- October Market will be held on the 29th at Crescat Boulevard
By Venessa Anthony
The Island Market is a brand story that started with a simple idea that came to Nisreen Dissanayake while at home during the lockdown period. Dissanayake, who has always had a keen eye for charity events, and the wellbeing of the country at heart, soon put a few things together, convinced a few vendors, and hosted her first vendor market.
Since this initial vendor market event, held under the name “Weekend Bazaar at 570” back in February 2021, the charitable organisation has grown and expanded its horizons. The “Weekend Bazaar at 570” was soon rebranded as the “Island Market” to make the brand feel closer to the event objective of focusing on home-based business vendors with promoting local products made in Sri Lanka.
In conversation with The Morning Brunch, Dissanayake explained that during the lockdown, she saw the difficulties the people and community were going through with many people losing jobs, small businesses unable to open physical stores and losing sales, and the community stuck at home and missing out on how life used to be pre-Covid.
“This is when we thought that we need to somehow bring back the smiles of all these people by doing a fun activity and reminding them that no matter what, life goes on!”
It was with this simple notion that she decided it would be a great initiative to have a marketplace opportunity for the many small business ventures that have been affected by the pandemic, and also have a carnival atmosphere for the general community to enjoy life once again.
Since the first market was a smashing success, Dissanayake has since hosted many more, with more and more vendors expressing interest in joining hands for this good cause.
Speaking about the next market and what we can expect, Dissanayake told us that it will be on 29 October from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. She added: “A new host of vendors will join us as we embark on new beginnings with a new prominent location at Crescat open air car park for the October Market.”
With this event, she hopes to take the market to new prominent locations and grow the vendor base even further.
The main goal behind The Island Market is to give vendors a fair opportunity to offer their products, and Dissanayake explained that vendors are carefully selected to ensure that unnecessary competition was avoided, the selection process was also carefully screened in order to show support to those with various disabilities. We asked Dissanayake for a hint of the vendors we can expect at the sale.
“The event will feature home vendors ranging from clothing, handy craft, arts, jewellery, homeware items, lighting, and range of food/drink stalls,” she shared, with Batik Boutique, Euphoria Colombo, KayEn, Ape Kopi, and The Exclusive being some of the more notable brands.
She urged the public to head on over to Crescat on 29 October and help support these small businesses, especially in this time of need.
“We may no longer be in the midst of a pandemic, but we are currently plagued by an economic crisis – now more than ever, it is important to support these small businesses that only have themselves to depend on to make an income”