Auckland Art & Craft Fair

| June 11, 2014 | 0 Comments

I really do love a good market. Whether it’s selling food, antiques or art and craft there is something quite therapeutic about wandering around, looking for that bargain, an awesome old gem or a unique hand crafted item.

The Auckland Art & Craft Fair is the bonanza of markets and it is filled to the brim with “independent and contemporary Designers, Artists & Crafters” who compete for the honour of being selected to sell at this twice a year event.

Auckland Art & Craft Fair

The brain child of Jessica Whiting and Kylie Richardson, the Fair has been running since 2010 and has gained momentum with each event.

I haven’t met Jessica Whiting in real life but have been a long time follower of her many guises, including Bam Bam Creative and Foxes. I have been a little in awe of her abilities as a designer and market organiser having previously run Silo Park markets, First Thursdays craft market and the We Can Create designers market, not to mention she is holding down a full-time job in Social Media AND is also a single mum.

With the next market coming up this month we got together with Jessica for a quick fire interview to see what makes her tick:

Jessica Whiting

1. Describe what you do.

By day I’m a busy Account Manager for a totally rad, independent creative agency, and by night, I plan things like the Auckland Art & Craft Fair with my best friend (Kylie Richardson) and write for my own blog –

2. How did you get to where you are today?

A lot of learning things the hard way and forging my own road, finding opportunity where I could and if it wasn’t available, creating my own opportunities to gain experience.

3. What were the circumstances that led you to start the Fair?

When I was studying graphic design in 2009, I met Kylie and we wanted to set up some kind of market but there was already lots around. We both made and sold at local markets but wanted something bigger and busier for our peers, something that was different and not available in Auckland. That’s when we decided, why not organise our own! We make it twice a year so we can spend lots of time marketing and making it a quality event with all our little details.

Auckland Art & Craft Fair Auckland Art & Craft Fair

4. What is the hardest part of organising such a large event?

Managing all the people that are involved, it’s a huge process and one that I could never do alone. Kylie and I are both very organised people, we have some great systems in place so that nothing gets dropped. Keeping track of everything can often be the hardest, but by now, we are quite a well oiled machine!

5. What is the biggest lesson you have learnt?

Working with your best friend can be the most awesome, and testing thing on the planet at times, it is however the most fun and rewarding!

6. What/who/where do you draw inspiration from?

In my design/blogging work I’m inspired by people who do their own thing and are true to what they love. I’m not a huge trend follower (unless it’s something I genuinely would like anyhow) so I really like it when people create their own style in whatever they do, be it clothing, design, food; anything! I can hand on heart say that almost everyone around me knows what they like, and what they don’t and I think that’s very inspiring.

Auckland Art & Craft Fair Auckland Art & Craft Fair

7. What person do you really rely on for support and encouragement in life?

My Mum! Seriously, I’d be lost without my Mum.

8. What are you most grateful for?

How my life has turned out. It’s very different to what I had imagined as a teenager! But I feel very lucky and still pinch myself every now and then because this is my life, I get to do cool stuff every day! Can’t complain about that, right?

9. What’s one piece of advice you would give your younger self?

Gosh, probably that when everything feels like it’s all going wrong and life seems so flippin unfair, give it time and you’ll see why things might not have worked out. Everything happens for a reason! Sometimes paths change and you’ll understand later. That, and yes, Shannon Doherty in 90210 was an excellent first style icon choice, well done.

10. What is your wish for the future, personally and professionally?

Because the space between my professional and personal life is such a slither, they cross over a lot! All I could wish for is that I get to keep doing what I’m doing. Keep being creative, meeting inspiring people and growing what I’ve worked hard to establish.

Bonus question

Top 3 reasons why people should go to the Fair?

To buy from local, independent, creative people, to help support this amazing industry of entrepreneurs and find those amazing things that you’ll love forever.


Saturday 28th June 2014
11am to 3pm
Aotea Centre, Auckland Central
Entry: $2 per person (Children under 12 free)

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