days left until the next Handmade Market Nov 9-10-11, 2018

2018 Application Guidelines

2018 Applications are closed.

Before diving into the online application process, please take a few minutes to read below. The link to the application is at the bottom of this page.

Please note that if you are a food truck, this application does not apply to you. Our food trucks are selected through an invite-only process.

Eligibility & Ethos

The HandMade Market accepts applications from individual makers, artisans, visual artists and small cottage industry businesses across all creative disciplines that meet our curation criteria and the general ethos of the HandMade Market.

We do not accept or curate applications that include any buy/sell items. No exceptions.

Although we value the concept of 'fair trade', we generally do not accept applications containing products manufactured outside of Canada and/or products imported for resale or who's primary ingredients are manufactured/produced outside of North America.

The HandMade Market is artisan focused and in order to ensure that each artisan has a captive audience, we maintain a strict cap on any one ‘type’ of artisan at each market. This cap minimizes sales dilution and provides a more diverse selection for our guests.

Artisans retain 100% of their profits.

The Artisan Experience

We spoke with a few artisans who have previously participated in the HandMade Market to get their perspective on what makes the market tick and why it works for them.

Fees > Spring & Fall 2018

The 8th Annual Spring (May 11/12, 2018) and 8th Annual Fall (September 14/15, 2018) are completely sold out.

Fees > Holiday 2018

The 10th Annual Holiday HandMade Market is completely sold out.

"3 years ago (I) decided to try the HandMade Market because I'd heard so many good things from other vendors. It was my first show in the Niagara area and exposed me to a whole new audience ... it has become one of my most financially successful shows with far lower costs than many others. It's probably the best organized show I've ever participated in and you can really tell that the organizers care about not only the show, but each of the vendors and their businesses. I'm very excited about the growing fine art segment of the show, as I think there's a great potential for the HandMade Market to be a fine art destination the way it is for fine craft." JESSICA LIN, JESSICA LIN PHOTOGRAPHY

How to Apply/What to Submit

Applications must be submitted online and you can choose to apply to one, two or all three markets at the same time from the same application.

Before you click the 'apply' button, you'll want to prepare ahead by gathering up your images and text content!

Your images *MUST* be high-resolution marketing-ready at a minimum of 1000px wide (height is irrelevant). Photos of products on a white background are preferred if possible.

To be considered and curated, applications must be completed in full INCLUDING mailing in the signed/dated contract with the required separate cheque(s).

Our receipt of your application does not guarantee or imply you have secured a spot regardless of whether or not you’ve been at the HandMade Market previously.

All completed applications meeting our criteria will be curated and notified of acceptance, decline or wait list status by email on or before notification dates outlined below.

Curation Considerations

We get many questions from artisans wondering what they could “do better” to increase their chance of being curated into one of our markets. Curating is a complicated process and often it is not for one reason, but several, that we may decline your application and/or place you on a waiting list.

We hope the following information will help shed some light on our processes.

Product Relevance: This is where we consider how your product will be received by our HMM guests. Will they find it interesting? Does it meet a unique need? Is it satisfying a hankering for a current trend? How does your product align with today’s fashion sense or collective ethos?  Does your product connect with today’s marketplace?

The Right Fit: The HMM has a very distinct clientele. We’d have nothing without our fabulous and loyal guests spending their hard earned cash on your work. To make and keep our guests happy, we select artisans who have the most appeal specifically to them. If you are interested in discovering more about our HMM guests, talk to other artisans who have been to the HMM and/or come and visit an HMM and discover for yourself!

Display: Your display is your calling card. Does it stand out? Does it draw people in? Is it engaging? If you are simply laying items on a table, perhaps it’s time to rethink this aspect of your booth design. Those who design a space which is both professional looking and interesting have a better chance of being curated in.

Originality: Originality is important. If you are known to be purposefully copying the creative work of another artisan, the HMM is not for you.

Photography: Your photos must be high resolution. Do they tell a clear story of your product and your process? Details are important. Photos of product on a white background are preferred. We use these images for marketing purposes, so the better you look, the better we look. Professional shots are not mandatory, but they certainly help the cause.

"My sales at the Handmade Market never disappoint! At the last Holiday Handmade Market, my daily sales were the highest of any other show and at less cost per day. Hands down, my favourite show for the atmosphere and curation." Robin Loewen, Urban Nest Décor

Category Saturation: We can’t control the number of applications we get ‘per category’ and when we have high demand for a fixed number of spaces, the competition can be stiff in certain areas. At times, even the most qualified of artisans won’t be curated into the HMM because of category saturation. We really don’t relish turning down great talent, but at the same time, we feel privileged to be choosing from among the best.

Grandfathering: We see great benefit for the health of the HMM in keeping the selection of artisans fresh and evolving. For this reason, we have a “rule of thumb” about grandfathering ... basically, we don’t do it. If you have been at an HMM previously, this does not guarantee your acceptance into every future market. Each HMM curation is a brand new evaluation, considering all of the applications we’ve received.

While we value loyalty and endeavour to reward it where we can, we can’t allow grandfathering to dictate the curation process and, by extension, the health of the market. This is one of the most difficult decisions we have had to make, but we believe it will prove to be one of the best in making the HMM a distinctly special market to stand the test of time.

Buy and Sell: We don’t knowingly accept artisans who are purchasing and selling through third party sourcing under any circumstances.

Although we value the concept of 'fair trade', we generally do not accept applications containing products manufactured outside of Canada and/or products imported for resale or who's primary ingredients are manufactured/produced outside of North America.

Late Applications: Due to high demand, late applicants are not considered in the initial jury process. We will put you onto a waiting list in case a space becomes available within your category.

Host Property Conflicts: Occasionally we have specific additional limitations on selected categories due to conflicts with our host property. For this reason, at times, we won’t accept artisans in a category in which the host property specializes.

Dates and Deadlines

February 9, 2018 - Spring notifications sent on or before / payments processed 5 days after notification
February 23, 2018 - Fall notifications sent on or before / payments processed 5 days after notification
March 30, 2018 - Holiday notifications sent on or before / payments processed 5 days after notification

Cancellation Policy

Once you have been notified of acceptance, your cheque(s) will be deposited. Absolutely no refunds or credits for cancellations due to any reason within 60 days of the market dates. All other cancellations made prior to the 60 day window will be refunded less an $85 administration charge. Undeposited cheques will be destroyed.

Artisan Email Notification List

Are you on our Artisan Email Notification List? If not, be sure to sign up and you'll get advance notice by email when we release our annual applications!

Sign up for email notifications today.

STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?

If after reading above you still have unanswered questions or concerns that need to be addressed before you apply, please contact Jennifer Elliotson.

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