Archive Mode. Call Handmade Arcade 2021 ended on 8/14/21, 12:30 AM. Call settings are read only. See Current Open Calls


Before applying, carefully read the below FAQ informationEvent DetailsVendor InfoApplication Instructions, and Terms and Conditions.

All applicants will have access to Handmade Arcade’s updated Maker Curriculum, including downloadable PDFs, videos, and a chance to participate in webinars or in-person workshops scheduled for Fall 2021. 

Who HA Accepts
HA’s Jury Process
Apply With A Friend
Acceptance Notification Info & Dates
Makers without an e-commerce site can apply
Friday Load-in And Preview Party
Saturday Event And Tear-down
Application Tips
Other Important Details


Who HA Accepts

HA is a juried, curated marketplace. Applicants' products should be handmade, hand-crafted, or represent the artist’s personal creation. 

Applications should show:
  • Craftsmanship and creativity
  • Skill and technique
  • Traditional handicrafts combined with innovative thinking
  • Durability and functionality
  • Mindfulness and unique qualities (locally sourced, recycling, upcycling, etc.)
  • Crisp and clear photographs
  • Range of price points (HA is traditionally a holiday gift marketplace) 
Categories include:
  • Accessories
  • Adult Clothing
  • Artwork
  • Bath & Body
  • Ceramics
  • Children’s Products
  • Glass
  • Housewares
  • Jewelry
  • Other
  • Paper Goods
  • Toys
  • Wood 
Mass-produced merchandise is prohibited at all Handmade Arcade events. Additionally, accepted vendors are NOT permitted to bring products from anyone not listed on their original application.

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HA’s Jury Process

Handmade Arcade is a juried, curated marketplace. Handmade Arcade uses for jury applications. Every application is reviewed and voted on by our jurors. Every part of your application is essential. The jury reviews your images, products and process description, merchandise prices, website, and social media accounts (if applicable).  Ensure that your product pictures are of the highest quality. Your website and/or social media accounts should be active. If you provide links to your website and/or social media accounts, they should show a representative selection of your merchandise.
Handmade Arcade’s jury consists of the advisory committee and new and rotating guest jurors from Pittsburgh's arts, craft, cultural, and small business communities.

IMPORTANT: At this time, HA does not accept food vendors, including chocolates, tea, honey, and candy. If you have specific questions regarding your products, please ask before you apply at

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Apply with a Friend

  • HA’s application allows you to apply with a second applicant. 

  • Applicants are reviewed as one entry. 

  • Images must represent both applicants’ products.

  • The primary applicant is notified by email.

  • Virtual Marketplace: Makers will get separate virtual marketplace pages. 

  • In-person Marketplace: Makers will share the vendor space and be listed together on the event map. (e.g., Vendor 1 / Vendor 2)

  • All set-up needs for vendors sharing a space must be decided and planned between the vendors before the day of the event.

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Makers without an e-commerce site can apply

Handmade Arcade understands that not all makers have an e-commerce website. We are in the process of creating a plan to help all makers participate in the virtual marketplace. In the meantime, makers who want to begin the process of creating an e-commerce site should visit the For Makers page on the Handmade Arcade website and work through our Maker Curriculum. Stay tuned for more details. 

Acceptance Notification Info & Dates

Notifications emailed on Monday, September 13, 2021.
  • Important to note: this email comes from HA’s MailChimp account. These emails can end up in your SPAM or GMAIL Promotions folders. Please check both before contacting Handmade Arcade.
  • HA sends emails to ALL applicants (accepted, waitlisted, and those not accepted). 
Accepted applicants: 
  • Will complete a detailed vendor information form at the time payment is due
  • Are required to fill out a vendor survey after the event. Failure to do so can affect a maker’s participation status at future events. 
  • Are encouraged to join the private Facebook group for details and updates. 
  • HA will communicate via email, the “For Maker” page on its website, and the Facebook group. Therefore, it is essential to read all communications for a smooth marketplace experience.
Waitlisted applicants will be notified if a vendor space becomes available in the category in which they applied.

