Application FAQs

The 2024 Holiday Market is December 6-7, 2024. Participation in both Friday and Saturday is mandatory for accepted makers. The Holiday Market is held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Downtown Pittsburgh (1000 Fort Duquesne Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA 15222).

The application fee for the 2024 Holiday Market is $25. This fee is nonrefundable.

The application fee cover the administrative and associated costs it takes to jury a market with so many applications.

Applications will be open from May 29, 2024 – July 24, 2024 at 11:59 PM. Late applications will be not be accepted. No exceptions.

We receive many more applications than we can accept for every market. To keep the products sold at Handmade Arcade within the quality standards our shoppers expect, all of our markets are juried. The jury carefully evaluates each application against our Maker Application Rubric. They also evaluate whether or not the applicant fits our definition of a handmade business and if they sell products at a variety of price points, as our shoppers expect. We recommend reviewing the full application and reading through the rubric very carefully before you apply so you know exactly how our jurors are evaluating you.

We define a “handmade business” as follows:

  • You, the artist(s), created the original products.
  • You did not use mass-produced, trademarked, or licensed items in your work.
  • You did not use copyrighted designs that you don’t own in your work.
  • Your products are at least 80% of your original creation.
  • Your products are not made with purchased, downloaded, or copied images or designs.

While it’s not required for makers to have an online presence to participate in our markets, it’s helpful for shoppers to view e-commerce or social media accounts for more images and information. If you provide links to your website and/or social media accounts, they should be active and show a representative selection of your merchandise.

  • Accessories
  • Adult Clothing
  • Artwork*
  • Bath & Body
  • Ceramics
  • Children’s Products
  • Glass
  • Housewares
  • Jewelry
  • Paper Goods
  • Toys
  • Wood
  • Other (surprise us!)

*Handmade Arcade was founded as an accessible alternative to fine arts markets. Historically, independent makers, crafters, and artists NOT considered fine artists do the best at our events. However, if you make fine art and can reproduce your work into various mediums at an accessible price point, such as prints, on fabric or clothing, as stickers, etc., that’s typically a great fit for our markets.

Shared tables are allowed at our Holiday Market, but not our Spring Market. If you decide to apply with a friend for the Holiday Market, we suggest that you pair up with a maker whose work complements your own. That will give you the best show at landing a booth at the Holiday Market. Details about applying with a friend:

  • Co-applicants will be reviewed as one entry.
  • Images must represent both applicants’ products.
  • You are required to indicate a primary applicant who will receive notifications by email.
  • Vendor space will be shared and listed together on the event map (e.g., Vendor 1/Vendor 2)
  • All set-up needs for vendors sharing a space must be decided and planned between the vendors before the day of the event.

No. At this time, we do not accept food vendors, including chocolates, honey, and candy. If you have specific questions regarding your products, please ask before you apply by emailing info@handmadearcade.org. We do have a few food trucks each year at our Spring Market at Construction Junction, so feel free to email if you’re interested in bringing your food truck to that event.

Yes. We want to see how your applications change and how your techniques have grown! We encourage makers to reapply.

Yes. We have an application fee waiver request form that you can complete. We don’t want our application fee to be a barrier for makers to be considered by our jury!

apply for application fee assistance

Yes. Some applicants will be put on a waitlist. Waitlisted applicants will be notified if a maker space becomes available in the category in which they applied.

Yes. On the application, makers can opt-in to receive feedback if they are not accepted.

Handmade Arcade has a jury who reviews all applications. Jurors can be participants of Handmade Arcade’s Advisory Committee, other market curators, artists from the community, etc. Handmade Arcade staff members and board members are NOT members of the jury.

Yes. We accept applications for guest jurors for both our Holiday Market and Spring Market on a rolling basis.

Apply to be a guest juror

Booth FAQs

Craft Corridor Booth: 

  • $175
  • 8 ft x 8 ft space
  • Reserved for new & emerging makers who have not participated in a previous Handmade Arcade Holiday Market
  • If you are a seasoned maker who is simply new to Handmade Arcade, you should apply for the Standard Booth. Preference will be given to emerging makers for the Craft Corridor Booth spaces.

