Needfire Artisan Collective
Needfire Candle Co is pleased to announce we are accepting applications for our Needfire Artisan Collective.
What is the Needfire Artisan Collective?
Needfire Artisan Collective is a Portland, Maine artisanal co-working studio, networking group, and weekly marketplace. Membership fees range, as do offerings, in an effort to provide support and community for Artisans in the greater Portland Area, and beyond.
Where is the Needfire Artisan Collective?
The collective is located at 463 Fore St in Portland, ME.
How Do I Apply?
Currently we are only accepting Workshop Artisan applications and Basic Collective Members. We will have space for 12 Workshop Artisans and as many collective members who would like to join.
Either by Black Friday, or once our Workshop Artisan spots are filled, we will open for our Flexible Membership option. Should our Workshop Artisan membership fill, we will start a waitlist. We always keep two spaces open for visiting Basic and Flexible members as visiting Marketplace members.
This is the easiest way to stay involved at whatever capacity you need! Basic Members are able to attend all of our networking events, and our Workshop Artisans are encouraged to reach out to Basic and Flexible members if they know they will not be present for several markets. Basic Membership entitles you to:
- Member event rates for local artisans who would like to host workshops in the space.
- Invitation to all free community events.
- Invitation to pop in at our Marketplace days on a first come first serve basis.
- Member discounts on fees and artisan products.
- Monthly membership email.
- Access to membership advising and support, including 1 hour of free business consultation per month.
$20 - 1 dedicated spot per month
$50 - 2 dedicated spots per month
$100 - 5 dedicated spots per month
$150 - 8 dedicated spots per month
$250 - 14 dedicated spots per month
Flexible membership is for those who are interested in being involved in as many events as they can, without maintaining a physical presence in the space. These members have the opportunity to pick their pop up dates before we open them to our basic membership. Flexible members get all the same as the basic members, as well as:
- Up to 14 dedicated monthly "slots" which can either be used for Marketplace or workspace time. A slot affords a member up to 6 hours of workshop time, which can be split into two segments on non-market days that the space has openings. Slot must be scheduled in advance, and are on a first come, first serve basis (There are roughly 6 slots per week, including times before and after market hours.)
- First pick of market days, before they are released to Basic Membership.
- Additional workspace slots or marketplace slots will be purchasable, by availability, at the discounted membership fee.
Workshop Artisans are afforded a permanent space and fulltime access to the Needfire space. Workshop Artisans are entitled to all of the applicable perks of the Flexible and Basic Membership, as well as:
- A dedicated space in the workshop that can accommodate up to a 6' table, two chairs, and various styles of standing shelves. Requests for mounted shelves or additional equipment will be approved on a case by case basis. Should a member need more space, they will need to make a special request.
- Full Time access to the space, Wednesday - Monday. Outside of posted calendar hours, requests will need to be made for additional access to the space. We will work with Workshop Artisan members to identify what an ideal schedule would be each month, and do our best to accommodate that. We ask for 2 weeks notice for major schedule requests, however we can accomodate most small requests. The space is closed on Tuesday for the time being.
- A Workshop Artisan membership can be split between two vendors, upon the request of both vendors. In this case, vendors will still pay their monthly subscription together, however they will have full agency as to how they would like to divvy the space.
- Workshop Artisans are welcome to offer their space during our Marketplaces to any confirmed applicant of Needfire Artisan Collective should they not be able to attend, but would like the space to be used. They are welcome to ask for compensation, so long as it is no higher than the standard membership Marketplace fee of $30 or $25 for basic/flexible members.
After extremely positive response to our Artisan Collective, we have decided to open a small number of Workshop Artisan slot early, at a discounted rate, for existing vendors. If you are already confirmed for our Merry Madness dates (Dec 8, 9, 10) we are accepting five applicants as Artisan members. Those members will be given the option to join our space as soon as Nov. 1 for a reduced rate of $250 for November and $350 for December. W will deduct any fees already paid, for the months of November and December respectively, to your invoice.
