Maker Market Mafia: How to Become a Stellar Vendor

You are a creator. A visionary. A maker. Crafting is your jam and you are ready to share your talents with the world.

Enter: the market scene.

Who doesn’t have blissful ideals of whimsical customer interactions and instant success and notoriety via the maker market scene? Whether you are a newbie dipping your toes into the world of real-time, face-to-face selling or you are an accustomed pro, we could probably all use a little mini handbook of dos and don’ts to brush up on the ‘vendor culture’ and freshen our market maven manners.

So here ya go: A top ten list to help you steer clear of vendor faux pas and work your maker magic with style, flair, and grace.

1. Spread The Love Promoting a market carries a huge before-during-after effect: as a vendor, build momentum before the big date, follow-through with posts during the market, and be sure to continue plugging the triumph of the day after the fact (this will have an outstanding effect on the future success of the successive market). Be it the little white birdie or the infamous white ‘f’ or the little instant camera…be sure to post to all social media formats until the cows come home! The more peeps that know about the market, the more success you will have the day of. Oh, and try to create a domino effect by including your fellow vendors with plentiful social media shoutouts!

2. Bedazzle That Fanny Pack …or just make sure you are packing all the tools you will need. Forethought for the big day goes a loooooong way. Make sure to have all of the supplies, food, display items, tools of the trade, food, lipgloss, float, food, phone charger, packaging, food, etc. that you may need. Oh, and pack food.

3. Don’t Be a Dick One would think that this would be a given: aren’t we all just lovely human beings working together for the common good of creating and selling? Mmm, yes, the majority of us, makers, are sweet as all heck and this makes vending at markets an amaaaaazing experience, doesn’t it? Let’s face it, though, market days are bound to contain some whoa-that-is-not-how-I-planned-it moments. Take the oopsy daisy moments in stride and smile. A lot. We can all agree that being bratty is not what this whole beautiful market thing is about. Be friendly and kind. {And, if you happen to be an irrefutable dick, apologize… or fake it till you make it…}

4. No {Wo}man is an Island Ugh, the curse of being a Girl Boss: we are strong, competent women who are used to doing it all by ourselves. Please do not be afraid or too proud to ask for help. On the flip side, be a beauty and offer another maker your muscles, love, or hammer. A little goes a long way.

5. What a Relief Got a spare moment during market day? Offer your fellow maker a pee break. Booth coverage for a trip to the little ladies’ room is immeasurable during a busy market day. Nuf said.

6. Mo’ Vendors, Mo’ Problems Larger markets naturally have more vendors. More vendors equals a bigger network (yay you!) but also means more bodies, vehicles, and stuff. This can create bottle-necks at the doorways and a bit of a parking fiasco at unloading and loading times. Rule #3 applies here. Be patient. Be accommodating. Try to avoid being a ‘unloading spot hog’; when you’re done hauling your pretties in, move your vehicle so that your fellow vendors can sneak their haul into the hall without walking a million miles. Hold the doors for one another. Smile when you’re passing another maker. Being a courteous human being goes a long way on the market scene. This goes for your allotted booth space as well; stay in bounds. We all want to capitalize on our purchased plot of land and naturally one’s items may creep into another’s booth space. If this occurs, extend courtesy and communicate intentions. Nine times out of ten, your neighbouring vendor will lovingly oblige.

7. Drink Up Stay hydrated throughout the day. This will keep your (much-needed) energy up and the grouches away. Plus, chances are you will be doing copious amounts of convo which equals cotton-mouth. Ew. Hello H2O.

8. Trash the Trash Talk Haters gonna hate and lovers gonna love. There is nothing more disheartening and disgusting than one vendor trash-talking another and no one likes a whiner. Embrace the market culture with finesse. You are a Boss Babe. Be an empowering maker. Lift up your comrades and even go a step above by directing customers over to your favourite booths. P.S. A negative attitude is for the birds. Be grateful, flexible, and keep it professional.

9. Barter is the New Black Market newbies may be unaware of the invaluable barter system that is invisibly sewn into the market culture. See something you covet? Ask the maker if she would love something of yours! Tradsies are the BEST!

10. Sisterhood of the Travelling Maker Maker Market Mafia. Well, maybe the word ‘mafia’ is a biiiiiit extreme…but a real girl gang, for sure. Your market friends will become your maker family. There is no one who will have your back more than a kindred creative. Expand your network by showing authentic love for one another and partaking in collective collabs. P.S. Competitiveness is also for the birds.

There ya have it: Ten tips for becoming a rockstar vendor. There is no magic pixie dust; do good things and good things will come. You are a maker and can make a market experience your best each and every time. Go on and create, girl.

xoxo Jackie – Lace Brick Design