Hello! I’m super excited to introduce BETH SWANSON LEWIS of OLDE TYME MARKETPLACE as our EXPERT for the ASK THE EXPERT series here on the KI NASSAUER Community! Beth will answer YOUR questions on Tricks of the Trade: Styling Vintage Booth Displays!
Here’s how it works:
Feel free to post questions for Beth NOW through Saturday, September 13th, 2014. Beth will check-in and answer your questions Monday, September 8th through Saturday, September 13th.
Let the discussion begin! Have fun and happy junking!
A note from our expert, Beth:
“Your booth display is a direct reflection of you and your products. It can mean the difference between having just a good show and having a phenomenal show.
Are you wondering how to get the most out of your space? There is a lot to consider such as backdrops, dividers, pricing, packaging and more. It may seem overwhelming, but with a few tricks of the trade you can be on your way to creating the style booth you have always wanted.
I would love to help you in creating your best booth display. I look forward to reading and answering your questions!”
Read about Beth:
Beth Swanson Lewis
Fresh out of high school in 1987, Beth began her career as a shop keeper, picker and designer. She started off doing craft shows every weekend selling her designs and using antiques and vintage pieces in her booth display.
Product design was Beth’s main focus for a large part of the 90’s. Designing for a leading company in the home décor and gift business allowed Beth the ability to experience major trade shows across the country. There she was able to learn new display techniques and methods. She was inspired by the creativity in merchandising and realized that she had a natural skill in putting things together.
As her business evolved, Beth began the transition from crafting into selling antiques and vintage goods. After hosting a successful barn sale for 5 years on her family farm in Ohio and operating a seasonal store front for 4 years, Beth made a move to North Carolina in 2005.
After settling in North Carolina Beth, with the support of her husband, opened Olde Tyme Marketplace in a small southern town known as Marshville. She specializes in primitive, farmhouse and vintage pieces that all have a rustic, weathered and worn look. She shares a lot of her finds as well as display ideas on her rapidly growing Facebook page. In addition to the shop, Beth also rents booth spaces in two different antique malls as well as setting up at Barn Sales and pop up events in which she has won booth design awards.
Be sure to visit Beth on her Facebook Page.
Hi Beth!!! I have really enjoyed reading all of the questions and your amazing answers and tips for Displaying Vintage Booths!!!! As the Ki Nassauer Community Page Coordinator, I want to say Thank you for being our featured guest on “Ask the Expert”!!!! We are thrilled at the overwhelming response! I have learned so much from this forum already!!!! I personally have a booth in an antique store, and am always struggling with what to put in my booth and how to display it. As some others have commented, I to feel that my booth gets very disorganized and jumbled. I end up putting things on the floor at times to make room. Now, I am excited to go in and work on my booth and get them up high for people to see. I also struggle with what I purchase, because I feel that I am trying to please so many people an have something for everyone, and it ends up I have a jumbled mess!!! lol!!!! Do I need to stick with a certain theme, or style and stop mixing so many different things together?
Hi Ruth!! I have had so much fun with all the questions. I really hope I have been able to help !
It is very easy for a booth to become jumbled. I have found that it helps me to stick with a theme, color palette, or style. That also helps in the buying process. By setting rules for your self you eliminate a lot of unnecessary purchases and can focus on what you really need to pull your booth together. Always maintain a nice balance of large and small pieces and if you can avoid it…do NOT put pieces in your booth that aren’t for sale.
Remember….the first person you should please is yourself. It will reflect in your booth and ultimately at the cash register.
A great big thank you to Beth Swanson Lewis!! This Q and A re: styling vintage booth displays was fun to read and super insightful!
Beth’s work here is done- but don’t be shy! Feel free to continue the discussion with other community members here! Also, keep checking the sidebar here on the KI NASSAUER Community for info on our next expert!
Thanks again Beth!
Hi Beth, me again.
I struggle with the overly stuffed, must dig through and find treasures, look, and the neat and orderly display.
