Youth Maker 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).

Applications will be open until July 24, 2024 at 11:59 PM (EST). 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 Youth Maker Application Rubric or Youth Maker Group Application. 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.

Yes. 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.
  • The $500 stipend given to accepted Youth Makers will be split between two artists if you apply with a friend. Each person will receive a $250 stipend instead.

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 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. 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

Youth Maker Market FAQs

Ideally, yes. Load-in is scheduled for Friday, December 6, 2024 from 11 AM and 3 PM, and then the Happy Hour Preview Party is scheduled from 5 - 7:30 PM on Friday Night. The Preview Party is an excellent opportunity to set up early, make some early sales, and mingle with fellow makers. We understand that this might be difficult with school and activity schedules. We will work with the Youth Maker to find a load-in time that works.

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.

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.