Sarah Thornton & Brooke Johnston
Finders Keepers | Sarah Thornton and Brooke Johnston on building Australia’s largest design markets from the ground up
Finders Keepers is less like a market and more like a festival.
With over 150,000 attendees across three states every year, the Finders Keepers is the largest Design Market in Australia combining design, art, good food, live music and a fun community spirit under one awesome roof.
At the heart of Finders Keepers is a thriving community of passionate independent makers and designers from across Australia. With events held in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, the market supports makers Australia wide and grows from strength to strength every year.
Founded in 2008 by Brooke Johnston and Sarah Thornton, the aim for the market has always been simple; to create a supportive environment for like-minded, independent designers to sell their work.
Their first market was (almost) a disaster but as fate would have it it was exactly what people were looking for and Brooke and Sarah went on to expand across Australia supporting thousands of makers and the broader design industry along the way.
Now based in sunny Byron Bay, Sarah and Brooke dropped by the studio to talk through the highs (and a few lows) of building this incredible business and community Australia-wide.
“The doors were just about to open, I looked at Brooke and said “Maybe no-one will turn up, it’s ok, we gave it a go.” We were so wrong, it was packed, we could barely fit everyone in!”
— Brooke Johnston
Finders Keepers | Sarah Thornton & Brooke Johnston
Mentioned in conversation…
Now ten years in Brooke, Sarah and I sat down and chatted about:
Why they started Finders Keepers having almost no business or event experience.
What it took to growing from 20 stalls in a town hall on a rainy night, to becoming Australia largest and longest running Design Market.
Why and how their partnership works and how they’ve supported each other’s growth.
The highs (and lows) of growing year on year, and the supporters that helped them along the way.
Their incredible passion for supporting their design community in every move they make.