I personally don’t mind digging for treasures. One of my favorites is an old forgotten antique or thrift store where obviously the owners don’t even know what they have. It makes me feel like a treasure hunter! However, I’ve been in booths that are so crowded I’m afraid I’ll knock something over, or worse, you can’t even get into the booth!
Currently my booth is an odd shape. A little more than 10×10 with a very tall back wall, a shorter wall on an angle, and a straight pallet wall. I have a round table off to one side of my entrance, still allowing tons of room to come in. This is my seasonal display area for now and will be my featured display area after the holidays. My hutch is on the tall back wall, and I attached a half table on the angled wall. These hold my vintage kitchen and collectibles. In front of my pallet wall is a bench and I display all of my architectural salvage there, tucked into the pallets and laid on the bench.
My question is, how do you ensure you’re taking advantage of all your available space and creating that collected look that invites people to search for treasures, while not overcrowding your space and turning people away?
I’m so afraid to end up with a million tables shoved against the walls! I want the kind of booth that creates interest and appeals to people causing them to linger and discover treasures they simply must have.
Hello again Jpakmedllin!
Thanks for the photos of your booth!
You can easily ensure you are taking advantage of all your available space by:
Don’t display small items on the floor
Don’t take up floor space with items that aren’t for sale
An easy rule I like to use that I made up for myself is when you are merchandising your booth look at it as a letter “W.” When you look at the letter it has peaks and valleys. Your booth should be the same way…add height, then bring the eye down and repeat. That will help you determine where things may need to be placed. This method will help add interest to your booth and may rid your concerns of always having tables shoved against the wall.
Once in awhile consider placing that small round table in the center of your booth as well. That creates an “island” display. As a customer, I love to look around, up and over. I don’t want to miss a thing.
Restyling your booth is not only essential in maintaining good sales but it is FUN! Enjoy!
Hi Beth –
I have just started to do outdoor shows (just did my first one this past weekend and need displays ideas that are portable – and light! I am especially having trouble coming up with sturdy, yet light, display ideas for hanging vintage clothing – on uneven ground. I came up with a “contraption” that worked fine for one day, but by the second day it was a little precarious. The base is just a wooden plank, staked in the ground, with wooded brackets holding the rails in place.
Also, I really need to learn how to edit. How do you decide what items to bring to showcase your brand and not run out of inventory for a 2-3 day show?
Thanks for your questions. Outdoor shows can definitely pose their share of problems with weather, uneven ground and so on. See the attachment I enclosed for a lightweight folding clothes rack. I actually use one of these myself and have found it to great. To keep it sturdy on uneven ground, I recommend using some stakes to add more security.
Editing does take practice but it will come to you naturally in no time. To make it easier, put yourself in the customers shoes. Will they knock over half of a display to get to the item in the back? Is it a comfortable environment to shop in? Is it organized?
When deciding what to bring to a show, you need to keep track of what your best sellers are. Pay attention to what kind of show you are participating in i.e….is it a vintage show, is it more of a crafty event, strictly antiques? You will want to vary your inventory to accommodate the type of goods that are being advertised. You can easily stay with your brand by choosing items that reflect the type of event.
Most of all…have fun at your shows!!
Hi Beth! Thanks so much for lending us your ear and offering great advice.
I’m new to the antique booth world and have somany questions iI hardly know where to start.
I’ve kept my booth easy to navigate. It has a lot of stuff but it’s easy to move around and retrieve things. I feel that my main problem is too much brown and lack of an eye catcher.
I needed something large to display all of the vintage glass and decor I’m selling so I acquired a brown china hutch. It’s rather large so it demands quite a large piece of my booth. Without painting it (it’s brown/wood and glass) what are some ways I can freshen up the piece to be eye catching but not overwhelming?
I have placed a round table near the front of my booth for seasonal items for now. It will become the focal point to display great deals/finds in non holiday months. What’s the best way to style this type of set up so that it’s eye catching but not overwhelming?
Thanks again for all your help! I’m also in NC. Have you considered traveling to booths and styling them for people?
Hi There Jpakmedllin!
Welcome to the “I have an Antique Booth Club!” I hope you are having fun!
