Application Criteria for Designers
At The Finders Keepers, we aim to provide visitors with a diverse range of creative work. Over the past 13+ years we’ve built a strong reputation in the art and design community as a key platform for emerging business owners to gain exposure and develop a brand presence in a competitive marketplace.
It’s a great way for stallholders to interact directly with new and existing audiences, gain face-to-face feedback and have a whole lot of fun while your work is being propelled to thousands of people.
A large part of maintaining a superior standard at events is due to the care and commitment we take throughout our entire application process. It’s a serious business and a big job! If you’ve never applied for our market before, please don’t be scared! We LOVE to hear from new artists and designers. In fact, we encourage you to apply and have a dedicated debut section just for you! We’re keen to support all of our stallholders, both new and experienced. We have provided extensive information regarding the application process as well as our selection criteria. We also constantly update and share new resources and benefits for our stallholder community.
Please have a read through the criteria and feel free to get in touch if you have any questions or need further advice.
If you would like to know more about the nitty-gritty of our Terms & Conditions you can read all about them here.
Stallholder Selection Criteria:
What we’re looking for within applications:
- Creative and original work; independent designs, or products of a handmade nature;
- Innovative and original work; products and items that fit in with the overall vision of The Finders Keepers;
- Presentation and professionalism with finished product/s, including professional quality of images or collateral used for marketing your brand;
- Consistency between your work and brand as a cohesive story;
- Commitment to independent design, adopting and/or using traditional crafts, new technologies in art and design, and/or innovative methods of making;
- Allegiance with ethical and sustainable practices in making and production, including but not limited to, responsible waste and commitment to materials that can be recycled, reused and/or have a long lifespan;
- Unique products; prove that your work avoids saturated trends (we’re always on the hunt for the new!);
- Aesthetics and quality that matches the expectations of shoppers (expectations that have been growing over the past decade-plus of operation);
- Appropriate, suitable and commercially viable items, including appropriate price points for the marketplace;
- Small businesses that are equipped and scale appropriate to sell at the size of The Finders Keepers; and
- If you’re submitting a collective application, the combined quality of the group needs to meet our criteria as outlined. We look at the application as a whole, not individual applications within. (The application will either be approved or not as one application).
In addition, you must demonstrate and/or supply:
- Information about your products; including how products are made, where they are made, as well as clear, consistent imagery that complements your work;
- Images of your products in production, or your workspace if made by hand (whatever is most relevant);
- Documentation of how your product will be displayed, including but not limited to images and/or sketches of your stand, as well as images of merchandise of your branding and packaging to demonstrate a cohesive brand offering;
- Website address and social media handles - we may also review these platforms as part of the process to determine the suitability of your brand/business for the marketplace;
- Your own contact details - we prefer makers and designers to apply directly and usually do not accept representatives or sales agents for brands.
Some important details:
- You can have multiple labels under the main brand umbrella, however you can not act as a wholesale agent for other brands unless it has been approved prior by The Finders Keepers under special consideration only;
- While we do consider applications from established businesses* we favour those who provide fresh energy into our line-ups;
- If you're a returning stallholder, you must demonstrate how your work has progressed since participating in any past events. You must demonstrate that you’re offering new products, or have developed variations on designs in order to keep The Finders Keepers fresh and exciting for our returning customers;
- Applicants may only submit one application per person/per collective at each event. We will not accept multiple applications under a different name;
- The result of all applications is determined on requiring a level of professionalism, creativity and diversity across The Finders Keepers’ events;
- Similar applications will be assessed based on the criteria and the number of applicants in the same category. Over-saturated categories (like jewellery or candles) for this reason can be very competitive;
- All products must be ethically produced either locally or overseas. Please provide evidence of this in your application where possible;
- If your product is made overseas please provide a Social Compliance Certificate.**
- For beauty products, you must arrange your own health compliance certificates appropriate to your chosen industry.
- All applicants must be Australian residents only. You cannot sell on behalf of other designers based overseas. Applicants can not be wholesale agents. You must be the owner or operator of the brand.
* Established labels are usually defined as 10+ years of trading.
Ethical Production and Transparency:
The Finders Keepers is committed to working with businesses that promote ethical and sustainable practices in all aspects, from design to product development, and from packaging to product lifecycle.
We’d like to know if your brand is aligned with these values and others: Environmentally sustainable, organic, plant-based, Fair Trade / working conditions, using recycled, repurposed or upcycled materials, toxin-free etc.
We favour handmade production and makers who are using their own studios and practices to produce work themselves, however, we do accept designers who run responsible manufacturing.
We also ask for you to supply certification on any of the following or more: Social Compliance** / proof of Ethical production, B Corp Certified, Ethical Clothing Australia, Fair Trade, GOTS Certification, Carbon Neutral etc.
** What is a Social Compliance certificate?
A Social Compliance certificate is gained through a social compliance audit, also known as a social audit or an ethical audit. It’s a way to verify that a business is complying with socially responsible principles. These audits are usually conducted in external facilities, including production houses, factories, and packing houses, both in Australia and offshore.
What does social compliance mean?
Social compliance incorporates how a business treats its employees, the natural environment and their perspective on social responsibility. Social compliance promotes transparency in business, ensuring businesses are accountable for the various stages of their product development.