Vendor Tips: Submitting an All-Star Application

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. Think of your application as your crafty resume, and make sure you put your best foot forward in every way you possibly can.

On our PARTICIPATE 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

Take a look below at some specific examples and details we look for when curating our Fairs!

BE PROFESSIONAL!

Thinking about applying to our Fairs? First things first:

Read and follow directions thoroughly! It’s surprising how many questions we receive about many aspects of the Fairs that are highlighted on the website. Take time to read through our FAQ page to understand what it takes to have a successful show.

If you do have a question and want to email us, exhibit your professionalism. Emails give us a glimpse into how you run your business. Instead of sending us photo attachments of your products, link us to your website or blog where we can see the photos online. A simple “Hello” and “Sincerely,” with full sentences and no abbreviations can go a long way.

When applying to our Fairs, be sure to link us directly to your products. Showing us your best work directly helps us jury as we sift through hundreds of websites and applications. If you have a “special note” included in your application, make sure it is information we absolutely need if it is not on your website. Let your portfolio/website do all the talking!

BE BOOTH SAVVY!

Screen Shot 2015-02-13 at 12.51.08 PM

Think of your booth as your own shop; make it homey, unique to your own aesthetic, respectful to booths around you, and welcoming to shoppers. 

Standard Full Booth: Full Booths are typically square in shape. A full booth is a great option for folks interested in having a good sized display or inventory at the Fair. It’s also ideal for friends who would like to share a booth.

Half Booth: Half Booths are half of our standard booth sizes, and are typically rectangle in shape. These booths may sometimes be oriented vertically and sometimes horizontally to the aisle, depending on the venue layout. This is a good option for vendors who have a small set-up, or are new to the craft fair scene and want to give it a try before the commitment of a full booth.
Double Booth: Double Booths are two standard booths side by side. Double Booths are an excellent way to showcase larger work and complex displays, or share a booth with multiple friends. This is a great option for when the Full Booth just doesn’t seem like enough space; plus, it’s a great opportunity to create a welcoming environment for customers!
Mobile Booth: Mobile Booths are moveable displays that roam throughout the event. Mobile Booths typically have a 4’x8′ footprint and often consist of wheels/wagons/bicycles. Mobile Booths are perfect for inventive or creative vendors who want to stand out & move about the crowd!  Mobile booths are not trailers, food trucks, or large stationary set-ups. Check out some Mobile Booth ideas on our Pinterest page!
Want to learn more? Scroll down to the FAQ section and check out the RCF Footprint Options and Booth Size Cheat Sheet. You can also find real life examples of what vendors have done at our fairs!

BE UNIQUE!

unique vendors

Clockwise from top left: The Vintage Vogue | Nell & Mary | Onefortythree | Biken

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 or paper-goods; 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:

  •  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!)

good vendors

Clockwise from top left: Small Adventure | Caru Skincare Co. | Piebox | Smoke Perfume

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.

Make your booth stand out!  Check out the Renegade Craft Fair Pinterest for examples of Exceptional Booth Displays as well as our Flickr Albums, which has hundreds of photos from previous fairs!

upperclassmetal

Upper Class Metal

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, 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.

Manready Mercantie Website

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 businessTumblr, flickr, InstagramFacebook or a blog, allows you to set up galleries that can be viewed by others – perfect for your vendor 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
  •  Keep your website updated and well-maintained
  •  Highlight your goods on the web
  •  Exhibit professionalism in all aspects of your crafting

Ripe

BE CREATIVE + CLEAR WITH IMAGES & 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!

coral and tusk

Coral & Tusk

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 frequently 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

PF Candle

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!

One thought on “Vendor Tips: Submitting an All-Star Application

  1. I love the depth of insider tips and secrets put in to this post. *Thank you* for going at length to fill us in on precisely what you’re looking for and pairing that info with all of these stellar sample photos!

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