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TheBlueBetween
08-22-2004, 10:03 PM
I thought since we had a show & tell with our studio spaces that this might be ok too... I would gladly show mine if I had one, but I'm trying to figure out what it would look like if it did... and thought it would be great to have some ideas to spark new ones!

I'm also trying to think of (perhaps unusual) jewelry display racks, decorative touches, etc. For example, I wonder how an old salvaged window shutter would be for an earring display? wonder if a few mirrors on the table with pieces on them might look ok - might make things sparkle a little more? and how would I set up lighting... I guess it also depends a lot on the show and the space and electricity and all that.

Thanks!
Pam

TheBlueBetween
08-22-2004, 10:19 PM
And since I don't have any photos to share, I thought the least I could do is share some of the links I'm finding.

Jewelry Displays:
http://www.home-jewelry-business-success-tips.com/jewelry-displays.html

Trade Show Booth Tips:
http://www.trade-show-booth-display.com/

Lots of business resources:
http://www.jewelersresource.com/

Getting more out of Trade shows:
http://www.jewelersresource.com/Business/Plan/Shows.html

Art Festival lists:
http://www.jolaf.com/resources/showinfo/index.html

More find shows:
http://sunshineglassworks.com/articles/findshows.shtml

JAM Creations
08-23-2004, 10:23 AM
Okay--here are some recent shots of mine. I change my display every year--this year it's black & white with lots of glass. Next year--who knows?! I know it looks crowded but people stay in my booth for a long time choosing & I think it helps with sales.

TheBlueBetween
08-23-2004, 03:59 PM
Thank you Jodie! I think I would stay in your booth for a very long time too - looks like a LOT of stuff to look at!

I just went to Cost Plus and picked up some stuff - I've decided to go with a zen/relaxing/spa kind of feel - I got some cool bamboo ladders that I can hang bracelets on, a really pretty eastern looking box with drawers I can have jewelry spilling out of, a couple of pretty scarves to lay down as my table cloth (I think I need a cream colored linen to go under it... or something. I also found a mirror that I can set up on an easle - it's a lttle green so I need to either distress it or stain it or something... I was thinking I need to find a roll of bamboo to have as my backdrop maybe.

I still need to figure out lighting. I was wondering if it's weird to have candles or plants of some sort? Maybe some eculiptus leaves? Would the scent of that or something spa-like be too much? Perhaps if there are soaps and candles being sold near by it would get overwhelming?

beclectic
08-23-2004, 04:09 PM
Pam - your theme sounds very soothing. If you have electricity how about a little water fountain or dish sand garden. I'm looking forward to seeing your setup once you get it all ready to go.

Let me just put in my 2 cents about scents. I have allergies, lots of allergies and booths with strong scents send me in the opposite direction. Just something to think about but I've noticed a lot of my friends won't walk through the makup section of department stores. My point is I'm not the only weirdo with allergies and some of those scents give me migraines so it's not like I'm being unreasonablely picky.

debkauz
08-23-2004, 04:24 PM
Boy, do I agree with the allergy thing! I get asthma from certain perfumes. I haven't figured out what exactly it is in them that does it, but I can recognize an overtone from them all that is the same. I know I don't smell it the way the rest of the world does because NO ONE would want to smell the way it smells to me! I avoid 'smelly' boths like the plague because I never know exactly what will set me off.

I do like the zen-like atmosphere, though! I can't wait to see pictures.

Jodie--nice display! It would take me a long time to looik at everything there, too!


Deb :wave:

Gingerbiscuit
08-23-2004, 04:28 PM
Sounds great Pam! I have to agree with Barbara about the scents/smells though. Even if people don't have allergies, they may have a dislike that would make them move on. Smells are such a personal thing. Everything sounds very relaxing. I think Barbara's idea of the water would fit in beautifully. The sound of running water is so soothing! I love Costs Plus - wish we had them here. We do have Costco though, so I must be thankful for small mercies! LOL! :D

TheBlueBetween
08-23-2004, 04:38 PM
Let me just put in my 2 cents about scents. I have allergies, lots of allergies and booths with strong scents send me in the opposite direction. Just something to think about but I've noticed a lot of my friends won't walk through the makup section of department stores. My point is I'm not the only weirdo with allergies and some of those scents give me migraines so it's not like I'm being unreasonablely picky.

Yeah, I know - that's why I was asking. Some scents do me in too. But some are very nice - I'm thinking natural aroma therapy kind of thing... something that makes people want to spend money ;) LOL.

the water fountain or a dish with sand for a little zen garden sounds PERFECT though - thank you!!! Maybe I could put earrings in the sand... or rice... or... well - thank you - more food for thought!

Here is a picture of what I have so far - what do you think? Keep it all or take it all or some of it back to the store? Remember I have to distress or do somthing to the mirror... and I think I need something different for the necklace stand - will work on that too. And of course it's just on my sideboard in my dining room.... and I still have a ways to go.... and I need little fingers not messing things up ;)

Gingerbiscuit
08-23-2004, 04:50 PM
Here is a picture of what I have so far - what do you think? Keep it all or take it all or some of it back to the store?

I love the bamboo ladders! You are creating a very nice atmosphere! I'd linger and buy. :)

Andee
08-23-2004, 04:54 PM
Pam - looks great! And I don't think you need to do anything with the mirror, IMO it fits! Maybe an oriental brass tray to lay stuff on... Hmm, and you might want to consider keeping that cute little guy close to your stand - maybe you could drape a couple of necklaces around him? ;) As for the scents - I tend to get headaches from certain scents, but only ever when it's not natural but artificial stuff... I like the idea of a scented booth, but I can imagine it would put some people off. (Not quite sure what you mean with eculiptus - that stuff koala bears eat? I would definitely NOT recommend using that, as a lot of people associate that scent with colds, so they might actively avoid your booth...) I like Barbara's idea of a water fountain (maybe you should make sure you're close to the restrooms then, tho ;) ) and a sand dish! :)

Jodie - nah, I don't think it looks crowded - I sure would spend some time looking at your stuff! :)

TheBlueBetween
08-23-2004, 05:09 PM
Thank you Lynne and Andee :) This place is so great for all kinds of support!

Here is another picture with some bear grass and bamboo (placemats - I'll find something bigger and better) in the background... I think it's going to work but I have a lot more to do still. Maybe I won't be ready for this holiday season after all :( :eek: :confused: but definitely next year.

Nolly
08-23-2004, 05:31 PM
Pam,

I love the bamboo and the way you're providing elevation changes in your display. The dark bamboo screen in the background doesn't work for me -- I liked your white wall better! Dark jewelry looks good against a light background and light looks better on a dark ... it's a process, as DH would say.

Laura (happylsds) and I collaborated on our display ... we're still working on it, but I think we're headed in the right direction.

Comments appreciated!

Nolly

TheBlueBetween
08-23-2004, 05:48 PM
Just lovely Nolly! I love the colors you've chosen and the picture frames are great - I was thinking picture frames too - but was thinking more than one piece hanging from them - perhaps with little cup hooks along the top - but then open - no glass or filler - but then they don't work on easles. (sorry I'm a horrible speller - wish we had spell check). But filled in with fabric or whatever you have looks great!

I also like how you have it so that you can sit behind the table - I would like that but am unsure if that is always how it is? I need to get out and view in person some of the venues - I guess it will be a little different for each one - sometimes I will be able to set it up where I stand behind the table maybe - other times it will be more like a booth? My ladders might not work if I'm not up against a wall though....

Oh and thanks for the feedback on the bamboo - I'm thinking lighter bamboo myself - unstained. Or a very textured linen or other natural fabric on a frame maybe to match the table cloth I want to put under the green scarf.

Kerensamere
08-23-2004, 06:36 PM
Hi gang! I just upgraded my booth this year. Spent a large chunk of change on the counter but it seeams to be paying off quickly! I've done two shows so far with the new display and my sales are up dramatically.

I use an ez up tent and I've put curtains up in the corners. I also put down a padded floor with nylon rugs on top.

Something that's not in the picture that I used in the last show are some guest towel racks I picked up at Marshalls for $3.00 a piece. I hang some of my top seller, low price ($20) necklaces on.

I just did a very big show this weekend and recieved a ton of compliments on my booth. Some vendors even stopped by to specifically compliment me on it! I was truly flattered. Came home on Sunday with a nicely filled cash box and a very big smile, although I was completely exhausted, I couldn't help smiling.

-Jen

TheBlueBetween
08-23-2004, 06:49 PM
That does look wonderful Jen! I would like to have something like that some day (assuming I like and do well at the smaller shows I'm thinking of first).

Thanks for sharing and congrats on your last show!

MadameKali
08-23-2004, 07:06 PM
Ack, Pam! Don't remind me that I have something else to think about before next summer. *grins*

I like your zen thing, but then again, I am a huge fan of Japanese and Chinese aesthetics. I agree about nixing the bamboo, linen of some sort--maybe a cool off-white?--might work better. I was thinking something like unstretched canvas when I was looking at it. The other thing that I thought about was how carefully and artfully your stuff was placed--and how quickly it's going to get messed up when people start browsing =( Overall, though, I love it.

Jen, WOW! That's a terrific booth!! I am super impressed.

MadameKali
08-23-2004, 07:14 PM
Oh yeah, a note on the scent thing--

I personally LOVE eucalyptus. In fact, my soap and body wash is Eucalyptus Spearmint. You might want to think about using essential oils somehow--they aren't overpowering if you don't use a lot, and they smell natural and not fake. I know Bath and Body Works has some in their aromatherapy product section, and those products are usually a lot more mellow than their other, fakey, overpowering stuff. (Can you tell I'm not a huge fan of heavily, artificially scented products?? Yuck!!!) You could experiment in a small place until you found the right proportion and method of scenting your booth. ;)

McDuck
08-23-2004, 07:50 PM
I will eventually come back and comment, too busy making links and beads right now but wanted to drop in fast.

Pam- for me scents are a no-no unles it is very light and airy. I get bad migraines and run not walk from what i call "stinky" booths. It is great for those who dont get sick, but for me :(

And Jen- I LOVE that booth! I will have to pm you for some info. just lovely!

Okay, I HAVE to get moving.

-Mary

Nolly
08-23-2004, 07:59 PM
Pam, I gotta give Laura credit for both the color and the picture frames ... and the curtains and the arm--the arm is all Laura! I made the table cloths, though.

Jen, I love your display and I'm pea-green with envy! I saw several booths on Saturday with the showcase displays and they are really upscale. I wish the weather had been better; I was looking forward to seeing both shows, but after a couple of hours in the pouring rain (with only a hat made out of a Walmart bag), I'd had it. I'm so glad you had a good show--I couldn't believe how many people were there, in spite of the weather; I'll bet once it cleared up, the shows were mobbed. How did your display make out in the rain? I saw some people having trouble with the EZups pooling water on the top--one lady had styrofoam pool noodles looped in the corners above the braces to keep the corners from filling up, but she was still poking the canopy with a yard stick to drain it off. I'll be interested to hear, since hopefully Laura and I will be doing some shows in the spring.

Nolly

Kerensamere
08-23-2004, 08:36 PM
Wanted to add a few more things and missed the edit cut off time, my DD (age 2) was in need of attention. So here it goes, please don't mind any repetition:

I use an ez up tent and I've put curtains up in the corners. I also put down a padded floor with nylon rugs on top. People really like the padded floor because it feels good under their feet. I use those 2' x 2' foam rubber mats that lock together, you can find them at the hardware store. I even use them in my studio in places where I stand a lot. Matter of fact I took the ones out of my studio this weekend because it rained on Sat and things were really muddy on Sun so I put those out in front of the booth in the aisle to make it a nicer place to walk.

