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September 25, 2021

A marketplace for the younger gen

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Photos & story Katie Grubb

The Byron Flea Market may be one of the least-known market spaces in the northern rivers, but it is one of the best – it encourages young up-and-coming entrepreneurs! 

Located at the YAC, Byron Youth Service (BYS) holds the event every second Saturday of the month to keep the local heart beating in Byron Bay.

It’s the only market of its kind in Australia, in that it is a youth-focused soft-entry marketplace where young people can practise entrepreneurship and gain work experience in event management, social media, digital payment systems, performance and retail.

Take Montana Taylor and Kalindi Lathouras, for example, aged 16 and 17, from Murwillumbah and Sleepy Hollow. Their stall was cranking last weekend with their ‘everything for $3’ low-cost high-sales strategy.

‘We live in rural areas that don’t have much going on,’ they said. ‘Byron has better vibes and we are making enough money to replace our part-time jobs.’

The youngest stallholder on the weekend was Yuying Bouwer with her brother Chungte, from Suffolk Park.

‘We have a toy shop and 50 per cent of our sales go to WIRES, a quarter for me, a quarter for my brother, and Mum gave us a small-business loan of $10 for the stall.’   

Ashley Ferguson, 20 years old, also held a stall called Cora Blue, which was all about recycling, upcycling and reducing plastic waste.

Ashley said that after doing a road trip, she ‘got stuck’ in Byron and loves that she can earn money doing a market stall while she is here.

It turns out the markets aren’t just good for our youth, but also people with working-holiday visas.

Upcoming events

In 2019, The YAC heartbeat will be even stronger with a series of happening events co-existing with the Flea Market. Byron Youth Service is also collaborating with the Byron Chamber of Commerce to launch the Byron Youth Chamber. To apply for a market stall at the December Byron Flea Markets visit www.bys.org.au ($10 if you are 20 and under, $20 for everyone else). Rumour has it that there are going to be free pony rides for everyone, fairies, and maybe a rainbow version of Santa.

Katie Grubb is from BYS.

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