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Take a peek at the past vendors selected during our 2017 Summer Show!

If you are interested in selling at future Handicraft Exchange events, please add your name to our mailing list here and you will receive an email notification when applications for upcoming events are available. The application for the winter show is now live and can be accessed here. Before applying, please be sure to read through our Vendor FAQ for the complete details of the event. Applications for the winter show are due by midnight on Saturday, September 2.

When and where is the upcoming fair being held?

We have two shows annually, both at our usual venue, the Harrison Center for the Arts, located at 1505 North Delaware Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202. The HCA is just 16 blocks north of the center of downtown Indy.

Our 2017 winter show will be on Friday, December 1, from 5pm-10pm, at the HCA and will be held in conjunction with their monthly First Friday gallery openings, their annual color-themed show, and artist open studios. This event is indoors, with the exception of food trucks outside, is free to the public as always, and is a great way to knock out holiday shopping!

The application for our winter show is now live! Head here to fill it out (but read through the rest of the FAQ first!):

http://www.indieanahandicraftexchange.com/vendors/#vendor2

Our annual summer show for 2017 has passed, but was held on the third Saturday of June, at the HCA, in conjunction with their Independent Music + Art Festival. This event runs from 12pm-8pm, is free to the public, is loads of fun, and is family-friendly. This show typically brings out a crowd of 8000-12000 and continues to grow annually.

 

 

Do you charge for patrons to get into the event?

Admission into our summer and winter shows is FREE to the public.

We do sell raffle tickets at our events – $2 each, three for $5 or 7 for $10. Money made from raffle ticket sales is used to purchase arts and craft supplies for a different Indianapolis area public school art program each year. Prizes for the raffle are donated by our vendors and local, independent business sponsors.

We also accept supply donations (in exchange for FREE raffle tickets!) for two amazing Indianapolis-area organizations that assist mothers and children in need with housing: Project Home Indy and Coburn Place. We have ongoing relationships with these two organizations and strongly believe in their missions. If you’d care to donate items for PHI and CB, you’ll receive a free ticket for our raffle.

Specific items needed are (all new and in the package, please):
– crib sheets
– twin bed sheet sets
– bath towels, hand towels and washcloths
– kitchen towels, dishrags and scrubbies
– diapers – sizes 2, 3, 4 and 5
– baby wipes
– women’s deodorant
– children’s toothpaste
– batteries – AA, AAA, D
– children’s sippy cups

What's this I hear about FREE swag bags?!?!?!

At our June 17 summer show, the first 100 patrons at the Yelp table (set up at the main entrance of the Harrison Center for the Arts) received a FREE swag bag filled with IHE merchandise, treats from vendors and exclusive discount deals from specific booths available only on the day of the event!

For our December 1 winter show, again, the first 100 patrons in line at the Yelp table when the event begins at 5pm will receive a FREE swag bag, as well! Don’t miss out – be in line by 5pm!

Is the event family-friendly?

The event is kid-friendly, but some artists’ work features the occasional dirty word or sexual image, so parents might want to take a gander at the work in each artist’s booth before their little ones get an eye full.

Alcohol is served at the event. Both beer and hard cider are offered from local breweries. You must show ID to be able to purchase alcoholic beverages. You may not leave the event grounds with alcohol.

What will the food and beverage options at the event be this year?

For our winter event, food trucks are parked out front on Delaware Street, off the courtyard of the HCA, and beer and cider are served indoors, in front of the Speck Gallery (formerly Gallery No. 2).

For the annual summer show, we will have a cluster of food trucks parked in the lot behind the HCA, as well as beer from Sun King, cider from New Day Craft, popcorn from Just Pop In! and ice cream for the VSA fundraiser.

The website will be updated as food trucks are secured.

What is the venue like?

The Harrison Center for the Arts seeks to be a catalyst for renewal in the city of Indianapolis by fostering awareness, appreciation and community for arts and culture.

The HCA houses over 20 artist’s studios, two galleries with new shows monthly, and a gymnasium suitable for a myriad of community events.