I've seen other people use picture frames to show their work, they look really cool! One jewelry artist at a previous show used different types of frames that she had collected over the years. Re-painted them and propped them up on easles and other props, sometimes stacks of bricks, stones and slabs of marble and granite, each piece was framed like a piece of art. Instead of putting price tags directly on the jewelry she made up tags and put them on the frames like a tag you might see on a frame in a museum. It was very cool. Although many of her pieces sat very low, only a few sat up at eye level. I think you should try to bring at least a good number of things up to eye level so that your customer is not stooping to look at everything.

Best of luck!

-Jen

TheBlueBetween
08-23-2004, 08:50 PM
Wanted to add a few more things and missed the edit cut off time, my DD (age 2) was in need of attention. So here it goes, please don't mind any repetition:

I use an ez up tent and I've put curtains up in the corners. I also put down a padded floor with nylon rugs on top. People really like the padded floor because it feels good under their feet. I use those 2' x 2' foam rubber mats that lock together, you can find them at the hardware store. I even use them in my studio in places where I stand a lot. Matter of fact I took the ones out of my studio this weekend because it rained on Sat and things were really muddy on Sun so I put those out in front of the booth in the aisle to make it a nicer place to walk.

I've seen other people use picture frames to show their work, they look really cool! One jewelry artist at a previous show used different types of frames that she had collected over the years. Re-painted them and propped them up on easles and other props, sometimes stacks of bricks, stones and slabs of marble and granite, each piece was framed like a piece of art. Instead of putting price tags directly on the jewelry she made up tags and put them on the frames like a tag you might see on a frame in a museum. It was very cool. Although many of her pieces sat very low, only a few sat up at eye level. I think you should try to bring at least a good number of things up to eye level so that your customer is not stooping to look at everything.

Best of luck!

-Jen

I have those exact same floor squares in my lampwork studio! They are great :) I've read that having a carpet or padded flooring in your area can be a big deal in keeping people there for a little bit - especially when it's indoors or on concrete.

the granite and bricks sound great looking... but wow - I wouldn't want to cary all that around and set it up and break it down! You would have to only do shows you could drive to I guess...

Kerensamere
08-23-2004, 08:55 PM
Jen, I love your display and I'm pea-green with envy! I saw several booths on Saturday with the showcase displays and they are really upscale. I wish the weather had been better; I was looking forward to seeing both shows, but after a couple of hours in the pouring rain (with only a hat made out of a Walmart bag), I'd had it. I'm so glad you had a good show--I couldn't believe how many people were there, in spite of the weather; I'll bet once it cleared up, the shows were mobbed. How did your display make out in the rain? I saw some people having trouble with the EZups pooling water on the top--one lady had styrofoam pool noodles looped in the corners above the braces to keep the corners from filling up, but she was still poking the canopy with a yard stick to drain it off. I'll be interested to hear, since hopefully Laura and I will be doing some shows in the spring.

Nolly

Yep, the rain wasn't too nice on Saturday, but much better than last year (got 7.5 inches in an hour last year!). The crowds were thin on Saturday, but on Sunday the little bit of mud did not deter the people from coming, there were only a couple of really ugly spots out in the field.

Yes, I've seen people use the pool noodles in the corners of some ez-ups or hulla hoops on the sides. The two tents I have (just picked up a new one this year) don't seem to have that problem at all. There seem to be several designs of the ez up canopy out there. Which is why I bought my second tent. The design that my first one has is awesome, the supports of the roof DO NOT come out of the corners, instead they come out of the middle of each side. When I was at a show in OC, MD in June several people had the ones with the corner style supports, theirs were the ones that buckled in the wind over night or had their canopys whiped off by the wind. My canopy is bolted to the frame. After hearing that most of the people with the corner support style had purchased their tent this year I got a little worried that the side support style might not be available anymore. BUT my DH and I found one at BJ's that has side supports, canopy bolts on and this one has 4 side walls that zipper together (my older one the side walls just use velcro), AND the new one comes with an awning that can be flipped down to make a rain shelter or keep the sun out or flipped up to show off a clear plastic pocket that can hold a banner. I had a local banner/sign shop flip it over and put a vinyl banner design on the back (instead of using the clear pocket -- I thought it looked a little tacky). So now I have a HUGE banner on the front/top of my booth with my logo and company name (Kerensamere)on it and my new slogan (Artful Glass Creations). Now people will be able to find me at shows! :D

By the way, I'll be in Camp Hill, PA on Sept. 18 for the Great Road Festival and New Cumberland, PA on Sept. 25 for the Apple Festival if you want to catch up with me and see my booth in person.

-Jen

Kerensamere
08-23-2004, 08:57 PM
I have those exact same floor squares in my lampwork studio! They are great :) I've read that having a carpet or padded flooring in your area can be a big deal in keeping people there for a little bit - especially when it's indoors or on concrete.

the granite and bricks sound great looking... but wow - I wouldn't want to cary all that around and set it up and break it down! You would have to only do shows you could drive to I guess...

Yep, those tiles are great!

The artist with the bricks and stuff used boxes and stuff under a table cloth first and then a couple of bricks and rocks and some small scraps of marble and such on top, it was more visual that structure.

-Jen

TheBlueBetween
08-23-2004, 09:08 PM
on the subject... does anyone have this book?
http://wire-sculpture.com/ebooksell.htm or can anyone recommend one that covers similar? Thanks!

Kerensamere
08-23-2004, 09:19 PM
on the subject... does anyone have this book?
http://wire-sculpture.com/ebooksell.htm or can anyone recommend one that covers similar? Thanks!


Never heard of it but I'd like to know more about it too! -Jen

Prudence
08-23-2004, 09:43 PM
Pam, I get a lot of migraines also and hate scents and perfumes. Even when I don't have a migraine I'm sensitive to them. There are a lot of us out there.

Would think you would have enough to set-up and breakdown with adding eucalyptus, a fountain, extra extension cords for the fountain, water for the fountain-just in case (you've got to empty that fountain also), sand and rice.

Madamekali, It doesn't have to be overpowering if smells bother you. Prudence

MadameKali
08-24-2004, 02:29 AM
I get bothered by smells too--which is why I gave my suggestion to things that don't bother me.

Nolly
08-24-2004, 03:25 AM
Pam and Jen,

Preston J's marketing genius is (perhaps) not so much in selling jewelry, but in selling marketing info! When I was getting into the business, I thought I wouldn't live if I didn't have his $600 set of marketing tapes ... but I did, somehow.

I plugged "selling crafts" into Amazon and got 53,000 returns, but Wendy Rosen's book, Crafting as a Business (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/customer-reviews/0806985534/ref=cm_rev_all_1/002-1258954-6833636?%5Fencoding=UTF8&me=ATVPDKIKX0DER) is a really good place to start.

I also recommend the Crafts Report Magazine (http://www.craftsreport.com/) and Wire Artists Magazine (http://www.craftsreport.com/). I thought about cancelling Wire Artist, but the articles on business that appear in every issue are worth the price of the subscription. I'm better at reading magazines ... short attention span!

Hope this helps,

Nolly

LLane
08-24-2004, 08:18 AM
Nolly........ I totally agree with your opinion of Preston J....... and also your suggestion for Wendy Rosen's book!! Therefore.... I may just have to check out the wire magazine. I already get Craft Report and love it.

Pam..... I would love to show a pic of my booth.... but I just can't seem to find the one where it is all set up!!! Mark was snapping pics of me setting it up and those keep showing up when I search. I have changed it for my next show as I need to have some heighth in the displays and color on the ez up. I'll keep looking.

I'm incredibly jealous of Jen's set up!!! WOW... I want that ... but not sure how to justify the cost for the small amount of shows in my plan. Also.... how compact is it to carry? I have a small vehicle and need to make sure things fit as there are no plans for a new car (or bigger if I don't have to). Jen, I also appreciate the info about the ez ups..... I have the Sam's one... and know it's not the best.... but will work with it for now.... I've been lucky so far.... no rain!!! AAAaaaaaaak I probably just jinxed myself for the upcoming show!!!

Pam.... love your accents and displays.... keep working..... it will come together. Best hint is raise your display table to counter heighth.... You can buy tables that extend, buy extenders, or use PVC to extend... but it is worth it totally!!

Thanks all,
Lois

TheBlueBetween
08-24-2004, 10:40 AM
Pam and Jen,

Preston J's marketing genius is (perhaps) not so much in selling jewelry, but in selling marketing info! When I was getting into the business, I thought I wouldn't live if I didn't have his $600 set of marketing tapes ... but I did, somehow.


Nolly

Thanks Nolly - I hate marketingy sites like that one, but that book claims to have all the answers I've been trying to find for the past 3 days all in one place! Oh well :)

I have the Crafting as a Business book and it IS great - I'll look into the magazines too :)

TheBlueBetween
08-24-2004, 10:44 AM
Pam.... love your accents and displays.... keep working..... it will come together. Best hint is raise your display table to counter heighth.... You can buy tables that extend, buy extenders, or use PVC to extend... but it is worth it totally!!

Thanks all,
Lois

Thanks Lois :) I really need to get out and see what people are doing in the shows I want to do next year (or later this fall even). I know how they do the BIG shows - booths like Jens ;) I guess I need to start out a little smaller than that for the first few shows anyway. Raised counters are a great idea - thanks :)

Barrie
08-24-2004, 10:45 AM
Thanks for all the hints, tips, and suggestions you guys!! It just so happens that I'm putting together an article for the artists that have signed on for my bead show! I hvae a few newbies that have never done shows before, and thought it would be helpful to them to have this kind of info handy!! I'm definitely linking to this thread!!

As a side note, if you're looking to add height, but not weight, try styrofoam cake forms. I've used them painted like rocks, or underneath a draped cloth. They have the added advantage of being easy to stick pins into, so you can hang stuff or secure (gently of course) other things. And they don't weight anything!!! The other thing I've used for risers (under a draped cloth) are the smaller cardboard boxes I use to store my ring, earring and necklace stands in. Once I get all the stuff out of them that I need, I plop them on the table, cover them with cloth, and have instant risers.

Another side note about using things like rice - looks really cool, but if you're outdoors and it's remotely humid, it can be nasty. One lady I met bought some cheap black sead beads, and filled her dishes - high impact, no stickiness like rice gets, and if you wanted you could do different colors. And if you get bored you could string them! :evil: Just kidding!

Gingerbiscuit
08-24-2004, 10:52 AM
Another side note about using things like rice - looks really cool, but if you're outdoors and it's remotely humid, it can be nasty. One lady I met bought some cheap black sead beads, and filled her dishes - high impact, no stickiness like rice gets, and if you wanted you could do different colors. And if you get bored you could string them! :evil: Just kidding!

I really like this idea! It would look very dramatic and eye-catching! :)

TheBlueBetween
08-24-2004, 11:04 AM
I really like this idea! It would look very dramatic and eye-catching! :)

Yes, Thank You Barrie - had no idea rice could get nasty either - maybe I will go with a sand zen garden instead... though I'm sure it would get messed up real fast.

TheBlueBetween
08-24-2004, 11:40 AM
Here are some more links:

http://artsandcrafts.about.com/blcraftshows.htm

http://artsandcrafts.about.com/cs/ht.htm

http://www.barbarabrabec.com/crafts_marketing.htm

http://jewelrymaking.about.com/library/blbiztp.htm

TheBlueBetween
08-24-2004, 02:21 PM
Ok - Here is the link I've been looking for for 3 days!!

http://www.craftshowplace.com/beginners.htm

Barrie you will want this too.

