Local heroes: South Melbourne Market (Suki McMaster)
Suki McMaster and her self-titled brand have been a South Melbourne Market mainstay for over two and a half years. Suki’s colourful and creative store showcases her artistic ability across a wide range of baby and homeware products.
We chatted to Suki about her store and her story, along with some of her favourite things to do in the City of Port Phillip.
Hi Suki! Tell us about your background and your experience at the market
“I moved from Hong Kong to Australia in 2000 with a master’s in accounting, but honestly, I hated accounting. After working in the medical field for a few years in Sydney, my husband and I decided to try applying my artistic skills at the markets.
It was hard at first, but I believed in the business, so we sold our house and moved down to Melbourne – the creative capital of Australia. After trying some pop-up markets, we eventually found our home at South Melbourne Market.
The market’s different than any traditional market, with everyone coming here for great quality stores, rather than a bargain. What sets South Melbourne apart from other markets is the people. A lot of our regular customers have become friends, and they always want to know how the business doing. Recently we had international customers come back to our shop and tell me our shop is their ‘must visit’ when they’re in Melbourne, and that just melted my heart.”
What’s the inspiration behind your work?
“Most of my drawings are inspired by love and what’s happening around the world. I am very passionate about protecting the environment, so a wide range of our products are printed on materials like bamboo and organic cotton.
I mainly sell my own designs at the shop, but we also include some Australian made jewellery, skincare and toys. A lot of people helped me when I started the business, so now I like to help out the other creatives in the community.”
Tell us about your favourite places and things to do in the City of Port Phillip
We love the beach at Port Melbourne, especially in winter when we take our dog Daisy for a walk. Walking close to Station Pier, we love getting our dog a puppychino from the Original Kiosk – it makes his day!
What hopes do you have for the area?
“Because I am an artist, I am hoping there will be more shops or events that involved creatives. I am also hoping there would be more shops from the beach to the market, to grow the area’s appeal in winter.”
Discover Suki’s amazing creative range on her website, or go see Suki in her store at South Melbourne Market – she’d love to see you!
South Melbourne Market, Stall Number 217, West Aisle
Wednesday 8 am to 4 pm
Friday 8 am to 5 pm
Saturday to Sunday 8 am to 4 pm