For our December 1 winter show we will have 50 vendor booth spaces available indoors in the gymnasium and The Underground. There will be food trucks parked out front along Delaware Street.

For our summer show we have 100+ vendor booth spaces available both indoors in the gymnasium and the Speck Gallery (formerly Gallery No. 2), as well as outdoors, wrapping the building. There are food trucks with the vendors in the lot behind the building, as well as beverage and ice cream vendors in the main courtyard.

Restrooms are available inside the building, on both the ground floor and the basement level.

A temporary ATM provided by FORUM Credit Union will be set up inside the building, just outside the doors to the gymnasium.

Unfortunately, only the Speck Gallery (formerly Gallery No. 2) is easily handicap accessible. Because of the building’s historic nature, there are no elevators. Stairs must be taken to upper and lower levels of the building.

How do I apply to be a vendor?

Our winter show application is now live and we will continue to accept applications through Saturday, September 2 at midnight. If you are interested in receiving an email notification for future application openings, please click the “become a vendor” flag at the top of our site and add your email address.

A complete application form will consist of:
– all questions answered, if applicable
– 6 qty. .jpg images of your work; each one sized under 1MB (we strongly suggest that at least one of these images be of a past booth setup)
– a business logo/banner, sized to 536 pixels wide x 260 pixels tall, .jpg, 72 DPI
– the $15 application fee payable via PayPal (your application will not be processed until this is paid)

The logo/banner file does not have to be a formal logo. If you do not have a business logo, you may crop an image of one of your products and put your business name over it. This should be a simple, clean, easy to read image. The file may be created in Photoshop or Illustrator, or another similar imaging or design program online, such as Canva.

Please thoroughly read through the Vendor FAQ before submitting your application to be sure you understand all of the details of the event.

PLEASE NOTE: The event IS juried, which means that we accept all applications, then a jury of 8-12 local creatives selects the strongest and most unique in each product category to participate in the event. There is a different pool of applicants for every single event. There are also different jury members for every single event, so results always vary to keep the event fresh. Please understand that your participation in past Handicraft Exchange events DOES NOT guarantee you a spot in every future event. Please also understand that if you are a vendor at our store, Homespun, this also DOES NOT guarantee you a space in the event.

What do my application fee and booth fee cover?

The jurying process is labor intensive and much time is spent organizing the applications and images. Many hours are then spent by the jury carefully analyzing each application and selecting the best representation and variety for the show. Your $15 application fee covers this, and is non-refundable.

The booth fee for the winter show is $94. The booth fee for the summer show is $120.

This booth fees cover either an indoor booth space (9′ wide x 6′ deep) in either the gymnasium or the Speck Gallery (formerly Gallery No. 2) OR an outdoor booth space (10′ wide x 10′ deep OR 12′ wide x 8′ deep). Booth spaces will be assigned and we will not take requests for locations, other than specifications allowed on the application.

In addition, your booth fee covers your logo/banner and link on our website on the Vendors page, as well as our promotion of the event via posters, postcard mailings, newspaper, radio and social media ads. The booth fee also helps cover labor provided by a small staff of employees.

SUMMER SHOW ONLY:
If you would like to rent an 8′ table and 2 folding chairs from us, you are able to do so for an additional $18.

If you would like to rent a 6′ table and 2 folding chairs from us, you are able to do so for an additional $15.

If you would like to contribute a small product from your line of work for the raffle we run during the event, you may subtract $10 from the cost of your application. (Item must be at least a $10 retail value.)

What does it mean that the fair is juried and how do you make your decisions?

Each Handicraft Exchange show is juried because of limited space and high demand. We accept all applications and then sit down and examine them, by category (i.e.; jewelry, bath & body, housewares, stationery, etc.), to determine which are the strongest and most unique product lines and which vendors and products best represent our idea of what the INDIEana Handicraft Exchange was meant to be.

