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    Detroit Entrepreneurs, Craft Shows, And Holiday Shopping

    If you’ve ever been to a craft show, you may have felt the electricity in the air as shoppers wander from booth to booth, interacting with small (sometimes extremely small) business owners and checking out their wares. These Detroit entrepreneurs mostly do what they do as a hobby, and as they expand, having the proper signage to engage potential customers becomes more important. Many important new businesses like Sfumato fragrances and Castalia started at just such a venue.

    Last weekend, Eastern Market was the venue for the All Things Detroit Shopping Experience and Food Truck Rally, an event that shared the goods of 250 local vendors. As the Black Friday and the holiday season approaches, we wanted to talk about other exciting events similar to All Things Detroit as well as share some sign advice for up-and-coming Detroit entrepreneurs.

    Why to Shop and Where

    For some, it may not be clear how attending a craft or holiday market might be fun. Part of the fun comes from finding unique products that likely won’t turn up in stores. These handcrafted items also make great gifts because purchasing them means supporting the local artisans who’ve made them.

    The Detroit Free Press interviewed many shoppers at All Things Detroit. One of them, Anika Khan of Troy, MI, had this to say:

    “It’s nice to see local artists and buy from them and find out the cool things that everybody’s making … This is such a great way to learn about the other businesses.”

    What Khan touches on as well is how markets like this give Detroit entrepreneurs a venue where they can share their products. Without markets like this, many might be limited to selling their goods through websites they’ve made, booths they’ve rented at flea markets, or Etsy, the online version of a craft market. By simply attending events like this, consumers validate the work of so many vendors and the passions that have led them to create their goods.

    While there are many events throughout the Metro Detroit area during the year, there are three that are taking place right after Thanksgiving. If you’re looking for a community-oriented alternative to Black Friday, you should consider checking out the following:

    Detroit Urban Craft Fair
    The Masonic Temple, Detroit
    Nov. 30 – Dec. 2

    Midnight Madness
    Kerrytown Market and Shops, Ann Arbor
    Nov. 30, 2018

    Birmingham Winter Markt
    Shain Park, Birmingham
    Nov. 30 – Dec. 2

    Detroit entrepreneurs might sell goods at a similar market

    Rose Bowl Flea Market // Image by tofuprod via Flickr

    Signs Tips for Detroit Entrepreneurs

    Craft markets aren’t only exciting for shoppers; they’re also exciting for the vendors. They get to interact with consumers, tell the stories behind the items they sell, and make some money doing what they love.

    Branding opportunities for Detroit entrepreneurs at a craft market might seem scarce, but sign makers can create products that work perfectly at events like this. Vendors who set themselves up at rectangular tables can take advantage of long, rectangular vinyl signs or printed tablecloths. When attached to the front of the table facing the crowd, these options can draw many eyes toward a vendor’s name, logo, and contact information.

    Booths at craft markets can also benefit from retractable banners or trade show displays, both of which take advantage of height. These products can feature the same information (sometimes more, based on their size), but because they stand up on their own, they’re often seen more easily through crowds.

    This winter, whether you’re an at-home crafter or someone searching for unique, personal gifts for the holidays, consider attending a craft market. With a venue full of vendors, families, and groups of friends, it’ll be hard to deny the feeling of community you’ll experience.

    Featured image by Jen via Flickr
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