2018 Application FAQs

HOW DO I APPLY TO HANDMADE ARCADE?
Important application info:

  • Applications open on June 15, 2018.
  • Applications close on August 12, 2018 at 11:59 p.m.
  • Late applications will not be accepted. NO EXCEPTIONS.
  • Applicants will be notified September 21, 2018.
  • IMPORTANT: At this time, food vendors are not permitted to sell at Handmade Arcade. This includes chocolates, tea, honey, and candy. If you have specific questions regarding your products, please ask before you apply at info@handmadearcade.org.

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HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO APPLY TO HANDMADE ARCADE?

Application fees:

  • $10 non-refundable application fee if applying BEFORE July 13, 2018
  • $15 non-refundable application fee if applying AFTER July 13, 2018

Vendor space fees:

  • NEW THIS YEAR! $350 Expanded Vendor Space (10-by-15-foot display space, with TWO 8-by-2.5-foot tables and two chairs and NO set-up restrictions) There will be approximately 20 expanded spaces. Applicants can request an expanded space. Accepted vendors who have requested this space will be given them in order of payment received. Those who do not pay in time to receive an expanded space will be given a standard 10-by-10-foot space and receive a $100 refund.
  • $250 Standard Vendor Space* (10-by-10-foot display space, with one 8-by-2.5-foot table and two chairs and NO set-up restrictions) *Increased from last year’s 8-by-8-foot display space.
  • $150 Craft Corridor Vendor Space (6-by-8-foot display space with one 6-by-2.5-foot table and two chairs and WITH set-up restrictions and application requirements. See Craft Corridor Information below.)

Additional fees:

  • Electricity fee: $65 (not available for Craft Corridor vendors)
  • NEW IN 2018! Request an Endcap Space (i.e., the end of an aisle). The cost to reserve an endcap space is $50. There are 20 endcaps that will be given out first-come, first-served to applicants who pay their vendor fee. Those who do not pay in time to receive an endcap will be given a standard 10-by-10-foot space and receive a $50 refund.

New Hall at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center:
Handmade Arcade is returning to the upper-level floor of the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. Hall B offers natural light, expanded space, and access to a spacious lobby and balcony with river and city views.

Applicants will be notified September 21, 2018.
Payments must be received by October 12, 2018.
If payment is not received by the due date, the accepted applicant’s vendor space will be forfeited and offered to a waitlisted applicant.
Vendor space fees (including extra fees for electricity and preferred spaces) are not refundable after October 31, 2018.

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New Vendor Opportunities in 2018!

The Cutting Edge: A Fundraiser for Handmade Arcade
Handmade Arcade is hosting its first-ever Friday night fundraiser on the evening before our big event. The Cutting Edge: A Fundraiser for Handmade Arcade will take place on Friday, December 7, 2018 from 5:30 – 8 p.m. in our event space at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Downtown Pittsburgh.

This exciting opportunity will provide vendors and sponsors with the following new benefits:

  • Early load-on on Friday afternoon between noon and 4 p.m. Avoid the hectic Saturday morning rush!
  • Set up on Friday afternoon and be ready to sell your wares to hundreds of Handmade Arcade’s biggest fans and supporters. Vendors will be expected to run their space from 5:30 – 8 p.m. during the benefit event. 
  • Vendors will be expected to be back at their booths by 9 a.m. Saturday morning to prepare for the 10 a.m. Early Birdie shopping hour.
  • Handmade Arcade is reserving a block of rooms at the The Westin Convention Center, Pittsburgh — across the street from the DLCC — for Friday night, December 7, 2018. Spend the night and be back at the DLCC by 9 a.m. for Handmade Arcade 2018! Rooms will also be available for Saturday night.

Please note: Vendors are not required to participate in The Cutting Edge: A Fundraiser for Handmade Arcade, to be held on Friday, Dec. 7, nor is there any fee for those who choose to set up and sell during this event. If you are accepted as a vendor to Handmade Arcade 2018, all load-in instructions and logistical details for the Friday event will be included in the September 21 acceptance email.

More about The Cutting Edge: A Fundraiser for Handmade Arcade

At The Cutting Edge, the public will get a first look at select Handmade Arcade vendors, sip signature spirits from Wigle Whiskey, learn a new craft, and receive a free keepsake tote bag or tumbler. The Cutting Edge event will also feature a cash bar, light bites, Wigle Whiskey tastings, hands-on artmaking activities, raffles and more surprises. Attendees will help create a large-scale, community art installation and see glass-blowing demonstrations led by artists from the Pittsburgh Glass Center.

