Tour of our mock stall12:51
Ok, so you know I said we wanted a pop up shop type affair....well mum bought us a gazebo with two sides but we didn't want to spend out on tables that we would only use the once.
Sure, pasting tables are only £10 but they're pretty flimsy. This was confirmed when we went to the carnival the week before last and saw a man trying to hold his table down in the slight breeze whilst not push it too hard and go through the middle!
So, we shopped our houses and came up with baskets, shelves more shelves and...yup...some more shelves!
I'll show you what I mean. Here's our stall in all it's glory.
I bought a mirror new specially for this fair because
a) People will be drawn to it as all humans are slightly vain whether they know it or not.
b) Handbag purchasers will want to see what bags look like on
c) Putting it at the back of the stall will make it appear bigger and brighter
d) I really, really, really wanted a full length mirror for myself
e) It was only £9.99 in home bargains! That really is what I call a bargain!
Ok, so as you can see the long white cotton fabric covered shelves can be our table & till point and can provide extra storage.
The small wicker shelves fold up and can be hidden away when we run out of stock to go on them.
The tall steel shelves were £8.16 each from Ikea and look really good....can't wait to have to find a home for my set after the fair! (Already have a few places...)
Ready for the details?
Ok, so on the left as you enter our stall we'll have some of my handbags hanging and maybe perched on baskets on the floor. I hate having things on the floor, people don't like to bend down, plus it might be raining. It just looked a bit bare with nothing there so if it's fine then they'll start out there.
We had our helper (Dusband) string up some net curtain wire across the two side poles to hang things on sort of like a shopping type washing line and have used decorated pegs to hang these things. This is fairly flexible storage right here as you can increase the spacing as things sell so you don't look empty.
Underneath the hanging lines we've got the covered shelves which hold some covered cushions and a really old battered suitcase. I found it at the tip in one of the containers and (after asking permission) brought it home, cleaned it up and it makes fab storage for my brooches & hairslides on cards.
One of the tips we found was that people love a space for completing transactions. Somewhere to put their handbag down to rummage for their purse or to fill out mailing list sheets or order forms etc so we've tried to leave one end of the shelves fairly empty for that purpose.
We've got paper carrier bags to go into this basket ready for people's purchases. They're not pricey at around 11p per small bag and I think it really adds to the experience. Who wants to cart their handmade cushion around in an old bin bag?!
We've pegged up our price lists or receipt cards and when we've got our custom order forms printed (Lizzie's in charge of those) then we'll hang some there too. That way it's a go to area for us or any helpers for people who want information.
So on our first set of steel shelves we have Blizzard Yoodle on the top shelf (Can't remember the price...about £80 I think...contact loopylizziedesigns at hotmail.co.uk for more info), a bow pleat bag (I LOVE THIS BAG!) and a few clutch bags.
On the bottom shelf we have some beginner crochet kits...well we will when we get the labels and instructions printed up. The hooks will be in a pretty vintage mug
TIP: If you have chairs but you're not sitting in them. Put them away! We've seen all over the web that crafters who take chairs and leave them out inevitably end up with a 'customer' who doesn't buy anything but wants to sit there to rest for half hour and ends up telling you their life story.
Obviously if you have an elderly customer who looks like they could do with a rest then feel free to offer them a seat, but beware you don't get sucked into when they made a quilt for little flossie and the intervening years tale since. It will distract you from selling and your other customers who genuinely do need to talk to you.
This is a super exciting photo of...urm...what's not there lol. These wicker shelves though I had from freecycle a couple of years ago and when I upgraded my bookshelves from these to some big fat wooden types I kept them thinking they'd come in handy. I'm so glad I did because they fold out and you slot the shelves in. Easy! We've decided not to use the middle shelf so on each set the cushions can go on the bottom yet still be seen.
Here is our 'other corner' with mine and Lizzie's work combined. I seriously can't believe she made those yoodles....I wouldn't know where to begin! Then again, she says something similar about sewing!
I realised last weekend that although I have a nice amount of tissue pouches they're all a bit girly! I'd better whip up some less girly ones soon!!
Next to this on the right is where we will have our couple of chairs when Lizzie is crochetting with customers. I have a tarn rug to make with a hula hoop (tutorial to come all being well) for quiet times so that's our area for crafting.
I know some craft show people think it's important to stand near the entrance to your shop and be there poised for people to ask questions but I am of the opinion that customers want to be able to come in and have a browse and not be scared to pick things up to look at them. As long as they can see you're around and know where to ask for help (name badges!) then that's enough. Yes, strike up conversations but don't pounce...that's just not cool! (This is where having everything price labelled clearly comes in as well.)
And finally on the last pole as you're leaving our stall is a parasol hook I found for 50p brand new and unopened in the Ty Hafan charity shop that is ideal for hanging a couple of extra bags on!
Excuse the poor quality of my photos, it was by strip light in the hall and I forgot my camera so was using my phone.
Lizzie took a pic of me being faster than the speed of light....would you like to see it? I know you would....
A couple of other crafters who will be at the fair are the lovely Leigh from 'The Sewing Diva (and her reluctant models)' who introduced me to the Caerleon Arts festival and the lovely Shepherds Moon who's facebook event I seem to have invaded. Oops!
Enough links in that paragraph for you?
Anyway, any hints, tips, feedback, all appreciated! xx