If you are Not Confirmed for Merry Madness but would like a permanent Artisan space, we have no more than two spaces available until December 11th. After December 11th, we will be able to accomodate 6-7 more Workshop Artisan members at $250 for the remainder of the month, who will be entitled to a space at all additional December events.
Should you choose to become a member, and cannot attend all of our Winter Market days, we will let you know if there are additional vendors who would be willing to pay you for a table seat.
Basic Membership will be open November 1, with information on social events to follow. We encourage Basic Members to inquire about using the space for projects if needed, which will be offered at a discounted rate through December 11th. All Flexible Membership Plans begin January 2023.
How do the markets work?
Markets will be held Thursday through Sunday during the Winter. There is potential those hours will be extended during the summer months, based on membership availability and feedback.
Our marketplace is held at 463 Fore St, in Portland, Maine. Needfire will advertise and share the market with the community on the behalf of its members, and recommends members share on their social media and newsletters.
Markets will typically be 5 hours long. Needfire is open to accommodating member request and general consensus from members. Here is a sample schedule:
Thursday - 1-6 pm
Friday - 1-6 pm
Saturday 11-4 pm
Sunday - 11-4 pm
We always take into consideration traffic patterns, and hours will likely shift slightly seasonally. Typically these changes are made after surveying members.
Every 30 days, members will be sent the upcoming month's schedule. We ask the Workshop Artisans indicate days they will not be present, and if applicable, who they may have substituting their space. We will allow Flexible members to sign up first, ensuring they have access to all their dedicated days. After a week, any additional days will be opened to our basic membership.
If we have fewer than five confirmed vendors signed up two weeks before any marketplace, we will contact membership one additional time to inquire as to whether anyone in our basic membership would like to join this market. If within three days there is no response, we will contact members to let them know. There will be an option to cancel the market, should members wish to do so.
Snow day markets are on Mondays. If we have to close due to inclement weather, we will move the market to the soonest Monday that can be reasonably advertised. Monday has always been a surprisingly active day. If a member cannot make a Monday afternoon market, we will do our best to either credit them a free market for non-Workshop Artisans or credit their next subscription billing cycle $25 for workshop Artisans.
What do the fees go towards?
The fees go primarily towards operating the space, paid advertising, and paying any support staff. Additional funds will be used to plan more expensive member events, such as outdoor summer markets and socials, as well as improving the space.
Will I ever have to pay Needfire commission on my sales?
Emphatically no. We do not believe commission splits are always a part of a healthy artisan community, and find that they simply cannot be made fair between artists.
If I am a member, can I show my work even if I'm not at an event?
Yes! Flexible and Workshop Artisan members are welcome to display their work, as there is always someone from the Needfire team present and taking card payments during our Marketplace hours. In the event you make sales, there will not be a commission. Instead, sales will first go towards the next month of membership fees, and any additional revenue will be paid out on the schedule of your monthly invoice.
If I join in the middle of your subscription month, what happens?
We bill everyone on the same day every month. If you join later in the month, we will calculate a prorated amount and send an invoice for that, with our $25 set up fee. You will then be billed for the upcoming month on the 14th of each month, which is due by the 1st of the upcoming month. Members who pay at least a week before the month begins get a 10% discount. Prepayment of 3 months or more entitles members to 20% off their fee upon request. Membership begins after invoice is paid.
What if I can't pay my bill this month?
There is a 10 day period, after which a late fee is applied to the account of 10% of the account. If after 30 days your balance is still unpaid and no other arrangements have been made, your membership will be suspended. Workshop Artisans will be given 7 days to collect their things or make an arrangement, or their property will be considered abandoned.
This is a worst case scenario! We are small business owners, and we understand how challenging life can be. We are always willing to find a path forward, within reason.
Ultimately, it is our goal to create a space for artisans, run by artisans. We welcome any questions from prospective members directed to firstname.lastname@example.org