All proceeds will benefit Handmade Arcade’s free admission, Hands-on Handmade Activity Area, Craft Corridor, and the Youth Maker Scholarship Program.


Expanded Vendor Space
Need more space for your set-up? This year, Handmade Arcade has 20 expanded vendor spaces (10-by-15-foot display space, with TWO 8-by-2.5-foot tables and two chairs and NO set-up restrictions.) Applicants can request an expanded space at the time of application submission. Accepted vendors who have requested this space will be assigned one in order of payment received. Those who do not pay in time to receive an expanded space will be given a standard 10-by-10-foot space and receive a $100 refund.


Request an Endcap Space (i.e., the end of an aisle)
The cost to reserve an endcap space is $50. NOTE: Accepted applicants can request an endcap space at the time of payment. You cannot reserve them in the application phase. There are 20 endcaps that will be given out first-come, first-served to applicants who pay their vendor fee. Those who do not pay in time to receive an endcap will be given a standard 10-by-10-foot space and receive a $50 refund.

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Craft Corridor Information
For the second year, Handmade Arcade is celebrating our grassroots history and mission by offering a limited number of smaller tables at the reduced price of $150 to EMERGING and RE-EMERGING craft artists. Craft Corridor applications will undergo the same jury process as standard full-price vendor applications.

Craft Corridor set-up details:

  • Craft Corridor vendor spaces are 6-by-8-foot. Everything, including all extra merchandise and supplies, must fit in the 6-by-8 foot space. No exceptions.
  • Each space receives one 6-by-2.5-foot table and two chairs.
    Craft Corridor vendors MUST use the table provided by the DLCC and are NOT permitted to bring extra tables. Unused chairs can be set in the center aisle upon arrival.
  • The tables have approximately two feet between them. Do NOT use this space for your display.
  • Do not bring racks or other floor display structures. EXCEPTION: Craft Corridor vendors are permitted to bring a backdrop to be placed behind their table (such as a flat panel display, fabric or paper banner or sign, or a stand-alone wall rack to display prints).
  • Electricity will NOT be available in the Craft Corridor section.

Craft Corridor applicants must meet the following requirements:

  1. You have never been a vendor at a juried craft fair OR you have not been a vendor at a juried craft fair in the last five years.
  2. You are not currently selling your wares in any brick-and-mortar stores at the time of application.
  3. You may NOT also apply to Handmade Arcade as a full-price vendor. Double applicants will be disqualified in both applicant pools.

If unsure about eligibility or set-up details, please email info@handmandarcade.org before applying.

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WHAT KIND OF ITEMS DOES HANDMADE ARCADE ACCEPT?
Handmade Arcade is a juried, curated marketplace. Applicants’ products should be handmade, hand-crafted or represent the artist’s personal creation. Mass-produced merchandise is prohibited at all Handmade Arcade events. Accepted vendors are NOT permitted to bring products from anyone not listed on their original application.

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HOW DOES THE HANDMADE ARCADE JURY PROCESS WORK?
Every application is reviewed and voted on by our jurors. Every part of your application is important. The jury reviews your products and process description, images, merchandise price and website. Make sure that your images are of the highest quality and that your website, if you have one, is active. If you provide the URL for an Etsy shop, we suggest that it is currently offering a representative selection of your merchandise.

Handmade Arcade’s jury consists of the planning committee with new and rotating guest jurors from Pittsburgh’s arts, craft, cultural, innovation and small business communities participating every year.

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WHAT IF I WANT TO APPLY WITH A FRIEND?

  • Handmade Arcade encourages you to apply with a fellow crafter. The application allows you to apply with a second applicant. Both applicants are reviewed at the same time.
  • Make sure that images represent both applicants’ products.
  • The primary applicant is notified by email.
  • Both accepted vendors will share the vendor space and be listed together on the website and event map. (e.g. Vendor 1 / Vendor 2)?
  • All set-up needs for vendors who are sharing a space must be decided and planned between the vendors prior to the day of the event.

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WHEN WILL I KNOW IF I HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED?

  • Application notifications will be sent on September 21, 2018.
  • Accepted applicants are required to complete a detailed vendor information form at the time payment is due. Accepted applicants are also required to fill out a vendor survey after the event.
  • Accepted applicants will be sent an information package via email and will be included in a private Facebook group to share event details and updates.
  • Waitlisted applicants will be notified if a vendor space becomes available.
  • If you are not accepted to Handmade Arcade 2018, we encourage you to reapply next year. Handmade Arcade does not offer vendor critiques.