:) Pam

Barrie
08-24-2004, 02:26 PM
Thanks Pam!! Sand can be a bit of a pain, but if you keep it in a small rubbermaid or similar container between shows, it should be okay. If you're in an indoor venue, make sure you're very careful when you tear down and dump your sand into it's storage container, as the organizers may not want to have to deal with all your 'fallout'!! By the way, sand comes in amazing colors now! Try the salt water aquarium section of a big pet store!! (The black is spectacular!!)

Kerensamere
08-24-2004, 10:00 PM
Couple of notes and thoughts:

1) I originally used black velvet as a back ground for my jewlery, most people do. BUT my stuff actually looks better on white!! So definately take a couple of pieces with you when shopping for display stuff.

2) I have seen some of the coolest displays made with some of the cheapest materials including cardboard! I actually saw and entire booth display, counter, wall and all done in cardboard at an ACC show. Only draw back would be if your show host insists on fire proofing you might have to spend some time spraying it all down before the show with fire retardant (I got mine from Dharma Trading, sprayed my curtains with it).

3) Risers can be anything, like Barrie said, use the boxes you carry your stuff in under the cloth, make things do double duty.

4) Be creative about your displays, wander through the hardware store, discount stores, office supply places, you never know what you might find and what might inspire you! I've found clear acrylic riser at Staples! The kind you can pay big bucks for from a display company, they were only a couple of dollars a piece! Don't forget to rummage around your own home, garage, attic, etc. I've seen some really cool glass vases and jars at Big Lots (a discount store) that, if I were willing to lug them around, would be cool necklace displays, I've actually taken one of my necklaces off that put them on the vases in the store to seriously consider using them! :D

5) My system breaks down like a giant tinker toy set. Each pipe disconnects from the connector joints, the little clips that hold the glass, plexi or white board come off too. My DH made me some cool carrying tubes for the pipes out of PVC tubing (glued one end on permanently and put a screw cap on the other end) and made carry straps for them out of some webbing. I put all the little connectors, clips, hammer for assembly, special tool for dissasembly and a few other things in a rubber made tub. The bulkiest thing about this display is the tempered glass counter sections, plexi front sections and white board privacy panels. We wrap them up in moving blankets and towels for safe transport.

6)I drive a Honda Element now. With the back seats out I can fit my ez-up, my Abstracta display system (and all the above mentioned pieces), my grey foam mats, my two rugs, display stuff (neck busts etc.), wrapping supplies (bags, tissue, bubble wrap, etc.), inventory, tools and beads for modifications, a cooler for drinks and munchies, and all the various other stuff I drag with me in that car!!! And I still have room for a pasenger to sit up front with me. Nothing on the roof and still lots of room inside! I had been using a Honda CRV but it was starting to get a little crowded. Most people that do the show circuit thing seriously own vans and or trailers. Some even buy/rent RV's and live in them while they travel from show to show. I guess it all depends on how serious you are and how big your stuff is. I even met one family from FL that purchased and old transit bus (smaller than the big city buses) on ebay. They remodeled the inside to have a bed, toilet, etc. plus special storage racks for their inventory (they do large stained glass panels) and their display. They travel up and down the East Coast in the summer doing shows, then go home to make more inventory!

7) Books and Mags that I reccomend:
-Crafts Report (couldn't live without it!!!)
-Sunshine Artist (this is a great mag for people who do shows, even if the shows they list aren't useful the articles are great!)
-Wendy Rosen's Book: Crafting as a Business (keep in mind the Rosen Group is who hosts the Crafts Marketplace wholesale show in Philly and also publish Niche magazine-- they know what they're doing!)
-Crafting For Dollars by Sylvia Landman
-Handmade for Profit by Barabara Brabec
-You Can Make Money From Your Arts and Crafts by Steve and Cindy Long (some of the stuff in here is more targeted to crafts vs. jewelry but the overall info is still valid)
-How to Start a Home-Based Craft Business by Ken Oberrecht (haven't read this one yet, only skimmed it --it's on my "to read" pile -- but it looks to have very relevent info)

8)If you're going to do this for real it doesn't hurt to look up Guilds in your area like the PA Guild of Craftsmen or the Women's Jewelry Association. Also look for info on small business clubs or women's business clubs, they're great ways to network with other business owners, you might find new customers and new resources for supplies (business card printing for example). Networking is really important don't take it for granted.

9) Most importantly, wear your jewelry whenever you go out of the house!!! And carry your card with you, if someone compliments you on your jewelry thank them and give them a card as you tell them that you made it yourself! If you do have an upcoming show make sure you tell them about it! I put stickers on the backs of my cards that list my web site (my last batch of cards were printed before my domain name was up and running) and at least my next two shows (dates, name of show and location). I just print a few address labels with this info on it and stick it on 5 or 10 cards and stick them in my purse. I do the same thing at shows to encourage people to buy from me again or catch up with me at my next show when they remember to bring their money or credit card with them. Believe it or not I have met jewlery makers and bead makers that go out without wearing their work. You are your own best advertising source!

Ok, I think I've brain dumped long enough. Must go do the dreaded book keeping now. Hope this info is helpful.

-Jen

TheBlueBetween
08-25-2004, 12:16 AM
THANK YOU JEN! (And everyone else too!)

This has turned out to be a really great thread - not that many pictures, but so much great info and ideas!

BBsBaubles
08-25-2004, 09:26 PM
Pam,
Thank you for starting this thread and thank you to everyone who has contributed feedback and pictures. I have my first show in a couple of months and this information is extremely helpful!

Just a note to anyone out there who has a photo to share but hasn't done so yet...PLEASE!

LLane
08-26-2004, 08:15 AM
I put a 5 rating to this thread... and thanks again to Pam, Jen and all for some great suggestions and info!
Lois

earthenwood
08-27-2004, 10:29 AM
Here are some of my booth slides from a couple of years ago. I was just getting happy with my booth, but I am not doing the outdoor shows anymore for now. I just love doing bead shows so much more. Not a big "fun in the sun" person (my hubby calls me a mole.)

Anyway, my booth was made of mostly recycled displays from the jewelry store I worked at and the book store my hubby worked at. Added some fabric (some stencilled), and new displays, and it looked pretty good, I think.

There are different issues to face at a show when you have a display case (like the two I have in the back. People have to ask to see things and sometimes they won't ask, so it can be difficult from a customer service perspective. I always made sure to have many touchables out on the tables (my less expensive bracelets and necklace series) But it does make the things in the case seem more precious and valuable.

Hope this helps and I would be happy to answer any questions...

TheBlueBetween
08-27-2004, 10:43 AM
Thank you Melanie! So much room! Everything looked great together - so earthy. And so many different ideas of ways to display - thank you!

somk
08-27-2004, 11:20 AM
Amazing thread ! and Melanie, I love your displays.. I wish I could build something like those inclined tables.. and I'd really really like this turning display with 3 glasses. You're giving me ideas :)

Kerensamere
08-27-2004, 11:39 AM
Melanie- That's lovely, your color choices compliment your work nicely and your layout makes your space look very roomy and welcoming. Thanks for sharing!

I know exactly what you mean about the case intimidation factor. I've started displaying my low end pieces up on top of my case so that people can touch. I do put one striking piece on top too, it helps draw the eye into the booth, then they start looking into the case as they're fondling the $20 pendants on top. I guess you could say it's like design, you want to draw the eye into the painting (or your booth in this case) and then pull them through the piece (or your display) so that they see everything. Not an easy task -- I'm still working on it too -- but it helps to insure that they see everything.

I've seen artist that have put up partial walls in their booth to create the effect of having multiple rooms, but if you don't have anything on the back wall to draw them into the booth your customers will never see whats on the walls facing away from the door. Hope that makes sense, the partition is perpendicular to the door, if you go around the partition there's more stuff on the back of it.

Anyway, nice work! Too bad you're not doing shows anymore I'd love to have had the chance to see that display in person.

-Jen

earthenwood
08-27-2004, 12:08 PM
Yes, the showcase situation is a delicate situation. I usually stand behind them, casually playing and adjusting the beads, and make chit chat. If people think they are bothering you, they wont ask to see something. I usually don't ask them either ("can I show you something" is usually answered with "no just looking") I simply watch to see what they are looking at or what they are talking about if in a group, and I pull something out and talk about it ("this necklace is made of handmade porcelain beads and garnet", for example) and present it to them so they can touch it. And inside, I try to have little signs ith the prices clearly marked, so there is no sticker shock...its all out in the open. Oh, the things I have learned working for a decade in a jewelry store!

And that "wall" in front is a great space saver. Sure, I can't see if people are stealing on the outside (so I make sure to keep an eye out and not have anything too $$$) On the inside, there is a ladder type setup to the walls (old magazine racks, very light also, but very tall!), and I can put another table or stand up display and some necklace displays. I will add a picture of the inside too, but it is not the best dispaly I have done.

earthenwood
08-27-2004, 12:17 PM
Amazing thread ! and Melanie, I love your displays.. I wish I could build something like those inclined tables.. and I'd really really like this turning display with 3 glasses. You're giving me ideas :)

The inclined tables are the ones I got from the jewelers I worked at when they re-did their store. They had been mounted to the wall, and had no legs. We bought folding table legs and screwed those to the bottom, so they fold down. The fabric covers all of that, and snaps on to the front.

The little rotating display is a lucky find from the jewelry store as well. It once had all little inserts to hold charms on cards, but I ripped it all out and put in faomcore and cork board wrapped in fabric. the jewelry inside is pinned up. Corkboards can really look great for display, if you get some nice fabric to cover the cork, a decent frame, and some unobtrusive pins.

My display has gone through many changes over the years, and continues to evolve.

McDuck
08-28-2004, 06:02 AM
What a wealth of information from you all! kudos!! :clap: :clap: :clap: I haven't done the open air shows as of yet. Would love to get into some juried shows at some point, that means picking and choosing what is best for my slides. so many options so little time! I will just have to make some more

Melanie, your booth is so, well YOU! :D Very much so, I like it ;)

And dont have time to go back to comment further on others booth, but I really loved those new show cases Jen. Fabulous!

Okay back to the basement to soak up water :(

-Mary

TheBlueBetween
09-10-2004, 12:49 PM
Found another great site about this:

http://www.theswitchboards.com/articles/craftshow101.htm

:) Pam

Kerensamere
09-10-2004, 05:16 PM
Found another great site about this:

http://www.theswitchboards.com/articles/craftshow101.htm

:) Pam


Looks like a great site thanks!

-jen

beadyeyedgirls
12-30-2004, 11:36 AM
what a wealth of info & links! thanks, everyone! i rated it, too.

Flaming Idiot
12-30-2004, 12:43 PM
[QUOTE=(placemats - I'll find something bigger and better) in the background... I think it's going to work but I have a lot more to do still.[/QUOTE]

You've probably already resolved this but, just in case, you can get bamboo-ish shades... like for on a sun porch... REAL cheaply at one of the big hardware stores. I think I paid $12 for a blind that spans 48"... and just cut it to the size you want to use. Real light weight too!

TheBlueBetween
12-30-2004, 12:51 PM
[QUOTE=(placemats - I'll find something bigger and better) in the background... I think it's going to work but I have a lot more to do still.

You've probably already resolved this but, just in case, you can get bamboo-ish shades... like for on a sun porch... REAL cheaply at one of the big hardware stores. I think I paid $12 for a blind that spans 48"... and just cut it to the size you want to use. Real light weight too![/QUOTE]

Thanks Joanie - that's an excellent idea! (And no, I haven't gotten my act together yet for shows, despite all this great info!)