If you are not accepted, we encourage you to reapply. Space is limited. Not being accepted in 2021 does not mean that you may not be accepted the following year.

Due to limited capacity, HA does not offer feedback on an individual's application.

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Friday Load-in And Preview Party

NEW THIS YEAR: Accepted makers to the in-person event MUST be able to load in on Friday afternoon and participate in the Happy Hour Preview Party on Friday, December 3, 2021.

The Friday Night Happy Hour Preview Party is an excellent opportunity to set up early, make some early sales, and meet and mingle with your fellow vendors.  

  • Load-in between 12 - 4 PM 
  • Convention Center Teamsters available to help
  • Happy Hour Preview Party starts at 5 PM
  • Makers must stay until it ends at 7:30 PM
  • Ticketed event
  • Makers will receive two tickets to giveaway
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Saturday Event And Tear-down

Vendors must be back at their booths by 9 a.m. Saturday morning to prepare for the 10 a.m. Early Birdie shopping hour.
  • Important to note:  There is a cheerleading competition this same weekend, making parking difficult. We recommend that you plan to return to the Convention Center by 8 AM to avoid a stressful morning. You can arrive anytime after 7 AM.
Spend the night at The Westin Convention Center, Pittsburgh!
  • Handmade Arcade will reserve a block of rooms at a reduced rate for Friday night and Saturday night.  Link to be shared closer to the event date.
Vendors may NOT tear down their space until 7 PM. To avoid a back-up on the loading dock, vendors must completely pack up their space BEFORE getting their car. Vendors will have ONE HOUR to tear down and must be off the Convention Center floor by 8 PM.

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Application Tips

Product photography is the most critical part of your application.
  • Be sure to upload high-quality, high-resolution photographs that are clear and in focus.
  • Photos should bring out the best in your products, highlight the materials and methods used, and demonstrate originality, innovation, and the handmade process.
  • A booth photograph is required.
  • IMPORTANT: If you are reapplying, use this opportunity to show us something new. Do not use photos that you have submitted in the past. 
Website and Social Media:
  • HA strongly recommends that your website and/or social media accounts are current during the application process.
  • When making tough choices, jurors often look at a maker’s website and social media images.
  • Use your website and/or social media accounts to show items that best represent what you intend to sell at Handmade Arcade.
  • We discourage makers from sharing personal social media accounts. 
A well-written description of your products and creative process is vital to your application.

Make sure you spell your email address and URL correctly.

Make sure you use an email that you regularly check in your application.

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Other Important Details

  • Vendors are permitted to bring tables, fixtures, grid walls, and/or custom display items. All racks, display items, extra merchandise, and personal belongings must fit within the assigned vendor space. No exceptions.
  • Vendors are permitted to have helpers for set-up, selling, booth coverage for breaks, tear down, etc. If your helper is coming separately, they do NOT need a ticket to get in before the event starts. They should come through the front door of the hall and let the volunteers know they are working at your table.
  • Vendors must bring table coverings.
  • Vendors may NOT tape or hang any items on the convention center walls. Additionally, vendors are not permitted to adhere to, hammer, or lean anything against convention center property.
  • HA is no longer able to accommodate special requests for vendor space placement.
  • If you did not pay for electricity, you cannot plug anything- even a cell phone charger - into an outlet at the Convention Center. HA is charged for every outlet used, which can become costly. Makers who do not adhere to this rule may be asked to leave the marketplace.
  • Parking and all charges related therein are the responsibility of vendors.
  • If you need to leave your table during the event, volunteers will be available to watch your booth for a short time. Volunteers are not permitted to sell your wares or purchase food for you. Food lines at the DLCC are often long. 
  • HA has not yet determined if the concessions will be open. Plan accordingly and bring food and drinks.

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