Market Place, the operator of the Belfast Christmas Market, is getting ready to open the gates to the now famous annual market, and again two new young businesses are benefitting from direct support through their Pitch Perfect competition.
Now in its twelfth year in the city, the market, which opens in the grounds of Belfast City Hall on Saturday 19 November and attracts over a million visitors each year, has again provided sponsorship for two local businesses offering them the chance to showcase their wares to thousands of visitors from near and far. The annual Pitch Perfect competition is open to businesses that have been trading for over six months but less than two years. For those who have won this award in the past, it has proved to be a great way to fast track their business development and growth.
The two winners for 2016 are the Belfast Beard Company and Fable Heart who will be provided with a free chalet, business mentoring and extensive PR coverage, all of which will provide them with an invaluable opportunity to reach a huge new market.
Belfast Beard Company manufactures and sells male grooming products online at markets and wholesale. Beards have seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years and this business is meeting a huge demand for male grooming products such as beard oils and balms, moustache wax, beard combs, shaving products and a range of wearables including t-shirts and hoodies.
Husband and wife owners Adam and Laura Henshaw said:
“We are overwhelmed at winning the Pitch Perfect Competition. We are excited at the challenges it will hold for us, and feel that this is a starting point for something incredible.”
Fable Heart design and make beautiful high quality items of clothing and accessories for the children’s dress up and style market. Products include capes, crowns, wings and wands, all made from Irish linen.
Claire Perez, founder and owner of Fable Heart explained:
“We consider everything we make to be heirloom pieces that will be passed on to the next generation. Our customers are looking for unique and well-made products that will enhance and inspire their child’s imaginative play. Parents enjoy buying stylish items of clothing for their children that are beautiful and not mass produced in synthetic fabrics so there’s no reason this shouldn’t extend to their dress-up wardrobe.”
Market Place Managing Director, Allan Hartwell said:
“We are very passionate about our Pitch Perfect competition as a mechanism for us to support new local businesses. It reflects how strongly we take our responsibility to Belfast and Northern Ireland that we again decided to sponsor not one but two businesses this year. Of course this also demonstrates the range of high quality businesses in this region that can benefit from this kind of support.
“For the Belfast Beard Company and Fable Heart this will be a steep learning-curve but one for which we feel they’re more than prepared. We’ll be behind them all the way and have no doubt that trading at the Belfast Christmas Market will provide a very solid foundation for their businesses in the future.”
This year the market will have an enhanced family focus as well as 20 additional chalets along the outer perimeter of the City Hall grounds to celebrate the finale of the NI Year of Food and Drink 2016. These chalets will have a festive array of locally produced food and craft and Market Place is working with Food NI to deliver on this opportunity.
The market opens from 10 am to 8 pm on Monday to Friday, 10 am to 10 pm from Thursday to Saturday and from 1 pm to 6 pm on Sunday. It begins on Saturday 19 November at 12 noon and closes on Thursday 22 December at 6pm.
To keep up to date with what’s happening at the Belfast Christmas Market and for information on any of the initiatives, follow the official Facebook page at Belfast Continental Christmas Market. Don’t miss the chance to make this Christmas an extra special one.