Flaming Idiot
12-30-2004, 01:09 PM
Thanks Joanie - that's an excellent idea! (And no, I haven't gotten my act together yet for shows, despite all this great info!)

Well, in that case... I've read more in the thread now and see where a lighter color was suggested. You can buy these blinds in a real pale tan... and even white... but still have a bit of a bamboo textures.

I was thinking you could cut these down to fit in a frame and hang jewelry from it on hooks too.

TheBlueBetween
12-30-2004, 01:12 PM
I was thinking you could cut these down to fit in a frame and hang jewelry from it on hooks too.

OOOH!!!! Thank you! That would look great!

Flaming Idiot
12-30-2004, 01:20 PM
I was thinking you could cut these down to fit in a frame and hang jewelry from it on hooks too.

Or, better yet.... cover a piece of foam core with light material... like cheap sheeting... & install it in the frame BEHIND the bambooish material.

It would lend more support & you wouldn't have to mess with "hooking" things over the rushes... you could just press t-pins, through the gaps in the rushes, into the foam core... and suspend jewelry from the pins. It would make rearranging jewelry fast and easy as your pieces sell too.

And if you put the white bambooish material in a frame MADE with bamboo.. or a bamboo motif...

TheBlueBetween
05-10-2005, 01:22 AM
I'm revisiting this as I'm getting ready for my first show finally :)

I was wondering... I saw how Melanie hung the fabric on her back shelter wall - which looks great, btw! and was thinking... I wonder what else you can hang from them - would it, for example, support say that bulletin board with the jewelry pinned on it? Or some picture frames hung by ribbons perhaps?

Also, I'm getting ready to order my ezup tent and was wondering about the sidewalls - if I get the $35 ones am I going to wish I'd gotten the $80 ones?

http://www.ezupdirect.com/shelter-accessories/express.php

Thanks again for any feedback. Jen I'm still drooling over your set-up.

JAM Creations
05-10-2005, 09:19 AM
Do you have a Sam's Club near you? I got my 10 x 10 EZ Up at my local Sam's--came with the roller bag, four zip-up sides and a topper for signage. It was only $190.00. No shipping. Get the zipper sides--not the velcro. You won't be sorry!

Jodie

beadyeyedgirls
05-10-2005, 02:36 PM
pam, congrats! i did my first show last weekend & had fun (& did well!!). the woman next to me had a rather large framed sign, & she hung it from the frame inside the back of the tent. i didn't notice what she hung it with, though <doh!>.

i have to run & pick up my oldest & my middle has piano, but tonight (hopefully) i'll upload the pics i took of my setup on saturday. i had lots of good feedback on the displays i had...just need a couple more. i have an idea for bracelet displays, & then a friend who paints is trading me for a framed, painted screen for earrings (i made a watch band for a watch face she's had sitting).

have to fun, back later!

TheBlueBetween
05-10-2005, 05:45 PM
Thanks Jodie - I just ran down to costco and they have probably the exact same one for $199 - I couldn't manage it with my son and all - or I could of but I was out of energy and didn't want to struggle... so I'll go back down later with DH and get it. Thanks so much! It's not "ez-up" brand, but it looks easy to set up- it's a caravan I think.

I also went to TJMaxx and got three black victorian "ladies" - they are mini dress forms with lace and stuff - they stand about 2 ft high. I'm going to strip them down and modernize them a little and they will look pretty cool. I also picked up two black organizer shelves that with a few small adjustments will become necklace displays - I'll take pictures in a bit when I have more energy - I'm flat out after my day of shopping. All my zen stuff... out the window... in with black and my tent will be white and my table clothes will probably be periwinkle blue... we will see.

can't wait to see your pictures Jessica and congrats on doing well at your first show!

Here they are - with lace and before I get to mess with them and make them more simple.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-May-2005/27814-4.jpg


and I just realized one of these was broken but I can fix it... or maybe it would be nice to have it be empty on both sides so I can reach it from behind the counter too... hmn.....

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-May-2005/27814-3.jpg

Emjay
05-10-2005, 07:17 PM
Jodie,
I've been looking at the exact same tent at Sam's. Good to know you like it. Can anyone tell me if these are water proof or resistant? That's one reason I want to replace my current tent. Got caught in a rain storm last year and the water came right through the one I have.

TheBlueBetween
05-10-2005, 07:17 PM
ok, things are looking up already. wanna see? LOL, like you have a choice ;)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-May-2005/27814-9.jpg

TheBlueBetween
05-10-2005, 09:05 PM
another good link:

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/0,4621,320667,00.html


some photos of various craft booths:

http://brightmandesign.com/aboutus/Showvisit.html

lighting examples: http://www.brightmandesign.com/technical/booth-ex.html

Kerensamere
05-10-2005, 09:35 PM
I have an EZ-Up tent, picked it up at BJ's Wholesale Club 'cause it was cheaper than the one at Sam's and had the banner holder/awning thingy. I took my awning thingy to a local sign shop and hand them put my logo, name and slogan on the back of it (the front has a clear plastic pocket for a computer printed banner) and I install it back-side-front so my logo is showing.

These tents are water proof, although I have found that sometimes the seams leak a little or the water drips in where the canopy is grometted to the tent frame. All in all they're pretty weather tight. You can seal the seams with tent seam sealant (go to the local outdoor supply store).

I hang a framed photo of one of my stained glass panels at the back of my booth, we just use some chain we found at the hardware store and some little "S" hooks. I don't see why you couldn't use a bulliten board the same way.

I have also hung a blown glass vase (designed to be hung in a window) filled with fresh flowers at the back of my booth in the past. Only down side was that people kept asking if the vase was for sale! It was a discounted item on the clearance shelf at Joanne's that I picked up 5 years ago for less than $10 !!! :p

I also use a really long piece of bungee cord to string sheer curtains onto my booth, I conect the ends of the bungee with carribeener clips, we just string the curtains on first then put the clips on and wrap the cord around the tent. I then pull the curtains back around the legs of the tent with ribbon. I also hang a piece of metal conduit pipe from the top of the tent across each inside corner of the tent, we attach the pipe with Zip ties (the kind used to bundle computer cords and electrical cords together) to the tent. On those pipes I string another curtain that is also pulled together onto the tent leg. It really gives my booth a lived in, furnished feel.


I hope this picture does justice to what I'm trying to explain. The one photo shows the banner above the tent and the curtains well, the other shot shows the framed picture in the back better.

-Jen

beadyeyedgirls
05-11-2005, 12:56 AM
finally, some pics from last saturday. i took these as we were finishing the setup, right before 8am. i didn't put the side walls up, & neither did my neighbors--a ceramicist on one side, vintage/recycled fabric purses on the other side. i was happy w/my location (the show provides the tents & assigns the spaces), & thought they spaced most of the jewelers out pretty well, though there were 3-4 directly across from me, bunched together.

i need to get a few more small displays for bracelets, just to get 'em off the bamboo table runner, & have a good idea for that. it's funny, this is so *not* what i started out to do...originally planned on black tablecovers, & changed my mind at the last minute, literally as i ordered them! i'm happy w/the bamboo, & i also have another runner, an embroidered one. what you can't really tell is that my tables are up--about 39" high. dh & i made the risers out of pvc pipe & concrete. his idea--& it worked really well. i was happy that the little people who visited were unable to see/reach...including my own kids, lol!

TheBlueBetween
05-11-2005, 12:13 PM
Jen, I'm sure you hear this all the time, but your booth is just wonderful. So inviting, fresh and beautiful. Perfect. :D Thank you again for being so generous with your information... you are very helpful.

Jessica, you did great! I guess you had a table on each side of your booth? I really like your sign - did you make it? I guess I need a sign too, hu?

Anyone else have photos to share??? :clap:

beadyeyedgirls
05-11-2005, 12:37 PM
thanks, pam! yah, the experiment begins, w/how to put the tables & where. this time we did one on each side, & dh kept moving the pieces that were out at the edges back...he was afraid someone would pocket something. he also wants us to look into a couple of glass-topped cases for the more 'spensive chains, etc. i'm stalling on that for now.

the sign is metal. we were in vegas a couple of weeks ago for a friend's wedding, & stayed at the excalibur. went to the huge buffet for breakfast one am, & when we came out there were kiosks of stuff for sale all around the area outside the buffet. mostly stuff we weren't interested in, but there was one for signs--mostly "pam's room" & "team parking" kinda stuff. dh pulls me over, & i'm thinking, okay, i guess we can get signs for when the girls have their own rooms, but isn't this a little premature?" & he looks at me like i'm from outer space...he was thinking for the business all along. honestly, he's better about that than i am! he found those big red & yellow lamps & thought of them as displays before taking me to see them.

so anyway, i had someone working on my site a while ago, & she spent lots of time trying to get my logo onto the site--designing it, etc. the guy making the signs did it freehand in a graphics program in 5-10 minutes!! it's some sort of clear plastic sheet w/the logo & printing on it, applied to the metal. not expensive...& while i'd originally been thinking of getting a bigger banner (like jen's) these will do for now (there's also a smaller one that we hung in the back of the booth w/just the business name on it).

TheBlueBetween
05-15-2005, 01:05 PM
Here is one of my new picture frames with hooks inside to display necklaces... I think maybe I need the larger ones after all... and now that I have my tent and see how it is... I'm wondering how I'm going to hang these things after all... I may need to construct a frame from PVC tubing or something as the tent frame is not straight across like I was envisioning.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-May-2005/27814-display1.jpg

Peg
05-15-2005, 01:58 PM
Pam be sure and visit the Bellevue Art Show for booth ideas. It is usually at the end of July (as you probably know). My niece sells at the one across the street from Bellevue Square and comes back so she must do fine. The other fair on the side street adds to the mix so you get three fairs at one time to explore. I think the one at the back of the Square is the upscale part for booths. Have missed very few fairs over the years.
Side note:
Years ago when I painted I had a painting in the fair when it was all outside and it was so nice to be outside in the sun. (yes Wa. does have sun.) Ran out of hobbies and that is why I make glass beads now. Have taken up a little jewelry making with Vicki's help. We took some classes and bought torches for home to make our own findings and still haven't used them. LOL Lisa Lovejoy from Bothell who comes to the Challenges wants to come over and teach us more. You might like to join in when we set a date.

Pam, please let me know if you are going to make it to the June Challenge at my house as I would love to see you again. Peg M

TheBlueBetween
05-15-2005, 02:03 PM
Pam be sure and visit the Bellevue Art Show for booth ideas. It is usually at the end of July (as you probably know). My niece sells at the one across the street from Bellevue Square and comes back so she must do fine. The other fair on the side street adds to the mix so you get three fairs at one time to explore. I think the one at the back of the Square is the upscale part for booths. Have missed very few fairs over the years.
Side note:
Years ago when I painted I had a painting in the fair when it was all outside and it was so nice to be outside in the sun. (yes Wa. does have sun.) Ran out of hobbies and that is why I make glass beads now. Have taken up a little jewelry making with Vicki's help. We took some classes and bought torches for home to make our own findings and still haven't used them. LOL Lisa Lovejoy from Bothell who comes to the Challenges wants to come over and teach us more. You might like to join in when we set a date.

Pam, please let me know if you are going to make it to the June Challenge at my house as I would love to see you again. Peg M


Hi Peg, I love that show and dream of being in it one day :) Issaquah Salmon Days too... someday.

I have a little silver torch too but have only used it to make headpins. I bought a few other silversmithing tools but have not gotten set up yet as I'm thinking I'm going to be moving soon... when I find the perfect house that is... I'll have to dig through my emails and see when the next challenge is - I think I must have missed it... and I would love to have someone to play silversmithing with ;) I'll email you!

