Fingal Twilight Markets, founded by Port Stephens entrepreneur Maddie Crockett, a hit with locals and visitors

ENTREPRENEUR: Maddie Crockett has juggled her university studies with founding and running the new Fingal Twilight Markets.
ENTREPRENEUR: Maddie Crockett has juggled her university studies with founding and running the new Fingal Twilight Markets.

Starting a small business during a pandemic has many risks, but for a young Port Stephens entrepreneur establishing a twilight market during daylight savings made a lot of sense.

Twenty-one-year-old Maddie Crockett, of Corlette, is the brainchild behind the Fingal Twilight Markets, an exciting new project that has been running fortnightly since November along the Fingal Bay foreshore.

She is also studying teaching at university.

"I had been around markets for some years now, selling my own hand-made products for babies and puppies, so when COVID-19 hit and closed down markets I opted for online platforms," the former St Philip's Christian College student said.

"As the community markets returned later in the year I began doing my own research and decided that a twilight market in the wide open spaces of Fingal Bay would be a great option."

POPULAR: Crowds at a recent Fingal Twilight Market. The next event will be held Saturday, January 16 from 3pm to 8pm. Picture: Supplied

POPULAR: Crowds at a recent Fingal Twilight Market. The next event will be held Saturday, January 16 from 3pm to 8pm. Picture: Supplied

Ms Crockett applied for a licence through Port Stephens Council and after receiving the go ahead opened her event on November 16.

"I wanted this market to be different to those you see at Fly Point, so one of the conditions for stallholders was that more than 50 per cent of wares [jewellery, candles, clothing] for sale had to be handmade or designed," she said.

"On that first day we had 35 stalls and the feedback was extremely positive from both the public and stallholders.

Through word of mouth and social media, the number of stalls had almost doubled to 60 for our second market day on December 5."

This was followed on January 2 with 70 stallholders and that number has increased again - to 85 - for this Saturday's, January 16, event running 3pm to 8pm.

Ms Crockett said that the event was COVID-Safe with QR code signing would be available at the entrance.

"To protect the community we encourage the public to follow all the guidelines set by stallholders," she said.

"The general feeling among visitors is that they feel comfortable browsing through an outdoor venue in the twilight hours. The markets are pet friendly and there's a kids playground with fun for the whole family."

She hopes to continue to run the markets until the end of daylight savings.

Markets on this weekend in Port Stephens

  • Fingal Twilight Markets: Saturday, January 16, 3pm to 8pm, 5 Marine Drive, Fingal Bay
  • Tanilba Bay Markets: Saturday, January 16, 9am to 12pm (noon) at the Kooindah Plaza, President Wilson Walk, Tanilba Bay
  • Nelson Bay Legacy Markets: Sunday, January 17, 9am to 3pm in Neil Carroll Park, Shoal Bay Road, Nelson Bay