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A Vendor's Guide to Indie Craft Shows

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Here is an honest list of the best of the best and also the ok and unknown- in my humble opinion. Remember to stay on top of the application due dates! A lot of the best shows take applications way in advance- So sign up for mailing lists and make yourself apply as soon as you know you want to do the show- don't wait and then be sorry that you forgot! It's happened to me too many times! Also I'd love suggestions for shows I may have left out- also let us know which ones you like+ don't like and why..

Los Angeles area shows and events:

The Annex LA- A monthly downtown show accepting vendors and artists-  haven't tried yet but comes highly recommended

Downtown Art Park - Also monthy- they seem organized- I haven't tried it because the load in and out times seem really strict and annoying- but I bet its a pretty good scene- If you try it let me know!

Unique Los Angeles - Happens twice a year- really great, possibly worth traveling a long distance for- I've done 3 of these shows and they are done very professionally with great turn outs. Apps due soon for the April show so get on it!

Felt Club- This is a Los Angeles show but its worth traveling to do it. They haven't done one in a while but I hear they are planning one for holiday 2010 so sign up the mailing list and stay tuned. I have done many of their shows over the years and they have been amazing.

Also- join the LA Craft Mafia- they send out weekly lists of new shows in the area to apply for- a great resource.

Hey and there is also always selling on the Venice Beach Boardwalk + Farmers Markets!

National Indie Craft Shows:

Renegade Craft Fairs- These shows are the cream of the crop of indie craft shows. They happen all over the country and this year the line up is Austin, Los Angeles, Brooklyn, San Francisco + Chicago. I've done them in all  locations except Austin ( the first ever Austin Renegade happens in May) and with the exception of the weather ruining things- they've all been awesome. If you want to sell tons and meet great people - do this show. Worth travelling to, but be warned that when the show is outside there are no rain checks and you do not get your money back! The applications are online for Austin and Brooklyn now so hurry up and apply.

Bazaar Bizarre- This show happens in Boston, Cleveland + San Francisco. I've done a Baz Biz in LA which was amazing one year and then also in San Francisco- also totally rad. Then I did one in Austin when it was part of a Maker Faire, and that one blew so hard I don't even want to talk about it. It wasn't anyones fault exactly - its just that no one was there for the crafts- they are there for the amazing spectacle that is a Maker Faire!! anyhow- This is a pretty top notch operation overall- check it out- get on the mailing list and apply!

Felt Club- This is a Los Angeles show but its worth travelling to do it. They haven't done one n a while but I hear they are planning one for holiday 2010 so sign up the mailing list and stay tuned. I have done many of their shows over the years and they have been amazing.

Crafty Wonderland- This is a Portland only show but I hear it is really great--I missed the deadline for the Spring show but hope to do the holiday one for sure!

Urban Craft Uprising- This is a Seattle show -  I have not done this one yet but plan to. Applications are up now for the summer show- and it looks like its worth traveling to.

Bust Craftacular- These shows are put on by the awesome ladies over at Bust magazine but I can't say my one experience at the Bust Craftacular in LA in December 2008 was very good. It was poorly lit and the crowd was more into partying than shopping..They do shows in NY and London too though so maybe check those out!

Thread show- This is a San Diego based show but they also do events in Orange County and San Francisco. I used to do Thread shows pretty regularly but stopped after it started to get stale for me  a few years ago. However they really seem to keep refining their shows - and they were always pretty cool to begin with- so this may be worth checking out again. They are well run and usually draw pretty good numbers- especially in San Diego. They also offer whats called a Robot booth where they do the selling for you- so you don't even have to be there! Check them out.]]>

2 comments

  • Sorcha: November 16, 2010

    Thanks Jamila,

    really appreciate the info on the local craft shows. Attended the Renegades as a vendor this past July, in both LA and SF. LOVED them, great crowds that seemed to be well educated about the hand craft buss. Looking for more, not your local church bazaar type fairs. Also, interested in wholesale to trendy shops, any ideas?

    Keep up the good work here, so glad I found your Blog!
    Cheers,
    Sorcha

  • Jamila: November 16, 2010

    I love your stuff! so cute!! thanks for the comment- yes Renegade is the creme of the crop of craft shows..a few others on that level but not too many!
    Do you have a wholesale catalog/ line sheet? There are lots of shops that would love your bags and animals!

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