Unique Markets: D.C. FAQ
The 5 W’s
When is Unique Markets: D.C.?
Unique Markets: D.C. will be Sunday, December 9th, from 11am to 6pm.
Where is Unique Markets: D.C. held?
Who sells at Unique Markets?
Our markets feature independent designers, artists, & emerging brands that sell high-quality, well-designed products in a range of categories including jewelry, clothing, home décor, art, apothecary, mens goods, stationery, kids items, pottery, food & more.
We believe in showcasing diversity, innovation & entrepreneurship, as well as encouraging creativity & community participation. Whether you are just starting off making jewelry on your dining room table or you have a handful of employees & a factory that produces your products, we’re passionate about featuring quality goods & the people & stories behind them.
It must be the actual business owner/designer/maker of the products or brand that sells at our markets. We are passionate about connecting your individual stories & products to buyers, shoppers, & the media. We DO NOT allow third-party shops, agencies, or online stores/collectives to sell at the markets.
Why participate at Unique Markets?
For the past decade our markets have helped close to 10,000 entrepreneurs reach new audiences, increase sales, & connect with a network of creative business owners. The markets provide the rare opportunity to interact with & meet potential customers (plus fans/online customers you already have) in real life - something that is extremely valuable in the age of online shopping. You will reach new customers, your brand will be exposed to thousands of shoppers/buyers/members of the media/influencers, you can grow your email subscribers & social media followers, & you’ll gain priceless knowledge & feedback by speaking to people one-on-one about the products & your story.
We are extremely proud of the consistently positive feedback we receive from our vendors. They say that our communication & organization is the best they’ve experienced; they really appreciate the quality of our production, design & art direction at the markets; they love that we’ve made the markets fun & inspiring for both the sellers & customers; & they say that we invest more in marketing & PR than any other event of its kind.
They also say that because our events are ticketed, customers are invested in discovering items not found at the mall, & more importantly, supporting the small business owners behind those products - we hear time & time again that there is a noticeable difference at Unique Markets because the shoppers genuinely want to hear about the products/company & talk with the vendors.
What Do Accepted Vendors Get?
Accepted vendors will get a blank 10x10 space to create the perfect pop-up shop for attendees to enjoy. Your business will be listed & linked on our website, & will be featured on the physical program at the event. Each vendor will also get a super sweet UNIQUE tote bag with swag!
Application & Payment Information
How much does it cost to participate?
10 x 10 spots are $175 (reduced from $350 thanks to our partner Constant Contact!)
How do I apply & submit payment?
Fill out our online vendor application.
Pay the full vendor fee of $175 that will be collected via secure online credit card payment at the end of the application.
If you are not accepted into the show, we will refund you for the full amount of $175. Refunds will be processed the week of November 5th.
When will I find out if I’ve been accepted?
We will notify all applicants via email on October 31st, 2018 about whether they have been accepted or not (please add ‘email@example.com’ to your safe list to ensure you get the email). If you are not accepted, we will refund you for the full $175. Refunds will be processed the week of November 5th.
What is a 10X10 Spot?
You will be given a 10X10 spot that will be marked on the show floor. Vendors are responsible for bringing fixtures, tables, chairs, & decor to define your space.
Can I sell at other Unique Markets during the Holiday Tour?
Yes, feel free to apply to as many Unique markets as you want. We’d love to see you at all of the markets across the country!
Our Cool Partnership with Constant Contact
How is Constant Contact involved?
Thanks to our partnership with the email marketing company, we’re able to produce holiday markets all over the country in 2018. The 10-city tour includes Austin, Boston, D.C., Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Santa Monica, & Seattle. As the presenting sponsor they are covering 50% of vendor fees, helping small, independent businesses take part. They are also covering 2/3 of the ticket cost for shoppers - allowing all to enjoy the curated, modern shopping events!
What is Constant Contact?
