Our Story

We’re a proud and passionate bunch here behind the scenes (and screens), and trust you’ll find a few useful things throughout the wild Finders Keepers interwebs. If you’re keen to catch up on the latest and greatest don’t go past our fresh and up-to-the-minute blog. If you need visuals to help paint a picture of what we’re all about, head straight to the gallery, and if you want to know who’s who in the zoo read all about the people that make it happen here!

If you’re a maker looking for information on how to apply and how we make our mega markets happen, you’re in the right place. Everything you need to know is here.

Love from our Community

“The Finders Keepers Markets are a valuable source of income that brings growth into my business. The markets allow me to create a ‘storefront’ within Australia’s major cities. A space where I can connect and reconnect with new and returning customers. A space where I can launch new and exciting products within an environment that loves and supports handmade products!”

Kaitlin Liddell, Koa by Kaitlin

“Finders Keepers are the first large scale design market we’ve done. It was seriously a magical experience! We instantly felt like we are a part of a national design family, full of encouragement and inspiring vibes.”

Joel Cooper Frank & Dolly’s

“Bringing your face to your brand helps to create trust and this is what is unique about the handmade / small business community. It’s real people seeing the real products that real hands have made. This connection is unlike any other and the interactions you have connects your products to a person and an all-round fantastic experience.”

Kirralee Robinson, Kirralee & Co

What is the Finders Keepers?

The Finders Keepers was founded in 2008, and has grown from a humble side hustle to hosting major events across the country. We’re now globally recognised as Australia's leading design market, hosting two seasons of events in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane every year. Our commitment has and always will be to community, conscious shopping, and mindful making.

"At the very heart of everything we do, we seek to connect, inspire and empower the creative community. We encourage creativity." - Brooke Johnston

With a focus on featuring the work of independent makers and designers from across Australia, our total of six annual events support over 1200 unique sellers and are attended by hundreds of thousands of visitors. It’s through these events that we continue to provide thousands of unique opportunities to small business owners all over Australia to make a living out of what they love.

We’ve been described as more of a festival than a market. Our blockbuster weekends combine art, good food, live music and a fun community spirit under one awesome roof in each major city location. Each event offers visitors a unique experience to shop, explore discover and connect with community. With something for everyone, our events continue to promote conscious consumerism, and actively support small, local businesses.

"We champion creativity and provide important platforms for small businesses to elevate design." - Sarah Thornton

Our markets aren’t all about transactions. We live in a time where connection value is high and social connectivity is more important than ever before. We are a community creator and facilite amazing connections for our community to come together with creators and makers.

Finders Keepers is also a key driver for Australia's creative economy. On average, visitors to Finders Keepers inject over $1 million by supporting independent creative business at our events in any given year.

*The Finders Keepers has always been fully self-funded. We’re yet to ever receive funding from city, state and federal governments.

History

The Finders Keepers was founded in the summer of 2008 in Sydney, by young designers and friends, Brooke Johnston and Sarah Thornton.

The year before The Finders Keepers inception, one night in Sydney 2007, Brooke and Sarah tested the water and realised a vision. Just 20 stalls in a modest sized market (originally named Hope Street Markets), was launched with the expectations of close family and friends showing up in support. The event, however, was a beyond surprising an overwhelming success, with huge crowds and plenty of media attention. The markets quickly evolved to become The Finders Keepers and have continued to expand and draw huge crowds ever since!

Under the Finders Keepers banner, the markets started in Sydney in 2008, expanded to Brisbane in 2009, and Melbourne in 2010.

The aim for Brooke and Sarah was simple. To create a marketplace that was a supportive environment for like-minded, independent designers to sell their work. Sounds simple enough. Brooke and Sarah had a vision of an event that didn’t exist at the time; somewhere they wanted to shop, which also happened to combine everything they loved under one roof. This is the story of The Finders Keepers.

Brooke and Sarah bucked the trend of ordinary market trade prevalent at the time, opting to produce an inspiring market experience more like an entire design festival! Their vision was to create a nurturing space to encourage young emerging designers at the rise of the DIY era. The Finders Keepers would become a place to only sell work, but also one to connect directly with customers, meet the makers and share stories, as well as combine music, food and wine in a fun atmosphere.

The response was huge. Turns out, Brooke and Sarah set something in motion that local makers and shoppers were all seeking. With zero business experience and absolutely no funding (but with massive doses of self-produced soul and hard-working heart) The Finders Keepers markets were well and truly here to stay.

Each year the events have grown substantially. Brooke and Sarah continue to work hard on and within the business, gaining loads of market know-how and using their newfound wisdom to produce bigger and better events every single season. From managing the full magnitude of business tasks between them, to forging a flourishing company that now employs 10 permanent staff, the best is yet to come.