Thursday, October 8, 2009

Show Preparations

I have been so busy this last couple of weeks making last minute preparations for my shows. I participate in a local Trade and Market Days show once a month and it seems that every month I am scrambling to get everything ready to go. If it isn't inventory, it is displays that need to get revamped for each show, and this month is no different. This Saturday I will be kicking off the holiday season of craft shows with the Randolph Air Force Base Officers' Spouses' Club Holiday Bazaar, "Deep in the Art of Texas". This show is held every year and is their major fund raiser for their scholarship fund and other charity organizations that they help sponsor.

I first started doing shows last year, and not having any experience at it, I think I did okay, I was lucky. This time around I just want to give my booth space a little face lift with some new racks and table top containers. Where to begin?

Garage sales!

Last month our community had its annual fall garage sale and my hubby and I set off early just to take a look see. I am not really a garage sale junky but DH can browse all day if given the chance. We made several stops and found that other peoples trash was our trash also, so we passed on any purchases. We made our way through the maze of streets, the layout always confuses people that don't live here, and methodically worked our way from one garage to another.

Finally, paydirt, we stopped at what seemed a multi-family sale with racks of clothing and tables piled with anything and everything you could think of. Hubby made his way around looking at some tools, which he doesn't need and probably won't use, and picked up a couple of things. I on the other hand headed to a table full of sewing items, being a quilter I am always on the look out for fabric finds. Well, I didn't find fabric but I found what would normally be a $40.00 pair of scissors marked for $2.00, the first bargain of the day. At that point I had to remind myself what I was looking for and force myself to stay on track, "look for display items", I told myself.

Next stop was a table piled high with wicker baskets where I found this great basket perfect for displaying my baby blankets, I was on cloud nine. There was also several other baskets that would work for a variety of items so I payed for them and headed out. I bought four lovely baskets for all of $10.00, a great find at a great price.

I feel that you should never purchase anything new if you don't have to. Some items need special types of display setups but if you can make it or use items from a garage sale, or thrift store then go for it. This is a great way to keep your profits from flying out the door.

My next stop was the local hardware store, you know the one where everyone wears an orange apron. I picked up four 8ft lengths of 1X2 and some hinges, wire mesh and other assorted items of hardware and headed home to my garage. I had decided to make a hinged display wall where I could show off some of my smaller items. I had worked it out all in my head and on paper and so I set up my work space and proceeded to cut, screw and staple things together.

Each section of the display stand measures 4 ft tall by 2 ft wide and folds flat making it easy to move and store, very portable and it fits in my small car nicely. It is made to clamp to the edge of a table so that you add height to your display without taking up table space. If you wanted to, you could stand it on the floor but it is not very tall. The next step is to spray paint it white so that it will not be a distraction to customers. I want them to focus on what is on the display wall and not "the display wall".

Tomorrow is setup day for this weekends show at the civic center and I will be taking pictures of how it all comes together. I think I will also have a suggestion box at my booth and see what customers have to say about my merchandise and my setup.

What do you think of this display wall idea? If you have any cost cutting display ideas please share and comment.


MonsterBug Blankets said...

oooh, I like your display! It can be used for so many things! Great job! :)

JuneBugQuilts said...

Quilting Frenzy, do you ever sell quilts at your craft shows? I have been doing craft shows for over 15 years but only displayed quilts the last two years. I find the only things that sell are table runners! I may give up my inside booth this year, because the show I participate in is in Baton Rouge. A Denham Springs show 10 miles away has been pulling all the business away. The only thing about the DS show is that it is outside - ugh hate tents...did that...been there. Thanks.