Teenage market to welcome its youngest trader

Sleaford first Teenage Market. L-R Imogene Garfoot 13 and Eloise Garfoot 15 on their stall, Artee. EMN-150629-181411001
Sleaford first Teenage Market. L-R Imogene Garfoot 13 and Eloise Garfoot 15 on their stall, Artee. EMN-150629-181411001

Organisers behind the Teenage Market in Sleaford will welcome the youngest-ever trader in the three-year history of the national franchise.

Nine-year-old Jay Humphries, from Walcott, will be at the next event on Sunday, July 5, selling confectionery as JJ’s Candy.

This week’s Teenage Market is the second of its type to be held in the town, after Sleaford Town Team crowdfunded the licensing fee to host the events for two years from May, joining a national network of more than 20 towns.

Part of the annual Independent Retailer Month, Sunday’s market runs alongside a Celebration of Lincolnshire market, but teenage traders are set to outnumber the regular traders (14 stalls) with the teenage market having grown to some 20 stalls and performers.

From 11am to 7pm, local shoppers will find T-shirts, gifts, artwork, wooden ducks and more, with plenty of craft, gift and handmade items on offer.

Local traders include interesting food providers such as a classic Citroen van selling gourmet food.

In addition to the traders and performers, several local restaurants are involved, offering specialist menus and promotions as part of this family day out.

Sleaford Teenage Market is supported by all local secondary schools, a number of local businesses, and is sponsored by the Lincolnshire branch of the Federation of Small Businesses.

Town Team chairman Clare Rayner said: “It’s fantastic that Sleaford can now enable entrepreneurs as young as Jay to showcase their talents.

“There is no lower – or indeed upper – age limit on having an enterprising spirit.

“We hope that Jay inspires others who might doubt themselves due to being told they’re too young to run a business.

“The teenagers are really eager and the market has already tripled in size.

“It shows young people that there are options for them after school too. Running their own business could become a more viable alternative to academia and employment.”

Jay was inspired to start up his business on hearing about the market.

He said: “I can’t wait for the market. I’ve got lots of stock ready and I believe that I’ll sell lots of sweets at the event.”

Joe Barratt, who created The Teenage Market in 2012 with his brother Tom, said: “It’s amazing to see traders as young as nine apply to take part in Teenage Markets in Sleaford.

“It goes to show just how valuable a platform The Teenage Market is, giving young people their first real experience of building a business from scratch.”

Also as part of Independent Retailer Month, on July 29 from 5pm until 8pm at the Solo Club, local businesses will have the opportunity to showcase what they have to offer to visitors to the town.

In addition to samples, tasters and a chance to chat, visitors will also benefit from a whole host of rewards, offers and treats when they visit the shops in the weeks following the event.

The purpose of this event is to help in changing the perception that the town has little to offer and to get local people connected to our local businesses.

A Teenage Market and family fun day is planned for October 31 and the Town Team are looking for a face painter and balloon modeller or any other fun family activity with a spooky theme to get in touch.