Application Tips

We often get asked to elaborate on what makes for a great application, so we thought it would be helpful to pass along some of our top tips:

Follow directions

This may seem obvious, but you'd be surprised how many applicants don't do it.  Please read through the application carefully, supply all of the required information, and if you need clarification, feel free to email theclovermarket{at} to ask. We assume that if you can't follow the directions on the application, you will have trouble following directions at the actual Market itself.   

Select photos carefully

Since we receive many more applications than we have spots, the photos will be the primary way to gauge the quality and range of your items and how they fit with the overall aesthetic of the Market.  Please send in simply composed, clear, well-lit photos with plain backgrounds which let your products shine.  Natural light often works best.  Your images don't need to be from a fancy camera (although we do appreciate those); iphone photos can work just fine as long as they are focused and well-lit.  

Don't forget to include a clear booth shot or a vignette created for the application; applications without them will not be reviewed.  How your inventory is presented and your tents styled - or proposed to be styled - is a very important consideration.  We want to see how you will set up your "shop for the day" and strive to create an atmosphere where the vendor tents are creative, carefully styled, and unique in presentation.

Maintain a clear visual voice & cohesive product line 

The most successful vendors and applicants have a strong visual "voice" or "look" and a clear focus in the items they make or collect.  This also includes the smaller but equally important details like packaging, booth presentation, signage, website, etc. Depth and consistency are valued over a scattershot approach in which many different categories, kinds of items (e.g. "I make candles...and sell vintage...and have antiques...and jewelry!") or completely different styles are shown in the hope that something will stick.  Authenticity to your work is also very important; be yourself and let your own individual creative voice shine through. 

Keep up to date

Again, this may sound obvious, but if you are going to include links to your website, Etsy page, or other shop page, please be sure it's current, easy to navigate and has a good number of your items shown.  Although these pages are not the primary means to evaluate your application, they can be considered as a complement to your work beyond the submitted photos and can further help to tell your brand story.

Demonstrate growth & evolution if you are a returning vendor

Vendors who have participated before and are most likely to be selected again are those who are continually evolving their product line or collections.  For example, continuing to evolve display and merchandising, adding new products/keeping inventory fresh, experimenting with new materials, tweaking designs, etc.  Ultimately this will help to keep things fresh and interesting which will not only benefit the Market, but it will benefit YOU as a seller.  


We encourage all applicants to demonstrate in their photos and descriptions how their products stand out uniquely.  This will be especially important in categories where we are heavily oversubscribed like jewelry or repurposed antiques.  Presenting a new angle on a familiar craft, using new types of materials or methods, or even putting together unique packaging and display are all valued by us and our customers.  We encourage you to stay on top of your competition, and show and tell us what makes you different in your application.

Demonstrate handmade

If you are a jewelry or craft vendor, the handmade element should really shine through in your work.  While some purchased components are completely fine, and often necessary, we want to see your personal imprint and handiwork on the final product to be sold.  If you are reworking vintage components for your jewelry (we receive a lot of applications like this), we'd especially like to see your unique angle or style.  All things being equal, applicants who clearly show the handmade aspect of the work are more likely to be selected than those who do minimal handiwork to purchased elements.

Show commitment to your business

Investing the time to set up and manage a professional looking website (and/or Facebook page, Etsy site, Big Cartel shop, etc.) and in putting together professional looking signage, packaging, and booth setups shows us that you are putting the time and energy into the business versus dabbling as a hobbyist.  We also really appreciate applicants who are active on social media and understand the importance of these marketing tools to help promote your events and your business.  

A word on conduct and burning bridges

Maintaining a professional tone in your communication - and at the Market itself if you have vended previously - is very important.  If you have badmouthed the Market publicly after not being accepted or sent rude or nasty emails in response to your status (yes, these have both actually happened), you should probably not bother applying again.  

Similarly, if you are a returning vendor, you are expected to have read and adhered to the vendor Rules and Regulations (or any other communication from the Market) and to have resolved any issues professionally, cooperatively, and reasonably with Market staff, your fellow vendors, and customers. 

Kindness, respect and graciousness matter.  A lot.  We work very hard to maintain a positive, professional, and collaborative vibe at Clover and we want to continue to have vendors who will do the same.

If at first you don't succeed...

And finally, if you are not accepted, we truly hope you won't be discouraged from trying again.  Try to attend some of the Markets that season and look at the photos we have posted here on the website to get a sense of your competition.  We absolutely accept vendors who have applied more than once, but can also say that they are typically ones who demonstrate progression in their work, a commitment to the business, AND a positive and professional attitude in communicating with us.  


A final, personal note...

As you can probably imagine, the evaluation process is often quite difficult, and it's certainly not perfect.  Difficult choices often have to be made between very qualified vendors due to the simple constraints of space, desire for variety, and a commitment to allowing opportunities for new vendors to participate.  

The process is done with a lot of time and careful effort and an unwavering commitment to creating the best experience for our customers and vendors.  The ongoing management and promotion of the Market and the vendors who are its' heart and soul is my full time job, and it is one that I do with a great deal of passion and commitment.  

I am incredibly thankful for the support we have received from vendors and customers, and feel very lucky to spend my time doing something that I truly love. It's always an honor to be able to review everyone's applications, and I thank you for your time in reading through all of this information. Wishing you the best of luck here and in all of your creative endeavors!  

Janet Long, Founder

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