We have a rotating panel of 8-12 judges who jury the applications and make the final selections for each show. The judges are local illustrators, graphic designers, painters, teachers, writers, photographers, woodworkers, etc.

There is a different pool of applicants for every single event. There are also different jury members for every single event, so results always vary to keep the event fresh. Please understand that your participation in past Handicraft Exchange events DOES NOT guarantee you a spot in every future event. Please also understand that if you are a vendor at our store, Homespun, this also DOES NOT guarantee you a space in the event.

The INDIEana Handicraft Exchange is a contemporary craft fair that consciously celebrates modern handmade goods, the relationship between creator and consumer, and local, alternative economies. Most of the products sold by IHE artists serve the dual purpose of art and function and range from the beautiful to the irreverent, from the adorable to the slightly sinister, from the hysterical to the just plain bizarre. Vendors may use traditional crafting techniques but they express contemporary themes and design. Vendors offer a range of unique handmade goods from wooden jewelry to fanciful undergarments, from custom vintage-inspired western wear to stationery, from plush animals to natural bath and body goodies, from hand-screened rock ‘n’ roll poster art to pop culture icon finger puppets and much, much more.

What makes a strong application?

– A complete application form with the required attachments (correctly sized) and paid application fee ($15), submitted by the due date (Saturday September 2) before midnight.
– Quality images of your work. Blurry, far-off or cluttered images do not allow us to look at your work carefully. We need to be able to see the details. Simple, clean, crisp, well-lit images are ideal. Make sure that the images are at least 4″ x 6″ in size so that they are large enough to view at a distance on a white projector screen.
– Variety in the images of your work. We need to see different pieces. Five images of the same product from different angles, or of the same product in five different colors, doesn’t give us much to go on. We need to see different products in your line, but one cohesive body of work. We also strongly recommend submitting one image of a booth setup from past shows you have participated in.
– A functioning URL listed on the application form. If you have an Etsy store set up, but no product for sale there, do not give us that web address as your primary business site. Give us a site where we can see further examples of your work and get a feel for how you conduct your business and how you have branded your product line.
– An understanding of what our event is and the kind of work we showcase. Do a little research online before submitting your application if you’ve never been to our show or if this is your first time to apply.

*We do not accept third-party or direct-to-home businesses like Avon, Tupperware, 31 Gifts, etc. You must design and make all products you intend to sell at the event yourself.

What are typical reasons that a vendor would not be accepted?

For both our summer and winter shows, we regularly receive many more applications than we have booth spaces available. For our winter show we will have roughly 46 available booth space, and for our summer show; a little over 100 booth spaces.

Vendors may not be accepted for this particular event because of any one of the following reasons:

Vendor rotation…Unfortunately, some of our established vendors, whom we love dearly, may fall victim to this. We love your work, and would likely have you back for future events should you choose to apply again, but to keep the event fresh for patrons, we need to rotate out some of our repeat vendors to give newcomers an opportunity. Vendors who have been in the show before and are most likely to be invited back are those who are evolving…improving the quality of their products, coming up with new items in their product line, improving their packaging design and display, etc. Our biggest concern is creating exposure for small handmade businesses; not so much handmade hobbyists. If you are working hard to take your handmade work from hobby status to business status, there should be evidence of reflection and progress year to year.

*PLEASE NOTE*: There is a different pool of applicants for every single event. There are also different jury members for every single event, so results always vary to keep the event fresh. Please understand that your participation in past Handicraft Exchange events DOES NOT guarantee you a spot in every future event. Please also understand that if you are a vendor at our store, Homespun, this also DOES NOT guarantee you a space in the event.

High number of applicants in any one category…We cannot have an excess of any one type of product at the IHE. If we have ten vendors selling bath & body products, none are likely to sell particularly well. That puts each of those vendors at a disadvantage and leaves customers dissatisfied with the selection of other goods at our events. When we have a plethora of applicants in one category, it comes down to quality and originality of the work, presentation of the product, what we believe will be most attractive to the demographic we cater to, and the range of price points on the items a vendor offers.

