A chat with guest curator Emily Rubner

We’re half way through the Spring 2015 Crafty Fox Markets and are eagerly looking forward to setting up shop in Brixton this weekend!

We had a brilliant time at The Bussey Building in Peckham, where close to 100 designer-makers showcased their products over the two day event, alongside workshops from Prickle Press and Birds in Hats, haircuts and beard trims from The Rhythm Parlour, stitched portraits from Emma Nicol, and the live creation of a Peckham skyline mural by artists Cecily Vessey and Georgia Bosson. You can see photos from the event over on our Facebook page and listen to sounds from the DJs on our soundcloud!

We’re now looking forward to our Brixton Market at the Dogstar from 11am – 5pm this weekend (Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 April). Another 100+ designer -makers will be selling their handmade products, with workshops from Mr Wingate and Lucie Ellen, and Crafty Fox Uncovered will be back on the top floor showcasing brand new traders. The bar will be open for refreshments, tea and cake will be provided by The Tea’s Knees, and the market will be set to a background of eclectic tunes mixed by the Crafty Fox DJ’s.


Traders at Crafty Fox Markets are selected with the help of a guest curator, keeping our events fresh and ensuring each one is unique. For the 2015 Spring Markets we invited Emily Rubner, a buyer for the Royal Academy of Arts shop, to help select traders from over 400 applications. Here, we asked Emily to tell us about her love of markets and to give an insight into curating a Crafty Fox Market...

What do you love most about shopping at markets?

I love the anticipation and excitement of not quite knowing what you’ll find. I find markets to be a great place to discover the most diverse and creative designers whose products stand out from the crowd. They are a fantastic test bed for designers to try out new ideas which makes markets the perfect place to find that special, unique gift and a great source of inspiration. Being able to talk to the maker and discover more about their designs at markets is incredibly special. Customers are responding more and more to personalised shopping and taking away with them not only their product but the story surrounding it too. I think this contributes greatly to what makes markets increasingly popular and a must go to event in the diary.

What has been your favourite market purchase?

It’s so hard to choose a particular favourite market purchase, I’ve got so many! I make sure I always stock up on quirky stationery. My favourite mug at home has to be my Chase the Rainbow mug by Blank Inside: the screen printed decoration is so painterly it inspires me to get creative whenever I drink from it. One of my favourite accessories has to be a hand-crafted collar from Tiny Track, its perfect for jazzing up a plain tee. I’ve just come across Yvone Ellen’s inventive table wear, which I’ve fallen in love with!

What do you look for when selecting products for the Royal Academy shop?  How does selecting traders for Crafty Fox Market differ from selecting makers for the RAted scheme?

Selecting makers for the Rated scheme is quite different to Crafty Fox, as there is a strict buying criteria which has to encompass a balanced range of price points, categories and relevance to the RA brand, all within a quite a tight range! We also have to think about how the products selected for Rated relate to our core audience, who is an older profile to that of Crafty Fox Market. How products can be visual merchandised in the RA shop is also a consideration. Working with Sinead and selecting traders for Crafty Fox was really exciting. The balance of categories still needs to be there but without such a tight limit on the number of products selecting a larger group and diversity of makers was incredibly refreshing. Because of this I found the selection process could be open and more experimental, curating a different mix of designers on each day. I was really impressed with the quality and quantity of makers who applied, all with unique and distinctive designs.

Who are you most looking forward to seeing at Crafty Fox Market?

Elements such as the visual merchandising at Crafty Fox is in the hands of the maker, which can lead to a truly unique shopping experience. When I visited the Peckham Markets it was great to be able to step inside each makers world when visiting their stall. 

At the Brixton Markets this weekend, I’m really looking forward to seeing BON – there has been a real surge of men’s accessories and products recently and I’m particularly drawn to their well thought out design; from their logo to the intriguing ingredients and the finished packaging. I love DuckCeramics mugs and tumblers, they have the perfect mix of kitsch and hand-made. Each one is completely unique which gives you that great sense of taking something away which is completely personal to you. And I always look forward to seeing I Am Acrylic, their new product and their amazing felt mountain display!