5 Things I Wish I Knew Before My First Maker’s Market

So you think you want to be a part of this big maker’s movement!?

Well then, let me be the first to say this- WELCOME! Newcomer’s are always welcome here and I can’t wait to see what your soul is calling you to make. What an exciting time, the beginning!

It can be overwhelming and intimidating to sign-up for your first event as an entrepreneur. You want to make sure that everything is in line and just perfectly ready for your grand unveiling to the world of your baby. There is a lot that goes into this and let me just say, that there is no one size fits all with this and that your first event will be rocky, but so rewarding!

So, here it is my 5 basics to get you started on your way to becoming a part of your first ever Maker’s Market!

 

Here’s a little peek at where I started and how my display has evolved over time.

1. Branding

I suggest keeping it modest at the start, going with just a couple of key elements. Simplicity is elegant and shows that you are just starting off, which people love to support up and coming artists in their communities.

  • Business cards
  • A banner
  • Item tags

These are the essentials! Don’t get flyers and postcards, these will be too much and you are more than likely still flushing out your ideas so don’t get in too deep just yet.

Where to get your gear: Moo, VistaPrint, or Uprinting. Personally, I love Moo’s business cards. My banner is from VistaPrint. I have tags that were made from Uprinting. Uprinting is my local spot where I can get things quickly and they always do a great job, even in a pinch.

Why you need each of these items?

Most shows will require that you have a banner or some sort of business identifier. Business cards are crucial, these are what you are going to pass out to everybody from the other vendors to the workers at the show (you never know who might be looking for just what you are offering.) Tags, to keep pricing easy for your items, nobody, I repeat nobody wants to ask you how much something costs, people are more likely to put it back and forget about it completely.

2. Display

IMG_20171209_142310This is tricky. It really depends on what your product is, but there are a few things that can be said to be true across the board.

  • Clean surfaces are inviting to the eye. Keep it tidy and organized.
  • Make sure your items are well labeled. As I said before, people do NOT want to have to ask you the price of your items, so don’t make them.
  • Have a table, make sure it is covered with something a little more friendly than just a white linen table cloth.
  • Backdrops help to keep peoples eye in your booth (which is exactly what you want!).

3. Event type and details

IMG_20190511_161157327_HDRThere are a variety of types of events that you may find yourself at for your first maker’s event.

  • Pop- Up Shop
  • Maker’s Market
  • Farmer’s Market
  • Brewery Night

Where will you start? My very first event was at a little local yoga studio for their Holiday Bazaar and it was totally excellent! I suggest not putting too much money into your first event, something under $150 is reasonable and free is even better! In Southern California some of the best events that I have been to include those that have great branding and a hometown touch. My favorites being Mermade Market and pop-ups at local shops.

Do some market research and find out what is a great opportunity for you and your little start-up.

4. Pitch

EVENT: First, you need to figure out what makes you special and what makes you somebody who people would like to host at their events. This isn’t too tough, just make sure that you have a website (Etsy or blog works well) and an Instagram, online presence is crucial for event planners to see your work and envision it in their spaces.

CUSTOMERS: Figure out what you want to sell most in your shop. Put that item in a great location, possibly put it in more than one location so that you are able to more assure your customers see it. Know what you want to say and please don’t be like me when I started and ask every single person who walks by, “Hi, how are you?” They are fine, they also don’t want to tell every booth person the same damn thing, it’s exhausting for you and them.

Keep your pitch short and sweet, like with most things this is a quick way to show you are the owner and would love to chat. For me, now I like to go with a “Hi! Thanks for stopping by. Let me know if you have any questions I am the designer.” Top that off with a nice smile and it should do just fine.

5. Go for it!

IMG_0193

The last step in the process is to stop thinking about it and to put your application in. I know it is scary and there is usually an upfront price tag attached to this, but you will feel so much better once you let yourself explore this new possibility!

Stay positive and remember that everyone starts somewhere, let yourself be swept away by the romance of a new endeavor and what could become of it. Just keep your head on your shoulders, (I know, I know I’m a head-in-the-clouds type too sista) but they can also feel like an uphill battle that you might never manage to climb if you don’t keep chugging. Don’t worry about the anxiety attached, I would be more concerned if you didn’t feel like this at all.

So just breathe, and take the plunge. It’s time to try something new and see where this big life is going to take you.

Motivate you to give your dreams a try!

I wish I had somebody to ask these questions to when I was getting started. So I hope that they will help somebody out there struggling with this new and exciting venture.

Let me know below what any of your other questions are about my experiences or any more specific questions?!

Live lightly and love often. Most importantly, Stay Rad! – Jess

5 Things I wish I knew before my first Maker's Market (1)

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