Pursue Your Side Hustle at the Thursday Market!

Hahn’s table set-up at her first Thursday market. Photo courtesy of Greta Hahn.

Whether you plan to sell homemade jewelry, advertise your club, swap second-hand clothing, provide fresh baked goods for students, or anything in that realm, the Thursday market on the Excelsior Concourse is an ideal location for anyone searching for an open audience.

Managed by Campus Auxiliary Services, the weekly market regularly hosts local businesses from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. while school is in session. The setup process for vendors begins at 8:30 a.m. and during the colder months, the market is moved indoors to the Lecture Center.

When inclement weather occurs, the Thursday Market takes place in the Lecture Center. Photo courtesy of Chris Pillsbury

The mission of the market is to “provide the campus community with access to a diverse array of locally grown and manufactured products.”

Many campus creatives have taken advantage of this opportunity to share their products and designs with students, faculty and locals alike. If you are interested in this avenue of getting your work out there, here’s a comprehensive guide on how to get started at the Thursday market, with tips and trips from current vendors.

I sat down with a new addition to the fall 2022 market, Greta Hahn. She owns and runs Gert’s Merch, a printmaking stand that sells unique print designs on thrifted clothes. She first started selling at the Thursday market in the spring of 2022, and has been a consistent vendor since.

“In my very first market, Joe, who runs Loveless Apparel, took me under his wing. He told me where to set up, and that I’d get a ton of foot traffic here…I remember the whole day so vividly. I sold almost everything on my rack that day,” Hahn said. “It blows my mind how, from the beginning, if I didn’t have that support and belief from so many people, I wouldn’t be where I am now.”

A pile of now clothes-less hangers after Hahn’s first day at the market. Photo courtesy of Greta Hahn.

According to Hahn, the first and most important step to setting up at the Thursday market is putting yourself out there with an email to Campus Auxiliary Services detailing your business, and showing off your goods. The SUNY New Paltz Spring 2022 program guidelines and application is available on the campus market section of the Campus Auxiliary website. Complete vendor applications must be submitted to CAS@newpaltz.edu.

“It’s super simple, and kinda crazy that all this opportunity came from just an email. It took less than a day for them to get back to me.” Hahn said.

The only drawback is a $25 per week vendor fee — which, given the amount of foot traffic and notoriety the Thursday market has, seems like a small price to pay to get your business out there. Although week-to-week revenue is unpredictable, Hahn always makes a profit. These fees must be paid on the day of each market you plan to attend.

If your application is accepted by Campus Auxiliary Services, your business will be provided one or two eight-foot tables to display your products. 

The roles of the vendors, as described in the program guidelines, are almost as basic as the application process itself. The only directions given to the vendors are to “be completely set up and ready to sell by the opening time of the Market” and to “be present for the entire length of each market.” Additional rules surrounding the legality of goods to sell can also be found in the vendor applications.

The process of creating signage for your business is where you get to flex your creativity and ensure your stand is properly advertised. Like any iconic logo, you should aim to sum up the business, as well as catch the eye of any students passing by. Programs like Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustration are free to utilize through your campus email.

Hahn’s first selfie in her new printmaking studio. Photo courtesy of Greta Hahn.

Whether you’re pursuing a passion project, sharing your hobbies and passions with others, advertising your talent, or anything of the like, the Thursday Market provides the perfect launch point for students with creative or entrepreneurial inclinations.