BlindCaveFish
05-15-2005, 09:11 PM
Hello Pam,
I gotta say, the moment I saw your necklaces in the frame, although it is a great idea, I thought your beautiful necklaces with the big hilltribe pendants should be displayed individually, not all put together. Maybe by having each on its own stand. I know that's a lot of work but they are so stunning on their own. In any case, I think your doing a great job in developong a desplay. I hope when I fianlly get around to making one I can get some great help like you got here

TheBlueBetween
05-15-2005, 09:20 PM
Thanks Hollie, I have the naked ladies for the most special pieces... and I was thinking maybe I should put fewer pieces in the frames too... But thank you for that feedback - you may be right about that... though I have no idea how to display them individually.... yet, I'll keep thinking though....

Kerensamere
05-15-2005, 09:54 PM
I was next to another jewelry artist at a show last summer. She put each pendant, necklace or earrings into it's own picture frame, with a complimentary background material. Then she displayed the frames on easels and other stands. I think she put several picture frames together for one large display. Each frame was a little different but I think she painted them or groups of them the same color. She didn't put the glass in the front so you could reach in and touch a piece or try it on easily. Then as a piece sold she would just put another piece into the frame. She even put little tags on each piece, like the title of a piece of artwork. Tags included the name of the piece and the price.

It was a great way to display each of your pieces, it makes each piece like a little work of art (which they are!) and I think ads value in the mind of the buyer.

I have found that putting out too many pieces, even if each is different, de-values the work in the mind of the buyer. It tends to make your work look mass produced. A few pieces dramatically displayed give the buyer a chance to look at each piece and makes them look important and valuable. Too many pieces at one time and the buyer really doesn't have the chance to give each one the time it deserves, the eye just can't take in that much stuff at one time so they end up skimming over all of it rather than enjoying each piece.

I try to group pieces together in my case by theme, style or color, it makes a nice snap shot to grab the viewers attention, then they come in for a closer look. I do cluster a group of my "bread and butter" pieces on rack on top of my case. They sell for $20 each, they are all the same style they just have a different charm on them and they come in different colors. But I still only put one version of each charm out (there's 12 different charms) and I try to make sure that an example of each color is represented. Then if they find the charm they want I'll pull out the inventory box for them to choose from.

You have to get into the heads of your buyers; marketing and display is all psycological.

-Jen

Lenda
06-05-2005, 12:25 PM
I posted this in Glass, but thought I'd add to this thread. I thought I'd show you my booth pics from the show I did this weekend. It was a lot of work, it was outside and it rained off and on Friday, so you see my table topper is tied in the corners to keep it from flying around. It was lot's of work, but I always love to see people's booths because I learn a lot and get ideas. In one pic you can see my little demo table set up, worked excellently. So here you go, there's lot's of pics so sorry to you dial up users! :D
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Jun-2005/10665-show1.jpghttp://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Jun-2005/10665-show2.jpg
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Jun-2005/10665-show3.jpghttp://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Jun-2005/10665-show4.jpg
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Jun-2005/10665-show5.jpghttp://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Jun-2005/10665-show6.jpg
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Jun-2005/10665-show7.jpghttp://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Jun-2005/10665-show8.jpg
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Jun-2005/10665-show9.jpghttp://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Jun-2005/10665-show10.jpg
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Jun-2005/10665-show11.jpg

TheBlueBetween
06-05-2005, 01:12 PM
Lenda - it's beautiful! You did a fantastic job :) Wow you have a lot of beads - wish I could have come by to see in person! Are your earring displays shutters???? I need some of those! And what a great idea bringing in your Making Glass Beads book - that would help explain things next time. And your curtains are lovely - like Jens - I want to do that for next time too. How did you hang them?

I did my first show yesterday - my photos did not come out so great - the day was half over before I got my digi cam card (the only thing I forgot) so I'm hoping the disposable camera shots come out better. I posted in today's WIA - holding out to see if I have better pictures. I still need a banner. And next time I hope it's not required that I have two sides open - it was a stupid set-up - they had us under a big tent and so we had to be open to traffic from either the outside or the inside of the big tent... not at all my original plan. oh well. it still worked. When people weren't using my booth as a cut-through that is...

Kerensamere
06-05-2005, 02:10 PM
And your curtains are lovely - like Jens - I want to do that for next time too. How did you hang them?[/QUOTE]

I use bungee cord for my curtains most of the time, but sometimes I just pull the corners of the canopy up off the frame, tuck the curtains up under it and tie their ends around the tent leg, then pull the canopy down on top of the curtain. Then you just pull the curatins (no matter which way you hang them) back around the leg about 1/2 way down with a ribbon and fluff them a little to make them look nice! I think it really helps make the booth look inhabited and furnished rather than just a cold tent.

[QUOTE=TheBlueBetween]I did my first show yesterday -

Congratulations! Getting the first show under your belt is a big step. Now you know more of what to expect. Every show is different, but I find the more shows I do the more prepared I feel. You should start taking a notebook with you to make notes to yourself of things you wish you had or things that you didn't use and really shouldn't bother dragging with you next time.

I still need a banner. And next time I hope it's not required that I have two sides open - it was a stupid set-up - they had us under a big tent and so we had to be open to traffic from either the outside or the inside of the big tent... not at all my original plan. oh well. it still worked. When people weren't using my booth as a cut-through that is...

Banner's are a good idea, you should be able to get one for $25 - $50 from a local sign company like Signs by Tomorrow or Signs and More in 24 (they're franchises). It helps people remember who you are and what you do. As you do more shows your returning customers will know what to look for when they come to see you.

It's too bad about that two sided set up deal. You might want to send a letter/review of the show to the organizers with your concerns about the set up AND suggestions on how to change or improve it. Don't just complain! Give them suggestions too. IF there were positive elements make sure you mention those too. I've found that good show organizers will listen to their vendors concerns and suggestions. That two sided set up sounds like a security nightmare for vendors! How to you keep people out of your personal side of the booth, away from your cash box and such? That would make me a little nervous.

You might look at how I have my booth set up, that might be a way to secure things better if you're faced with that 2 sided set up again. I have an "L" shaped case but I put it in the booth on the diagonal so that the corner juts out in the middle of the booth. This directs people up one end of the "L" around the corner and down the other side. By displaying your stuff with risers at the backs of the tables going down to the table level that will help tell the customers what is the front of your table and what is the back or personal side of your table. Keep the outside ends of your table close to the corners of your space to dissuade people from walking behind you. But don't forget to leave yourself a little path to get out to help someone (like helping them try something on for example).

The "pass throughs" happen in the strangest of places, you'd be suprised how lazy people can be and how creative they get with where they should be walking to get from one aisle to the next!

I just visited a big show in my area last weekend and something that I noticed with several of the bead makers and Lenda's set up is that you have A LOT of inventory out on the table where people can just snatch it and go. One of the beadmakers I spoke to last weekend said she had 8 bracelets stolen in one day. LADIES! Please try to protect yourself from the 5-finger discounters!!! We all spend far too much time making our wears, we can not afford to have that much work walk away! The key is to still keep some pieces out for touching, beads and really most hand crafted goods are very tactile, people want to touch them, and you want them to touch them too. Two of the beaders at the show I visited had cases, the bulk of their inventory was in the case low end mixed with high end, don't just put your expensive stuff in there. Then they had a couple of attractive displays up on top of the case where people can fondle the earrings and a couple of necklaces. One artist even had two big bowls of loose beads that she was selling individually (she had that interchangeable bead ring for sale too). Don't think that because it's big or because it's small that people won't take them. I used to work in a store at the beach that sold jewelry made with swaravski crystals and natural stones and also sold pewter figures and natural crystal formations. Figurines that were 6" tall walked out right under my nose! Just as easily as little pairs of earrings. The little store had two entrances and was long and narrow, maybe 10" x 16"?? But it could get jam packed with people. When I worked alone I stayed behind the counter to protect the register and to keep my eye on everyone but you can't see through people. When they have their backs to you while they look at a display you can not see what they are doing in front of them! Don't think that people won't shoplift at an arts and crafts show! They will! I even saw someone shoplift at an artists gallery/studio space at the Torpedoe Factory in Alexandria, VA. She asked to try on several things from the case -- even helped herself to the small tower cases near the window, the owner was distracted by a phone call, the customer said she had to go move her car and that she'd be back and she walked out the door with a ring right in front of my friend and I :eek: We told the owner but there wasn't a lot she could do about it. So be prepared, it happens everywhere!

-Jen

TheBlueBetween
06-05-2005, 02:56 PM
oh I can "see" the bungie cord thing working - thanks! One thing I noticed is that about half the people didn't notice my wall displays - I need to figure out how to draw attention to them. The people who did notice them thought they were great though. As far as the security to inside my little L-shapped counter thing... I put a chair in the way and I also had a friend there with me so there were two of us... not that it was necessary - it was really slow. Halfway through the day I move a chair out next to the necklace wall so it was not such a clear shot for people to cut through - the kids would just rip through there... Next time I will certainly do some things different - it was a great learning experience :)

Kerensamere
06-05-2005, 09:43 PM
- it was a great learning experience :)

That's exactly how you should look at it too. Learn from each show you do!

-Jen

Lenda
06-05-2005, 11:26 PM
Hi Jen and Pam! Sorry so late getting back to this, I was gone for the day.

The show was pretty good and there were Lot's of people in my booth. I know I have lot's of stuff out, but the way I have it set up, it's pretty easy to keep an eye on the merchandise. By having the "L" facing this way, I stand in the center of it, behind the mirror. I can just look left and right and see what people are doing. I also had my daughter there to help keep an eye on people. I have had it set up facing the other way, Like Jen's. It's harder to watch people that way unless you stand on one corner, I find the inverted "L" easier to watch for theft.

I had trays of inexpensive beads at the entrance to my tent to keep people interested to come in. They are my beginner and smaller beads. I don't think I lost anything by having my setup this way. My more expensive beads are on the display closest to me and they're Uhu Tac'ed down to the display, so whenever anyone tried to take one to see it, they're suprised because it's stuck on there somewhat, they aren't expecting that, so that's a good thing. They usually stop and then I'll say, go ahead and pull, but that display is easy to keep an eye on because of that.

The curtains WERE one long piece of material when I got there. I didn't do a dry run of the booth and my idea was to drape it from the center out and around the sides. BUT of course, the tent cross bars are kind of funny and wouldn't let it drape nicely, time was ticking down to be set up, so I got the scissor out and cut it into 4 pieces to put in the corners as a last resort. I'll fix that part.

I paid $62 for my banner which I thought was pretty expensive but it's the best exterior vinyl kind so I guess it's worth it. But now I'd change it a little but won't spend the money again so soon.

Pam, glad to hear you did your first show. The earring racks are little shutters that I found at a yard sale and painted them. I got 5 for $8, WOW what a deal. Then just painted them. This is about my 5th one and you learn from each and everyone. Especially if you don't have a professional display like Jen. But I'm pretty happy with mine at this point. The lights worked out great, a couple of the pics were at night with them on, and I showed up really well in the dark. I closed up last night at 10pm, BOY was I tired!!!

