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Kelly Thompson’s Playful Preston Showroom Clashes Colour In The Best Way

Studio Visit

Kelly Thompson is the creative one-woman show behind Makers’ Mrkt – an online store selling homewares, fashion and handcrafted treasures from some of the Internet’s favourite creatives.

Her business has grown exponentially in the last two years. At the end of 2021, demand from the online world pushed her to open her Preston stockroom to the public as an IRL space.

She ‘got on the tools’ and turned it into a slick showroom, open by appointment only, complete with pink floors and Kelly’s carefully curated line-up of pieces. Take a look inside!

22nd June, 2022

Inside Kelly’s Makers’ striking Mrkt showroom! Alessi Throw by Micke Lindebergh hangs over the red handrail. Photo – Sean Fennessy

‘The space was far from perfect and is temporary, so I thought playing with the Makers’ Mrkt brand colours would be fun,’ Kelly says of her use of colour in the showroom. Photo – Sean Fennessy

‘I figured I would get sick of yellow, the space isn’t refined enough for the brand brown or green, and so somehow, pink reined triumphant,’ Kelly says. Custom wall unit by Ensemble. Photo – Sean Fennessy

Trinkets like this L Vase by UAU Projects and TOTEM 1 by Klein Blue are placed throughout the space. Photo – Sean Fennessy

TOTEM 1 by Klein Blue. Bud Vase in Matte Black, Arc Vase in Matte Black and Landscape Sculpture 2 by Deborah Sweeney. Heirloom Vessel in Black by Clae Studio. Photo – Sean Fennessy

Kelly’s line-up of hand-crafted ceramics and sculptures! Photo – Sean Fennessy

Rust wool curtains by Warwick enhance the stock inside the showroom! Photo – Sean Fennessy

Makers’ Mrkt sells lighting, homewares, furniture, kitchenware, art jewellery and gifts – just to name a few! Photo – Sean Fennessy

Christina Karras
Wednesday 22nd June 2022

The Makers’ Mrkt showroom was actually never intended to be a used as a store.

‘When I moved in a year ago, I chose the space purely for use as a stockroom for dispatch and as an affordable office when my house became overcrowded!’ Makers’ Mrkt founder and curator Kelly Thompson says.

But when customers started asking if they could come and view things in person, she undertook some light renovations before a successful pre-Christmas pop-up shop prompted her to stay open by appointment only. Kelly managed to revamp the ‘mismatched’  two-storey Preston office with her playful creative touch, namely by adding a fun coat of pink paint on the floors!

Despite confessing she’s not normally a ‘pink girl’, she felt it was the best colour for the space. This choice has since been perfectly complemented with a deep Kalamata coloured wall unit made by her friends at Ensemble and a Warwick rust wool curtain. Beautiful pieces from brands like Hermon Blue, Blazed Wax, Ella Reweti, Abs Objects and many more line the walls and shelves inside.

‘The goal was to make a bit of an ugly and temporary space look presentable with no budget, which as a creative with eyes bigger than wallet, was quite a challenge at times,’ she explains.

Her favourite part of the Makers’ Mrkt HQ is the gloss red handrail and how it contrasts against the soft pink. ‘The light upstairs on a sunny day can be pretty glorious when it streams across the floors, I love how it hits the ceramics and looks so warm and inviting,’ she adds.

Kelly started Makers’ Mrkt as way to bring small businesses and local makers to new customers together for new customers, under one thoughtful platform. Having worked as a photographer, commercial illustrator multidisciplinary designer and content creator herself, she was all too aware of the hustle creatives were putting in to marketing the products online and decided to forge a curated offering from her own online community.

Most of the first products she stocked were all from makers she knew, followed on Instagram or had already purchased work from herself. So, it’s no surprise pieces from the showroom sometimes find her way into her own home, which she is also currently renovating!

‘It’s not my dream space,’ Kelly says of her showroom. ‘[It’s] not as I ultimately envision MM being represented, but it’s good for the next year until I move into a more permanent (and handsome!) showroom.’ In other words, watch this space!

The Makers’ Mrkt showroom is available by appointment, or you can shop the range via the online store.

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net