"It is well to remember that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others." A.Holmes

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Lake Lawrence Christmas Bazaar, Bazaar Booth Design Ideas

Lake Lawrence Christmas Bazaar 2011 took place this past weekend. This marks the beginning of the holiday season for me, Thanksgiving , Christmas, New Year's, a few family birthdays...I hope you don't mind, but I am going to write about something I have looked for with little result on-line. Creative booth design ideas and some personal opinion on things that help make any bazaar, Farmer's Market, etc., work for you and others. One of the most perplexing things for me regarding bazaars is how to display the items I have for sale in a way that shows them off in the minimal space I am renting ,and really, when you pay for space at a show or bazaar you are renting it and even inches matter ! The spaces for rent here are 8ft. X 6ft. Some people rent 2 or more spaces. Here is a very beautiful display of baskets handwoven by Laurie of Laurie's Handcrafted Baskets . The open wood shelves, the rustic interior of the lodge itself, combined with the lights all compliment the beautiful baskets she weaves. The "basket lady" is one of the big attractions to this bazaar and she demonstrates basket weaving here. Connie Barclay from Olympia is selling her pottery. She had a few pieces for sale I coveted. Notice her open wood shelves providing a clear view of her wares, and she also had a nice table-top display, clean and uncluttered. This is my booth and I am still trying to figure out how to display a lot of fiber art without having the space claustrophobic for me. The rack displaying weaving is actually two crib rails from the baby crib my husband and our children slept in. The crib rails are simply zip tied together at the top.The crib head-board is used as an attractive half-wall separating my booth from that of my neighbors. The rails and head board are precious to us and I am happy to be able to use it to display my fiber art.What you cannot see behind my weaving is a comfortable chair that matches my colors, my spinning wheel, and 3 small drawers where I keep my cash box, wrapping paper, boxes, business cards.You have to be able to move around in your small place and also make it open enough for people to browse your items for sale. I am still learning. Some sort of lighting is always necessary and I find most places that rent booth space are lovely, but lacking in lighting.I used what I had at home, an IKEA lamp, but have ideas for next year that will make better use of space and not be so obvious. This booth sits next to mine. Terry Halverson (Scent With Love Candles) & her husband have been my "booth neighbors" now for 3 or 4 years. She makes the most heavenly scented candles and creative gift items.Look at the ingenious and efficient use of space here in this little area. Her husband designed and built the shelves to display her candles and creations. They have a corner booth and make wise use of the space. This peg board display Terry's husband made is right next to my booth, separating us in a way that makes it clear where each booth ends & begins, yet is still a "courteous" display, taking into account her neighbors . This is the other side of Terry's display, her husband also built this and it breaks down and folds up for efficient storage in the car.The whole display is attractive, calls attention to what she sells, and also enables her to move about inside her 8' X 6' space...and very important, be a GOOD bazaar neighbor. I am so sorry the lighting did not allow for me to get a good picture of this pretty lady. She always had a big smile and friendly demeanor , making you want to stop and browse her lotions , creams, and centerpieces.I lost the info I gathered on her products but will add it to this post when I find it.Look at her display. She is in a center space and the table is her display. She has a creative and attractive arrangement showing everything off to advantage. I like her rustic centerpieces too.I hope she did well here. You can see, simple table-top display works very well, especially when you combine ways to display items by adding vertical display . This lady is selling many little things that are hard to display but I think she succeeded. The table sits to the back side of her little area,she mounted many of the hair accessories on vertical display boards, and off towards the front/side she had her racks of children's clothing.She too was always cheerful and pleasant. When I would walk by I would see her smiling and talking quietly to her "booth neighbor". The only thing I can see that would help her booth would be lights. Lighting seems to be dim to low at every inside bazaar I have ever participated in. Fortunately,it is easy to remedy once you figure out what kind works for you. ( I haven't figured that out yet!) This is Joyce's booth, directly next to the previous booth. Look at how creatively she has used her 8' X 6' space.You actually feel like you're in a little shop when you stop here, and there is so much eye-candy at reasonable prices you have to browse for quite awhile.Joyce uses old crates, old lace curtains,hat-boxes, lattice, re-purposed kitchen and farm items to display her wares. I always find something Joyce is selling that I know just needs to come home with me. Joyce too, is a kind and easy person to be next to at a bazaar. My other booth neighbor is Hallie of Hands On Fun Toys *Hallie's puppets were a hit and seeing the little children and adults smile at the puppets made me smile too. Hallie and I discovered we were not only booth neighbors, but live very close to each other too and have a great deal in common.This allowed for some pleasant conversation during the quiet times of the bazaar. When you are going to sell at a bazaar, it helps to not only consider efficient, open, and attractive ways to light and display your wares, but also remember you are actually becoming part of a little community for a few days. The more pleasant, courteous, and kind you are, the more encouraging you are...the more it helps your booth neighbor and YOU! If you are kind to your neighbors at bazaars, and your neighbors are kind and encouraging, it is contagious.There have been so many kind people I have met over the years of selling at bazaars who could have resented me for possibly being competition but instead were helpful, giving me tips to do better, and I in turn am quick to refer people back to them if I find my products are not what the customers are looking for. Being enthusiastic for everyone to succeed helps the whole group and people shopping cannot help but feel the atmosphere is friendly, and maybe decide they would love to spend their money there, supporting the community and getting unique gifts and items too. I know this because I have also browsed and shopped at many bazaars, shows,and markets. I can feel tension and spite, and see it on vendor's faces. I have had vendors be rude to me or seen rudeness shown to other shoppers. I flee such booths, they won't get my money no matter how much I wanted to buy what they were selling. I hope a little bit of this post is helpful to you, and I would love to know if anyone has some great ideas for creative ways to display fiber art that use little space. I would also like to say I love being able to sell at Lake Lawrence Christmas Bazaar- look at the lovely lake outside the window of the lodge! Our daughter and her husband were married here so the lodge holds fond memories for me. ~"We should give as we would receive, cheerfully, quickly, and without hesitation ; for there is no grace in a benefit that sticks to the fingers." Seneca


