Sunday 15 December 2013

End Of An Era – 4th Gen Trader To Leave QVM

Kevin Stanisich is a 4th generation trader at the Queen Victoria Market. His family has a long history of trading at this Melbourne icon but it is time to move on. Kevin and his wife, Annette, are selling their Teddy Bear stall in J shed.

Kevin’s Great Grandfather used to sell spectacles at the market at a time when a horse and cart were parked behind the stall instead of a motor vehicle. Kevin’s Grandfather sold a huge variety of products but mostly related to the rag trade. There were fabrics, furs and laces often bought direct from manufacturers in Flinders Lane.

Kevin remembers the excitement of buying a new load of goods, placing it on the stall and then seeing what sold. Leftovers were slowly reduced in price until they did sell and then the whole process started over again. He recalls his Father selling the first lot of Koala souvenirs at the market. They were made locally out of Kangaroo skin. He also recalls the time when the market conducted a car boot sale in L shed. He, and a couple of other traders with a passion for antiques, used to troll the stalls early in the morning looking for treasures.

There was usually an element of manufacturing involved in this market business. Kevin’s Mother would make and sell babywear, while in later years Annette would make lamp shades as part of their haberdashery business.

At the Lord Mayor’s Commendations for small business in 2012, Kevin received a Platinum Award for 50+ years of service to the City of Melbourne plus a Generational Family Business Commendation. His wife Annette received a Gold Commendation for small business service.

Recognition of this sort doesn’t come regularly at QVM. Traders tend to concentrate on daily service to their customers as just part of running a business. There is little room for reflection and indeed Kevin and Annette were reluctant to have information published on this website. It is true that the market is bigger than the trader. Times move on and change is inevitable. But pausing occasionally to recognise outstanding contributions is worthwhile and Kevin and Annette certainly fall into this category. We wish them every success in this new phase of their life and thank them for their service to QVM, its customers and the trader community.