Craft Show Set-Up: The Great Outdoors.

This past weekend I took part in my first ever outdoor two-day craft show event, the Simsbury Woman's Club Arts and Crafts Festival.  First two-day event, first time outside.  Oof!  It was a ton of work.  If you follow my feed on Instagram, you've seen all the stuff I've been doing (constantly) over the past two weeks or so to prepare.


It was a combination of finding lost things in the closet, finally making use of materials that I bought and never used, fleshing out items already in my shop, and coming up with some new ideas.  I had cousins come help cut and iron, and the husband was offering help in any way he could.  Plus, I was really pushing myself to keep going and I'm so proud that I was able to come up with what I did:


This is my Day 2 setup, and as you can see from the ground, Day 1 ended in rain, which meant hauling a lot of items home that I planned to leave in the tent because the tent was dripping and everything I make is fabric.  Whomp whomp.  My mom hung out with me on the first day and we ended up packing it in with a little over an hour left to the show.  Everything that came home with me had to go in the dryer, and a ton of stuff had to be ironed.  Not to mention the fact that some things sold really well in person and I had to make more on the night of Day 1.  Not a bad problem to have.









Most of my display items were found for free at the dump: the racks for the scarves and the pillows, the peg board for the ornaments, the corkboard the earrings are pinned to, even most of the baskets and the little dish the rings are sitting in.  I had a hard time trying to decide how to display my keychains and after roaming Pinterest, figured out that I could use the inside of wire closet baskets to let them hang long.  I ended up putting them on a lazy Susan so shoppers could easily access all the colors.  (Cue Gus cackling over the name "lazy Susan".)  Headbands were a new addition and a huge hit, and having a full-length mirror in the booth was key.

Day 2 started off cold (read: 47 degrees) and breezy but broke out into a warm, sunny afternoon with lots of shoppers.  By the end of the day I was really pleased with the results, plus feeling super in awe that so many people a) complimented my work and b) wanted to buy it.  A few people were there on Day 1 and came back again on Day 2, and a few people had friends who shopped on Day 1 and they wanted to come and see what I had.  Totally awesome feeling.  It was a real validation of what I do and what I'm hoping to accomplish, and it was really nice to be out in my community.

I learned a lot about my inventory- a lot of what sits online sold like hotcakes and vice versa.  People (whether they realized I was listening that closely or not) provided instant feedback- one scarf was described as too wide enough times that I went home and cut it thinner- that I was able to take and can now use in the future.  All in all it was an awesome experience.

Next up: The Hartford Hodgepodge in downtown Hartford on September 27.  Time to get back to making, and hopefully getting new items into the online shop soon!

10 comments

  1. Great job!! Congrats on pulling everything together and making it look GREAT! And it's interesting that things sell differently online than "IRL". Cheers to your next market!

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  2. Paige @ Little NostalgiaSeptember 17, 2014 at 9:43 AM

    Your booth looks so happy and colorful! Having a full-length mirror is so smart, too. It would definitely make me more inclined to buy something since I could see how it looked first. Is your show on the 27th outdoors, too?

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  3. A LOT of people bought after looking in the mirror and trying a few things on. It worked so well. I actually did have someone tell me that my fabrics were very happy. That was a nice compliment. The show on the 27th is outdoors but they are putting up the tents, so that is one thing I don't have to lug there, yay!

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  4. So glad that you had a great show! Your booth set up looks really fabulous and inviting. The mirror is a great idea that I wouldn't have even thought of. I hope your upcoming market goes just as well!

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  5. Lookin' good!!! Hope you have beautiful weather and lots of sales.

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  6. Thanks! It was a lot of work but a lot of fun!

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  7. Sorry you got rained on a bit. Bummer! But your space is SO cute. You did an awesome job. I totally would have stopped by if I had been there :)

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  8. Thanks!! It was a lot of fun and I got to talk to so many nice people!

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