the Rare Brand Market
returns to Goodwood Racecourse
Thursday 13th to Saturday 15th November
When one meets the vivacious Emma Schwarz, the founder of the Rare Brand Market, as we did in August, the first thing that strikes you is her enthusiasm and passion for whatever project she is involved with.
In fact we talked less about the coming Christmas Market and more about Emma’s original conception of the Rare Brand idea and about a book she has just finished. It is called ‘Food with Stories… the Rare Brand Market Cookbook volume 1’ and is the first of a series celebrating British independent food producers, some of whom are exhibitors at the coming Christmas fair. A self-confessed foodie, Emma realised at a Rare Brand Christmas Market that people really like some recipe inspiration when buying new food ingredients and rare products. Hence the book. You will be able to read a review of it in the next issue of ingénu/e.
A few years ago, Emma tells us, having left London where she’d been working in retail, she had been shopping locally for Christmas presents and experienced mounting disappointment at not being able to find things that were refreshing and unusual, things that others were unlikely to have. “I was just so bored of the high street. I would walk around the shops and about 10 per cent of what I found would impress me. It was all the same and the majority of it was run by big brands. And I thought, if I’m looking for something refreshing then I know others are too.”
She realised then that there was a market for a new shopping experience – one where surprising, unusual and quality items could be found from independents as opposed to the ‘corporate chain’ shopping experience. The Rare Brand Market concept was thus born. Emma recounts to us her fond memories of shopping with her mother, a varied and interesting experience, where things bought were being bought from ‘real’ people in the High Street, not the chain stores that now dominate most town centres.
There was one big rule that Emma introduced from the beginning; the brands have to be rare – in the words of Wikipedia they have to be “not widely known and valued for their uncommonness”. The Rare Brand concept also includes the interaction between sellers and buyers where shoppers can actually meet and discuss things with the sellers and vice versa. Emma tells us that another of her purposes for the Rare Brand market is to help promote emerging small brands, whether it be jewellery, clothing, art, crafts, food, beverages or even services, just so long as they make stunningly gorgeous gifts.
As a foodie and coffee fanatic Emma always ensures decent coffee is available along with great on-site options for patisserie, brunch, lunch or afternoon tea! This year she has invited the executive chef of The Kennels to design a scrumptious menu.
The markets run between two to four per year and this December sees the Rare Brand Market return to Goodwood on 13th to 15th November. Emma also has personal philosophy of giving back, sharing one’s good fortune. And so a proportion of profits from the fair are being donated to Winston’s Wish.
Go to www.therarebrandmarket.co.uk for more information.