Rotary Club of Forest Hill

TRADER OF THE MONTH

The Earthfive leatherworks stall is operated by Peter Davies who has been a leatherworker since 1969, with a few years in between as a graphic designer.

Peter was telling me, between making made to measure belts for three different customers, that he started his leather journey when he made himself a bag from a goatskin in Kabul in 1969.   He was travelling overland from the UK to Australia and wanted to replace the shoulder bag he had.   So, he made one!   He then made a few more for friends.   When he arrived back in Melbourne an old friend heard about his bag making in Kabul and handed him a couple of hides he no longer needed and suddenly this became EARTH Leatherworks in Glenferrie road, Earth ll in London when he started travelling again and Earth Three in New York when he moved there.   Returning to Australia he had a big workshop employing 10 staff.   Now he is on Earthfive.

He has been coming to our Blackburn market for more than 4 years.   Peter makes shoes, sandals, handbags, purses, wallets, wrist warmers, glasses cases, three legged stools, you name it.   He has made leather thigh length boots and helmets for films and the theatre.   He will quote on any repairs.   He takes credit cards and you can use PayPal.   Come and see him at the Blackburn Market or Cockatoo, Mulgrave, or Belgrave markets.  

Contact him via his website www.earthfive.com.au  by email peter@earthfive.com.au or 0425 713 889

PREVIOUS TRADERS OF THE MONTH

The Calabro stall is operated by Josie and Paul.   They have been coming to the Blackburn market for more than 5 years.   They live locally in Knox but also Paul lives a lot of his time on the Calabro Olive Grove at Toolleen near Heathcote where they have been growing olives on 87 acres for more than 20 years.   Josie and Paul have run fruit shops locally all their lives including one in Blackburn.   When they decided to retire 5 years ago they thought they’d have a hobby of continuing selling their cold pressed olive oil, marinated olives, tapenade, chillie jam etc.  This has grown to having a stall at local markets every Saturday and Sunday in the year!

They originally came from Calabria.  She was only 21 when she came over here by boat in 1971 with two young children and Paul.   They now have a grown up family of four.   Paul is 76 and uses some help to pick their olives.   He told me they grow many varieties including Frantoio, Calamata, Manzanilla.   Their products are all natural with no added chemicals or preservatives and you can always buy their raw olives and have a go at marinating them yourself.   All the tome I talked to them they were either serving customers or cutting each one of their raw olives which they later soak in salt to cure them before marinating.   Their hands were busy the whole time.    They can be contacted on 0488 227 411.

PREVIOUS TRADERS OF THE MONTH

Mast Gully Nursery stall is operated by Jenny Lee.   She has been part of the Blackburn Craft Market for over 20 years, about 5 years after she started her business on 5 acres of land Upwey.  Jenny runs a wholesale flower business during the week but at weekends you’ll find her at markets selling plants.   She goes to six different markets including Rotary markets at Nunawading, Doncaster and Warrandyte.   The plants started as a hobby which soon grew into a business.   She has a large variety of potted plants but specialises in helibores and would love to talk to you at the market about her passion for her self propagated plants which probably accounts for half her stock with the other half coming from nurseries in the Monbulk area.   Just recently she has downsized her block though keeps the same number of plants for sale.   While Spring may be her busiest time as people start to think about what new plants they’ll plant out, Jenny says she’s pretty busy throughout the year.   She is thrilled with the new Blackburn Craft Market setup so come and see her next to the rotunda and perhaps listen to jazz at the same time.   You can always contact her at donallan@bigpond.com


bellburn crafts stall is the brainchild of Shelagh Black.   Shelagh, a local Blackburn resident, sells hand made cards, items for baby that she has personally made and when the weather turns cooler, her knitted clothes.   She has made all the items she sells and has had a Blackburn market stall for 8 months.  Shelagh started making things for her granddaughter (now 14 months old), including bibs, nappy holders, change mats, baby wear etc.   She made many more than her granddaughter could use so had the great idea that others could benefit from her skills rather than just her granddaughter, hence the craft stall.  Her granddaughter continues to be the “testing ground” for her new products so expect the range to increase as granddaughter gets older.   As she makes everything herself, if you like something but not the colour or it is the wrong size, well she will make it for you.   How’s that for service.   Shelagh has a stall at a number of markets including two other Rotary ones, Hawthorn Makers Market (1st Sunday), and Waverley Market (2nd Sunday).   Good news is that she takes Visa & Mastercard.

Jenny’s Cards stall has been a regular feature of our Saturday Blackburn Market for over 9 years.   Jenny, a Box Hill resident, sells her own original hand painted cards in a range of sizes and her hand painted water colour framed paintings.   The cards are 2 for $7 and 3 for $6 depending on the size and the framed paintings range from $18 to $70.   Jenny also sells papercraft cards which uses lots of recycled materials like cloth offcuts and chocolate wrappers and sells kits for $2.50 containing some cards and loads of cutouts so children can make their own cards.   

She started painting 12 years ago as a therapy because of her depression without showing any prior artistic skill and soon showed a great aptitude for water colours.   She has been taking lessons until recently (as you can see from her skills, she should be giving lessons!).   Jenny only attends one other market a month, the East Ringwood Community market on the 1st Saturday of the month.   She told me that last year she sold 1,200 cards and 59 paintings.   We would suggest you look her up next time you attend the Blackburn Market.   Her cards and paintings are seriously good and very well priced.