LA HOLIDAY MARKET FAQ: Santa Monica
The 5 W’s
When is The Unique LA Holiday Market in Santa Monica?
December 15 & 16, 2018, Saturday and Sunday from 10am-4pm.
Where is The Unique LA Holiday Market in Santa Monica held?
We are excited to share that the location is the beautiful, historic and very popular tourist destination The Santa Monica Pier. This is an OUTSIDE venue on the Santa Monica Pier, located where there are usually parked cars, on top of historic old wooden planks. The pier is located at 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401.
Who sells at Unique Markets?
We believe in the power of showcasing diversity, innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as encouraging creativity and community participation. Our markets feature independent designers, artists, emerging brands and small businesses alike. Whether you are just starting off making jewelry on your dining room table, or you have a handful of employees and a factory that produces your products, we’re passionate about featuring quality goods and the people and 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 and 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 small businesses develop, grow and become more success. The markets provide the rare opportunity to interact with and 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 and social media followers, and you’ll gain priceless knowledge by speaking to people one-on-one about the products and your story.
The biggest thing we are proud of is the feedback from our vendors: they say that our communication and organization is the best they’ve experienced; they really appreciate the quality we put into the production, design and art direction at the markets; and they love that we’ve made the markets fun and inspiring for both the sellers and customers. They also say that because our events are ticketed, the customers are invested in discovering items not found at the mall, and more important, supporting the small business owners behind those products - we hear time and time again that there is a noticable difference at Unique Markets because the shoppers genuinely want to hear about the products/company and talk with the vendors.
When do vendors move-in and setup?
Vendors must arrive early to set up on Saturday, December 15th (details will be sent to accepted vendors). Unlike the downtown markets, there will be NO early move in on Friday.
Application & Payment Information
How much does it cost to participate?
10X10 Spots are $625
Food truck spots are $625
What is included in a 10X10 Spot?
At the Santa Monica Pier we will be providing one 6 ft banquet table, one chair, one umbrella, and one Unique Markets sign with your space number on it for easy way-finding. We do not provide linen. Remember this is an outdoor experience near the ocean so while it will be beautiful, please come prepared for wind and moisture.
****There will be no splitting/sharing booths.
How do I apply and submit payment?
**** WE HAVE AN NEW SECURE ONLINE PAYMENT SYSTEM ****
We now have a much more efficient and secure process of taking payment for your convenience. No more snail mail, no more checks, all digital! All interested sellers, including past vendors, must do three things:
Fill out our online application.
Pay your $30 non-refundable application fee that will be collected via secure online credit card payment at the end of the application.
If you are accepted into the market you will receive an invoice via email to pay your full booth fee through Quickbooks online secure ACH payments straight from your bank account. You CANNOT pay with credit card.
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 email@example.com. To receive a FULL refund you must email us within one week after you are notified of your acceptance (by October 20, 2018). If you cancel after this point we will apply 50% of your booth fee as a credit for the next show and you forfeit the other half of the payment. Any cancellations within two weeks of the event will not get a refund due to the close proximity of the market – you forfeit both of your fee and spot.
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, and meet shoppers’ expectations, Unique LA is juried. There is more demand then we have room for, so please understand that we cannot accept everyone – we get more than double the applications for the spots available.
We look for small businesses and items that are:
Fresh and 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, great branding across all platforms from website to social media to hangtags and business cards
Essentially, we want our vendors to be successful and have a great event, so we look for products that we think our customers would appreciate and purchase. We also choose businesses that are at the scale to be able to sell at a market our size; in other words, people and brands that have sold at markets before, keep consistent social media feeds, update their websites regularly, understand pricing and strategy (wholesale, retail, online). Rest assured that we review and consider every single application, and 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 and designers. The goal of Unique Markets is to showcase goods that are designed, made and sold by the owners/makers themselves. We pride ourselves on allowing the shoppers and community to discover and interact with all the amazing entrepreneurs in-person. Our mission is to foster and grow local economies and celebrate small business owners, whether the products are made in America or abroad.
I’m a previous vendor with Unique Markets, do I automatically get accepted?
No, though please know that we love all our previous vendors! It is crucial for the markets to remain fresh and offer shoppers new products and brands to discover, so that they keep coming back - retail stores refresh their shop windows regularly for this same reason. The goal is to get shoppers to return and not abandon the markets because they think, “been there, done that.” So we carefully rotate and curate past vendors to ensure every market is indeed unique. If you sell regularly with us and aren’t accepted into a market it’s most likely that it’s your turn to be rotated out - the next time you apply, please remember to mention that you’ve done the market before.
When will I know if I’m accepted or not?
We will notify everyone who applied on October 12th via email. Remember to check your junk mail folder, your 'promotions' folder and/or 'updates folder' on Gmail.
Please add ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ to your safe list, as we send our emails through Constant Contact which may get flagged by your email provider as junk!
The Unique University meeting is Sunday, October 21.
Before each market, we hold a mandatory meeting and workshop for our vendors called Unique University. This meeting provides details about the event, allows new vendors to ask questions; the mandatory gathering is also extremely valuable because we teach skills to the sellers, inspire with examples of great merchandising/set-ups, and provide you with marketing materials for the event. It’s also our way of building community before the event happens. :)
Other Important Information
Do I need any permits to participate?
No, sellers do not need any temporary permits to participate in Unique LA 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 Dept (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, and collecting sales tax. When it’s time to do your taxes, you’ll have to pay income tax on items you sold, plus pay California sales tax and possibly a City of LA tax. We recommend that you call California’s department of revenue and the IRS for more info: California Dept. of Revenue: 1-800-852-5711 or www.ftb.ca.gov IRS: 1-800-829-4933 or www.irs.gov
Do I have to live in LA to participate?
No, our goal is to get people to buy and support independent design and small business owners. 85% of the vendors reside in California, but we accept people from all over the country and Canada, and love sharing great talent from all around!
I want to participate in both the Santa Monica and downtown LA markets. Do I have to apply separately?
Yes. There are two separate applications for each market and those fees help us facilitate the jurying and administration of the markets.