But this thread really helped a lot too and that's why I thought I'd add to it to maybe help someone else get ideas!:D

beadyeyedgirls
06-06-2005, 12:14 AM
the last show i did, i was open on 3 sides; it was so hard trying to figure out how to set up! i was off the main path, on a side artery w/some traffic in & out on that artery. so that was one side; opposite that was a utility box on the ground between me & the next tent, so some people wandered around between us there, & then there was the little pathway right in front--not even a real pathway, but (very hard to explain) a way to get to the next tent (& others beyond it) off that side artery.

my mom was with me, & even though we sat in the back, a few people came up to us from that angle, & then kinda realized they had to walk around...it was pretty awkward all around. if they put me there again i'll squawk, lol!

beadyeyedgirls
06-06-2005, 12:15 AM
& lenda, your booth looked great! i'd have been lured in. :)

Kerensamere
06-06-2005, 12:30 AM
Lenda -- if you need to change your banner take it back to the place that made it. Sometimes they can heat up the vinyl lettering and remove it. It might cost less than having a new one made. With the white background you shouldn't have any problems with sun-bleaching or anything.

Another suggestion for keeping track of inventory is to have things in divided trays. Then you can see with a quick glance that something has been removed. Trays could be the divided trays sold for jewelry or printers boxes/drawers. I have 3 of those that I picked up at a yard sale for $30 total. You can pull the bottom of the tray off, put a piece of fabric on it and then put the back on again as a nice back drop for your beads and such. Your pricing can then be put on the tray rather than the piece too.

Speaking of those shutters. I've see people use intake vents too. Those big ones that you have in your home on the walls. I saw an artist use them, she painted hers black so her earring cards stood out.

I've also see people use large styrofoam cones, the kind used for fake topiaries, covered in fabric, then use large "T" pins to pin bracelets around the cones. People can touch them but it takes a little effort to remove them. They can then ask for your help in trying them on.

OH, I also saw a guy use a sock display for aklets! Think department store hosiery display, those flat foot cut outs that are joined at the "knee" area so that 5 or 6 can be fanned out to show the different kind of stocking colors. He painted them black and then put all of his anklets on them. I thought that was a fun idea.

A woman next to me at a show used a colapsible bunny grooming table as her desk in her booth. Her cash box and wrapping supplies were stashed inside and the top was the perfect height for signing reciepts and writting checks not to mention wrapping purchases. Not having been on the "show bunny" circuit I'd never seen anything like it. It was perfect!

You just never know what you might find where!

Oh, another option to a cash box is a small apron (the kind that goes around your waist not over your head) with multiple pockets. You can keep your cash, change, pen and receipt book in there. Then your money's always with you. A well organized or divided hip pouch would work the same way. I was at a Cirque Du Soliel show yesterday and the water/popcorn seller was working with one big fabric bag with a zipper, like a bank depsoit bag without the lock. Problem was she had to dig through all the bills to get to the change and then page through the bills to find the right ones everytime she had to make change. I felt sorry for her, it was awful. So go for something with pockets or compartments, you'll be glad you did when you're busy.

Keep the ideas coming gang, everytime I go to a show I'm always checking out peoples displays. Even if it's not "wearable" I still look to see if there's an idea to be had or at least some inspiration. I've seen people use old ironing boards as their display counters. Think about it, they're hieght adjustable, they fold down and they're definately not your typical rectangular table.

Lenda
06-06-2005, 12:58 AM
-Jen
Hey Jen. Lot's of great ideas!! And who would have known about a collapsible Bunny grooming table even existed??? WOnder where one gets something like that?? LOL! Really!

And the stocking display sounds fabulous! That was something I didn't have figuired out, anklets and bracelet diplays that were really cool.

Jen, I think my banner was actually printed . I don't think they used vinyl letters, they seem to have no edge to the letters, really flat which makes me think it was actually printed! Thats probably why it was $62, LOL! I actually did the work in Photoshop and gave them the work on disk saved in EPS format, but that was a good idea. I'll just give more thought to the next sign by looking at the way this one hangs and reads, and ALSO to the comments I heard, like I didn't SEE THE HANDMADE part on the sign! You mean, you MAKE these beads??? Geez, I heard it all day long, even with the demo table in the front, the books sitting around, the glass rods, :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

I was going to make some large pictures or posters for the booth walls too but didn't get around to it. I hope I don't have what happened to Pam and not have the hanging stuff noticed. Ideas on that???

Yup, looking at displays is great and I love to do that too. And I used a fanny pack or hip pack or whatever you want to call them. I've used it before and it works really well. No wondering where my money is at any time!

As far as inventory, I used velvet mats for the bracelets, I knew I had 2 rows of 5 and kept them straightened. All necklaces worth anything were on a display piece so it was easier to miss if it wasn't there with a glance.

I will say this, the most sucky part of the show was when lady wanted a $180 necklace, her DH said fine, handed her a charge card and it was AE, I DON'T TAKE THAT!!!!! UUuugghhhh!!! :crying: I could have just cried. I just got setup for cards and most people that use AE have V & MC, but he didn't. Geez. BUmmer. Still, right now I'm bummed! :rolleyes:

THis is a great thread, I'm glad I could contribute to it because it really helped me! Hope it gets more pics!:D

beadyeyedgirls
06-06-2005, 01:58 AM
I will say this, the most sucky part of the show was when lady wanted a $180 necklace, her DH said fine, handed her a charge card and it was AE, I DON'T TAKE THAT!!!!! UUuugghhhh!!! :crying: I could have just cried. I just got setup for cards and most people that use AE have V & MC, but he didn't. Geez. BUmmer. Still, right now I'm bummed! :rolleyes:


argh, lenda! that stinks.
i also just got set up for cc's (early last month). i'm taking amex, visa, mc, & discover, & thus far i've had more amex than anything else (not that it's been so many! but i've had 4 amex & 1 mc, i think).

discover is annoying me no end lately. we have the cards, have had 'em for years, & they call *constantly* to offer us this, that, & the other--& they call separately for dh & for me, & won't take the other. now they call me as a vendor, & they've apparently contracted w/a web design firm. they keep offering me a "free" site... finally, friday, in the 3rd call from them, we got down to the part where it's free for 30 days, & then $60-something per month after that. uh, no thanks! i actually had to hang up on the guy in the end b/c he was SO persistent & deaf!

Kerensamere
06-06-2005, 02:17 AM
argh, lenda! that stinks.
i also just got set up for cc's (early last month). i'm taking amex, visa, mc, & discover, & thus far i've had more amex than anything else (not that it's been so many! but i've had 4 amex & 1 mc, i think).

discover is annoying me no end lately. we have the cards, have had 'em for years, & they call *constantly* to offer us this, that, & the other--& they call separately for dh & for me, & won't take the other. now they call me as a vendor, & they've apparently contracted w/a web design firm. they keep offering me a "free" site... finally, friday, in the 3rd call from them, we got down to the part where it's free for 30 days, & then $60-something per month after that. uh, no thanks! i actually had to hang up on the guy in the end b/c he was SO persistent & deaf!


I take Amex, V, MC and Disc. although I've contemplated dropping the AmEx due to the higher rates and such. I need to go through my Quick Books reports and figure out my ratio for one to the other. Accepting charge cards has been well worth it. I sold $400 to one person at a recent show, there's no way I would expect someone to have that kind of cash and I hardly expect someone to write me a check for that much. The charge cards protect them and me. As for Discover. As a vendor they do have a lot to offer. If you use a knuckle buster like me (I don't have a wireless set up) I get all my charge forms/receipts from them for free. They also provide free signage -- you really should advertise in your booth that you accept cards, even pens on retractible cords -- I'm constantly loosing pens in my booth so I LOVE my pen on a leash!

I looked into the Discover web site design offer. It's terrible! They use template style designs, nothing creative or artistic at all. Now, granted, I used to work for an ad agency and a PR company and I've taught at a school for visual arts, so I do have certain expectations, but these were awful! And yes, the rates were equally terrible, way too high. If you are in need of a website just ask around, you'd be suprised how many people to site design and they can typically help you get a domain name and a company to host it. I'm actually having someone work on redesigning my site. It's been up and only minimally updated for 2 years. A friend designed it for free. Now I've found a co-worker of my DH to redo it for me for a nominal fee and he's able to turn it into an ecommerce site when I'm ready.

-Jen

Lenda
06-06-2005, 07:20 AM
I would like to suggest something that I forgot and is REALLY important. I didn't take a Guest book for people to sign. THAT was a REALLY LARGE MISTAKE! I had MANY people ask me where my store was and I don't have one, just doing a few shows this year. If I would have had their name and addy I could have sent out cards to them telling them where my next show was, or if I was going to do a home show, I could tell them. It was another REALLY big mistake and one that I learned the hard way. :( :rolleyes:

So.....Take a guest book!!!!!!:D

Emjay
06-06-2005, 09:04 AM
I'm having professional pictures of my jewelry taken tomorrow. I want to have some of them blown up, mounted and laminated somehow to hang in my booth. I've seen this done and think it looks really nice and professional. Has anyone done this, and if so, where did you get it done? I'm thinking Kinko's? What did you ask for? I want them laminated somehow to protect against rain.

Lenda
06-06-2005, 09:15 AM
Hi Jean. I also want to do that but didn't have the time. I'm sure that Kinko's, Office Max, Office Depot or any print shop could do it. I'm thinking that I'd like to have it fixed somehow to a hard backing like foam board or something with grommets to hang and laminated. Not sure how much that would run either. If I do my banner again, I'm thinking that I might have some bead pics put on it. It was my orignal plan but scrapped it. I got my banner through Office Max but they outsourced it to a banner shop. :rolleyes: So I would go right to a banner place first now.

Emjay
06-06-2005, 09:29 AM
Lenda,
Here is a pic of our sign. The caricatures are just printed from my computer, laminated with sheets from Hobby Lobby, and taped onto the sign with clear packing tape. You can't tell that they weren't printed on. The sign store would have done it for another $30, but the sign already cost $80!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Jun-2005/11303-Copy_of_sign.jpg

Kerensamere
06-06-2005, 02:39 PM
I'm having professional pictures of my jewelry taken tomorrow. I want to have some of them blown up, mounted and laminated somehow to hang in my booth. I've seen this done and think it looks really nice and professional. Has anyone done this, and if so, where did you get it done? I'm thinking Kinko's? What did you ask for? I want them laminated somehow to protect against rain.

Check your local photo developing place or camera shop in addition to Kinkos and the like. IF they can't laminate it you can try looking in your phone book for a blueprint company. That's who laminated mine for me, now it's nice and water proof for those wet and rainy shows. I actually put my laminated poster into a lightweight poster frame and hang it from a chain from my tent frame. You could also take your poster print to the local frame shop and have them laminate it onto foam core BUT I couldn't find a company that can do that AND make it water proof.


A guest book is definately a must by the way. I just take a spiral bound blank journal with me, I always keep a pen tucked into the binding so that I have one. I let people know that they can put their snail mail OR email addy in it and that I mail out only 4 or 5 mailings a year so that they won't get swamped with junk mail. I also reassure them that I do NOT sell or give out my mailing list to anyone else. Additionally I let them know that I hold a special Holiday Open House in my home in Nov. and that I send out private invitations to this event to those on my mailing list. Sometimes that's the clincher for getting them to sign up. I now have a mailing list that's closing on 200 people!!! I send out quarterly letters updating them on new products and designs as well as shows and events they can find me at.

Speaking of mailings, if you want to save $$ go to www.usps.gov they have a service that allows you to upload your mailing list (via an excel file) and your document (word file) and they will print your document (post card, letter, etc.), print the mailng addresses on it, put the postage on it and deliver it and it's cheaper than doing it all yourself, INCLUDING POSTAGE!!! They do b/w or color too. I've used them twice and it's been great. The only thing is you need to give them a week to 2 weeks to get it done and in the mail. I waited too long for my first mailing and some people didn't get the post card until the day of the event.

