I love markets. Randomly poking about stalls in search of ‘treasure’. I love the social end of things. Chatting to stallholders, haggling over items, perusing boxes of books and records in search of lost gems. The only thing better than a market is one geared to my darker tastes. So when I heard about the Alternative Christmas Market in On The Rox, Coke Lane, Smithfield, I put the date in my diary and made sure to attend.
On entering the club, which is situated upstairs, I could see that it was packed with shopping and socialising Goths, while suitably dark music played in the background. After a quick bit of chat with some familiar faces, my daughter and I set to perusing the many stalls. I was surprised by how many stalls fitted into the small club, offering a cornucopia of delightfully desirable treasures. Everything from vinyl records to wigs were on offer and my only problem was deciding what was going to part me from my hard-earned cash.
Babydoll Boutique, which I mentioned in a previous post, had a stall offering beautiful bags, gorgeous cardigans with spooky motifs and other items. I had bought one of these cardi’s for Christmas so I passed on purchasing today….but will be back in January if there’s a sale!
Also present was Anna from Rock And Roll Wedding Photography, offering wedding and other occasional photography with an alternative edge. Nice to know there’s somebody out there who will cater to those who want something a little different. One to keep in mind.
The Crafty Fox, purveyor of bespoke and couture millinery offered an amazing line of hats and fascinators with designer, Sinead Giblin sporting a yellow top hat the Mad Hatter would have envied.
If you’re looking to ‘clean up your act’, Soap Pretty had just the items for you. ‘Zombie Scrub’ for removing dead skin (figures!), Wolfman beard balm (for the werewolf in your life) and Countess Bathory blood red soap were just some of the bath-time delights on offer.
Following our noses, we next found ourselves at the stall belonging to Sarah’s Boutique. Their range of candles, incense burners, scented waxes and more were a delight for the senses and seemed to be selling well. Perfect for filling your home with yummy smells.
Also at the market was Emerald Wig Emporium, offering wigs in an array of fabulous styles and colours. I was quite taken by a long wavy wig in a pale turquoise. But alas, I’m not that adventurous….yet. Maybe another time.
On reaching In The Horrors’ stall, we found ourselves lingering. Myself over the choice of horror movie inspired jewellery, my daughter over the ‘Freaky Felt Friends’, little felt toys who all carried their own story written in a little pocket. Daughter chose Delphine the octopus who, according to her story, loves to dance and her favourite hobbies are kayaking, yoga and woodwork. Adorable!
I treated myself to a pair of Frankenstein’s Monster/Bride of Frankenstein earrings. The perfect complement to my horror-inspired cardigan from Babydoll. In The Horrors also offered bookmarks, mini-posters, cufflinks and coasters. Cool, nerdy and fun.
As with many markets, there were several stalls offering jewellery of different descriptions. Glitter and Trauma, Under My Skin and another stall who’s name I can’t remember (sorry!) had plenty of gorgeous Gothic pieces to choose from so we were quite spoiled for choice. Personally, I love ‘shiny things’ and was only prevented from blowing my budget on bling by my more level-headed daughter. Must take her shopping with me more often.
For the more aurally-inclined, Into The Void records offered cd’s, tapes and vinyl at great prices while in another corner, there was a stall selling back issue comic books from just one euro. Sorry guys, didn’t get your name.
Cute and Creepy had some gorgeous Nightmare Before Christmas items including Christmas baubles and cookies. I bought two baubles but sadly, only one survived the journey. Darling daughter sat on the bag!
Nuada Design offered beautiful artwork and prints. A perfect gift for the art-lover in your life or for something to add to your own home. Another stall sold art prints and pen/ink pieces so there was a great range of choice if you wanted something visual.
Deithrick Design, based in Wicklow sold handmade wooden chopping/serving boards, wine bottle holders and other gift items. A great opportunity to buy Irish and get something handcrafted for the home or as a gift.
Also present was TwoHeadedDog Art with a wonderful range of artwork made from recycled items. I always love to see discarded items being given new life in another shape or form.
Once we were shopped out, it was time to retire to the bar at the back of the club and chill out with a drink. We really enjoyed the atmosphere at the market and everybody was friendly and nice to talk to. I’d found it interesting that so many stallholders had travelled from all over Ireland to be there. Well done to the organisers for co-ordinating the whole thing. It was a really nice relaxed afternoon away from the madness of the main street shops and I hope it will be a regular thing in the future.
PS: If I missed out any vendors and you wish to be included in this blog, just drop a line to refresh my memory and I will add you in.