Photo Courtesy Nik V Phototgraphy
Today’s post was supposed to be all about how I had finally triumphed in my craft booth set up for last Sunday’s Patchwork show.
However, I encountered a teeny-tiny glitch with that plan:
- None of the pictures I took seem to exist*
- “Triumph” is sort of a stronger word than can be applied to my achievement
Pi (who featured prominently in several pics) threw himself to the ground in his disappointment and was almost inconsolable.
But I did improve my set up (I think) so perhaps I can share the journey and, hopefully be of some help to others.
Here’s the deal.
Of the many things I struggle with (fighting my all ice-cream diet instinct, remembering sunscreen, not banging my head into solid objects) booth set-up is one of my biggest conundrums.
You’d think that by now I’d have it down.
You’d be wrong.
You see, I’m convinced that if I could just create the perfect booth, the perfect displays then THEN everyone would buy everything!
Which is a perfectly reasonable thing to focus on…..if your goal is to go insane.
I basically have
two, three, a lot of main problems:
- I’m too eclectic. Soap sellers sell soap, the tshirt vendors sell t-shirts etc. Me? I make coasters….and trays……and signs…..and wine charms…..and magnets…..and candle blocks…..and wood letters…..and flower holders….
- Because, as a customer, I often go into booths I’m convinced that everything needs to be as close to the front as possible
- Everything needs to fit in a somewhat small car and be easy to set up/break down
- I need a place for me
- I need to be able to get out of the booth and not trap myself behind the table)
- I need accessible storage
- I need to find a place for Pi to feature predominately so as to lure people in
Today I’m gonna focus just on number 1 –Eclectic and Flexible (sounds like a disorganized yoga class I took once)
Of course, you may be thinking, “David, perhaps you should, um, calm down, focus and sell coasters like your friends the candle makers, tshirt makers and such?”
And you’d be right.
But I’d be bored.
The fun part is making. Coming up with new ideas.
And I pretty much have the Coaster Display down. As you can see above, the towers have been with me in some form or another since my first show.
It’s the “everything else” that comes and goes that needs to be worked out.
But I think I’ve got that down to a science or at least a solid theory.
I’ve started using various combinations of inexpensive, stained 1×12 boards, wood crates, drop cloths and tables.
This gives me plenty of flexible display space while not taking up much room in transport.
For Patchwork Santa Ana I laid everything out across the front:
With the Coaster Display lined up flat along the wall
Here is a sort of schematic I put together to give you an idea
It worked great – sort of.
Everything packed in the car nicely.
Everything was up front except magnets and their sales were way down.
Pi was kinda hidden behind the display and the tables.
I got lucky because the space next to me was wide open but if it hadn’t been there would have been a very bad bottleneck at the sales table with customers not being able to get back out of the booth without jostling through a crowd.
So for Patchwork Long Beach I changed things up a bit (and sorry, here is where the pictures magically disappeared so you’ll need to make due with my never-meant-to-be-published phone pics of the set up in my driveway).
I swapped in a 6′ table and set up the shelves in an L formation
Here’s another schematic:
I moved the magnets up to the other corner and put the Coaster Display in it’s three-sided tower layout.
Pi was more prominent. Perhaps too prominent.
He literally stole a toy from a baby!
The child toddled into the booth carrying a yellow, fluffy, stuffed something.
Pi wagged his tail, sidled over, said “I’ll just take that, thank-you,” and retreated under a table.
He was totally gentle, the kid hardly noticed, the parents laughed (which doesn’t bode well for the child’s future) and I was mortified.
But other than that the layout worked!
The shelves are flexible, easy to pack and any random thing I make can be displayed without coming up with a whole new system.
The crates double as storage for transport and, with some care, everything fits in or on the car!
I have some other refinements in mind for the next round but, hopefully, I’m done overhauling the set up for every show.
I’m sure I’ve confused some folks or there are questions so don’t hesitate to fire away if I’ve been unclear about something that would be helpful.
I’m planning posts on my Sales Table and an update on that hanging wall. Stay tuned!