Something else that I take with me almost everywhere I go (meetings, errands, parties, etc.) is a portfolio of my work. I scan an image of every piece I make before it ever walks out the door. Then I print the best pics out on my printer onto photo paper and put them in the album. That way I can show people what I can do, even if I don't have that peice anymore. I keep it handy at shows, it's helpful if you sell a bunch of stuff or your one showcase item.


-Jen

BlueBuddha
06-28-2005, 10:32 AM
Accepting charge cards has been well worth it. I sold $400 to one person at a recent show, there's no way I would expect someone to have that kind of cash and I hardly expect someone to write me a check for that much.
OK, you've sold me.

I'm doing my first show next month (me=excited, nervous, giddy, terrified, & ecstatic all at once), with hopefully another two to follow by the end of the year.

I'm planning on bringing lots of earrings and my more accessible jewelry, but I did want to bring a couple of high-end pieces, because you never know! Also, my high-end pieces are what really set me apart from other chainmaille artists in the city. So, I know it's time to get a credit card set up. Plus, I sell supplies to my students, and though most pay with check or cash, I've had a few ask about credit cards, so I think that even in non-show months, I'd make a few cc sales.

Would you mind sharing the company you use (either here, or via PM)? If anyone has any recommendations or things to look out for when researching companies, I'd love to hear those too. I thought I remembered seeing something about this a year or so ago, but couldn't find the thread.

beadyeyedgirls
06-28-2005, 12:39 PM
i sold a $160 bracelet last saturday & if i hadn't been able to take amex, that sale wouldn't have happened. it's a bit of a scary hassle to get it all set up, but i'm glad i did it! rebeca, you won't regret it--your work is beautiful & i'm sure you'll do well. :)

i made dh deal w/choosing companies, terminal, etc. as a result i have a nurit 8000 (wireless) & it's easy to use (though i keep the brief directions pamphlet w/me whenever i use it). we use a local bank, but the processing (& terminal rental) runs through first data. one hard part was deciding whether to rent or buy it, b/c w/renting, we're paying more in the end... but really wanted to see how it all went first.

they advised us against buying a used one, like from ebay, b/c they said you can't know if the chip is compatible until they reprogram it (& that's $100). somehow, i bet that most of the ones they don't sell ya themselves just don't work. :rolleyes:

just pay careful attention to the fee structure...rental or purchase of terminal, exact bank fees, any surcharges, & the various percentages for the cards. i'm signed up w/visa, mc, amex, & discover. & i'd say at a guess that i've accepted one visa & all the rest have been amex. it's interesting, i read a pamphlet at the bank about the average sales amts for the different cards. customers who use amex tend to buy more/more expensive items. the fee is higher, but i'm glad i'm taking it. discover, on the other hand, is a bit of a pita; they call constantly. & if you sign on w/them, they'll hound you initially about a "free" web design service--that eventually costs $60/month. i actually had to hang up on one guy in the end b/c he would. not. give. up.

& i also have check-rite, but am canceling it. *look out* for monthly minimums here. i've used it all of ONE time, the first day it was supposedly all set up (& my first show--which reminds, me, don't do it last minute!). except that when i programmed in my vendor # (had to do on my cell phone, the nurit doesn't do checks yet), it was "unrecognized" by their system (too new), so i had to speak to a live person. & for that they charged me an additional $2.50. i'm NOT a happy camper about this situation!

think that's it...i hate this end of the business, but it's a necessary evil. am currently waiting to hear back about the check-rite...& i know that i'll have to call again. :rolleyes:

do as much research as you can. do you know any business people that you can ask for references on their set-ups? i asked my hairdresser (an independent contractor) about hers...can't remember who else now. just get your eagle eyes out when you go to sign all the contracts, & make sure you get copies of everything.

hth!!! & good luck w/this & the shows!

BlueBuddha
06-28-2005, 03:22 PM
Thank you, thank you, thank you, Jessica. *bows down* Great information.

With your wireless device, 1) have you ever had problems getting a signal, and 2) can you plug in the card info manually, like if someone places an order over the phone?

Thanks,
Rebeca

Kerensamere
06-28-2005, 05:06 PM
Rebeca- I use the old fashioned "knuckle buster" not a wireless system like Jessica. There are ups and downs to this. The upside is that I can use it anywhere, I don't need to worry about getting a signal. I have done several shows where there simply is no wireless service or it's very limited coverage (in and out). The "knuckle buster" costs about $25-$75 to purchase as compaired to several hundred to $1,000 for a wireless system. I use Chase bank as my merchant services company and I also use Quick Books for my book keeping on my computer. Because I use Quick Books and I enter my credit card sales info into my computer and process the sales online (I get my approvals on line when I get home from a show) I do get a decent % rate on my charges. The big down side is that if a card does not go through I have to track down the customer, if I can't track them down I will most likely have to suck up the lost sale. I've had to track down a total of 3 customers in the last two years. Once because I didn't get their zip code (Quick Books requires it to process online) -- no problem. The other two occasions were because the card was in fact refused. Both of those occasions I was able to track down the customer (I always ask for their phone numbers in case of a problem). One was a gift card with a set limit, the girl didn't know what the limit was and had exceeded it, she kindly gave me another card number and then contacted me for an order for 10 more pieces! The other girl's card was maxed out and her payment hadn't gotten to the bank yet so she simply gave me another card number with no problems. I do hold my breath when I enter my reciepts after a show "what if it doesn't go through? what if the phone number isn't right?" that sort of thing. It is a risk but I pay less month to month as a result.

I did talk to a few companies about a wireless option earlier this year and because I do so many outside shows with limited cell coverage they even said that chances were I had the best set up for my business at the moment. If I were doing more shows/sales per month (I typically do one show a month) it would be worth it by my sales at the moment don't warrent the expense.

My % paid per purchase is probably higher than jessica's because I'm not taking the info off the card electronically, but by using Quick books to get approval I'm getting a better rate than if I was just keeping my books on paper. Swiping cards is better than keying things in manually. There are some machines that simply let you swipe the card (even if you have no wireless service) and then you can down load the info into your computer or over the phone later. There are also some devices that connect to your cell phone or your wireless pda (like a blackberry). There are lots of options.

My advice is to do your homework on not only the equipment but the monthly rates and percentages. Every company I dealt with had a different rate for set up and monthly expenses. I hooked up with Chase by being a member of BJ's wholesale club. Check Sam's Club too as well as your bank. If you have a credit union in your area check them out too, my business account is with a credit union and they have some of the most competitive banking rates around and their hours are wonderful!

-Jen

beadyeyedgirls
06-28-2005, 05:12 PM
Thank you, thank you, thank you, Jessica. *bows down* Great information.

With your wireless device, 1) have you ever had problems getting a signal, and 2) can you plug in the card info manually, like if someone places an order over the phone?

you're welcome! 1) no problems thus far, in a couple of locations in town. i've used it at the show (different locations w/in the same block) 3 times, & also at a sort of private-not-really-a-show in another area. 2) yes, but then there's something different about the risk, b/c the card isn't present--? i can't remember the details. my site's going to be set up to take paypal, & since people can now pay via paypal w/o even opening an acct, we figured i'll take any phone or site orders that way.

glad to help!

beadyeyedgirls
06-28-2005, 05:24 PM
hi jen!
i have a knuckle buster as a backup, for exactly that situation--in case there's no signal. & in that case, i'd have to run the same risk jen does, that a card might not be good for whatever reason.

the wireless terminal is definitely not cheap--we could've bought it for less, but then no warranty, either. if it's dropped, etc., when i hand it to someone to enter their debit pin, too bad so sad, as dh would say! renting, i'm guaranteed a new replacement w/in so many hours if there's a problem. i'm trying to do 2 shows/month. & i think (doh!) that mine does that thing of storing the swipes/info even if it doesn't transmit right then, & then it would transmit later or when i plug it in.

dh has a handheld thing much like a blackberry, & initially wanted me to get the machine that cradles the blackberry & has card-swipe capability. then he realized that meant i'd have to take his phone...& that idea went away!

i agree w/jen completely--dig in & do as much research as you can stand, & then some. everyone's got slightly different deals. & i've heard that costco has some sort of processing deal, too. we don't have bj's, costco, or anything like it here, & we try to avoid the walton empire.;)

my personal acct has been at the same credit union since 1983, but my credit union doesn't offer cc processing. actually called one other that i was eligible to join, & they didn't, either. thus the bank.

in many ways, this whole thing--the cc stuff & the check stuff--makes me so nervous & uptight! i feel more compelled to do more shows, & i hate carrying the expense. i hope it continues to pay off...i always get nervous that i'll have a run of no-sales shows.

BlueBuddha
07-23-2005, 11:34 AM
Here's a photo of my setup for my very first craft show, woo-hoo! Most of my setup consists of various display forms I got at Rio Grande. I didn't want everything flat on the table, so to create "tiers," I had my friends wrap some boxes in velvet. You can see them below the neck forms in the back. I think it came out nice.

You can see a bit of the contest I did, off toward the left of the table. It was a guess-how-many rings are in the jar contest, and the winner would receive a $20 gift certificate. People seemed really drawn to it, so I will probably do it again. (With of course, different size rings and a different jar!)

Thanks to everyone for all the suggestions about getting set up for credit cards. I am glad I did, about $200 worth of sales came via credit cards, so it looks like it is definitely going to be a worthwhile investment. I appreciate all your good advice.

Kerensamere
07-25-2005, 12:28 AM
Looks great! Congrats on the successful event! -Jen

Musicbeads
07-25-2005, 01:18 PM
Very nice set up on your booth. The different levels make your display very interesting to look at. I just sent in a registration form to try my first show this fall. I hope it goes as well as your. :clap:
Linda

LLane
07-25-2005, 02:59 PM
Rebecca,
I would only add one thing..... a table covering.... and I think it's great! I always like the table covering to hide all my "stuff" underneath as well as give a finished look.

Glad you had a good show! Keep up the good work and let us know what's next!
Peace,
Lois

BlueBuddha
07-25-2005, 03:35 PM
Lois, it's funny that you mention a table covering. I actually have more velvet, as well as a table "skirt" that I will definitely use for future shows.

This time, the location said that the tables were "funky retro" style tables, so we didn't have to cover them if we didn't want to. Originally I was going to use a cover, but then, I decided I had enough to worry about for my first show. I figured I'd use the covering for the next show.

So, we're definitely on the same wavelength here! :)

beadyeyedgirls
07-27-2005, 02:43 PM
rebeca, congrats on your show! glad to hear it went well. & that is a great idea on the guess-the-#-of-rings thing...hmm...can i copy? :D

i have a framed info sheet about maille, but wanna get some pics of the process out. originally i thought i'd make a little pile of rings on the table somewhere, but then didn't wanna risk losing any, lol!

Kerensamere
07-27-2005, 09:38 PM
I've found it very helpful to have a "how'd she do that" board. I broke down my process into the various steps and glued an example of each step onto a piece of mat board with each step explained. It really helps explain what I do and how I do it. Some people seem more interested in reading the sign than having me explain it, I think it takes away the "sales pitch" feel too. I've found that a lot of men are fascinated by the process and it works well as an ice breaker to get the conversation started. It's also useful to refer to when I am explaining the process, some people are more verbal, others are visual, and yet others are both. It's something to think about, expecially with a process like maile that has so many little tiny steps, I'm sure you run into people that don't understand that you assemble it ring by ring.

-Jen

BlueBuddha
08-02-2005, 10:49 AM
& that is a great idea on the guess-the-#-of-rings thing...hmm...can i copy? :D
Copy away! :) It was a fun contest, and more than one person came up to the table, picked up the jar full of rings, and exclaimed, "Oh, I love these contests!"

