Friday, 26 August 2011

Creating Attractive Displays for Craft Fairs

Following on from last week's post, here are some ideas for setting up your stall!

Jewellery, by it's very nature, is pretty 'flat' - so just laying out your wares doesn't work that well. It's hard to attract customers if they have to look down at a table of items - however beautiful they are! Your stall is your 'shop window' so why not go to town!

You can spend a fortune on plastic display items - those fake hands and heads(!), but why not think a bit laterally and upcycle some items? Your display is a powerful way to get customers over to you, so have a think about who you are trying to appeal to.

If your items are for children, then think about how you can get them to take a look. I once saw a cute painted mini chest of drawers (Ikea sell them as desk organisers!) with cuddly toys sat around and sticking out of the drawers. All the toys were wearing the items that the stall holder was selling, and sitting around leaning against the drawer unit. The seller also had a shelving unit painted to look like a dolls house, and she had pinned items to the edges of the shelves. The whole stall was three dimensional and fun.

For a more 'grown up' display, think about how you can display items so that your customers can look 'up and around' . How about a patio umbrella decorated with fairy lights? Hook your creations under the canopy and round the edges using crystal string, or fishing nylon as a 'washing line'. If there is room, run some lines from your umbrella, to the wall, or edge of your unit.

I have seen lots of props put to good use - bicycles, bird cages, tailors dummies, 'junk' furniture, coat racks.... The limit is the size of your car! Have a look in charity shops for interesting teapots, trays & lamps to 'stage' your makes.

Another successful use of space is to buy cheap pin or cork boards and cover them with a dark cloth. Hang these on the wall behind your stand and pin on bigger pieces.

If you have no time because your craft fair is tomorrow, don't despair! Here's some quick fixes to help you avoid 'flat table' syndrome:

  • Grab the mirror off your dressing table, give it a clean and take it with you!

  • If there is room in the car, take a floor lamp, preferably one with a shade - and display your items on the shade

  • Cover different sized empty cardboard boxes in wrapping paper (or even plain white paper) and arrange your jewellery on them

  • Have a look in your cupboards for any vases or china that could be used as props.

  • Use 'tupperware' type containers *underneath* your cloth. Sellotape them to the table and then drape the cloth over. (The cloth may need securing with picnic clips) Instant hills and valleys :-)

The above tips will have your stall looking amazing - but there are a couple of other tricks to try too:

Firstly - while I know you want to wear your trusty jeans and a jumper, consider wearing a special 'fair outfit'. No, I'm not suggesting you go as a pantomime cow... but do have a think about what you could wear. If your designs reflect a time, for example 50s retro, then co ordinating your outfit adds to the sense of the occasion.

Secondly - provide an 'extra' service. Remember that if your stall is busy, other people will come over to see what is going on! A service provides the opportunity to 'create a crowd' - if you have a helper, consider offering things like 'pick your beads & we'll make you a bracelet' or offer to swap pierced ear wires for clip ons. If you're on your own, you can still offer gift boxes and organza bags. Get your customer involved in choosing the packaging too. These services add value, without costing you anything, and mean that people are more inclined to browse, or wait at your stall. While they're waiting, other people will be curious, and come over too! It's true - I don't know why, but it definitely works. These extra services are really useful if you are nervous about talking to people, they give you an instant 'something' to talk about, and are a bit more original than 'Can I help you'

I hope you can put these display tips to good use. Next week we'll look at pricing your makes & take a closer look at your image and growing your brand.
Have a restful weekend!


Anonymous said...

Hi thanks for the great tips I am a yound beader and therefore would not be able to do fairs but it is something i would love to do in the future! Would it be a good idea to do a few home partys instead?
Georgina yeah that is my name!)

Anonymous said...

Great ideas especially like the small chest of drawers idea, in fact I have one in the cupboard!!! Would like to add that I like to see a price on a piece of jewellery, I don't like asking as I often fear I won't be able to afford it. If I can't afford the first answer I sure won't stick around to ask another.

Ronnie said...

Thank you so much for an informative, helpful and constructive article! I really appreciate the time you are taking to write these articles and to help us - well definately me!!- with display ideas and getting peoples attention in a positive way.
Hope you have a lovely Bank Holiday Weekend.

Anonymous said...

Brenda."An Skyber Beads"
I have been using a wicker hamper, fill the base with colourful small pillows,place jewellery on top also hang pieces on the lid and front and sides, also use mug trees for bracelets and key charms. Always have clear pricing and be prepared to discount. Wrap items in coloured tissue or box more expensive items. It really works.

Gill F said...

These ideas are great, and really work. I have been using cork boards, text books (instead of tupperware) and a mug tree to display mobile phone charms etc.
I'm also going to try a small christmas tree this year!

Leena said...

Thanks for these articles Georgie, they're really helpful :-)

I also use cork boards (which I have covered in velvet), and I also use boxes which I also covered in velvet - I found that I had to put the boxes *over* the tablecloth because otherwise you get ripples in the fabric where part of it goes over the box and part of it doesn't. Oh, it's hard to describe sorry.

I like the little compartment drawer idea, it's cute! *ponders*

Susie S said...

Young Georgina, home parties are a wonderful way to start! I've made many sales at home parties. People arrive prepared to shop. Very often at craft fairs, people only want to browse or "window shop". Also, you'll have a lot of competition. At a home party YOU are the ONLY vendor! Try this for your first party: ask a relative (or a friend's mom) to host the party at their home. Create invitations that say "Mary Smith invites you to a jewelry party featuring the work of Georgina X". Pick a date and a start/end time. (Three hours is my usual run-time.) Provide simple snacks and drinks. Usually the hostess provides these, and in return for her hospitality, you offer her either a percentage of your profits, a credit toward her choice of your jewelry, or a combination of both. Make sure guests know that they can arrive and leave any time...these days, personal time is precious. Knowing she is able to drop in, shop and then be on her way, is far more likely to attract guests than demonstration-style parties.
So...use the great tips for creating attractive displays, no matter where you sell. It truly does make a difference.
And most importantly--be friendly and polite. A smile when you say hello and a sincere "thank you" leaves your customers with a lasting positive impression. Good luck!!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much susie for you lovely Feedback it has been a great help!

Anonymous said...

Thankyou susie for your brilliant advice