Your concerns about your booth being to monochromatic are easily solved by adding an accent color or two. Brown is really a great neutral that can make colors pop. Think about choosing to a color palette to follow.
The hutch you have in your booth is a great place to start. Since you mention that you don’t want to paint it. I have an idea…tray adding a fabric back to it! See the attachment. I have done this a couple different ways but here is one of the easiest: Measure inside each shelf section of the hutch, cut a piece of thick cardboard that size, cut the fabric to fit over the cardboard and “upholster” the piece of cardboard. Place the new fabric covered boards in the shelf sections and voila!! This is an easy way to change out fabric as often as you wish without costing a lot of money.
Your display on your round center table is important because it is there that most customers will form their opinion about your booth. In retail that is typically called the “A” zone. You have like 7 seconds to reel them in! When merchandising this area your main focus should be a neat , clean, and organized space. Your display should have some height and balance. A seasonal display is perfect for that location as long as it doesn’t interfere rest of your space and block out all the other wonderful inventory you have to offer.
I have done booth design for clients and really enjoy offering up my tricks of the trade.
Have fun with your space!
We own a vintage shop with clothing, jewelry/accessories as well as decor & collectibles. We are involved in two upcoming offsite vintage shows and wondering what to bring as we carry so many types of items. People generally do not buy clothing at shows (hard to try on) so we would like to focus on other items but would also like to stand out from our competition. Any ideas for what type of products to focus on?? Thanks so much for your insight!
Decisions…decisions….what to take to a show. I deal with this myself because each show is different!
Here are a few things to think about to help make your decision easier:
What type of show is this?
Most show promoters will list who the vendors are at the show. Take a good look at that and visit their sites, see what they sell and understand who your competition is going to be. Learn from that what you may or may not want to bring.
Price point is another key issue. Keep in mind that it is typically a lot easier for a customer to purchase a smaller item that it is for them to purchase something larger for a lot of reasons, i.e. budget, logistics, etc….. Smaller items can easily become a multiple item purchase and not thought about so much as investing in something more expensive. With that being said, you will want to have a good balance. And of possible, don’t put or use anything in your booth for display that isn’t for sale. If it is taking up real estate, it should be for sale.
Consider the size of your space. That will help determine how much you can fit .
Wishing you successful shows!!
Hi I just joined this page but have been a lover of
fleamarket style magazine for a long time , own Gypsy Junker and a garden nursery called Natures Hideaway Nursery and Gardens, I have two festivals at my business a year and also do several shows, My question would be what are your thoughts about displaying items in groups by color and design ,and what would be the single must important tip for getting a potential buyer into your booth ,thanks to you and Ki ,and happy junkin!!
I LOVE the idea of placing items in a display by color. It creates instant impact and lends a cohesive , designer look to the space! You would find it an easy way to display and it doesn’t take a lot of time.
If I could give you one important tip to lure the potential customer to your booth it would be this…..DO NOT BLOCK THE ENTRANCE. It seems basic, simple and obvious but most good tips usually are. I have seen many booths where so much stuff has been placed outside the booth thinking THAT is what is going to do the trick but it only looks jumbled and the entrance to the booth is almost missing. Give your customers a HINT of what you have to offer in an attractive and organized way. Get them curious enough to come in further.
I hope you have awesome shows this year! Thank you for your question.
I make custom koozies and jewelry. My problem is getting people to understand the process of designing their koozie. They first should choose the koozie and then choose the plate which has a saying on it or choose to make a custom saying. I display with old wooden crates. See picture below.
Koozies and jewelry are great items to sell at shows. Customizable pieces are always a hit . In order for you to get your messages across about how to order the custom koozie, perhaps think about having a sign or banner made to hang prominently in your booth display. The easier you make it for your customer to understand, the more you will sell. Think about using images on the sign or banner and make it fun. This is also a great opportunity for you to enforce your brand and logo.
Best of luck on all your future sales!
Hi Beth, I was excited to see information about your shop. I use to see you at the Rowan Co. fairgrounds. I need to take a road trip to Marshville. I have a booth I share with a friend so sometimes it gets a bit crowded. We have tried to edit and pick some themes to keep things somewhat cohesive. I have attached a picture of our Halloween cabinet and would appreciate any feedback.