And if anyone else has ideas for other contests, please do post. I'm definitely going to do this contest a few times, but I'd like to do other ones, too.

Patricia'sglass
08-02-2005, 05:51 PM
Great thread!!! Definitely 5 star :clap: I have about 3 pages of info in notepad to print off to use at my next show. I'll tell you how it goes. Thanks everyone!
Pattym

beadyeyedgirls
08-02-2005, 06:06 PM
cool, rebeca, thanks! i had another thought, too...people get a look at a dragonscale piece--bracelet, etc.--& have to guess the # of rings in it. doesn't have to be dragonscale, but i figured that'd be a good one since it's so dense. & they don't get to count rows, etc., but just have a look & then i tuck it away again. :evil: they write down their guess & come back later.

Musicbeads
10-16-2005, 05:24 PM
This summer I applied to be in my first craft show. It was yesterday. I did not sell very much because it was a new show and there were not many people there. Though I did do better than some others. The best part about it is it forced me to put together a booth and actually go out and see if anyone liked what I was doing. I did get some pictures so that I can send one to those shows that require a picture with the application. I got a lot of positive comments from people who stopped and looked so I think I will try again at a bigger show.
I would appreciate any comments you would like to make about my set up.
Linda

JoeyW
12-04-2005, 11:15 PM
Hi all!

My best friend send me this picture. She particpated in a craft show this weekend and came across this very cool jewelry artisan's display. She asked if she could take a pic. and send it to me and this kind lady said yes. I think it is ohhhh soooo cool and it will stick with me and inspire me in the event that I ever get to do a show. (Grin) right now my stuff might fill a couple TV trays :cat: . But I'll get there when the time is right.

Anyway, this very creative soul used a couple old ironing boards for display tables and the "pebbles" on the trays are black turtle beans. My friend assures me and I believer her, that the display was even much more impressive in person. I wish I had this wonderful lady's name to give her credit. She sold beautiful chain maille.

I hope it gives you ideas as it did me. :clap: :clap: :clap:

Joey

JoeyW
12-04-2005, 11:19 PM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v422/Jophotos/JewelryDisplay.jpg

JoeyW
12-04-2005, 11:25 PM
Uhhhhh, sorry all, that was me fowling up the new image uploader works. I don't know how to fix it at moment. Sorry, I'll just leave it alone for fear of making it worse. ;) In any event, you can see this very creative display via 2 posts.

Moderators - feel free to fix my mess if need be.

Joey

beadyeyedgirls
12-04-2005, 11:36 PM
interesting idea! i'd be worried, though, every time someone bumped the table the slightest bit, that they'd topple right over. & a little gust of wind from underneath... ?

i have a big charger plate & have used black beans in it, & it sets of silver quite nicely. another idea i got from a show organizer who complimented me on the black beans--coffee beans. did a private show at a local art studio last month, & used the coffee beans, & the whole room smelled great! people couldn't figure out where the aroma was coming from, lol. used hazelnut.

i have my last show of the year tomorrow, yippee! another private (home) show this time. ready for a wee break, lol.

Kerensamere
12-05-2005, 01:40 PM
I've seen a variety of artists use old ironing boards as part of their displays. They fold up easily and you can make them a great standing height so that your customer doesn't need to bend over to see your work. They'll stay longer looking at your wares if their back doesn't hurt! :-) I think the old ironing boards with the wooden legs are a little more stable than our current metal ones, the old legs splay out farther making them more stable. Shop around at flea markets and antique stores for them. Sometimes you can get them pretty cheap. Oh, and the old ones are heavier so blowing over is not as big a possibility as the modern metal ones.

Forgive any loopy phrasing, I'm on gobs of cold medicine and recovering from a 102 fever. :-P

-Jen

rubytwoshoes
12-07-2005, 10:26 PM
Hi Everyone! Just wanted to share the table set-up I used for my holiday open house. It's very tall (9 ft. or so). I can only use it where ceiling height is not limited. Everything is clamped down so it's very secure. Everyone seemed to like it, including me! Vickie


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Dec-2005/33749-05.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Dec-2005/33749-04.jpg

OrangeStarfish
12-10-2005, 12:00 PM
I don't have a picture to show but I did something last weekend that I'm quite pleased with. My display is very basic right now (I've only done 3 small local shows) and really needs height added. I have a set of cake stands - three footed plates in graduated sizes that can be used separately or stacked to make a tiered display. They are clear - I think white might be more effective but I have clear - and I hung earrings around the edge. I don't use earring cards (yet) and most are the same price. I think next year I'll have a little card saying what price each tier is and use the whole set stacked up.

I hope that makes sense. I may set it up soon to take a photo for my ideas book, and I can post it if this wasn't clear.

midniteburner
12-11-2005, 03:28 PM
This is an awesome thread!!!! Thanks so much to all of you who posted photos of your booths.

It has been 5 years since I did a fine art show. I am thinking of going back into the circuit.

Yes, presentation is everything!!!

Sara

MsChilePepper
12-12-2005, 09:41 PM
You definitely don't want people to have to bend over to see your stuff, because they won't. Or they won't look very long, if they do bend over at all.

One of the easiest things you can do to raise your tables is to use PVC pipe to extend the legs. The pipe is dirt cheap (like $2.50ish for a 10-foot length) and you can cut it to size yourself with just a hacksaw or have them do it at the hardware store. I have three tables I use in this way (they're just like normal card tables, only they're about 2'x4', rather than square), and at the end of the day, I just pull off the pipes and stow them in a drawstring laundry bag. The pipes are sturdy, durable, and not heavy at all, so they're no problem to transport. The pipes I use are approximately 35" long, so they raise the tables to about 40".

Also, I cannot emphasize enough that you must, must, MUST put a price on EVERYTHING. It's like the first law of retail. Some people WILL NOT ask about prices. Heck, some people won't ask even if they very obviously have a question. The more I interact with people, the more I wonder how some of them function in daily life.

With the price tag thing, I think there are several reasons why they won't ask, and one of the biggest is that old adage, "If you have to ask, you can't afford it" that is so applicable to swanky, high-end shops. Usually that is NOT the case, but hey, people are dumb.

There are also people who clearly think that if they engage with you at all, you'll try to hard-sell them, although that's certainly not how *I* work and I doubt the rest of you do, either.

So, when I'm designing signage, tags and anything else, I approach it *knowing* that I have to cater to the lowest common denominator, aka the doofuses (doofi?) of the world.


Same with displays and setups. Is someone going to knock this over? How will somebody reach for this item? Is the table too cluttery? Is it obvious that this bracelet and these earrings go together? I try to look at my setup from a customer's viewpoint, and work from there.

Oh, and MIRRORS! You MUST have mirros, at multiple heights. At least two. I have three I found at IKEA which are ideal (Myken style) (http://www.ikea.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10103&storeId=12&langId=-1&productId=32136) because the stand folds flat for transport. They're a little top-heavy, though, so I use small bungie cords to secure them.

Kerensamere
12-12-2005, 10:02 PM
I'll second Jeanine on all of her points.

PVC rocks! If you can't find hieght adjustible tables or you already have standard height tables PVC is a great way to raise the table height. Don't limit yourself to this use of PVC though! You can use it to build racks and displays too! It's fairly easy to cut with a hand saw (power saws make it even easier but are not necessary). The junctions in the hardware store have lots of variety and you can buy narrow pipe and a wider pipe that the narrow variety will fit into too. You can just dry fit some pieces and glue others so that you can take the display item apart for transport. You can also paint the pipes once you figure out what you're doing with it. Black, Gold, Copper, whatever or just scrub the manufacturers marks off it and leave it white.

I've found that tagging does help too. I've even encountered some shows that require that everything is marked/priced. Right now I'm using "dumbell" price stickers but I'd love to hear what everyone else is using and what seems to work best. I've even been considering organizing my case by price point. Any thoughts on that?

Mirrors are sooooo important, and I've found that making them visible, not just hiding one under the counter or having a hand mirror laying on the table helps. Hang them on the walls of your display or have them standing on the table. I also have two of the IKEA mirrors the Jeanine mentioned, I LOVE THEM!!! They were so inexpensive, the fold down easily, they don't weigh a ton so it's easy to move them around. I tuck them on the back edge of my display case so that they are visible but out of the way. When someone tries something on I just move them forward so that they can see. Remember people tend to hold jewelry up against their bodies, they rarely actually clasp the necklaces or put the ear wires through their ears. So they need their hands to hold their jewelry, having a free standing mirror makes this process so much easier. I haven't encountered the top heavy issue with the Myken mirrors yet, but I'll be keeping my eye open for that problem. If you sell things like clothing get yourself a large full length mirror. I was next to a lady this weekend that sold jewelry and shawls (unfortunately I think they were all buy sell pieces) and all she had was a hand held mirror like the kind the hairdresser holds behind your head at the end of the hair cut. People buying shawls had to rely on this tiny mirror to see themselves in the shawls. She sold a lot but I think she would've done better with a bigger mirror. She also kept the mirror under her table and out of sight. I think she didn't want to give up precious display space for the mirror. Oh one other thing about those mirrors... Free standing mirrors only work if your table is standing height, if it's a low table they won't be able to see themselves in the mirrors!

Ok, I'll shut up now. Forgive my ramblings they are well intentioned.

-Jen

MsChilePepper
12-13-2005, 02:23 AM
The nice thing about those Myken mirrors is they tilt, so they work for people who are different heights. I have these little wooden fruit crates that I use on my display tables; the mirrors sit on top of them and I wrap my little purple bungie around the back scroll thing and then hook it to the crate. So that props them up to the perfect height for most women.

Before I got smart and decided to bungie them down, I had one of the mirrors BLOW OFF my table this summer during an outdoor market! Of course the mirror broke, but I salvaged the frame and had my cousin replace the mirror (he owns a glass shop).

I always make sure to tell people to feel free to try things on. Again with the dumbness, but some people are just so oddly timid, I don't get it. I'm trying to SELL this stuff, people! Of COURSE you can try it on! I let them try earrings in their ears, too, and I tell them if they decide not to buy them, I'll clean them, no problem (I just use hand sanitizer on them, although that's not really necessary per Washington state law).

The nice thing about doing an outdoor gig is being able to use my tent frame to hang things, or to stabilize my display racks. I use long bungies to secure my grid rack to the frame, for wind- and idiot-resistance. Gah, it bugs the HELL out of me when people LEAN on the tables! Dude, stand up already! Get a walker if you're too weak to stand on your own already! Yeesh. (Why yes, I *am* a curmudgeon! Why do you ask? :P )

For pricing, I do several things. My necklaces are displayed on their own individual cards, so the price and description of the components are written right on the card.

I've been using the requisite black clipcards for earrings, and I put a price sticker on the front top right corner. When someone buys a pair, I take the earrings off the clipcard and save it for reuse (they're just gonna throw it away anyway), then write component info on a business card. If it's a gift, I poke holes in the card with my handy-dandy bead reamer and stick the earrings on it for a nicer presentation. If I'm doing earrings for consignment or wholesale, I print the component info and price on a special card with logo and contact info, then hang the earrings on that.

For bracelets, hair clips and other things, I use a small printed card similar to the necklace card. I fold it in half, then write the components description, length, and price on one side. The other side has my logo and contact info on it, as do the necklace cards. I use a hole punch to make a hole, then attach the card to the bracelet with a length of thread. I'm not loving that method, and want to find a better way to do it, but it does work and is el cheapo, so meh.

I design and print all my cards myself, then cut them with a paper cutter. It's cheap and easy to do on the computer. Which reminds me, I have to print more cards.