 

Standard Booth: 

  • $365
  • 10 ft x 10 ft
  • Available to both new and established makers, though new & emerging makers are encouraged to apply for a Craft Corridor Booth
  • If you are a maker with a brick-and-mortar store, you are encouraged to Sponsor a table.  Preference for Standard Booths will be given to makers with fewer opportunities to interact with in-person shoppers.

 

Expanded Booth: 

  • $725
  • 10 ft x 20 ft
  • Expanded Booths are not guaranteed, and makers cannot select “Expanded Booth” on the application.
  • There will be a random lottery for Standard Booth makers who request to upgrade to an Expanded Booth.
  • To be entered into the lottery, accepted makers must select “Expanded Booth Upgrade Request” on the Maker Acceptance Form and pay the Standard Booth fee within one week of receiving their acceptance email. If selected for the lottery, they will then receive a payment link to upgrade their Standard Booth to an Expanded Booth.

Our estimated costs to use the Convention Center for our Holiday Market have nearly doubled in 2024. We have increased booth fees by only $5-$25 (depending on the booth type). We have done our best to keep booth fees for makers affordable through this time of inflation.

If you have paid for your booth and cancel before or on the cancellation deadline of October 1, 2024, we can refund your booth fee. We cannot refund booth fees (including extra costs for electricity, expanded booths, etc.) for cancellations made after October 1, 2024.

No. Accepted makers must bring their own tables and chairs OR reserve and pay for a Convention Center table and/or chair in advance through Handmade Arcade. Convention Center costs are $30 per table and $8 per chair. Accepted makers will receive more information about this.

This new change for 2024 is due to increased costs at the Convention Center. Our hope is that the majority of accepted makers will have tables and chairs of their own that they use at other markets or that they will be able to borrow them from other makers, friends, etc.

No. Accepted makers must bring their own table coverings.

No. The Floor Plan for the Holiday Market is created by the Handmade Arcade team. The Floor Plan is determined by category of products, booth sizes, accessibility needs for makers, etc. If you are accepted into the Holiday Market, you can share your accessibility needs or any special requests on the Accepted Maker Form. These requests will be considered, though we cannot guarantee all requests will be filled.

Market FAQs

Yes. Accepted makers must set up on Friday afternoon between 11 AM and 3 PM and then must participate in the Happy Hour Preview Party on Friday Night. The Preview Party is from 5-7:30 PM, and accepted makers must participate. The Preview Party is an excellent opportunity to set up early, make some early sales, and mingle with fellow makers.

Yes. Handmade Arcade requires accepted makers to have craft show insurance. See ACT Insurance for an example of an insurance provider many of our makers use.

Yes. Accepted makers can pay $50* to have electricity at their booth. If you do not pay for electricity, you cannot plug anything in – even a cell phone charger. Handmade Arcade is charged for every outlet used at the Convention Center, which can become costly. Makers who do not adhere to this rule may be asked to leave the market. A Convention Center employee will walk around and count the plugs being used.

*This fee is accurate as of May 2024. Please note that amount may change dependent on venue requirements, though we anticipate it will stay approximately the same.

Accepted makers are permitted to bring tables, fixtures, grid walls, backdrops, chairs, and/or custom display items. All racks, display items, extra merchandise, and personal belongings must fit within the assigned booth space. No exceptions.

No. Makers may not tape or hang any items on the Convention Center walls. Additionally, makers are not permitted to adhere to, hammer, or lean anything against Convention Center property.

Yes. Makers are responsible for all parking and related charges.

Accepted makers must be at their booths no later than 8:30 AM on Saturday morning to prepare for the 9 AM Early Bird Shopping.

No. Accepted makers may not leave or tear down their space until 6 PM without the express permission of Handmade Arcade’s Executive Director.