Suitcase Rummage was established as a social enterprise offering emerging entrepreneurs an opportunity to sell out of a suitcase and test their goods before signing up to an established market. What began as a one-off event in 2010 is now an increasingly popular, regular market in Brisbane – and across the country.
I’m Daniele Constance, co-founder and director of Suitcase Rummage. We’re based primarily out of Brisbane.
Suitcase Rummage is a mini-scaled market aimed at supporting local artists, makers, collectors, and avid recyclers. I think the through line or common theme of my work has always been around identifying community needs or community issues and applying creative practices or tools to try and problem-solve them.
Because I spent a lot of my career working as a freelance or independent artist or practitioner, flexibility, and I think open, transparent communication, has been really important. So those are the things that I’ve tried to make sure that I do as a kind of manager of my business.
I get to choose and set my hours, I get to choose where I want to work from, so there’s a lot of flexibility and I think that’s one of the key things that I really value, and that I’m really grateful for running my own business.
Suitcase Rummage was created by Daniele Constance and Isabel Fitzgerald as an alternative to the traditional community market. They wanted to create a market that avoided mass-produced products and focused on local makers and artisans. The model was simple: provide insurance and space for a mini-market where entry-level entrepreneurs can sell locally-produced handmade and recycled products from a suitcase. It was hoped the public would vote with their dollars and the concept would help create conscious consumer habits.
When Brisbane City Council was looking for ways to activate public spaces, Suitcase Rummage put forward their idea. What was then considered a stand-alone event as part of Youth Week in 2010 has grown to be a regular mini-market in Australian east coast cities. Without a tent, table or rack in sight, the concept has proved popular with both the public and sellers. Over 150 vendors are regulars at rummages in Brisbane, and Suitcase Rummage is now also well established in Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra. Suitcase Rummage has also partnered with a number of festivals to spread their message across Australia.
At its heart, Suitcase Rummage is about enacting positive change in consumer behaviour, as it encourages making, creating, crafting, designing, recycling, up-cycling, swapping and bartering. With more things for sale and less for landfill, Suitcase Rummage provides a platform for creative ideas and initiatives to be planted, tested, nurtured and grown.
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