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Designing a New Booth for Craft Fairs: Part I

craft show displays ladder shelf making a craft show booth

There's a love-hate relationship with craft fairs...a lot of makers hate getting ready for them, but love vending at them.

The sometimes most-hated part of craft shows is the booth itself. You are assigned a 10'x10' bit of ground, sometimes given a tent or table. Otherwise, you are expected to bring everything.

Booths can become cumbersome hidden costs: tent, tables, chairs, banners, displays, etc., add up fast. It's easy to sink $1,000+ into a basic setup! Plus each decision is important: are you choosing a good color pallette? Good fabrics? Sturdy materials? Is your display consistent with your branding? Will your things bleach in the sun, or blow away in the wind?

But design and purchase is just the beginning. Cramming into a car like a Tetris game, and praying you don't forget a critical piece at home...becomes a weary routine.

After a summer of heavy lifting and careful, stressful packing, I vowed to revamp my display: time to minimize.

Don't get me wrong: a 6-foot table and cloth are THE way to start. If you're starting out and you aren't sure craft shows are right for you, start with a portable table. It's cheaper, reliable, and a very handy thing to have around the house anyway.

But if you're committed to craft shows, and ready to do them every weekend during your busiest sales seasons, you should aim for efficient setups that travel lightly.

I had this in mind this past summer. The break between spring and winter shows allowed a perfect window to work on a new idea I'd had brewing. I wanted to get rid of soft fabrics and decor, and increase the height of my displays. Selling soaps, I needed sturdy shelving that could hold heavy stacks of soaps. But having a relatively smaller SUV, the lil' Rav4, I wanted something portable. And lastly, I wanted something that wouldn't break my back!

In my next post, Part II, I'll go into the design and share the end result!

I wonder what your booth plans are, or if you have a new design in the works? Shoot me an email and let me know!

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