With the Los Angeles and San Francisco applications open, we thought we would kick off our Vendor Tips series with an outline on a few ways you can submit an all-star application to Renegade Craft Fair!
“How can I improve my chances of getting accepted into the Renegade Craft Fair?” We get this question all the time, and while our Fair continues to grow and evolve, the factors that make for an excellent vendor application remain the same.
You application to the Fair is your chance to shine and show us you are Renegade material, but you only get a few cells on our spreadsheet to do so. Think of your application as your crafty resume, and make sure you put your best foot forward in every way you possibly can.
On each city’s ‘APPLY’ page you can see what factors we are looking for when we jury your application, in short we value:
- Unique, well-made, or innovative wares
- Emails, business names, and websites that speak to your professionalism
- Great photos, excellent styling, or a well-designed website
In any given year, we receive over 6,000 applications! The quickest way to our hearts, and to a booth at the Fair, is to stand out with a unique craft we haven’t seen before. Reviewing several hundred applications for each Fair gets tedious, and crafters who come up with innovative ideas are a welcome change to looking at application after application with similar crafts.
Maybe you are wondering, “What if I craft something that is common, like jewelry, paper-goods, or t-shirts; how do I stand out?” We don’t expect you to change the course of your craft, and there is room for all kinds of crafts at the fairs, but we encourage you to push the envelope and brainstorm ways you can set yourself apart from the pack:
- Collaborate with an artist to use unique imagery, instead of public domain or stock images
- Utilize unique packaging
- Showcase well-styled photos that highlight your creativity
- Make your goods by hand in lieu of having your designs printed or constructed elsewhere (this one is huge for us!)
No matter how well-made and unique your goods may be, if your work falls into the category of Fine Art, Fine Craft, Fair Trade Goods, High Fashion, or Vintage* it probably won’t be a great fit for our Fair. Renegade started as a response to a lack of indie DIY fairs, so if your wares appear as though they could be sold at other traditional craft fairs or markets it’s likely that we won’t rate your application as high as a vendor with a less-mainstream feel. *If you are a vintage vendor and are interested in the Austin or Chicago markets, check out The Vintage Bazaar.
Applying as a shared booth? Choose your boothmate carefully as this could help – or hinder your application. Amazing booths make the Fair dynamic for our attendees, the more creative, colorful, and well styled, the better! Common crafts can be made snazzier when paired with a unique boothmate, or creative booth set up. Always think ahead to the Fair, and keep the bigger picture in mind when submitting your application!
If you are reapplying as a previous Renegade Craft Fair vendor, we pay close attention to how your work has progressed from previous Fairs. No one is grandfathered into any fair, and if you are still “putting a bird on it,” we encourage you to think outside the box and branch out with a new trend!
Be Business Savvy!
While it’s great to spend the majority of your days being creative and crafting away, don’t underestimate the importance of being business savvy and getting your ducks in a row. An application that exhibits professionalism and consistency in terms of business names, websites, and emails lets us know that you are taking your craft seriously, and we can count on you to be a great vendor at our Fair.
There are many free tools online that make this a breeze – if you aren’t computer savvy, there is no time like the present to learn the ropes! Sites like Etsy, Big Cartel, Shopify, and Squarespace make it easy to sell your goods, but if you don’t want to set up an online shop, it’s still a good idea to have a venue acting as a home base for your business. Tumblr, flickr, Instagram, Facebook or a blog, allows you to set up galleries that can be viewed by others – perfect for your vendor application! Set aside a specific place for your art online- while we love looking at photos, we don’t have time to sift through pictures of your gran or your new puppy when reviewing your application.
If you are an amazing screen printer, but a novice knitter, for example, it is a good idea to only show us your best work, so as not to lower the level of cohesiveness and consistency in your application. In general, be professional with your craft business, even if this isn’t your primary profession.
- Set up an email address specific to your business
- Highlight your goods on the web
- Exhibit professionalism in all aspects of your crafting
Be Creative + Clear With Your Images & Your Website!
Clear photographs, excellent styling, and a creative website showcasing a well cultivated line of goods all make your application stand out. Photograph your goods being used in a lifestyle setting!
When it comes to your wares, the more the merrier! One product offered in a variety of styles, or a variety of well-made goods always catch our eye. It’s a good idea to make sure your website is up and running, easily navigable, and your online shop is full before you provide us with a link. If you have a blog, Tumblr, Instagram, or Flickr page, update it so we see something current when reviewing your application. In the minds of our jurors:
- A well styled photo suggests you will make the effort to have a well-styled booth set-up
- Leading us directly to your work (instead of a maze of Flash-heavy illustrations and homepages) makes it easier for us to get to the goods – the beautiful things you make!
- Showing a wide variety of products on the web leads us to believe you will have a full booth at the Fair
- Creative websites make us want to see more of your work at the Fair , websites which are not up to date aren’t as inspiring
Reviewing applications and giving crafters the opportunity to sell their goods is of the most rewarding parts of planning our Fairs. We are always excited to see what a new round of applications has in store.
We look forward to seeing your all-star application soon!