Welcome A Look Back! Would love to have you visit the shop anytime!
Sharing a booth can be fun and challenging at the same time. It’s easy to loose focus even when you didn’t intend too.
You are definitely on the right track by picking a theme. This gets easier if a holiday is involved, however sticking to seasonal merchandise limits choices for customers. Try choosing a color palette for each quarter of the year. For example Jan-April do neutrals, May -August do bright colors and so on. This helps in creating a cohesive booth and allows you to change up merchandise. Editing is crucial. Unfortunately I cannot see the photo of your Halloween cabinet but will offer you this advise: editing is made easier if you can easily shop the space. Put yourself in the customers shoes. If you are trying to select something off a shelf but will definitely knock over three things to get to it…then a few of those things need to go. You have to make it “shoppable” to make it enjoyable.
Hope to see you soon!
Hi Beth, First off… Love your page! Second, thanks Ki for offering experts to help us newbies become experts, too. (at least in our minds, lol) My question is about displaying jewelry. I make a lot of jewelry on ball chains and it easily tangles when hanging in bunches, but to display each individual piece on a bust would not be feasible. Any ideas to keep it from tangling and also what is the best way to display it in small booths. I have four burlap mannequins and several burlap necklace stands but it needs to have more “punch” than just rows of necklace stands sitting on tables. I don’t want it to look like a “church bazaar” but have already purchased tables and tablecloths. They are all four foot by two foot and have fitted black tablecloths that reach the floor which are great for storing my storage crates and extra stuff but what can I use on the tables to elevate things without having to rent a U-Haul to carry my display pieces. I do have some rake stands and have used lamp shades but find the lamp shade display is only good when I have room for a center table because customers can’t see the ones in the back. They are also hard for the customers to have to unhook them to get them off so I don’t like using them. Trying to make things more compact but still have some pizzazz! HELP!!! Thanks so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to help.
Hello Junktion Alley! Thanks for enjoying my page and joining me here on Ki’s site!
Jewelry is such a great seller and display possibilities for it are almost endless. Thank goodness you had some specific questions! Let’s start with the problem of the pieces getting tangled. Obviously in order to keep that from happening, it’s best to keep them separated. Using bust forms and rake stands do the trick for sure, but I understand you would like something more unique. How about using tree branches tucked into old sap buckets? The best part…they are FREE if you use natural branches . Metal ones are also available, see attachment. These would easily be able to sit on the table top and the pieces could hang from the branches. You could still use some of the bust forms or rake stands, while the branches would be adding height and dimension. You could also paint the branches to add a pop of color if desired.
In keeping with ideas that don’t require a U-Haul to transport them, I also included an image using vintage folded window shutters. Super cute idea that is easy to customize. Also think about using old vintage window screens. You could easily hinge a few of these together and hang the necklaces on it from little hooks you put right thru the screen.
All of these ideas are light weight and portable and make it easy to set up solo. Hope they help!
Have fun with display! Your customers will notice!
Thanks for the ideas Beth. I have some old windows I was thinking of hinging together or maybe even some of those gorgeous frames painted with some chalk paint and thought about adding some pegboard to the back. I could either paint it or cover it with burlap to match my mannequins and use come pegboard hooks (spray painted to look pretty, of course) I also thought about decoupaging the pegboard with a pretty wallpaper and just scoring the holes I would use ahead of time, then the rest of them would be covered up so it didn’t have that ugly pegboard look. Any thoughts on if this might work? I also have some old suitcases I could paint and use either opened with a revamp on the interior or closed to use for elevation. What are your thought on backdrops when using my canopy? Wanting to have a fabric curtain but should it go just in the back or should it go on the sides as well. I am afraid I would look to closed off with sides??? :/ I also have some rusty plant stands that I have used for my necklaces. They take a long time to load necklaces on though. I feel if they aren’t full, it looks like I don’t have much but filling them is a real pain to hook all of the necklaces on. Right now I transport all of my ball chain necklaces in snack bags to keep them from tangling so it is a process to unbag and hang them. I guess there is just no easy way, huh?? lol… Should I suck it up and continue to use them for the height and character. (see photo) also sent a picture of my rake stands but apologize for the poor quality. Just sooo confused on how to revamp my booth and I have a show on October 4th so time is running out for building easy to carry display pieces. Thanks again and sorry to load you with MORE questions.
