A Second, Sizzling Career

Market organiser Estelle Hinkley with her granddaughter Ava de Lange.

Market organiser Estelle Hinkley with her granddaughter Ava de Lange.

Estelle Hinkley (56)’s second career as the organiser of various bustling west coast markets started off by accident. After her husband retired from the navy the couple moved first to Howick in Natal, and then to Sunningdale.

And though Estelle loved her new home this former daycare and aftercare provider had to find something to do. When her best friend died in 2008 Estelle bought a lavender business from the estate and began making a range of organic lavender products. She enjoyed the creative process but there was a hitch. “I couldn’t get into a market,” Estelle recalls. She had no more luck when she embarked on making Nappy Cakes.

Look out for the lady in orange: it's Estelle.

Look out for the lady in orange: it’s Estelle.

Taking control of her destiny
My daughter said, “Why don’t you start your own market?” This is precisely what the feisty grandmother did. She started a market on Blaauwberg beach. The market consisted of 14 stalls and it was buffeted by the wind, but it was a start. It quickly lead to other things. Estelle and a friend decided to move the market to the soccer club behind Pick ‘n Pay in Bay Side, Table View. Here the 24 stalls increased in number to 35. It was just the beginning of things to come however.

At the moment Estelle runs both the bustling West Coast Craft Market (70+ stalls) which operates at the Country Club in Melkbosstrand, and the market that is held on Saturday and Sunday mornings at the Emporium Centre in Sandown Road in Sunningdale. The West Coast Craft Market is the big one, with more than 70 stallholders, whom Estelle calls her ‘friends.’ “My whole thing is to make new friends and to help people,” she says. “I help all the charities and older people. Most of my crafters have become my friends.”

market1 market-10Not about the money
Can Estelle become wealthy from her career as a market organiser? The answer is ‘no.’ She charges only R125 per table and pensioners pay only R50. Charities are accommodated free of charge.

Clearly for this fifty-something lady money is not everything. Estelle’s career as a market organiser evolved naturally from the moment that she bought her friend’s lavender business; it then developed into a belief that she could organise her own market and create a platform for her own products and those of and other like-minded people. Watching these people develop and grow a business has been a treat for her. The cherry on top of the cake is that the people become her friends.



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