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Where to sell your handmade jewelry

Art markets, events, craft fairs etc.

are you looking for ways to sell your own handmade jewelry or handcrafted items? starting out by direct selling at in-person events is probably the best first course of action. its an excellent source of promotion, and a way to start getting a social media following. you should concurrently start an instagram or facebook page etc., and invite your friends to follow. this will also allow you to get the word out once you have a few events lined up. and also, your friends are likely to become your first supporters.

handmade craft market
lining up to get into the witchcrafted az yule market at the glendale, az civic center

types of markets and events

there’s a wide array of markets and events going on out in the world. i’ll list as many as i can think of here:

  • art walks
  • neighborhood street fairs
  • art festivals
  • night markets
  • music festivals
  • themed craft fairs and markets
  • flea markets and themed flea markets
  • pop up markets
  • holiday themed pop ups
  • lifestyle and interest themed pop ups and markets
  • roadside pop ups
witchcraft art market
a peek into witchcrafted az, right before the opening

due to the style of jewelry i make and who it appeals to, I’ve done quite a variety of markets. I’ve done pop ups in bars and niteclubs, the Polish hill art festival in Pittsburgh, various punk rock themed flea markets in Philly, Pittsburgh, Tucson, New Orleans and the Seattle area.

One good option for beginners are open gallery art walk nights. I’ve done several of these including ones in San Diego, Phoenix, and Pittsburgh. I’ve usually had a good outcome, even though most people are just checking out art and loading up on free cheese and wine. and then there are the random possibilities if you are open to them. once, i even set up a table at a rest area by the Rio Grande river gorge by Taos, NM. the story was, that i was passing through, and noticed other vendors setting up. And I thought ‘why not?’ and I ended up making a quick sale to a couple from Los Angeles on their way to Santa Fe.

roadside vending in Taos, new mexico
a few years ago at a rest area near the Rio Grande river gorge, Taos, NM

One i did most recently, was the Witchcrafted Arizona ‘yule’ holiday market in Phoenix. this event combines the pagan holiday theme of ‘yule’ and the lifestyle interest of Witchcraft. There are typically 4 a year around the solstices and equinoxes. Perhaps that’s not your thing or even close. But, the point is, there are so many niche markets and events going on all the time, that your bound to stumble on to one that speaks to your aesthetic.

black owned metaphysical shop in phoenix, az
BLACK Amethyst from Phoenix, az

now the hard part

Its very easy once you start looking, to find these types of events. The difficult part is to find them while the applications are open. 9 out of 10 of these i find out about too late. Still. However, once you do, it seems to get slightly easier. The first thing i would do is to start looking into online event calendars in your community. Look into upcoming art festivals and street fairs. I know of a person who got their start getting a space in a farmers market in Santa Monica, CA., and eventually opened a physical shop in town.

eternal noir vending event in phoenix
Eternal Noir

If your part of any type of community yourself, you can look to see if their are any organisations hosting any markets. Once you start to identify what type of suitable events are going on around you, contact people who may be in charge or ask who to talk to about vending. You may miss one that’s coming up soon, but try to get on an email list about upcoming events. And finally, if you can find events that you think might be a good fit, go to one yourself and ask vendors what events they have coming up, or if they know of any to look into. Also, if you can, buy a few things at these events! especially from anyone who is giving you good leads and advice!

bones n' honey jewelry and esoteric crafts
bones ‘n honey

When you start getting good leads, and find some markets that are accepting applications, get ready to pay up front. Vendor fees can add up, and sometimes tie up your money for weeks to months in advance until the day of the event. So keep that under consideration.

moon goddess market from phoenix, az
esoteric goods and novelties
moon goddess market

Random tips and things to consider

Before sending any money for vendor fees, ask about how they are promoting the event, and if they even are! Be wary of events that aren’t promoted well or in poor locations. Another thing i would add, is to have either a great display and a charming personality, or have amazing things that sell themselves. If you can, have both! I admit I have a pretty crappy display right now. In the past, i had a much better display set-up; complete with large crystals, deer skulls, antlers and cool creepy things that my customers loved. But, they didn’t really fit in the van that well, and so all I use right now, is just a nice table cloth, and simple velvet jewelry display racks.

black amethyst
black amethyst

I still don’t have a logo, let alone a banner or any descriptive signage yet. I’m too busy making jewelry, and haven’t gotten around to it yet! What i do have, is jewelry that itself is pretty stunning and sells itself. Of course, it would be a boon to have a glorious display to attract people on over. One day i’ll get around to it. Once i have free time!

stelae jewelry
i still make pretty good sales with this basic set up!

Hopefully, this short article may give you some ideas of where to start. If you are organized and a social person, things should get easier and you should be able to start to figure out a system that works best for you.

visit some of my friends featured in the photos, black amethyst, bones ‘n honey, moon goddess market, eternal noir, and stelae jewelry!

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