Page 19 - MarketTimesAugust2016
P. 19

  Gemma Lloyd recently launched Love Art, an arty business which switches between art classes and a tiny art gallery
 l Market days: Monday to Sunday, with evening opening on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays
l Market rents: From £80 to £300 a week
l Tooting’s claim to fame: Like many South London suburbs, Tooting developed in the late Victorian period and is now most famous as the home of the new London Mayor Sadiq Khan who grew up in Tooting. It featured in the BBC Comedy Citizen Smith. Woolfie Smith was leader of the fictional revolutionary socialist Tooting Popular Front. His rallying call was “Freedom for Tooting”.
It’s a tiny unit so they sell small prints, mainly by local artists, as well as arty, crafty gifts. Then on Thursdays and Saturdays they take down the stock and run an art class for children and adults.
As well as art, there has been an influx of vintage, including the intriguingly named My Old Girl and Me, which specialises in recycled and up-cycled items as well as hand made cushions, vintage crockery and small pieces of furniture.
Sonia Reains said: “I actually run the business with my husband’s ex, Hazel Parker. We are good friends and after four months we are doing well here.”
The colour and sparkle of her business reflects the spirit of optimism and spark that characterises the new-look Tooting market.
As for the future, it is looking good, according to Roi, who is looking to improve the front of the market where many of the longer-established traders stand.
Sonia Reains is the colourful character behind My Old Girl and Me, selling vintage, recycled and upcycled products, a business she runs with her husband’s ex
The emphasis will be on helping them to improve their businesses by making their displays more attractive, which should boost the market and traders’ takings.
In addition, the market will soon have its own restaurant, which should make a big difference to footfall.
Work will start this year on a ground and first floor restaurant covering 60,000 sq ft, with the entrance behind the butchers.
Then there is Marketsnapp, hailed as the UK’s first online retail platform for market traders designed by Roi and his team.
Most of the traders at Tooting have signed up with Marketsnapp, Roi’s brainchild, which provides a platform where market traders can showcase their goods collectively, and shoppers can browse what’s on offer on their local markets from the comfort of their own home.
So it’s all change in Tooting, with the market at the heart of things.

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