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An "inspired showcase" . . . Looking forward to next Friday's pop-up twilight market in Kurow are organisers Dana Johnston (left) and Bex Hayman (right), and Waitaki Braids owner Kate White. PHOTO: REBECCA RYAN

When Dana Johnston and Bex Hayman started planning a pop-up market in Kurow, they knew there were plenty of talented and creative people in the Waitaki Valley who could be stallholders.

But since the event was advertised, more people who own and operate businesses in the district had “come out of the woodwork”.

Mrs Johnston and Mrs Hayman’s pop-up twilight market is being held on November 29 in the newly-renovated Waitaki Braids Barn in Kurow.

They describe it as an “inspired showcase” of businesses and boutique artisans from the Waitaki Valley, featuring wines from River-T Estate, Ostler Wines and Forrest Wines, music and food.

The idea for the market came to Mrs Hayman during a regular visit to Waitaki Braids in Kurow. She got chatting to owner Kate White about the recent renovations to an old barn at the back of the cafe and lodge.

“I thought ‘oh, .. it’d be so good to have a Christmas [event] in there’ and I rang Dana on the way home and said ‘Dana, we’re doing this’,” she said.

“And it’s just gone from there.”

They had been overwhelmed by the interest – about 20 stallholders will be showcasing their products next Friday evening – and said it was exciting to have discovered and met new people in the process.

One such person was Hayley Brooks, who was based in Kurow and made “amazing” bath mats as part of her business Tooshii, Mrs Hayman said.

Most of the stallholders had an online presence, but the pop-up market was a way for them to show what they did to a different audience.

“In a rural area, you’re all spread out, doing things from home, so it’s nice to put us all together and showcase that talent,” Mrs Johnston said.

“And there’s such a broad range of talent.”

It would be a social night out for locals to get off the farm, but they also hoped to attract people from as far away as Oamaru and Wanaka, who could “make a weekend of it” in the Waitaki Valley.

“We want them to come here and experience the Waitaki Valley,” Mrs Hayman said.

Introduced to each other at a social event, Mrs Johnston and Mrs Hayman discovered each other’s creative talents and have become a powerhouse team connecting like-minded rural women ever since.

They will be showcasing their own work at the market.

Mrs Johnston and husband Brad moved to the Hakataramea Valley, where they have have a cattle stud, with a keen interest in the Simmental breed, seven years ago.

Based at home, Mrs Johnston works as a photographer, graphic designer and illustrator, as well as helping out on the farm.

Mrs Hayman lives about 15 minutes down the road with her sheep and cattle farmer husband Tom and their two children.

Whistle & Pop has been her labour of love for the past three years, designing and selling clothing, jewellery and other accessories, all with a rural twist.

Familiar farming expressions such as “Wallago”, “Get in behind” “Rattle ya dags”, “Shut the front gate” and “That’ll do” feature on clothing.

And a jewellery collection uses “brands” – small silver ingots stamped with images of wheat, a sheepdog, stag, or pony.

Mrs Hayman and Mrs Johnston hope to make the pop-up market at annual event.

“Creating something like this for other people, you just don’t know what might come from it,” Mrs Hayman said.

The market starts at 4pm and runs until 9pm.