Saturday 3.30pm: MICRO-businesses filled Hargreaves Mall in central Bendigo, all keen to get their name out in the public domain as part of Support Small Business Day.
Innovation and passion were the common themes as traders showed off their latest creations and told how they turned a long-term interest into a savvy business concept.
Many traders at the market were in the beginning stages of their business, having only emerged this year.
Among them was Bendigo teacher Caitlin McGrath, who began drama and creativity workshops for children and parents three months ago.
Under her business name, Cloudstories Creativity, she taught at Bendigo Library during the school holidays.
"As a school teacher you don't get much chance to do anything too far from the curriculum," Ms McGrath said.
She offers drama classes, teacher professional development, craft classes and online tutoring.
Bendigo resident Deb Herdman was spruiking her business 'Nigh Nigh Sleepy Head', lullaby music for children aged 0 to 8 designed to get them to sleep.
Her CDs have a 47-minute track with lyrics and music especially written to induce sleep. Ms Herdman said her product was gaining popularity with parents who had always struggled with sleepless children.
Che Stevenson turned up to the event to show off his new digital marketing business, but said he was also there to network with other traders.
He started Creative Revolution in response to a need for digitally native and less traditional Bendigo marketing agency. Mr Stevenson only started in February but he said he was already too busy.
Saturday 9.50am: Small business owners are getting ready for a busy day of trading in Hargreaves Mall.
There's a wide range of businesses selling novel inventions, health products, graphic design and more.
Among them is mother and son team Michelle and Zac Hoffman who are promoting their business, Kingdom Inventions.
Ms Hoffman has created a drink spiking preventative, designed especially for young women.
She first came up with the idea in 2006 after she saw the impacts of drink spiking on her family and friends.
Her invention is an adhesive lid with a hole for a straw, which is placed over the mouth of a glass.
"No one can slip anything harmful into your drink," Ms Hoffman said.
Bendigo resident Kat Cook has set up a stall for her new tea label, Dragon Tea Company.
She sells loose leaf tea, sourced from a wholesaler in Melbourne.
Ms Cook had the idea to sell her own tea after her favourite tea shop in Melbourne said they could not set up in Bendigo.
"I thought, right, I'll do it myself," Ms Cook said.
Ms Cook said she hoped having a stall at Support Small Business Day would let the community know that she existed.
She is also raising money for her friend's daughter who has a rare disease -$2 from every packet of jasmine tea will go towards research for Batten's disease.
Bendigo resident Kerry Lorenz is showcasing her latest creation at the Hargreaves Mall event.
She has invented a product she calls 'myOki', a octopus-shaped wheat bag that is wearable and "more luxurious" than normal wheat bags.
Ms Lorenz calls is a "therapeutic fashion accessory" because people can wear it outdoors as a stylish clothing item while it soothes their back pain.
"It's just a weird idea that came one night," Ms Lorenz said.
She is already selling her product in China, where it is gaining popularity.
Junortoun resident Steven Wild is promoting his graphic design company, Grassroots Design.
Mr Wild moved with his young family to Junortoun three years ago and wants to establish local clientele.
He specialises in designs for printing materials such as brochures, packaging and business cards.
He's hoping the Support Small Business Day event will increase brand awareness and find some potential clients.
Virtual administration assistant Sam Spence said today's event was great for micro-businesses that didn't have a shop front to let the community know they were there.
Ms Spence runs Executive Virtual Associate out of her home in Junortoun.
The Bendigo Advertiser has published a series of stories on local businesses to raise awareness of Support Small Business Day.
To access more coverage click on the links below:
Use the hashtag #supportsmall to get involved in the social media world.
To register for Support Small Business Day, visit supportsmallbusinessday.vic.gov.au
The Bendigo Advertiser will continue to profile businesses registered for Support Small Business Day in coming editions.