Meet The Makers (And New Owners!)


The local community was saddened earlier this year by the passing of Handmade in the Hunter Markets founder Karen Rowe, who had dedicated more than ten years to creating and growing a local market that was not only unique but a firm favourite of both locals and visitors to the area.

 

Determined to continue the legacy that Karen created, new market owners Jan and Anna Mikula bring years of stallholder experience and a can-do attitude to the table.


Hi Jan! Can you please introduce yourselves and tell us what your association has been with the Handmade in the Hunter Markets?

My wife Anna and I have been with Handmade in the Hunter Markets for nearly four years – running our stall - Beenatree Creations. My background has been in sales for the last 20 years, and Anna is a nurse/midwife, which she’s done for over 25 years. We’ve lived and worked in the Hunter region during this time and absolutely love the area and the lifestyle.


Can you tell us a little about the markets and what makes them unique?

Since we started running our stall, we've done many markets, but we’ve only done Handmade in the Hunter full time for the last two years. It’s a special market because everything is handmade by the stall holders, and we don’t have several stall holders selling the same thing. It’s a ‘one off’ market. This means we are smaller than the others, but there is a great community feel to it that is sometimes lost in a larger market. All of the stall holders get along and know each other – it’s like a market family!


What made you decide to take the plunge from stallholders to market owners?

Unfortunately, the previous owner Karen passed away in March this year, and the thought was that the markets would finish even though they have been running for over ten years. So we put our hand up to purchase the markets and take over running them. The purchase has just been finalised, and we are now the new owners. The market is so unique, and the stallholders are such a wonderful group that we wanted to make sure that something this special wasn’t lost.


What are your plans for the markets going forward?

Like most things, change can be a scary thing, but with hard work and the support of our amazing stall holders, we know that we can continue the work done by Karen and take steps to make it grow and the partnership with our hosts, Sobels Wines, is an integral part of that. They have provided a perfect place for visitors to come and see what our stallholders make. We look forward to the future and the challenges that will come.

 

Visit the Handmade in the Hunter Markets every Saturday from 9am-2pm at Sobels Wines on the

corner of Broke Road and Halls Road, Pokolbin. Check their socials for cancellations and additional dates.

 

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