What We're About
I Heart Indie Markets is split into two main categories: helping indie makers find indie markets and helping makers build and expand their handmade, independently owned businesses!
Our Find Events section is full of indie markets found all around the United States! So what exactly is an "Indie Market" opposed to a regular old craft fair or art show?
Well, let's break it down to the basics...
What is indie?
Indie, in this case, means an independently owned business.
What is a market?
It's a place to sell your goods, ie: craft shows, bizarres, pop-up shops, etc.
But what makes an indie market something special?
Indie markets tend to take the basic craft show concept and make it into something more! Event coordinators of indie markets tend to lean toward more attractive, enticing locations, especially locations that are popular amongst the community or places where the community can be more involved. Many are starting to include craft corners or a DIY aspect to the event so the event isn't solely shopping handmade items. Some indie markets are starting to bring in other indie groups such as food carts or local musicians. Indie markets tend to take your typical craft show a step further and make it into more of an experience.
I Heart Indie Markets is more than just a list of indie markets. It’s also a community of makers meant to help build up one another!
Our goal is to be a group of #MakersSupportingMakers.
What is a maker?
A maker is a person or thing that makes.
What does it mean to make?
This is a loaded question and Dictionary.com gives us over 80 different definitions, but here are a few that fit the bill for this site:
to bring into existence by shaping or changing material, combining parts, etc.
to produce; cause to exist or happen; bring about
to cause to be or become; render
to bring into a certain form
to convert from one state, condition, category, etc., to another
How does I Heart Indie Markets help with building one another up?
We have a few tools on this website currently and bunches more to come! Our Growing your Business section has helpful links and Common Q & A where you can get the basics of turning your handmade crafts into an indie business.
There is also a link under the Growing Your Business section to our I Heart Indie Makers Facebook group, which is a group dedicated for asking questions and hopefully getting answers quickly from group moderators or from other vendors! It’s also a fantastic way to make connections, friends and learn more about building up your business. You must be part of the handmade community to be part of the I Heart Indie Makers Facebook group.
What is handmade?
This tends to be another loaded question. By definition, handmade typically means the product is made by hand rather than machine, and is made with “particular care or craftsmanship”.
I think most of us can agree that definition is accurate but also leaves something to be desired, especially in the indie market scene and with technological advancements that help us improve our craft.
Since many crafts use machines such as computers, sewing machines, screen printing presses, we generally focus on the later half of that definition.
Where We're Going
Right now I Heart Indie Markets is solidly in "Beta" mode. The goal is to test and see what works with the website and what needs some tweaking. The main mission is to constantly try to improve what is being provided by making sure the information is current and relevant to makers in the handmade community.
There is so much more information coming to I Heart Indie Markets over the next year. As that information is added the goal is to make the information more accessible through search tools.
Check back with I Heart Indie Markets often and message with any thoughts you might have on how the site can be improved or what you would like to see next!
Who Runs This Site...
Sara Thompto is currently running I Heart Indie Markets and I Heart Indie Markets: Pop-ups. She also manages and designs for her business, No Coast Paper Co. Currently she enjoys exploring Grand Rapids, MI where she moved the summer of 2019, snuggling up with a book, listening to all sorts of music (though maybe a little too much from the 90's), traveling, going to concerts, hiking, cuddling with her dog Roxie, and spending time with her wife.
For more details on how I Heart Indie Markets came to be, check out the "Story of Origin" on our blog!