative Market and its founder Amy Ruth (also the creator of Grimly Fiendish Crafts and featured in an earlier article here). The result? An exciting Online Alternative Facebook Market during the day of Saturday 27 June (5pm-late), featuring an array of Gothic and unusual delights! Anyone can browse, whether from Bristol, Manchester or further afield – and the online event page is here.

Banner design (below) by Lucy Simpson 

Online Market Designed By Lucy Simpson

This will be a bustling event featuring traders from all three networks… almost 30 unique creatives showcasing their items and opportunities to buy, with a dedicated time slot for each trader on the dedicated Facebook page, running from 5pm until late. Gothic inspired-artworks, interesting gift ideas, innovative crafts, stand-out jewellery and nature-inspired photography are just some examples of items likely to feature. This means alternative traders can connect with a wide audience at home, and some will be featuring offers and products especially for the event. 

It also marks an exciting debut collaboration for Haunt. After all, Bristol Goth and Alternative Market is one of the premier concepts of its kind, and founder Amy Ruth will be inviting a number of regulars to join the online event and share their offerings. Featuring everything from punk-inspired patches (Doompunk) to handcrafted ceramics (Weird and Wonderful Ceramics) and even darkly decadent brownies (Dark Matters), this is sure to cater to the widest interests; whether you are looking for a unique gift idea or just want to treat yourself to something different. 

Pictured below: examples of items from Grimly Fiendish Crafts, the Gothic craft business of Amy Ruth 

Grimly Fiendish Crafts

Amy was keen to comment on the exciting nature of this unique online collaboration:

“Due to Covid-19, many shops have closed, and markets, events and gigs have been cancelled. These are some of main sources of income for independents, and without them has been difficult for lots of us. Supporting small businesses, artists and musicians has many benefits, and while we are all getting used to new ways of daily living, it is also a great opportunity to get into the habit of shopping small.

“I'm very excited to be collaborating with Haunt Bristol/Haunt Manchester as it allows us to share the traders with a wider audience, and increase their potential customer reach. The Haunt team does great work in showcasing local spooky secrets, alternative artists and Gothic goings on, and I think it's a great match for Bristol Goth and Alternative Market.”

Other traders connected to Bristol Goth and Alternative Market who will be included are Smoke and Velvet, Hammer and Tongs, The Energy Witch, Poetic as Folk, Geist, Occult Box, Lois Goody Art, Domina Lunae Apothecary, Ash and Bone, Teja Jamilla and Grimly Fiendish Crafts. Nine Haunt Manchester network members will also feature in the market, and seven previously featured by Haunt Bristol.

Mary's Jewellery Bakery

One example from Haunt Manchester is Mary’s Jewellery Bakery (pictured above), the creation of artist and innovator Mary Sonia Tudor. A jewellery bakery? The evolution of this intriguing business has inspired the name, as Mary started out making tiny foods from polymer clay (many are available as jewellery items including noodles, croissants and even hot cross buns!) and has since expanded to feature a range of her handmade resin jewellery, eye-catching in its glittery effect. Necklaces, earrings, pendants, spinners and hair accessories are just some examples of items available, and Mary plans to develop silversmith pieces in the future.

Mary is also a long-standing member of the Haunt Manchester network, previously featuring at the Haunt Manchester Networking Fair during the Gothic Manchester Festival 2019 and in an independent traders article here. She reflected on her involvement in the upcoming online market:

"Obviously current times have been challenging for everyone, and we all had to find ways to adapt. Small businesses and traders have been affected most by the pandemic and subsequent lockdown, since we can't participate in our usual markets, and as a result many of us lost a significant portion of our income. As a trader, my income is what allows me to support other artists and artisans in my local community. When one of us thrives, we all do, the sales just snowball. By supporting a couple of traders, one would actually support, indirectly, their entire community.

“I'm excited to take part in an online market that includes Bristol traders, since this is likely the only opportunity we would have to "meet"! It's always nice to see what other communities' makes and markets are like, and it makes all of us feel more connected and more like a happy little goth family!

“Being involved with Haunt has been great since the very beginning! I've been able to meet lots of talented people and the support we offer each other as well as Haunt as a whole is great! It does sadden me that there won't be a physical market this year, but I hope that the sense of community and enthusiasm from last year's Haunt Manchester Fair will be brought to this online event!”

Pictured below: Unicorn Dreams by Michelle Shore, whose work will also feature in the Online Market 

Unicorn Dreams By Michelle Shore

Others featured from Haunt Manchester include Jane Samuels, Hotchpotchpanda, Hungry Dog Emporium of Curiosities, Michelle Shore, Kiku Corset Boutique, Paper&Blade, Earth Friendly Rocker, and Cabinet of Curious Creations (readers can learn more about them here) - and the latter also features in a Haunt article by Dr Sorcha Ní Fhlainn (Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies, Manchester Metropolitan University) as she reflects on the Gothic-inspired artwork of Cabinet of Curious Creations creator Hayley Shaw. Read it here. Haunt Manchester’s Academic Lead Dr Matt Foley (Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies, Manchester Metropolitan University), author of Haunting Modernisms, has also reflected on some of the work of Paper&Blade in this piece, which includes an interview with the artist Ange Shepherd. 

They will be joined by Haunt Bristol’s previously featured Dead Space Chamber Music, Florian Oscar Visual Artist, SLAB Jewellery, Casey Marie Tattoo, Misery Guts art, Lisa Rose Illustration and Black&Bone. According to Hannah of SLAB Jewellery:

“I'm super excited about this Bristol/Manchester collab. Both cities have such strong independent arts and music scenes, and supporting small traders at online events like this means that we'll be around in the future to keep the cities vibrant and exciting.”

Browse and enjoy the market for yourself on Saturday 27 June and stay tuned to the social media channels for more updates on times and offers!

Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/3564136443603124/

Bristol Goth and Alternative Market - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BristolGothMarket/https://www.instagram.com/bristolgothmarket/ 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bristolgothmarket/?hl=en

Haunt Manchester - https://www.visitmanchester.com/ideas-and-inspiration/haunt-manchester, Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hauntMCR/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/hauntMCR, Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hauntmcr/

By Emily Oldfield 

Image credits/names of artists in the captions 

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