FAQ: Santa Monica Pier Holiday Market

 

The 5 Ws

When is the Santa Monica Pier Holiday market?

The market will be held on Saturday, December 14th & Sunday, December 15th, from 11am to 5pm.

Who sells at Unique Markets?

Our markets feature independent designers, artists, & emerging brands that sell high-quality, well-designed and ethically-made products. We believe in showcasing diversity, innovation & entrepreneurship, as well as encouraging creativity & community participation.

 

People sell just about everything at the markets, categories include:

  • jewelry

  • clothing

  • home décor and art

  • apothecary and wellness items

  • stationery

  • bags, accessories, shoes

  • baby and kids items

  • pottery

  • packaged foods

  • and more!

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 and the people and stories behind them.

Some of the great emerging brands and artists/designers that have sold at Unique Markets include:

  • P.F. Candle Co.

  • Hedley & Bennett

  • Poketo

  • suburban riot

  • Gray Malin

  • Tea Drops

  • Johnny Cupcakes

* 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 and products to buyers, shoppers, and 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.

  • Network with Other Vendors: Gain valuable new friendships and relationships with other business owners, resulting in shared resources, advice when you need it, potential new partners, collaborations, etc.

  • Grow Email Database & Gain Followers for Future Sales

  • Get your Brand in Front of Thousands of People in 2 Days

  • Reach a Quality Customer that is invested in Buying (not just looking)

  • Conduct Market Research

  • Talk with Customers & Gain Priceless Feedback

  • Create IRL Brand Loyalty

  • Improve Your Sales Techniques and Pitches by testing them All Weekend

Past participants have said that our communication and organization are the best they’ve experienced; and that they really appreciate the quality of our production, design & art direction at the markets. 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.

Where is it held?

For our second year we are excited to be back on the historic, and insanely beautiful, Santa Monica Pier. The outdoor market boasts a truly unique atmosphere — above us is the sun and blue skies, and all around us is the beach and ocean. Add the pier’s historic ferris wheel, rides and games just past our market for an amazing experience for shoppers!

What is included when selling at Unique Markets, on the Pier?

We pride ourselves on going the extra mile for all the hard-working biz owners out there! Aside from your space, we provide all these items for our vendors:

  • No need for costly rentals, each space comes with a table and two chairs, and a beautiful white canvas umbrella to help create a cohesive, modern and aesthetically pleasing look for the outdoor marketplace.

  • Each booth comes with a sleek, white free-standing metal sign with your booth number on it, making it easy for shoppers to find you and remember your spot number if coming back to purchase from you.

  • Unique University — a FREE master class about one month before the market with our founder, Sonja Rasula. It helps to prep vendors, you learn best practices, insider tips, social media how-tos, and more. Plus Constant Contact and other business resources will be on-hand to teach helpful classes!

  • Listed on our website as one of our curated selection of vendors (with a link to your website)

  • Potential to be featured in our advertising (billboards, print ads, online ads, postcards and posters) and on our Instagram account and Facebook page

  • Free drinks throughout the market to keep you hydrated and happy!

 
 

Cost, Application & Payment Information

How much does it cost to participate?

  • 8x8 space: $600

  • 8x16 space: $1200

  • Food Truck: $600

How do I apply & submit payment?

  1. Fill out our online vendor application (The “apply now” button is at the top of the page).

  2. Pay the non-refundable $30 vendor application fee that will be collected via secure online credit card payment at the end of the application. Please note this fee is non-refundable regardless of if you are accepted or not, and it will not apply towards any future payment.

  3. If you are accepted, you will receive an invoice on September 20th, DUE September 22nd. If full payment is not received within 48 hrs, you will forfeit your spot and will be bumped to the waitlist.

When is the application deadline?

The application deadline is Friday, September 13th.

When will I find out if I’ve been accepted?

You will find out your application status on Friday, September 20th
*please add ‘info@uniquemarkets.com’ to your address book/safe list to ensure you get the email

I want to share a booth, how should we apply?

If you are applying for a shared booth, you must include the information for your booth partner on your application (give their business name in the notes section.) BOTH parties must apply (maximum of two vendors can share a booth) and must each pay the $30 non-refundable application fee. If you are accepted, we send you each an invoice for 50% of the booth fee - if your booth partner doesn’t pay her/his invoice on time, your spot is forfeited.

PLEASE NOTE: We do not match you up with a booth partner. You must include the name of the business you are sharing with in your application.


Cancellation Policy & Refunds

What is the cancellation and refund policy?

If you need to cancel, you must notify Unique Inc. by email to info@uniquemarkets.com. If cancellation notification is received more than 45 days before the Event, Vendor will receive a full refund, minus the application fee, minus the 2.9% processing fee. If Vendor cancels within 45 days of the Event, they will receive a 50% refund, minus the application fee, minus the 2.9% processing fee. Any cancellations within 14 days of the event will not receive a refund. By cancelling, Vendor forfeits their spot at the Event.

Is my application fee refundable?

The $30 application fee is non-refundable whether you are accepted or not. The fee is used to cover the growing admin and staff costs associated with reviewing the applications for each show. We give every application a lot of time and consideration, from looking at websites and online photos, to any past market experience and media mentions. We are passionate and diligent about learning about each of you, and that takes time.


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:

  • Modern

  • 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! But we have to keep the markets fresh with a constant rotation of sellers, so that it doesn’t seem stale and “same-old, same-old stuff” to the shoppers, stopping them from coming more then once or twice. For that reason 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 a sellers permit or business license?

Your business needs to comply with your local tax regulations by registering your business, collecting sales tax, and reporting and remitting sales tax. Unfortunately we cannot offer guidance about business registration and tax compliance (Remember, both local and federal.), so encourage that you consult with an accountant or visit www.irs.gov for more details and help specific to you and your business.

Do I need any temporary permits to participate?

No, sellers do not need any temporary permits to participate in Unique Markets unless you are a food vendor (selling either hot food or packaged food). If you are a food vendor, you will need to obtain a temporary event permit from the Health Department (which will cost you $71-160). If accepted, we will provide all the instructions to help you obtain the permit.

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: https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/california IRS: 1-800-829-4933 or www.irs.gov