Market Day

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This is our Tumblr, where we do quickie reblog posts. All the good stuff -- event information, vending info, and large original articles -- is at marketdayiowa.com

Market Day is an indie craft market: our vendors craft -- but they don't make your grandma's crafts.

Find Market Day at the Des Moines Social Club in the Kirkwood Building -- at 400 Walnut Street in downtown Des Moines, IA. Click here to get directions.

Recent comments

  • February 17, 2012 3:32 pm

    But where does the $50 booth fee GO??


    We’ve had some questions about booth fees, and we’d like to address them. It’s true, Market Day booths in 2012 will be $50.00 per month. We’ve always strived to be transparent as possible about our policies, so we’d like to outline what you’re paying for when you hand over your dollars to vend at Market Day.

    1. We’re stepping up our game. We’ve been planning in a big way for our 2012 season. Starting in January, we’ve been organizing our little hearts out, structuring and fleshing out our event logistics and policies. In 2012, you can expect:

    • A better schedule. By moving to the first Saturday of each month, we’re positioning ourselves away from holidays and events that have traditionally interfered with our traffic. Our new schedule coincides with the always awesome first Saturday of the Des Moines Farmers’ Market. We’re moving off of June’s Des Moines Arts Festival, and onto the weekend of 80/35, whose large audience should push more shoppers downtown. Our new schedule pushes our fall dates earlier, taking advantage of the warmer weather, and leaves several weeks to garner buzz for our fourth annual Black Friday bash.
    • More infrastructure. Our new application system is a great addition to last year’s process. Vendors receive instant confirmation of their applications. In addition, we’re mapping out our spaces in order to efficiently place as many vendors as possible into our events, and we’ll be assigning spaces this year, eliminating too-early mornings and standing in line to compete for placement.
    • More ads. We’re planning a big media push in 2012. More ads = more traffic = more sales. We’re striving to bring as much attention as possible to our awesome vendors — our budget for ad buys has doubled!
    • More social media. We’ll be blogging, tweeting, and facebooking our butts off to make sure the Market Day digital presence is as strong as ever.

    2. We’re sticking to what works.
    There’s a lot about Market Day that isn’t broken, and we’re certainly not fixing it. For your money, you receive:

    • A fantastic location. We love our new home at the Kirkwood Lounge and Des Moines Social Club. For the first time in Market Day history, two consecutive years will be held at the same venue, reinforcing Market Day’s continuing presence in Des Moines. Our second year has seen an increase in rent, but we believe that the benefits are well worth the costs.
    • A crack team of devoted planners, at a reasonable price. Cat, Scott, and myself are insanely dedicated to Market Day. We work hours and hours, nights, weekends, whatever it takes to keep Market Day growing and thriving. The stipends we take are small, serve to help us from having to spend Market Day time on other jobs, and are not going up this year. 

    3. More of the stuff you already expect from Market Day. We’ll be posting MORE resources (on our rad new site), MORE information, MORE ideas (like on our Pinterest!), MORE connectedness for vendors, MORE. 

    4.  More value for the money. We like to think we are growing with our vendors. NOW. Some of you have been selling crafts full time since long before we came along. But many of our vendors started with Market Day and found themselves invested in a new business, with new knowledge, selling part- or full-time at other events in Iowa and across the country. 

    In our third year, we could see that we needed to kick our game up another notch — lots of vendors had leveled up. We needed new training. So we’re working harder than ever on providing more help and information that will help you further your business — and that’s organized nicely.  

    At the end of the day, we know we’re worth $50 a month. We can never guarantee any vendor will make their money back, but we do know that most do — especially those businesses which work their crafty fingers off, improving products, signage, displays, and customer interaction. 

    Most of all, we always want to improve Market Day — for the benefit of our vendors and for the city of Des Moines.

  • February 15, 2012 11:36 am
  • November 21, 2011 3:21 pm

    I would love to invite you to the Market Day Black Friday sale.

    This is a shot from the July 2010 Market Day

    Hi, I’m Cat. I’ve been with Market Day from the beginning, and now I run it with my husband, Scott Rocketship, and my BFF, Dani Awesome. Our biggest event of the year is this Friday: Black Friday. From 9a-2p at the Kirkwood Building in downtown Des Moines. 

    We work really hard on this event. This is the end of the third season of Market Day, and Black Friday is the big prize of the year. We work from May to November to get people interested and find vendors — and we have smaller sales each month along the way. 

    We want Market Day to help people shop locally. We want Des Moines to buy cool things from cool people at good prices. And we want this especially on Black Friday, the day when Americans traditionally do crazy things in the name of consumerism. 

