When we started applying to markets we thought we’d receive a lot more rejection than we did. We got accepted into 10 markets in June and 12 in July. We were ready to hit the ground running.
Our first market was the Art Mart put on by Rock Paper Scissors Collective (RPSC is 100% volunteer run) in Oakland. This market was held at the Uptown Community Center and it was cute as hell. We probably saw ~40 people walk in during the market (market hours: 1-4). This small community focused event was the perfect place to dip our toes into pop-up markets. The fee to attend was $35. We sold two items (one was to a friend) for a total of $28. It was great to interact with folks and get feedback on our products/pricing.
In PDX, the community pride event held at Taborspace was a small event as well. It was outdoors. Although this was before we had a canopy, we were lucky to have a nice shaded spot. We were given a free spot to attend the event and met some awesome people. We made $60 in sales and it gave us a good idea for how we wanted to change the setup and products to be best received. Customers were most excited about the space fanny packs, buttons, and patches.
The PDX Downtown Flea made for a bit of a rough day. Though we sold $100 the spot was $110 and we received a ticket for $85. It was on the second story of the mall and there was no nearby parking. The majority of foot traffic was teenagers looking for Y2K fashion. The best part of this event aside from meeting a few awesome queers was probably getting to meet the organizer (@raspytimbre on insta) who has since invited us to 3 separate makers markets and seems to really want to encourage our work.
Empire Seven Studios with SJ Makers - this event had very little foot traffic. We barely managed to break even, there were maybe 30 attendees. This taught us to research the location before booking markets.
The Welcome Market at Urbanite may have been the most encouraging PDX market so far. As the name suggests, the people were incredibly friendly. More makers came by to talk than anywhere else, it is well organized, and the location of the event is sure to see lots of traffic as the weather improves. Speaking of the weather, it was absolutely torrential. There was thunder and lightning and it rained through our canopy. We probably need a water-PROOF (not resistant) topper. Despite the weather, we made back our deposit pretty quickly. The owners of Urbanite bought all the vendors hot cocoa and the organizers of the market (Alchemy PDX) invited us to another, free market for sticking it out in the rain.
How Bazaar Post St SJ - this event was super fun even though it was crazy windy and my clothing rack fell a million times…. Definitely a little slow but we made some sales, ~$150, and got to interact with lots of other queer folks. We’ve already booked two more markets here in July. We can’t wait to vend at more queer markets!
I <3 Indie Markets @ Faction Brewing - this event was slow and didn’t have many of our target customers. It was mostly families and while there was still some interest we’re not sure if it was enough to justify going back. We’re still on the fence about trying one more time since we didn’t sell enough to make back the $100 fee.
The Welcome Market at Cascade Brewing was a bit slow for us. The demographic consisted mostly of middle class straight families and there were a few people who didn't know what ACAB meant. We made a few sales, and they gave us a free drink again (we love staying hydrated).
Swift Cider Makers Market - I really enjoyed this one. We met a lot of artists and interacted with many eager queers. It was well-lit, indoors, temperature controlled, and there was a DJ right next to us. The vibe was very communal and genuine. I’m looking forward to the next of Raspy’s markets (on the 30th).
The Community Kick Back @ Garden at the Flea was a low key event at a stellar venue. There were 6 food trucks, a band, workshops and lots of fun vendors. While there wasn’t a lot of foot traffic we easily made back the $30 fee and ended up doing $140 in sales over the night. We met some wonderful vendors that night (shoutout to Jess Craft Co and Lychame Studios). We’ll definitely be keeping an eye on this space for future events. Especially their free to vend first Saturdays (first come first served no reservation required).
The Summer Art Market at Living Haus Brewing was the last of the PDX markets in the month of June. We met some really wonderful people, and enjoyed being indoors through the heat ;) This was the third market we attended that was organized by @RaspyTimbre, and helped really solidify a sense of home among other crafty people. With everything from tattoos to ceramics, including vintage jackets, art pieces and custom designed clothes and accessories, it was a great variety of creatives that felt super inviting.
June was a whirlwind and while we definitely thought we’d do more sales we’re thrilled at how many wonderful customers we made happy. Meeting all the event organizers and other vendors has been lovely. We're so thankful to everyone we've met so far and can’t wait to keep growing our community.