For most locals (including people from Vienna but also outside of Vienna) Mini Markt is already an institution and a fix day in the calendar. For all of you who don't know what I am writing about, let me explain: MiniMarkt Vienna is a lovely event that brings together a colourful mixture of shops and brands, and offers them a platform to present themselves and their products. Although the main aspect is of course selling original and special products, the event offers a wide range of activities for kids and parents alike. Fourmonkeys will be attending for the 4th time and we can't wait to let our monkeys loose in the jungle!
Although you are pretty popular and well know in Vienna, would you like to introduce yourselves to our international readers?
Popular? We’re not quite sure… We are Isabelle and Luisa, two moms with six kids among them. We share the love for our children (and husbands), life with its big and little moments, faraway places and local shops, beautiful things of all kind.
Isabelle works at the marketing department of Austria’s national broadcasting company, Luisa is a free-lance journalist for a potpourri of print media. Our business baby Mini Markt was born by sheer luck two years ago and has grown quite a bit since then.This will be the 5th edition of MiniMarkt, how much of a routine is the organization by now and how much is excitement?
To be honest - although it’s the 5th time, the excitement stays pretty much the same. Time after time after time. Because although, there is a lot of routine and we’re an awesome team, we’re facing new challenges every time.For the 3rd and probably/maybe last time, MiniMarkt will take place in the iconic and charming Alte Post (Old Post). As organizers, what are the challenges of working with such a special space? What has drawn you to it?
We were drawn to the amazing architecture of that building, its incredible enchanting atmosphere. It’s really like an old lady, who has her quirks, but you just can’t resist her charm. The challenges lie in the details. The fact that the entire building will undergo massive changes in no time means that broken things aren’t fixed anymore. So we’re sometimes dealing with rooms, where lights don’t work or walls have been partly demolished for some tests.What was the inspiration behind this season’s topic?
Oddly, we already knew way back that this spring was gonna be all about Jungle and adventure, lush greens and exotic animals. We keep on sending each other inspirational stuff, just little bits and pieces of everyday life that speak to us. And in one of those endless Messenger conversations - that really are the core of Mini Markt, so thank you Facebook! - the Jungle theme was born.Every edition has its own logo built on a basic logo that you originally had the first time around. Do you search for a new artist every time? Who designed this edition’s Jungle themed logo?
Yes, it’s part of Mini Markt’s identity that we aim to create a new world every time. Therefore we always choose illustrators or graphic designers who inspire us and feel like a fit to our current theme. Our Jungle was created by the incredibly talented Paula McGloin, an Irish illustrator, who was a true pleasure to work with.The children’s industry is booming in the last few years with an incredible amount of physical stores, online shops and brands. Is it difficult to pick and choose whom you want to see at your events? Are there any criteria you follow?
One of the toughest parts of our job. Because we have so many amazing applicants and of course we would like to give them all the chance to show their lovely products. In reality however, we only have limited space and that also part of Mini Markt’s identity - we will always go for set ups with an intimate touch, rather than mass market . So we strive to balance the products, for example handmade accessories, kids’ clothes, nursery accessories etc but also brick-and-mortar stores versus online shops in a way that will be appealing to our customers.You are very careful to cater to visitors not only in the sense of choosing amazing brands and shops, but also to offer activities and fun programs for the kids. What can visitors expect this time around?
We think it’s important for all our visitors, be it little or grown-up, to enjoy themselves at Mini Markt. This time there will be dance classes with hot rhythms to shake your legs to, craft workshops to make your very own Mini Markt backpack, a Jungle makeover booth and for the very adventurous ones there’ll be even skate ramps.Between the two of you, you have 6 kids…is being a mom influencing what you find important at such an event? (e.g. parking place for prams, food, coffee…?)
Oh, definitely coffee! And more coffee. On a more serious note - yes, of course our motherhood influences the way we set up our event. It’s nice if you’re not only able to shop, but also have a coffee with a friend or grab a bite with your loved ones. You’re happy if someone helps you carry your pram up and down the stairs (ideally there wouldn’t be any - we managed to reduce them to five on the premises) or if you can park it in a safe space. And most importantly we want everybody to feel welcome with their kids. There are so many situations in everyday life, where you have the feeling that you’re bothering people when you take your kids - so to us it’s really key that the entire family can have a great time at Mini Markt.Organizing such a big event is most certainly exhausting. Tell us a bit about your day after the MiniMarkt is over? Do you sleep in? Go for brunch? Play with the kids? What are you looking forward to?
Sleeping in would be oh so nice. But unfortunately is entirely utopic. Our kids will not have seen us in a couple of days and they’ll be taking full possession of their mommies again. So most likely we’ll be woken up at 6 AM to listen to all the stories about the things that happened while we were away. Which of course is wonderful and sweet and so touching - yet a little bit of me-time never hurt nobody, right?
We’re always relieved that everything (hopefully) went well, yet also sad it’s already over again. And normally our minds are already racing again with 100 ideas for the next edition on the morning after, but our tired bodies are glued to the bed. Or couch.
(c) Nuno Oliveira
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