Becoming a Vendor

We love the surge of creativity that is sweeping this area and encourage fellow makers to apply to be vendors at our shop. We receive inquiries daily- sometimes several, therefore, we may not be able to respond to yours right away. We do have a long and varied waiting list, so we ask that you please be patient with us as we sift through candidates and determine who is a good fit. Keep in mind, our space is limited so we simply do not have the room to showcase everyone.

-Who is a good fit? We are looking for creatives who make items that we do not already carry and who are interested in building their business and brand with us. What does this mean? We are not a traditional “vendor” shop that has booth rentals, we do not sell used items (except for our refinished antique furniture pieces) nor are we interested in selling items that can be purchased in chain stores or are easily made by anyone watching a tutorial. We are really looking for people who have mastered unique arts or crafts and are able to deliver quality items in volume and in a timely manner for us to either purchase at wholesale or sell at commission (usually for higher end items above $100). What does this mean? For example, let’s say you make beautifully knitted gloves and people love them so much that they are selling like hot cakes, do you have enough materials to continue producing them? Can you produce them quickly and still make a quality item? Are you available for custom orders and are you good at responding if we message you with questions or concerns from our customers? If you work a demanding full time job and can’t give a reasonable turn around time for orders, it’s probably not a good idea to inquire with us. Are you at a point where you are willing to commit to registering as a business and buying wholesale materials tax free so that you reduce your own costs and keep customer costs reasonable? Are you willing to work hard and make little or nothing at first, reinvesting sales back into your business until your brand takes off? If your products require packaging, have you figured out what it should consist of? What your liabilities are? Is it attractive and eye catching? Is it readily available for you to order? We have carried items that vendors were unable to support because of insurances issues, shortages or shipping delays, which caused frustration and confusion for customers. If you answer “no” to one or all of the above, we would like to encourage you to continue honing your skills and brand. Perhaps branch out with local markets and bazaars before you inquire to sell here. It’s important that customers have a consistent product that is safe and reliable.

We started out small ourselves and worked for 7 years into our current position by a lot of labor, sweat, tears and sacrifice. Ask anyone who runs a small business and they will tell you that it takes YEARS to make a profit from what you love doing. Only those who are willing to be patient, perseverant and eat a lot of humble pie will end up thriving in this business. The PNW has the highest rate of small business ownership in the nation- it’s incredibly competitive here!

-We feel that it is an honor to have local makers in our shop, but we always appreciate it when our vendors feel that it is an honor for them to be featured by us as well. We are taking all of the financial risk, managing the books & bills, staging, advertising, working face to face with customers, entering products into the system and tagging them, maintaining the premises and cleaning every day, so we are grateful when vendors have respect for us and are grateful for our hard work.

-We have set out beautifully crafted items by hobbyists and professionals who, sadly, did not resonate with our customers. This is one of the most unpleasant parts of what we do- telling someone who is vastly talented that we can no longer carry their items. It simply feels awful. This gives us pause and makes us incredibly grateful for our customers who continue to support our shop. We would love to be able to sell everyone’s handmade items but there isn’t always a feasible market. For instance, if you make an item that took you weeks and expensive materials to make, you may have a difficult time financially recouping what you have put into your creations. We have featured beautiful artwork and handicrafts that were just too expensive for our customers, especially with the inflation that is bubbling out of control right now. Don’t give up, though- keep seeking and you will find your people!

-If you are a local creative who is already selling at multiple locations here in Clark County, we ask that you not inquire to sell with us. A saturated market is not lucrative for either of us.

-Thank you so much for your interest, if you’ve read the above and still believe that you are a good fit- we look forward to hearing from you via email. Please send us your story, pictures, price points and why you think you should sell here to sara@nativenomadinc.com

-We ask that you please not come by the shop while we are helping customers to show us your wares as it is very distracting for our customers and staff. We will arrange to meet you in person and see your creations after we’ve received your information via email.

-Now for the ugly part. It’s not fun but it has to be said because of those who have had absolutely zero respect for our creative space and we want to warn those who would do the same. Please be assured that if you demand to be featured, harass, threaten or demean us, you will not be welcome here.

– Sadly, we have had mean-spirited rumors spread about our business because we did not choose certain vendors. We have had people angry with us for unwittingly carrying similar items that they or their loved ones also make or carry in nearby shops. Unfortunately, we’ve witnessed some reprehensible behavior because we were somehow seen as a threat to other makers. We have been creating and working in this field at markets, bazaars and local shops for several years and our space has been open for two years now. We have created many items and don’t have time to keep up with what other shops and makers are carrying. We can’t help it if current trends end up crossing over with what others are doing- the internet is full of ideas and we don’t monitor every local shop, but we always respect their selling territories with brands if they are legitimately registered with them. We challenge you to take a long look at the last few years of our social media pages if you are genuinely interested in finding out if we have original thoughts and designs.

“Humility, after the first shock, is a cheerful virtue” C.S. Lewis