From marketing degrees to market success

Business graduates Marissa Bowden, left, and Sarah Schoeller are the creative team behind The Village Markets on the Gold Coast.

With two marketing degrees from the Griffith Business School between them, where better for Marissa Bowden and Sarah Schoeller to take their skills than the markets?

That’s exactly what the Gold Coast fashion lovers did after their careers took a hit during the Global Financial Crisis.

After identifying a business niche they knew they were well equipped to fill, the pair set up The Village Markets on the Gold Coast in 2008.

“We shared a love of interstate fashion markets like Sydney’s Paddington, Bondi and Glebe, where one-off finds and emerging designer labels were in abundance,” says Sarah.

“We followed our hearts and started the first emerging designer and vintage market on the Gold Coast.”

With a natural business savvy shaped and sharpened at Griffith University, the pair applied their skills in marketing, events and business to develop a successful business plan.

After discussions with the local council and meetings to discuss venue proposals, The Village Markets was launched with nine stalls at Burleigh Heads in October 2008.

Almost six years later, the markets are held twice a month at Burleigh and once a month at Paradise Point. Stall holders come from as far north as the Sunshine Coast and as far south as Melbourne and Sydney.

“It’s amazing to see how much the event has grown and we are so glad we could create something that people look forward to,” says Marissa.

Their dazzling success story leaves far behind the dark days of the global financial crisis when Marissa and Sarah found themselves suddenly out of work.

“It took more than fashion sense to make it happen. It took the business and marketing knowledge we gained at Griffith University,” says Sarah.

“Today this knowledge has become a driving force in the Gold Coast fashion scene.”