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Find the BEST Markets for Your Handmade Business

In the Maker’s world, markets, or vending events, are a great way to grow your base of customers and inject some quick cash into your business without the hassle of shipping! (please tell me I am not the only one who dreads shipping)

There are several types of markets that you need to be aware of;
plus I've included my tricks on finding the best ones! 

Farmers’ Markets

Farmers’ Markets are HUGE business in our area, but depending upon where you live, you might find them to be a bit more difficult. Depending upon the organizer, you may not even be eligible to setup your booth at their weekly event. Look for markets that are established, well-trafficked, and in a location that targets your ideal customer. Farmers’ Markets may not be for you if you are selling high-end art work but are perfect for the local soap maker, niche baker, and candle producer. 

Places top search for farmers’ markets: managemymarket.com & your county’s website.

Craft/Holiday Markets

Very few things beat events during the holiday season. These one-off events can have great foot traffic, especially if they are in the city-center or ran by a well-known organization. Key things to look for are its location, past attendance, and who the other vendors have been in the past. Take a look at their products. Are they up to your caliber for are they a little too shabby chic for what you typically see your customer’s buying? 

One of the best ways to find these events is by word of mouth. Get to know the other vendors in your area. Talk to them. Ask them what events they are doing in the coming months and write them down for the coming year. Go to those events to see if your target customer is there. I also find new events by reading the local reviews and the “things to do” sections of our local publications. It’s amazing what you can find happening in your area by just keeping your ears to the ground. 

 

School Events

Events at local schools can be rather tricky. May times, like the generic “craft market” you just aren’t going to get the traffic you need to make these events worth your time and effort. I do have one exception: events at the top private schools. Since the parents are expected to support the school in different financial ways, the spending at these events can be extraordinary. Keep in mind though, you want to make sure your target demographic will be in attendance. To find these events, call up your local schools and ask to be put on their notification list. 

Indie Craft Shows

Indie shows are my favorite. These shows typically happen year-after-year and can have an extensive waitlist. They are fun to exhibit at AND fun to attend. The best ones typically have write-ups and promos in you local press. More indie ones are usually hosted by Craft Mafia, Indie Craft Parade, or like organizations. One of the tricks I use to find more events like these is to look at the vendor list of past years’ events. Then, find an exhibitor that most likely has the same target demographic. Look and see what shows they have posted about on their website, social media, etc. Keep a list of these events and use them to craft your show list. 

Can you think of any other types of Markets? What are you applying to this season? Let us know over in the Successful Makers’ Society.

Want to take your sales in an upward direction this year? Apply for a Business Breakthrough Session with Steffanie to see how we can turn your hobby into a full fledged business so that you make more and consistent sales and leave your frustrations behind.