Hi Junktion Alley…keep those questions coming!!
I really like the idea of using the old hinged windows. I did a display once where I hinged three old windows together that had all the panes broken out. I hung necklaces on the framing parts of the window. It did take some time to hang them I will admit but I kept extra inventory under my table.
The frames are a great idea too. Keep in mind if you use a wall paper on the pegboard, you may want to think about using a small pattern because you want your necklaces to stand out and not compete with a pattern. Burlap is a great neutral and would compliment some of your other pieces you currently use.
In the past , I have wrapped multiple necklaces in towels and just unrolled the whole thing on my table and hung them up. A bath towel holds a bunch and they aren’t tangled.
I love the pieces you currently use and would encourage you to use them and add some “newness” to your display by adding the windows or frames. Your background will add pizazz too. I recommend just hanging your curtain on the back. This gives you a great opportunity to add some color or pattern that will high light your jewelry. It is also a perfect place to layer some signage or a banner. See attachment. This photo is obviously a dessert table but I wanted to inspire you with how they used fabric and sign.
Thanks Beth, I snagged some amazing curtains in the clearance aisle at Hobby Lobby today and will do a variation to the photo you sent. Thanks for the inspiration. They are a Beige & Black Flocked Taffeta and I am using some Black Faux Silk Buds Fabric in the center. Pics attached. They look great together. I also bought a couple of wreath stands and will use two of them to hold a large wire frame I have that has clips for my earrings. I will also clean up some of my large window frames and add a wooden back and add pretty door knobs and handles sporadically on it to hang some of my necklaces. I also have suitcases and gym baskets that I will use to hold some necklaces that I am going to package in cellophane bags using invitations and pretty scrapbook cardstock as the necklace card. Pic attached. The bags are the fold over sealing kind and can easily be opened if needed. I will have plenty opened and on display but thought instead of having all of the extras under the table, I could package some of them and place a gym basket and a couple of suitcases around and let them dig through them since we are natural born diggers. I think the necklace cards will help with the necklaces tangling. I can also easily price them without having string tags hanging everywhere and they are harder to shoplift. Sad, but it does happen. Thanks for the inspiration. Can’t wait to put it all together. I appreciate reading all of your awesome ideas to everyone here on the thread. Thank you again for taking your time to do all of this. ♥~Liz
Hi Beth, I can’t wait to set it up for my “trial run” to make sure it all falls into place before hauling it two hours out of town for my next show. I will definitely share some pictures with you!
And BTW, I am not sure if you remember me, but I just realized that you participated in the Treasure Hunt I did on my page several weeks ago. It was sooo much fun! I always love giving things away on my page. I may never get rich doing this little jewelry business but I make a lot of people smile and that reward is more than I could ever want. I had something else exciting happen this evening. Check out the Rusted Roots blog about me giving her some of my jewelry. She made me cry happy tears this evening. http://rustedroots.com/upcycled-vintage-jewelry-junktion-alley/
Then, as if that weren’t enough, I gave a Visa gift card away on my page this evening and the woman who won wrote to me telling me how much it would help as her husband was just starting his first chemo treatment and they could really use it. I had no idea because the winner is selected randomly, but God knew! It warmed my heart!
Anyway, thanks again for all you give to others, too! I am feeling super blessed tonight!
I have currently have an odd shaped booth, 5×4 on one side & 9×8 on the other side with a 8′ h x 4’w wall dividing the spaces. Part of it l painted pale robin egg blue and the other larger part I built partial walls (because the walls are cement) using sections of old wooden garage doors so I have something to hang stuff on, and I added 2x4s across the top to create a “loft” area. On that side everything is painted in cream.
