7 Things You'll Need to Get Started as a Craft Vendor
As a creative small business owner, you’ve decided to start taking your product to the streets – and we’re here for it! Learn the basics of what you need to get started selling your wares.
As a creative small business owner, you’ve decided to start taking your product to the streets – and we’re here for it! I started out as a craft vendor over a decade ago – attending various pop-up events and markets of all sizes, which evolved into hosting my own pop-up events around Austin, TX. It was such an opportunity to learn, fail, succeed and grow. I aim to share these experiences and knowledge with you to hopefully make your journey that much easier – but more importantly, incredibly successful.
It can be overwhelming getting started and researching what you’ll need. Motivation alone won’t get you there, and there are many options to choose from. But don’t sweat! We’ve assembled a short list of everything you’ll need to get started as a craft vendor.
A 10x10ft Canopy Tent
Trust us, invest in a full 10x10ft canopy tent vs. an 8x10ft or smaller. It’s worth the price; you’ll want a weather-resistant canopy cover.
You’re going to absolutely need a set of tent weights. Most craft markets require you to have them, and these will help ensure that your tent won’t blow away on windy days. The good news is that you have plenty of options based on your budget and aesthetic.
You can go the cost-effective route and buy 4 Cinder Blocks for less than $10. Generally, the suggested weight is 25 lbs per tent leg, and a cinder block is about 35 lbs, give or take. If you’re looking to elevate the look of your setup, you could paint the blocks to match your brand’s color scheme.
You could also buy stackable round weights; they are around $40 for a set of 8 (2 for each leg). These are ideal for easy transport and saving space.
Another cost-effective option is purchasing a bag of play sand and filling four weather-resistant bags. You can evenly distribute the filling between all four bags for under $30.
A 6ft-8ft Folding Table
Your table(s) will be your best friend. You’ll need this for both indoor and outdoor markets. Depending on the space you’ll need for your products, you should expect to have 2-4 tables, 6-8ft each.
Sure, you could buy an average run-of-the-mill tablecloth that is oddly shaped and gets blown up in the wind. Or you could invest a bit more and have a secure, fitted tablecloth that has a clean look and stays put no matter how windy it is.
Fold Up Wagon
You’ll be glad you invested in a fold-up wagon after having to lug bin after bin back and forth. You’ll save time and energy; these easily fold up and can go under your table.
Battery Powered Lights
Depending on your event hours, lighting will absolutely come into play. You’ll want to get some lights that can clamp to your tent and/or lights that won’t take up too much room on your table. Even if you’re selling indoors, you never know what the lighting situation will be like, and promoters don’t always give you the heads up. You’ll wanna keep these in your gear, just in case.
We’re in the digital age! Cash is king – but making change and germs aren’t. Make it easier for your customers and yourself. You can use a small dry-erase board (I get mine from Dollar Tree) and write your Venmo, CashApp, etc., on it for easy reference. You can invest more, get a card reader from PayPal or Square, and start an account or link your existing one. One massive benefit to this is tracking and analytics you can also take advantage of.
Get out there!
We hope these foundational items help you feel comfortable selling at craft markets. We can almost guarantee smooth sailing for load in, set up, and break down if you invest in the items we’ve laid out for you. As you attend markets and other pop-up events, your setup will change physically and aesthetically.
Remember, these are starter items – don’t be afraid to adapt, be creative, and make your display your own.
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