Stallholder Interview Series – Happy Pockets
Surry Hills Vintage Market, Stallholder Interview Series.
Today we’re talking to Gilda from Happy Pockets and Richard, who’s joined her to sell his collection.
Can you describe your stall?
Gilda: It’s high end collectables mixed with fun pieces: clean, curated and affordable.
How did you get started?
Gilda: I realised I had an eye – that everything I’d buy I’d get my money back.
I’d buy things at the auction houses for $1 and leave them outside my house in Newtown with an honesty box. Hardly anything got stolen. Then I sold at markets for 7 years – starting with Surry Hills Market, that was my first one. It went so well I gave up film and TV editing to do markets full time. Then I opened a shop in Newtown called Happy Pockets (no longer), and now I do markets just for fun.
This stall certainly is heaps of fun – it’s bright, warm, colourful shapes, lots of funky pieces…
Gilda: Richard is a plastics collector, a lot of the bright things are his.
Richard: All these plastic pieces are from the 70s and the 70s were a period of colour. A lot of it you can only get in America, it’s stuff you can’t find on mass anywhere, you have to seek it out. I’ve just moved houses and it’s a new colour pallet so this is the collection I’ve been living with for years, it’s a good way to clear it out.
People who come here recognise the items and the value of them, and you sell directly, unlike on ebay or something, where you have to worry about photographs and packaging.
And you get to see who is taking home something that was precious to you, see it going to an appreciative home?
Richard: Yeah, getting to see their faces when they like something. And it’s often like a history lesson for some people – a lot of people come just to look at it, it’s a day out. You might not be looking for anything until you find something you love and realise that you need it. You’ll know when you see it.
Gilda: It’s not what you’re looking for, it’s what you find. Actually the loveliest thing about when you become friends with people who’ve been your customers is when you go round and see your babies – the things you’ve found and restored – in other peoples homes and collections, looking so great.
Any advice for market goers?
Richard: What I’ve learnt is if you don’t snap it up you’ll miss out. If you love it you need to grab it, because somebody else will.