I want to completely redo everything to match more of who I am and to brighten things up a bit. http://belleaimeestextiliers.blogspot.com/ if you want to take a peek…
I sell just about any and everything old but my main goal is to fill the space my signature slip covered furniture pieces.
1) what do you consider to be the current color trends, and I should go with those rather than painting everything white like I want to do?
2) How do ‘layer’ my slipcovered sofas and chairs in such a small space?
thank you! :o)
Thank you Thank you Thank you Beth!!!
These are all things I have been ‘toying’ with in my mind. I hope to complete the make over in October. I will keep you posted. :o) Reading over the other questions and your feed back is SO helpful! I can’t thank you enough.
I do have one more question, it’s about pricing…. (did I just hear a pin drop?)
I know it’s a pretty taboo subject, but I am struggling with setting the right price in order to get back what I have in an item and give shoppers a good deal at the same time.
I have always heard “You make your money when you buy, NOT when you sale.” &
“If you buy for $1 you sale for $2″
Do you have a rule of thumb, or “go to figure” for different kinds of items? i.e.
I always sale tables for ____ what I paid for them
If I spend more than ___ on something I always double what I paid for it….
Also, can you explain “Key Stone?” Is that even valid anymore?
Last but not least, what are your thoughts about the mobile credit card readers for shows and events away from our shops?
As we say in Texas, “Thanks ever so much shugga!”
Love all your questions! Your question about pricing is a good one for sure. When it comes to deciding what price you should put on an item there are a few factors that you deifinitely need to think about.
The most important factor you need to pay attention to is WHAT IS THE CURRENT MARKET VALUE IN YOUR AREA? For example, you want to sell a galvanized bucket you paid 5.00 for. You need to know BEFORE even purchasing that bucket what you can get for it in the area where you will be selling it. You need to do some research while you are shopping. If you have seen other buckets retailing for between 10 and 20 dollars, then that 5.00 purchase is perfect. It gives you a nice broad range to fall someplace in the middle at around 12 to 15 dollars. It is a nice mark up that completely fits into what the market can bring. That tactic will help you the most because you don’t want to be the one person who has the only 50.00 galvanized bucket for sale at her show.
To Keystone and item simply means to double the wholesale price. It is a valid way of pricing and can work easily as a go to method for most things. It can help you eliminate higher priced items and can allow you to stay within a certain price bracket. There are times however when you simply will not be able to double your price. Sometimes , if I see a very unique piece that will bring a lot of attention to my display, it is worth it for me to buy it and be happy with a smaller profit because it helped draw attention and created residual sales.
To answer your question about mobile credit card readers?? In a word YES! You really need to seriously consider accepting cards. I didn’t do it for years and once I did, my sales went noticeable UP!!!
Oh how I wish I could make slip covers! You do a wonderful job!
To answer your questions let’s take a look at what you sell first. In your photo, I see a lot of cool stuff, the bike draws my eye first. As I look around I finally see the one adorable slip covered chair pad. There is a lot going on and what you want to mainly focus on is in competition with so many other things. These other pieces should be used as accents to highlight your chair pad work instead of taking over the space.
In order to “layer” your slip covered pieces you need to create something that can act as a “stage or riser.” Think about this: get an old dining room table and customize it to your taste. Take two of your chairs you have done and set them on top of the table and then set one of your beautifully finished sofas on the floor in front of the table. There…you have now layered 3 pieces! Plus you could sell the table if you wanted to. You could also utilize your loft area for some of your pieces as well. It definitely draws the eye upward.
Current color trends can easily be found in fashion as well as home décor. You can see how they mimic each other in palettes as well as pattern. Trends are great but they come and go sometimes rather quickly. Thank goodness there are the classics. Like white for example. I LOVE white…it’s the very best neutral of all for a lot of reasons! Your desire to paint everything white is a great idea because it will immediately create a cohesive look to your space and make your slip covers stand out beautifully.
In addition to the pieces you have in your space, you may want to have a portfolio book available for customers to flip through to be able to see other work you have done and are capable to doing for them!
Best of luck in your space!
How can I make the most out of a very small booth space? I don’t want it to look jumbled. I want people to be able to step in and shop the booth without feeling that they are going to knock something over. On the other hand, if it isn’stocked, I am losing sales.