The hands-off approach…Vendors who assemble materials produced by others (necklaces strung with mass-produced beads, store-bought findings, etc.) or make items from patterns or kits that are not of their own original design are least likely to be included, followed by those who assemble “old” materials produced by others. The fewer truly handmade elements present in your work, the more you need to impress us with a creative re-envisioning of the objects you use. (For example, we get many, many applications from vendors who use “vintage” pieces to make pendants or other jewelry. We accept those who come up with a truly original way to re-purpose them.)

Jack of all trades, master of none…We love variety but there is something to be said for picking a technique or theme and mastering it. Our favorite vendors emphasize the craft in crafting.

– Aesthetic of product line…We are looking for a very specific type of craft for our show and some work just doesn’t fit in. You can call it indie craft, DIY craft, modern or contemporary craft…it’s hard to find an accurate term to describe it, but we know what we’re looking for. If you are unsure if your products would sell well at the IHE, attend our upcoming fair to check out the current vendors and attitude of the event. Or look at the images in the gallery section of our website, or check out our Facebook page.

– Not following directions…Amanda is a former arts educator and some of the school marm qualities from that profession carry over into her personal life. Not including requested attachments or info on an application without any explanation drives her crazy and makes her quite intolerant. If you are unsure about something, please send an email to ask. We assume that most/all applicants are at least of high school age or older and should be able to remember to put their names on their papers.

If you are not accepted for this particular event, please don’t be discouraged. Come on out on December 1 anyway, and do some “market research.” Check out your competition and please consider applying again in the future. We love seeing applicants re-apply year to year who have reflected on and evolved in their handmade endeavors. We want to see handmade businesses succeed, and that includes yours, even if we couldn’t get you into the fair this time ’round. We appreciate those who show grace when faced with rejection, and we love those who are willing to try again. And sometimes again and again and again. Our motto around here: perseverance is good.

When and how will I know if I am accepted?

You will receive an email on Sunday, September 17 notifying you if you were accepted into our 2017 winter show. Final booth fees will then be due by Monday, October 2.

How do I pay the booth fee?

If you are selected as a vendor for our winter show on December 1, you will receive an email about your acceptance on Sunday, September 17 – which will include details on payment for the booth space and the due date (Monday October 2 for our winter show). Please do not attempt to make a payment (other than the required $15 application fee, which must be submitted at the time of your application) until you have received your acceptance email for this show.

Is my booth fee refundable?

If you are selected as a vendor, you will receive an acceptance email by Sunday, September 17 for our winter show. In that acceptance email you will receive information on how to make your payment for your booth space. Payment will be due in full within 2 weeks after you receive the acceptance email (Monday, October 2). If payment is not made by that time, you forfeit your booth space to the next vendor on our waiting list. Because our winter show has such quick turnaround time, no refunds for booth fees will be made for any reason.

The $15 application fee is also non-refundable.

Do I need a vendor's permit?

As a vendor, you need to contact the Indiana Department of Revenue (317-233-4015) to obtain a Sales Tax Collection Permit. These permits can be obtained online at the IDR website or by going into the downtown Indianapolis office. The cost of this permit is only $25 and it is valid for two years.

You are also responsible for registering your small business with the IRS (1-800-829-4933) and collecting sales tax on the goods you sell. When taxes are due you will have to pay both income tax to the federal government and sales tax for your craft sales to the state of Indiana.

If you are interested in selling packaged food products at the event, you are responsible for having the correct Temporary Event permits from the Department of Health, but still may apply to be a vendor through the Handicraft Exchange. We will submit your name on a list of all food and beverage vendors participating one month before the event, and if you have not contacted to Department of Health to get your permit, you may not be able to vend at the event.

If you are interested in selling prepared foods, you need to contact Pam Allee at the Harrison Center for the Arts to discuss that possibility, as all food service vendors are arranged through the venue.

If I am accepted, do I need to be there for the entire duration of the event?

