Indie Oxford Interview: Nicole Rahimi of The Oxford Christmas Market
With under 3 weeks until Christmas, we’re looking forward to some festive shopping over the next few weeks! A great way to get into the seasonal spirit and find some unique gifts, is a visit to the Oxford Christmas Market. The market starts today and runs until Sunday 17th December. Today, we’re catching up with Nicole, the founder of the market, on why she set it up and why you need to visit this year!
Tell us about yourself.
I’m a mother of two and wife to a busy Professor. I was born and bread in Germany and that’s where my love for Christmas originates from. But not all Germans are as Christmas-crazy as I am!
Tell me about your market & why you decided to set it up.
I love Christmas! It’s a wonderful time of year and I’ve enjoyed it ever since I was a child. Part of Christmas has always been visiting a Christmas Market, a place to meet with family and friends and get in to the festive spirit. To myself, they are magical! Can you imagine my disappointment when I found out that there was no Christmas Market in Oxford! So, I decided to take it upon me to establish this wonderful Christmas tradition. After a number of years of investment, hard work and sleepless nights, the Oxford Christmas Market is now in it’s 8th year and appreciated and enjoyed by many from near and far.
What are your plans for the market this year?
This year the market has grown to 60 stalls offering unique gifts and seasonal food and drink, compared to 30 when I started in 2009.
I invested in new garlands this year to make the market even more Christmassy and… drumroll please… mulled wine and mulled apple juice will now be served in beautiful branded Oxford Christmas Market cups!
What is the most difficult thing about organising the market?
I guess the difficult thing is taking on too much work myself – I need to learn to delegate better and not try to do so many things myself. Otherwise, I think I can say that the most difficult years lie behind me (touch wood). Overall, things have become easier as I know what to do, and when and how. I have a good list of suppliers and builders that I can now call and rely on.
Describe your typical day during the market.
I usually arrive by 9 am to turn on the generators. Then do a clean-up round, and leave out the bins for collection. By then the first traders arrive and I have a little chat with them. Once the market opens at 10 am I check with the security guards, welcome performers, talk to visitors. The days are long, but they tend to fly by as there always seems to be so many things to do. Once the market closes at either 7 pm or 8 pm I switch off the generators and head home.
What are your favourite indies in Oxford?
Oohhh… honestly… I love all indies in Oxford simply for their sheer existence.
Looking at the Indie Oxford Compendium I notice I haven’t been to a number of indies yet. So, therefore, here goes my new year’s resolution for 2018:
To visit all listed indies!!
We’re looking forward to popping down, catching up with indie Oxford members Indigo, Colombia Coffee Roasters, Demijohn, The Hat Box and Podarok, and getting into the festive spirit with some mulled wine to boot!
The market runs from today, until Sunday 17th December, 10 am – 7 pm Sunday to Wednesday, 10 am – 8 pm Thursday to Saturday, and 10 am – 6 pm on Sunday 17th.