Hi there KTdidsTreasures,
Small booth spaces are some of my favorites. Espicially if it is merchandised well and easy to maneuver. A super easy way to create shelving as well as dividing your space from your neighbor is to create a stacked crate wall. See the attachment. You could do this just on your back wall or create a “u” shape booth and do side walls as well depending on the size space. This adds interest and keeps a lot of inventory neatly displayed within the walls of the crate. You can find vintage crates quite easily at flea markets or antique malls or order new ones. They are also easily customized with perhaps some paint to reflect your style and brand.
Tossing around the idea of placing some of the things I sew in one of the local vintage shops. I currently have a shop on Etsy Remixed Stitches but am finding it a bit time consuming. The items I would be sewing are purses, aprons, make up bags, shopping cart liners for the old vintage shopping carts and a few pillows. What can you suggest as a display piece to show case these items attractively but not take up a lot of floor space? Some thoughts I had were a hutch with hanging space on top for the aprons and cart liners and use of drawers for the pillows and small items. The second idea would be an old wood door on a stand with hooks and shelves on both sides. Any cute ideas for those hooks and shelves? The display pieces would have to be neutral as I sew with fabrics from mid century modern bark cloth to vintage florals . I am fortunate to have a very handy husband who can execute the ideas that I throw at him.
Thanks for your help. Karla
Time is so valuable isn’t it? I usually have to remind myself “work smarter, not harder.” That doesn’t always work out though. When you say that your Etsy shop is time consuming, I feel the need to let you know that being set up with a booth at a shop is going to be equally time consuming if not more. Espicially if you intend to keep your Etsy shop open. Once you commit to a booth, it’s a job or should be treated like one to make it successful. You will need to create your booth displays , keep it stocked, keep it straightened and clean, fill special orders if you accept them and abide by the rules of the establishment which may not always coincide with the time you have available. It is a lot but can be completely rewarding and successful.
It sounds like you have given some serious thought to your display ideas and I love what you have so far. Both concepts are great because they add height and a lot of display capability. If you use the hutch concept, be prepared for customers to want to by it. It never fails. The door idea is great as well. I enclosed an attachment of a neat idea for “hooks”. How about an old metal rake?? You could easily screw crates into an old door to display pillows in or any of your other goods as well!
Wishing you complete success!!
Thanks Beth for the great advice. You gave me a lot to think about. Looks like I need to start talking to the shops to see what exactly are the requirements, rules, and costs. Good point that it could be even more time consuming than Etsy, something I’ll need to check out. LOL on the rake head idea, I have one hanging in my sewing room now storing all the different zippers that I use in my sewing.
Do junkers all pretty much like to “dig”? I know I do to a certain extent. It’s all part of the thrill of discovery. Give a little tease and I’m there ready to dig a little.
We are fairly next to doing shows. Our primary product is tote, handbags and purses made from any type of vintage linen/textile. We don’t keep it to one type, so our offering is pretty eclectic.
Should we fully display a few bags and add a “stack” for shoppers to peel through?
Attached is a photo of key chains made from various fabrics. We pile them together, so they can dig through them.
Travelingsanctuary, most junkers I know LOVE to dig! I sure do. A lot of times it is necessary !
When it comes to displaying in your booth though, digging can be good and bad. Let’s break it down:
The way you have your key chains is FABULOUS! It makes customers stop and linger in your booth. They are interacting with your display instead of just breezing past. Perfection! Other customers see a group of people in your space and they get curious and want to come over as well. BINGO! Providing stacks of your totes would also promote the same thing but you would also want to display some upright so the customer can see them and have their interest sparked to want to dig for the perfect one for them. One of the items I have used to display totes is an iron wreath stand! Light weight, adjustable and easily portable. See the attachment.
Digging gone bad happens in a few ways. One good tip is to not display on the floor or ground. Shoppers just don’t see it and don’t always want to bend down to get it. Also think about the amount of inventory you have out there. It’s not always to best idea to put out every single piece you have at once. You don’t want it overwhelming.
