Page 39 - MarketTimesFebruary2020
P. 39

FEATURE • SPITALFIELDS England cricketer turned fashion designer
whose trendy designs sell for hundreds of pounds.
Each trader seems to have his or her own back story and almost every line is quirky and unique. Among the many characters is Pamela Kikumu who is 88 yet still stands the market selling the colourful hats and fascinators she makes herself under the brand Pamella’s Designs, alongside costume jewellery.
The daughter of professional singers and the sister of a famous violinist, Pamela was a burlesque dancer performing across Europe and beyond before training as a milliner.
“I am happy on this market and I have no plans to retire quite yet,” she said.
Foxy, as he is universally known on the market, runs X-Ray Fox selling silk screen, hand printed t-shirts, each with a different theme, a witty slant and a hidden message sewn into the hem.
Then there is Kazhal Shirees, a Kurd who escaped the genocide of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq to find a new life in London.
Ray well remembers the day she begged him to give her a market pitch to sell her beautiful jewellery sourced from the Middle East. She has made such a success of the business she has been able to support her three nieces who now have high-flying careers thanks to her kind heart.
Kazhal said: “I was a chemistry teacher
in Iraq but I only earned £1 a month.” So she began making and selling jewellery to earn a living which gave her the confidence to launch her own business in the UK when Ray offered her that lifeline.
Spitalfields has a strong green ethos and that is reflected in the market businesses. A good example is Vittoria Maria Scala’s business called Lost in Samsara. Vittoria left a career in London’s foreign exchange to run the business with a friend specialising in Fair Trade items and bags made from recycled tyres and even an old cement bag.
And Vishal Jain was fast tracked on to the market recently to launch his business called Plastic Free Living. Ironically he had spent the previous 10 years working for a US company selling plastic products such as lunch boxes into the UK market.
Georgina Millington-Brown, CBRE’s operations manager, said traders all shared the team’s passion for sustainability. There is a recycling unit in the basement which has helped the company achieve zero waste to landfill.
Georgina said: “We have achieved a 94 per cent recycling rate and the remaining six per cent goes to RDF — Refuse Derived Fuel.
In addition, CBRE recently invested in 1,000 reusable containers for the street food vendors who the street outside.
In addition to the market, CBRE runs community and charitable events as part of
its role as a community asset. These include regular tea dances staged in the events space for older people who live nearby. The market also holds an annual art exhibition for a charity that encourages homeless people to create art work.
Spitalfields may be a trendy destination for arty, creative folk and visitors to the capital, but it is also a community and events hub where the two markets create the glue that seals its disparate elements.
  Vishal Jain has turned his back on a successful 10-year career working for an American company selling plastic products to set up Plastic Free Living on the market selling non-plastic alternatives
l Market Day: Mondays to Sundays
l Market Rent: £25 from Monday to Wednesday, £30 for Thursday and Friday, £65 on Saturdays and £80 on Sundays
l Spitalfields claim to fame: Located in the heart of the East End, Spitalfields is a bright and buzzing hub that is home to creative types and a large Bangladeshi community. It takes its name from the hospital and priory,
St Mary’s Spital founded in 1197. The Victorian Grade I listed market built in 1897 was once one of the capital’s main fruit and veg wholesale markets before traffic congestion forced its relocation to East London’s Temple Mills, where it was reincarnated as New Spitalfields Market.
 Maria Vittoria Scala used to work in the nearby foreign exchange but changed direction three years ago to run Lost in Samsara with a friend. The market business specialises in Fair Trade products and recycled items such as bags made from old tyres and even old cement bags
Kazhal Shirees fled the genocide meted out by Saddam Hussein to the Kurds and begged Ray to allow her to sell jewellery on the market. Her business has thrived and enabled her to support her nieces who now have top-flight careers

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