I was fortunate to have a coffee with them after their most recent markets earlier this year to ask them how everything was going and what we could look forward to over the coming months.
Did you know that the Cherry Blossom tree is one of the most popular symbols of good luck in the Japanese tradition? It is said that the tree evokes a positive response in anyone who tries to associate themselves with the any aspect of the Cherry Blossom Tree.
How did the name 'Cherry Blossom Markets' come about?
Todd has loved the sight of the tree around Newcastle for a long time and loves the origin and meaning behind the Cherry Blossom Tree. Both Todd and Lynne wanted something feminine, pretty and special for their market and when Todd mentioned the Cherry Blossom Tree it was the name that they had been looking for all this time.
What was your inspiration for starting these markets?
Todd wanted to start this market primarily for his wife ~ as some of you may know Lynne owns 'The Little Pink Owl' and it was her crafts that he wanted to feature. Once they started talking to other like minded people they found that there was a real niche for their markets and so the wheels were put in motion.
Now if glance back at their logo at the top of this post you will notice that there is a butterfly just above the 'Cherry' on the main heading - this is symbolic of Todd's dad who passed away 15 years ago (but who still holds a very special place in their hearts and thoughts) - and 6 butterflies around the tree which symbolises every member of their family. The Cherry Blossom Markets are more than just markets to Todd and Lynne, it represents what is important to them and that is family.
What makes the 'Cherry Blossom Markets' unique?
Lynne want a market that had a 'family feel' to it... one where a family could come together and there would be something that would interest everyone. They are both adamant that they want it to be an affordable market with lots of parking and pram accessible areas. Todd and Lynne are aiming for a 'family feel' amongst their stall holders as well and want it to be one where all stallholders will look out for each other. They said they both felt that they are already seeing this in the last few markets.
Can you tell us a little bit about the people behind the 'Cherry Blossom Markets'?
Todd and Lynne are a vivacious couple who are parents to 4 children. Lynne describes Todd as 'having the gift of the gab' while Todd describes Lynne as a 'great wife and mother who is very talented with craft things'.
How have the markets gone so far and how many stalls have you had?
Todd felt that previous markets had gone well (and not having rain at the most recent markets has helped) but they have also re-evaluated where they have placed stalls and main thoroughfare after their first markets in February (when it rained all week prior and on the morning of the markets). The new layout has meant that the flow of people has moved well and they also created a 'food court' which helped bring people together for a rest and something delicious to eat.
|Ruby the Clown in action|
Lynne felt that the ATM organised for their March markets was extremely popular and I for one, was very impressed (I never seem to have enough cash in my wallet)!
With over 115 market stalls at the March markets and plenty more planned in the coming ones, there seems to be something for everyone.
What's next for the Cherry Blossom Markets?
Todd and Lynne are both very excited about what is planned next for their markets including book launches by Lollypop reading, shaded areas for people to sit down and relax, music and buskers and more husband and kid friendly activities. There are also twilight markets planned later this year and market charity days.
I can't reveal too much of their plans but I for one know my husband is going to be very keen to come to some upcoming markets with me and my boys are going to be busy with their hands.
When, where and what time is your next market? How can we find out more?
The Cherry Blossom Markets are at the Newcastle Harness Racing Club (behind the Knights Stadium) on the 2nd Saturday of each month from 9am until 2pm. You can find more details on their Facebook page and website (currently under construction) as well as e-mailling them at
Now as you know, Sweet Little Birdy is having quite a few sales in the lead up to Mother's Day, and here is the best one... 10% of all products at Sweet Little Birdy this Saturday 12th May 2012! Plus there is an extra special present for your mum with all purchases bought on the day. So head to the Cherry Blossom Markets this Saturday to buy some great products for your mother... and a few for yourself!