Our regular feature on the people of Acton
Juli Worms has run a jewellery stall at Acton Market for four years. While not an Acton resident Juli has become fixture on the Mount on market days with her stall, Juma Jewellery.
What were your impressions when you first started your business at Acton Market?
It is four years since I opened for business at Acton Market. And what an experience it has been! I remember the opening day well, and how totally unprepared I was. Having spent months preparing my display I was totally unprepared for the weather. I was frozen and sat wrapped in a blanket. I took £3 pounds that day. But it has improved since then. Over the years I have learnt to prepare myself for every eventuality – just as well, as Acton Market pretty brings the most surprising and unexpected events.
Best thing about being on the market?
No market can succeed without the stall-holders; all of them have a story to tell. They all love the market and are prepared to brave the winter cold, torrential rain and a specialty of the Acton Mount wind speeds of up to 23 MPH. They love the chatter, the jokes, the surprises, and the general feeling of being part of something in the community.
What's so important about Acton Market?
I believe the market is vital to the regeneration of Acton, so indeed do my customers who look forward to me being there on Friday and Saturday, not just to buy, but to chat and to generally pass the time of day.
What's it like being a trader at Acton Market?
My stall, takes up nearly all my time. Although I am only open of Friday and Saturday, I spend the rest of the week making jewellery, undertaking repairs, ordering new stock, visiting suppliers. On a typical market day I start a 6 am and do not finish until around 10 in the evening. This is not just a market stall; it is a major part of my life. What is it that makes it worth all this effort?
Best thing about Acton Market?
First off, it is being given the opportunity of building my own business. Secondly, it is being part of the programme for regenerating Acton. Thirdly, it’s the new people that I have met and the friends that I have made. Fourthly and most importantly for the business, it is customers; nothing is more satisfying than selling something you have made, to someone who appreciates it, the talk, the discussions, the weighing up of one item over another, the price, the colour, all needing to be assessed and thought over. This is particularly important when the customer is looking for a gift for someone else; talking through the options is all part of the fun. And then there is the hopeless man buying for his beloved. Not knowing her favourite colour, not even knowing if her ears are pierced. Still we get there in the end and she is delighted but amazed at her partner’s new found expertise in picking something she actually likes!
Overall, it’s Market itself the hustle and bustle, the quirky characters, the odd requests, the strange conversations, the teasing and the laughter.
Anything you'd change about Acton?
Acton is certainly a fun place to work, with the very cosmopolitan population. The only drawback is the anti-social element that congregates on the market square.
I would like to say a special thanks to the Oak Tree guys, who provide free tea and coffee for visitors to the market and who are really trying to promote a community atmosphere.
In these days of economic instability, what are your hopes for Acton Market?
I hope in the future that the market will expand and rival the establish London markets of Portobello Road, Greenwich, Petticoat Lane. There is no reason why this cannot be done with the continued support of the local residents and Action Acton.
Do you know someone in Acton who has made an impact on our community? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
04 May 2011