    I posted a link to the event invitation on my Facebook wall today, declaring it “BLACK FRIDAY WEEK!” and forgetting that everyone else in the country cares more about Thanksgiving than Black Friday — and someone not quite so familiar with my event posted a comment voicing disgust about consumerism. 

    Totally understandable. But I want to take this opportunity to explain my very personal feelings about the Market Day Black Friday event, why I’m so excited about it, and why it’s taken over my Thanksgivings for three years. 

    When we started Market Day almost three years ago, we simply wanted more people to see the really cool stuff our friends made. They sold their stuff around the country at indie craft shows and got featured in hipster magazines, but no one in town knew them. So we started a May-October event to coincide with our local farmer’s market — to give people the chance to make shopping indie art and craft more habitual. 

    Then we got to November. We decided to hold a Black Friday sale in 2009 because we were so angered by midnight door buster sales at chain stores and the consumer frenzy marketers whip up every December that we had to respond to it. We kept doing Black Friday because we believe we have a better source for gifts than Wal-Mart’s $19.99 4-in-one grease-free ham handlers. We want to see our community use its dollars to vote for really rad people making really cool things, not plastic shit made in China that we largely do not need. 

    Now the first 6 months of Market Days are all in build up to Black Friday. This is the Most Important Day for us. Scott and Dani and Riane and all our vendors and I have worked since May to get ready for Black Friday. We think it’s that important — and that much fun. 

    So I hope you will come if you are able Here is the Facebook invitation

    Love,
    Cat 

  • September 30, 2011 9:01 am
  • September 29, 2011 8:26 am
  • September 28, 2011 8:51 am
  • September 23, 2011 8:06 am
  • September 22, 2011 9:55 am

    "

    Every great metropolis in history had a strong tradition of creative arts. A tradition of craftsmanship and, most importantly, of discussion. Cities are built and broken on the ability to have lithe, flexible, exchangeable ideas and debates. A city which stagnates dies. Dead cities don’t innovate. They are sealed in the coffin of abandoned industries and worthless factories. Even in our very modern world these cities can be wholly abandoned, suddenly, sometimes less than a century after their greatest boom times.

    Creative culture is the lifeblood of a thriving city. Art exists in a realm where crazy ideas can flourish. The greatest “what ifs” can emerge, be tested, and sink or swim. Art is the original viral meme generator — and the new ideas it generates can’t help but trickle down or overflow into business, commerce and city government.

    If we care about our city, we have one easy additional “to do” item: Embrace the arts. Weave them into our lives. Pick one event a month and go. “Doing our part” can be as easy as having opinions about what we see and sharing them with others. I hope you’re ready, because art season is opening.

    "

    — Cat’s article for Juice Magazine, September 21, 2011. 

  • September 22, 2011 9:42 am
    When we posted a link to WhattheCraft’s “Why Handmade is so Expensive,” Market Day vendor Brandi Powell responded with her own input on the cost of handmade goods. 
Totally makes sense. 
But the more we’ve thought about it, the more important we feel it is to say: You know what? Handmade isn’t that expensive. You can buy small prints from Sweet Harvey for $25! Last I saw her big prints, I think they ran about $40? That’s pretty damn reasonable, considering Target’s got the shitty stuff for $15-$60.  
We have strong feelings on Target art.  View high resolution

    When we posted a link to WhattheCraft’s “Why Handmade is so Expensive,” Market Day vendor Brandi Powell responded with her own input on the cost of handmade goods

    Totally makes sense. 

    But the more we’ve thought about it, the more important we feel it is to say: You know what? Handmade isn’t that expensive. You can buy small prints from Sweet Harvey for $25! Last I saw her big prints, I think they ran about $40? That’s pretty damn reasonable, considering Target’s got the shitty stuff for $15-$60.  

    We have strong feelings on Target art. 

  • September 22, 2011 8:05 am
    How to build a tabletop softbox for around $30
"On his wesbite, Mawoca, Frank shows us how to make a tabletop softbox, which can help photographers - as well as crafters - take pictures of their smaller work in the best possible light. Frank uses his softbox to take food photos for his wife. He paid about $30 for parts, and the results are fantastic.” View high resolution

    How to build a tabletop softbox for around $30

    "On his wesbite, Mawoca, Frank shows us how to make a tabletop softbox, which can help photographers - as well as crafters - take pictures of their smaller work in the best possible light. Frank uses his softbox to take food photos for his wife. He paid about $30 for parts, and the results are fantastic.”