6 Ways to Find Markets & Craft Fairs
Want to know my secret to finding the perfect market?…There isn’t one. Do a lot of research, try different events, see what works for you and your products.
I also want to add the disclaimer that I am in the San Francisco Bay Area, and I believe the number of markets and vending opportunities here are exceptionally high. If you live in a less metropolitan area, you may need to research your nearest city or other types of events and travel to them.
1. Walk around your town or the nearby busy area!
I go up to any market-looking thing to see if they have artists or local small business. Sometimes it’s literally just a parent throwing a birthday party for their kid at the park, but I always keep my eyes out for canopy tents set up anywhere.
2. Follow vendors in your area on social media and see where they go.
This is also a great way to learn how others set up their booths and find out if events are worth doing.
3. Make connections with fellow vendors and share information with each other.
Talk to the people you’re stalking on the internet! In my experience, the maker community is very friendly and everyone has a different experience to share. Even if there aren’t a lot of experienced makers for you to meet, most people have the same questions as you, so why not find the answers out together?
4. Do your research.
Research enough and you’ll hear the names of bigger craft shows that everyone knows about especially ones that have multiple locations. Specific examples that I’ve had access to are Renegade Craft, West Coast Craft, Headwest Marketplace, SJMade, 626 Night Market, Foodieland, and Patchwork Show. Not all of these events have been great for me, but they can be a more trusted organizer to sign up for than some random person nobody’s heard of before.
5. Join your local Etsy group.
Did you know that Etsy has local community groups for makers to connect with others in their area? Joining SFEtsy was one of the only ways I made connections with other small business owners at first and it was a great place to ask questions and find out about small events happening in the area. If there isn’t an Etsy group for your area, look for other community groups on Facebook, Reddit, etc. where you can learn about local events or get vending tips.
6. Create your own pop-ups
Approach local businesses about doing a pop up. If you’re not as lucky as I am in the bay to have so many events to join, consider creating your own! One simple way to do this is to partner with a local business to do a pop-up. This could be at a local boutique, plant store, or cafe. You’ll want to pick one whose brand or audience aligns well with yours, as the owner will be more inclined to host similar businesses.
If you’re in the SF Bay Area and are looking to learn about events here, read my other blog posts, check out my Instagram Story Highlights, and join my newsletter below to be informed of all the events I participate in and what I think of them.
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