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How to Have a Great Arts Market as a Handmade Business in 2024

Arts markets and vendor fairs or pop ups are one of my favorite ways of selling my handmade items - I love talking to people and getting to visit with fellow makers!


A woman stands in front of a sign that says "Jasper & Elm"

Arts markets can be amazing for your business - even if sales are not exactly where you want them to be, you have access to a large amount of people in person! This gives you an invaluable chance to connect with potential customers and give out your card, chat them up, and invite them to follow you on social media.


Here are my arts market must-haves and some helpful hints to make your next market a success!


Tip #1 - Make a list and check it twice.


I have a list on my phone to track all the items I have to bring to every market (tent, tent weights, tables, chairs, etc.) and that is the only way I manage to remember everything.


Tip #2 - Make sure you have meals/water.


My first 5-6 markets were done entirely alone. I made friends with my neighboring vendors so I could snag a quick break here and there, but I prefer to make sure I can map out meals or drinks when the days are loooong.


Now, I always prefer to buy my lunches at markets, but some days there are no guarantees I can slip away. In that case, I think ahead by packing snacks or a PB&J.



Tip #3 - Have multiple ways for people to pay.


I cannot stress this enough! Some people at arts markets are only comfortable with cash, and I have even had someone walk away because I couldn't take Apple Pay (I upgraded my Square reader quickly after that!).


Helpful Hint: the basic square reader is only $10!

Tip #4 - Keep your arts market display fresh.


After doing markets for a year, I have managed to get my market setup down to a few plastic totes alongside my tables, chairs, and wire racks for displaying earrings.


I like to swap out seasonal decor when I can, because it changes the setup enough to draw people in, even if they have stopped by before.


Helpful Hint: the Target dollar section, Home Goods, TJ Maxx, and Marshall's are great places to find display items and little decor pieces.

Tip #5 - Bring a backup battery for your electronics.


I cannot stress this enough! Especially if you are unable to access wifi, your phone battery is going to get used up quickly.


I highly recommend having a battery pack, charger (if there is electrical nearby!), and maybe even a backup iPad or phone you can use to take payments.

 

Don't sweat the small stuff - enjoy your market!


Allow your personality to show to your customers - this is a wonderful opportunity to let them get to know you in a way they simply cannot via social media. And even if there is a fee to attend, think of it as a marketing opportunity!


Whether you sell $5 or $500-worth of your handmade goods, each market is a great learning experience and gives you wonderful insight into your target customer.


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