For more than 20 years, Constant Contact has been helping small businesses do more business with email marketing. With their easy-to-use platform, small businesses create professionally branded email campaigns that connect them in a powerful way with current customers & prospects. They’ve got it all, from automated campaign features & branded templates, to integrations with industry leaders like Facebook & Shopify. And, they understand how busy small business owners can be, which is why they offer free education & award-winning customer support.
Why is Constant Contact sponsoring this event?
Everything Constant Contact does is aimed at helping small businesses like yours succeed. They’re excited to support an event that gives small businesses an opportunity to showcase their products to an audience of people who like to “shop small.”
What’s new at Constant Contact that would be helpful to marketing my business?
In addition to their marketing automation & branding features, they’ve got some major partnerships that can make a big impact to your marketing efforts. With Constant Contact for Shopify, you can easily connect your store to your email account, insert products from your store directly into your email in seconds, & send targeted messages to drive quick sales. It’s that easy!
With their Facebook Lead Ads integration you can find & target the people who are likely to want to know more about your business & make it easy for them to sign up for emails.
How can I get a Constant Contact account?
You can go to: www.constantcontact.com & sign up for a free 60-day trial.
Is Constant Contact doing anything beyond providing monetary support?
Yes! They’ll be sharing marketing education & tips with participants prior to the event so you can get your holiday marketing off to a great start! They’ll also be promoting the event locally in each city as well as on their social media channels.
Cancelation Policy & Refunds
If I need to cancel, do I get a refund?
If you need to cancel you must notify us via email, at firstname.lastname@example.org. To receive a FULL refund you must email us on or before November 4th, 2018. Any cancellations after this date will not get a refund due to the close proximity of the event date – you will forfeit both your fee & spot.
Jurying & Selection Process
How do you choose the vendors?
To ensure the products found at the markets are diverse, match the aesthetic of the show, & meet shoppers’ expectations, our applications are juried. There is more demand than we have room for, so please understand that we cannot accept everyone – we often get more than double the applications for the spots available.
We look for small businesses & items that are:
Fresh & innovative
High quality products
Ethically sourced products, if you do not make them yourself
Priced accordingly (you can sell earrings at $10 or $500, but we must feel that your items are priced accordingly for the materials used, the genre of goods you’re in, etc.)
Consistent, high-quality branding across all platforms - from website to social media to hangtags & business cards
Essentially, we want our vendors to be successful & have a great event, so we look for products that we think our customers would appreciate & purchase. We also choose businesses that are at the scale to be able to sell at a market our size; in other words, people & brands that have sold at markets before, keep consistent social media feeds, update their websites regularly, understand pricing & strategy (wholesale, retail, online). Rest assured that we review & consider every single application, & the submitted website, social media feeds, lookbooks, samples, etc..
Is it okay if I make products outside of the US?
Yes. Our goal is to support independently-owned, small businesses & designers. We showcase goods that are either made by the company in-house or are designed by the company with production outsourced. An important part of our mission is to connect shoppers with the makers & designers so we require that the owner/maker & their staff be at the show to interact with shoppers in person. We do not accept online stores & businesses that curate great products but don’t actually design & make them themselves.
I’m a previous vendor with Unique Markets, do I automatically get accepted?
We love all our previous vendors! To ensure diversity and a constant rotation of designers/artists for the shoppers, we can't guarantee that past vendors will be accepted into all our markets. However, PLEASE let us know in the 'notes' section of the application that you've participated with us before so our producers take special note and try to rotate you in. :)
Other Important Information
Do I need any permits to participate?
Vendors are responsible for securing any applicable business permits or licenses that may be required by the city or state.
What taxes do I need to collect?
All vendors are responsible for registering with the IRS, & collecting sales tax. When it’s time to do your taxes, you’ll have to pay income tax on items you sold, plus any applicable state or city taxes. We recommend that you contact your state tax offices as well as the IRS for more info: otr.cfo.dc.gov IRS: 1-800-829-4933 or www.irs.gov