Thanks for a great question and best of luck!
We definitely have more bags than we have display space, so we’ve been pairing them down with each show, realizing that it is too overwhelming.
We’ve added stacks of crates (photo attached) on one table, so will hook a few on the crates and stack liked colored items inside the crate. Improving as we go and willing to make a few mistakes as long as we’re learning.
Thanks for your reply. Reading all your responses, which is really giving me more confidence on what we need to do to up the impact.
Hello Beth! I do follow you on Facebook and just love your style. I currently have three booth spaces – two in one mall an one in a separate shop elsewhere. Two of my spaces are more girly and clean, both called Color Mine Vintage. The other is much more rustic – I use a different name for that one, Chalk and Rust. My question has to do with keeping my space fun and inviting. I don’t always have enough things on hand to do an overall theme. What are your suggestions for keeping a cohesive look in my spaces with the treasures I have on hand.
Hello Color Mine Vintage! Thank you for following along. Keeping your spaces fun and inviting is key to the overall success of your booth. One way to add easy impact to your space when inventory is limited is to put same color items together. Color blocking is a technique that easily draws your eye. It also creates immediate interest as it looks like a collection while the pieces are totally random and different. Another tip to keep it fun is to rearrange! Sometimes that’s all it takes to completely transform your space. Since you have multiple locations , try transferring some of the pieces in one location to the other. “Shop” in your own booth so to speak without spending any more cash.
What is your recommendation for price tags? I want mine to be easy to read and find so that people don’t give up on my booth because they can’t find prices.
Price tags are probably the most essential part of completing your booth display. They are also a great way to be creative in how you want your brand to come across. A popular choice are manila tags. See attachment. These are a good choice because they are sturdy and have a little weight to them. You really want to choose something like that instead of just paper because they can’t be ripped off as easy. Yes, there are people out there who do that type of thing unfortunately. They come in many different sizes with a sting and a reinforced opening . Because they are blank, this gives you a chance to provide as much or as little info as you prefer.
Another option is to actually use your business card as a price tag. This way your info goes home with the customer (if the mall doesn’t keep the tags.) You can go on web sites such as Vista Print or Moo and completely design your own at a very affordable price.
The other element to think about is the placement of the price tag. You want to make it obvious without being in the way or blocking the item. Here is an example:
Say you are selling a pillow. You really don’t want to put the price tag smack dab in the middle of the pillow because it could be blocking the design. Think about putting it on the back in one of the top corners. If the customer is interested, they WILL search for the tag because the price usually helps determine the sale.
Have fun with your tags!
I have signed up to do four antique fairs over the course of four subsequent weekends, beginning at the end of this month. Each one will appeal to a slightly different demographic. Any suggestions on how to prepare for these events in advance? I have done shows before, but never so many in a row. My booth spaces will vary in size from a 10X10 up to a 10X20. I will be bringing furniture and also lots of smalls. I won’t bring any ‘high-end’ smalls because I am afraid that they might get broken, or ‘walk away’..if you know what I mean. I would love to hear your suggestions on how to be organized for multiple event. Thanks so much.
Hi Baby B!
Sounds like you are going be busy!! Good for you! Being prepared is one of the best ways to help you have a successful show.
In order to prepare for multi shows you would first want to be sure that you have a good inventory to pull from. You would want to treat each show as important as the next. Since you are reaching different demographics, have the inventory set aside for each show and see where you may be lacking.
Since your booth space sizes will vary, it will be fun for you to do different displays for each show. That will aid in making each show bright and new.
Think about your prices. Pay attention to certain pieces you have questions about. By doing multiple shows this gives you a chance to adjust as needed.
Since you are doing so many shows in a row, make sure you stock up on plenty of bags, wrapping materials and price tags as well as water and snacks! Keep an eye on your change situation and head to the bank if necessary. I would not take lots of excess cash to a show in your change box from one show to the next. Keep a tote bag filled with things like sunscreen, aspirin , hand sanitizer, Neosporin, band aids, eye drops , baby wipes, etc.
Your mix of furniture and smalls sounds right on the money. I hope you have a sell out show!
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