This was my first craft fair display. I was so proud of those shelves and how they gave buyers the opportunity to my work at different angles. Unfortunately, there are a number of factors here that I needed to change for the next events.
At the Melrose Trading Post I tried using the tall shelves one more time. I traded out the gold mirrors for more wood slabs (thank you dad!), got rid of the distracting (though pretty) blue tablecloth, and added my hanging lanterns in an arch over the display. It certainly drew in more buyers, but I still got the sense that people were tentative to reach up and touch the lanterns that were higher up. In addition, the lanterns on the bottom shelves got lost with the work in front.
I wish I had a front view of the display!!! To the left you can see that I carved a piece while I was there. This helped me and my nerves more than it did my sales. I find that buyers are often quite tentative at these hot daytime markets. They want to browse in peace and privacy, so if I say "hello" too quickly they tend to wander off. I am exactly that type of shopper. The busier and more preoccupied the sales person, the better. I'm trying to keep that in mind while still being available to those who are more chatty, extroverted, or who have questions. I thought that if I carved a piece, buyers would see that I was taking part in a task more engaging than texting, and that it might be an interesting conversation starter. I did have attendants stop to watch and they were all very kind and interested. However, in general, they were more interested in the process than taking home a piece of their own.
The Odd Market at the Autry this past Friday was wonderful! I got rid of the shelves and replaced them with slabs of wood I bought from a carpenter in Altadena. They were pretty rough but the gentleman showed me what they could look like with enough sanding and staining. So I bought my first power tool! a random orbit sander. It's magnificent!
Here's the before and after:
I don't think I have pictures of the Odd Market, unfortunately. (the whole time I said to myself "don't forget to take a picture!!!" and yet I did)
The display looked the best so far. I had my gigantic store sign up and I got an additional tall shelf for display. I was really fortunate that the event was at night. I put battery opperated votives in all of the lanterns, I hung the hanging luminaries all inside the tent, I grouped my pieces more purposefully, and the wood planks made objects viewable and touchable at the same time! The crowd that came Friday was wonderful! I made a bunch of sales, met a lot of friendly people, and almost ran out of business cards!
For next time: Figure out a way to make my tent darker in places for my luminaries to show off during day time markets.
Put less merchandise out and keep back-ups in organized boxes for easy replacement.
find a clever way to display my new coaster sets