Yes. It’s just good manners.

The winter show runs from 5:00pm to 10:00pm. You may show up as early as 2:00pm to begin setting up. The summer show runs from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. You may show up as early as 8:30 a.m. to begin setting up for the summer show.

You are expected to maintain your booth until the fair closes down. The crowd may ebb and flow throughout the day, and it is unfair to other vendors for one booth to close up shop and head out early, as it encourages shoppers to do the same.

Disregarding this policy is not only disrespectful to your fellow crafters and the event organizers but may preclude your participation in future events.

Can out-of-state and international vendors apply?

Certainly. We love having new vendors at our shows each year. The goals of our event are to further expose Indianapolis to the national D.I.Y and indie craft community and network, and to make Indy a destination stop on the indie craft fair circuit.

If you are applying from out of state, please make sure you check with the Indiana Department of Revenue to make sure you obtain your Sales Tax Collection Permit and other relevant tax documents, and the Indiana Department of Health if you are selling any food or beverage products.

Can I share my booth space with a friend?

You may apply with a request to share a booth space and split the cost with a friend. However, both applicants must submit separate applications and pay their own application fees. If both applicants are juried into the event, you will share with the person you requested. If only one vendor is accepted, that vendor will have the choice of then filling the booth space alone and paying the full fee themselves, or of being assigned to share with another vendor also looking to split a booth space and fee.

Only vendors who have submitted applications and have been juried in may participate in the INDIEana Handicraft Exchange. Attempting to circumvent this policy is not only disrespectful to your fellow crafters and the event organizers but may preclude your participation in future events.

Can I rent two booth spaces for my business?

Unfortunately, no. The demand for booth space at our previous events has been higher than we are able to accommodate. We want to have room to accept as many different vendors as we can.

What other promotional opportunities are available for my business through the IHE?

If you are accepted, we will list your logo on the Vendors page of our site with a link to yours. We will also promote the event heavily ourselves through poster distribution around Indianapolis and Central Indiana, postcard mailings, social media ads, newspaper ads, radio spots, online vendor profiles, etc.

We also hand out 100 swag bags to the first 100 patrons to arrive at our event. If you would like us to include business cards, coupons, pinback buttons, stickers, magnets, small product samples, etc., in those swag bags, please let us know ASAP. We would need those products in hand by Friday, November 10 for our winter show.

If you are interested in further promotion of your business and have an idea for a cash or an in-kind sponsorship, please contact the organizers directly to discuss the possibilities.

How else can I get involved with the IHE?

We are always looking for independent and local businesses to form partnerships with. We like showcasing for our out-of-town vendors what Indy has to offer, so if you think you can offer financial support or have an in-kind trade you would like to propose, please let us know.

Also, we usually have music and entertainment at our events, so if you are in, or know of, a band that would be interested in playing at one of our shows, please get in touch.

And, of course, we need volunteers. The IHE is still a small operation and is currently run by a husband and wife team. We have a small staff to help out, but we are happy to utilize any additional hands that want to be involved. At each event we typically need booth sitters to relieve vendors for meals and restroom breaks, folks to pass out event programs and give directions and people to run the IHE info table and sell merch and raffle tickets. We also need help early on the morning of the event, Saturday, June 17, and the day before, Friday, June 16, to help mark off booth spaces and set up tables and to help put up signage throughout the venue.

Where else can I find the INDIEana Handicraft Exchange and the goods showcased there?

You can check out our Facebook page for the event and follow us on Instagram, where we post vendor profiles in the weeks leading up to the big show.

We also run a shop in Indy, called Homespun, and we carry a lot of the goods you will see at our events in our storefront year-round. Come visit us on the east end of Mass Ave, downtown.

Winter Show
Date & Time
Friday December 1, 2017
5:00pm - 10:00pm
Admission

FREE!

Location

The Harrison Center for the Arts
1505 North Delaware Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202

View Map
Parking

On neighborhood streets surrounding the venue.
Parking lot at 16th & Alabama.