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HOW LARGE IS A STANDARD VENDOR SPACE?

  • Standard vendor spaces are 10-by-10-foot.
  • Each space receives one 8-by-2.5-foot table and two chairs. If you do not need the table or chairs, simply pull them into the aisle during set-up. The DLCC staff will collect unused tables and chairs before the event begins.
  • Vendors must stay within their assigned space and be courteous to their crafty neighbors.
  • All racks, display structures, extra merchandise containers, and personal belongings MUST fit within the 10-by-10-foot space.

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HOW LARGE IS AN EXPANDED VENDOR SPACE?

  • Expanded vendor spaces are 10-by-15-foot.
  • Each space receives two 8-by-2.5-foot tables and two chairs. If you do not need the table or chairs, simply pull them into the aisle during set-up. The DLCC staff will collect unused tables and chairs before the event begins.
  • Vendors must stay within their assigned space and be courteous to their crafty neighbors.
  • All racks, display structures, extra merchandise containers, and personal belongings MUST fit within the 10-by-15-foot space.

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HOW LARGE IS A CRAFT CORRIDOR VENDOR SPACE?

  • Craft Corridor vendor spaces are 6-by-8-foot.
  • Each space receives one 6-by-2.5-foot table and two chairs.
  • Vendors must stay within their assigned space and be courteous to their crafty neighbors.
  • Electricity will NOT be available in the Craft Corridor section.

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OTHER IMPORTANT DETAILS

  • Vendors in Standard and Expanded Spaces are permitted to bring tables, fixtures, grid walls and/or custom display items. All racks, display items, extra merchandise and personal belongings must fit within the assigned vendor space. No exceptions.
  • Craft Corridor vendors must adhere to all requirements and restrictions listed in the Craft Corridor section.
  • Vendors may NOT tape or hang any items to the DLCC walls. Vendors are not permitted to adhere to, hammer on or lean anything against DLCC property.
  • HA will make every effort to accommodate special requests made on your vendor information form.
  • Electricity is available for an additional cost of $65. (Electricity is not available to Craft Corridor vendors.)
  • Vendors may request an Endcap Space. The cost to reserve an endcap is $50.
  • Parking, and all charges related therein are the responsibility of vendors.
  • If you need to leave your table during the event, volunteers will be available to watch your booth for a short time. Volunteers are not permitted to sell your wares or purchase food for you. Food lines at the DLCC can be long. We recommend that you bring food and drinks.

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APPLICATION TIPS

  • Be sure to upload high-quality, high-resolution photographs that are clear and in focus. Photos should bring out the best in your products, highlight the materials and methods used, and demonstrate originality, innovation and the handmade process.
  • IMPORTANT: If you are reapplying, use this opportunity to show us something new. Do not use photos that you have submitted in the past.
  • A website is preferred, but an Etsy shop is also acceptable. If you don’t have either, a social media page (Instagram, Facebook, blog) for your business is acceptable. (Please do not share personal social media accounts.)
  • We strongly recommend that your website and/or Etsy shop be live and current during the application process. Have plenty of items listed in your store that best represent what you intend to sell at Handmade Arcade.
  • A well-written description of your products and creative process is vital to your application.

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QUICK FACTS ABOUT HANDMADE ARCADE

  • Handmade Arcade is celebrating its 14th year in Pittsburgh.
  • In 2017, Handmade Arcade became a nonprofit organization.
  • More than 10,000 attendees shopped at our event in 2017, resulting in more than $400,000 in vendor sales.
  • Admission and all hands-on activities are FREE!
  • In 2017, the sold-out Early Birdie shopping hour (10-11 a.m.) welcomed more than 400 shoppers. Early Birdie tickets cost $20 and include an exclusive shopping hour, as well as a swag bag.
  • In 2017, the Hands-on Handmade activity area welcomed 17 nonprofits, arts groups and artists who shared their craft in a wide variety of interactive drop-in and daylong programs, including craft projects, mini-tutorials and workshops, make-and-take activities, craft competitions and more.

SOCIAL MEDIA, EMAIL and ONLINE REACH
Handmade Arcade has a significant and growing social media presence.

  • 10,000+ Facebook followers
  • 5,400+ Instagram followers
  • 5,300+ Twitter followers
  • 5,000+ Email subscribers

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