Here at Handmade Canberra, we have seen a lot of applications over the years – good, bad and seriously challenged!
Putting together your application requires planning and preparation. Research what other businesses are doing at markets, think about your target audience and have everything ready to make the best first impression. To help you, here are some tips on what we would love to see.
This is possibly the most important thing you can provide. Handmade has built a reputation for beautiful design, and it’s therefore important that our communications with shoppers and visitors to the market maintains this standard. The better our offering, the more people will turn up and support Australian small business.
A good photo will also give us a great indication of what you are designing and the quality as well. This is the first thing we will look at on your application. Please make sure that your photos are of a professional quality and not just snaps taken on your phone in poor light. There are lots of online tutorials on taking good product photos if you need some help, including one on our Brandmade blog. We’ve shown some examples of good ones on this page.
Within your application form, you will be asked to upload at least one and up to five images that represent your product range. The first one has to be square, with a maximum file size of 2mb and a minimum width of 600px. All photo editing software will allow you to edit your images to meet these requirements. This image will be featured as a tile in our directory and is the shopper’s first impression of your business.
You will also be asked whether you want to load up to four further images for your online profile. These are better square, but can be any shape as long as they meet the size requirements above. The more you load, the better your directory entry and the better chance we and your customers have of understanding your brand. Please make sure that you include good quality images to give yourself the best chance in your application, and in promoting your products.
If you make amazing jewellery then tell us that is what you make and how you go about it. Do you have an interesting story to tell, what makes you unique? Make sure you stand out! Please put in the correct category as well, ticking fashion because you have one shirt and the rest is jewellery but you forget to tell us that, will not bode well on the day! These words will be visible in your directory entry and must be a maximum of 100. We also ask you to sum up your business in no more than 7 words. This is challenging, but allows visitors to the website to see a snapshot of you and the idea is to make them want more!
We really look at this information, and often base our decisions on what you write here, so please think carefully about who your audience is and describe them to us. Are you catering for mums with children under 10 years old? Why is that and how are you meeting their needs?
DISPLAY AND PRESENTATION
Styling & presentation at Handmade Canberra is important! Think about your stall set up and display. Showing us a well thought out display will get you lots of brownie points, but will also draw the shoppers in. Throwing a crushed velvet cover over your table and snapping a photo is no longer going to cut it! Think about your products – how are they used or worn? These factors shape who your customer is and why your product is unique.
We often walk around markets and notice that stallholders don’t have their brand on display. Get yourself a good logo, but even if you haven’t got one, your business name should be highly visible on your stall. Do you have signage, business cards? Do your customers know who you are? These should be the very minimum any good small business like yours should have. These can be found online and well priced these days.
We love having interstate designers at The Handmade Market. Our customers love having interstate designers as well. It means they can find something that is unique and cannot be found anywhere else in Canberra. Attending a market in another state is not for everyone and it can become very costly and tiring. The ones that do travel tell me good planning and a local bottle of wine always helps. Here are some things to consider if you are coming from interstate.
- Please keep in mind that you will incur the extra costs of freight, petrol, accommodation, meals etc. It is your choice to apply and we cannot be responsible for these costs. Please factor this in when you are considering applying for Handmade.
- If your aim for attending Handmade is solely to make more sales you will really need to think about our demographic and whether it is possible to cover all your costs and still make a profit with your current stock levels and what you can bring with you.
- If it is to broaden your customer base and do a bit of customer research you still need to add up the costs and make the calculations. You might have more expenses than you do profits, but in the end it might help to grow your business. So much to think about.
- There are ways to limit your costs if you are coming from interstate. Accommodation is almost always the biggest expense. If possible book early, you can always cancel if it is no longer needed if you supply enough notice. Some of our designers share and treat it like a bit of a working holiday.
- Flying vs driving. This will depend on how far away you live, how long it takes whether your time could be better spent creating if it is going to take you two days to drive! Of course, how much you are bringing with you will also comes into this equation. If you need to send stock to the venue, there is info on how to do this in the Stallholder Pack you get with your acceptance and also on the FAQs page.
- Creating that first impression. Think about what you usually take for a stall set up then remember you also need a suitcase etc. Will it all fit? If not, what can you afford to leave behind? There is no point coming all this way then having only half your display.
- Preparation is key, there is no popping home for something left behind and we can only help you find so much on the day. If you then need to buy things because you left them behind this is really going to eat into your profits.
- Make sure you know where, when the event is etc. Put it in your GPS, check the bus timetable etc. Being late is never a good look!