Anonymous said...

I enjoyed seeing your lovely treasures and those of your bazaar neighbors, Kathy. The lodge is beautiful; how sweet that this is where your daughter was married. I agree that the lighting seems to make a big difference in the booths; it not only helps folks to see better but creates a warm and inviting space.

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

I remember when I used to want a booth..sell things..but not any more. I would rather visit the booths now. Lamps. I love lamps and some of the spaces that have attracted me the most are ones that have lamp light. Makes things for sale so much more appealing..

Thank You Gifts said...

I love to visit these kinds of bazaars..you can kind things that you wouldn't find at a shop. I end up walking round for hours looking at all the lovely booths full of gorgeous items :)

Debbie said...

Angela and I had a business a few years back (thus the name OF HIS PASTURE) We built primitive looking things out of wood, like signs, lit up houses and barns, holiday shapes, etc and sold them in other people's business. We also purchased a popup tent and participated in bazaars and shows. We had so much fun and I do miss it. Most vendors were nice and friendly but we met a couple of sour grapes along the way that we avoided. We found they were usually shop owners and with the economy as it was we figured they weren't sleeping nights. Luckily our stuff sold really well. The pilgrims in my header are one of our makes. We never could make those fast enough! :D
Your products are wonderful. You're right about the space-there is rarely enough. We usually packed some string lights too, just to help along. I can see why you enjoy doing this. I really miss it.

Pondside said...

Very good post! Long ago I used to sell soft furnishings at bazaars and encountered many of the challenges and pleasures you highlight. Your booth looks very welcoming!

Paula said...

Oh~ I wish I could have been there, Kathy! I loved your booth~ just so much to see. And your "neighbors" sound like wonderful people... that was what I didn't like about setting up at craft fairs~ no one seemed to want to talk and it made for a long day.
I loved that last picture~ what a gorgeous view!

Vickie said...

Hi Kathy - I LOVE bazaars! We'll be having some come up soon around here and I've got plans to attend! Your booth looks nice and I'd love to rummage around in there myself. WHat about some twinkle lights - everyone LOVES twinkle lights if you have the electrical outlets available. I like what you did with your crib for displaying. Something else I thought of was one of those nice large drying racks - you could display alot of woven items on one of those, too! Happy bazaar-ing!

Kathy B said...

Your display looks beautiful! Now that's a bazaar I wish I could attend~~~

Connie said...

I never really thought about it before, but I guess there is a lot to consider when setting up such a booth. Nice post, Kathy. :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Kathy! I really enjoyed my years doing craft shows and you're right - coming uup with efficient and attractive displays can be challenging. I always went by the adage - variety of height and light. I still do displays for some of the speaking programs I do - displays of props and settings that illustrate my topic. Somehow they just come together - and are never the same twice. Little changes here or there and always finding something new that acts as a great vehicle for display. Thinking outside the box - like your crib sides.

My daughter and I have great memories of a wonderful home school day spent at Plimoth Plantation. Still have the hand spinner purchased that day - and I've used it to demonstrate in my shows. I have coordinated many school programs featuring the Christian history of the event - taken from primary source documents. So inspiring the legacy of our forefathers - and so worthy of in-depth study today.

A. Joy said...

Great post! I'm glad you always take lots of photos since I'm never able to make it out there. The lighting for your booth looked really great. I love the photo at the top of your post with the Christmas trees. That's what I wish the inside of my house would look like during the holidays - I know it would get all messy pretty quickly but how fun would a whole Christmas winter scene be in the living room!?

EBet said...

Well it looks like you had a good time at the bazaar! Thanks for sharing about the other vendors, it's nice to hear every one is so friendly.

Deanna said...

Howdy Kathy!
The Bazaar looks awfully nice! It would have been a pleasure to shop there. Your booth is full of lovely items and I have to say, when I think of all that has gone into the items you have made....you are such a talented Lady!!! Beautiful items.

It is always a blessing to hear from you. The Duggars are an inspiration to me. I think they are such a fine example of how to live a Christian life even if one has a small family. In my opinion the Resentment that others have toward them comes from a root of not understanding and fear. I read each family members bio and each person shares their favorite song and scripture. Thought this was neat.

God bless you and happy days a head,

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Kathy, this is a wonderful post. Thank you so much. I am considering vending sometime soon and have been on the fence of setting up a booth in early December. I may not be ready though, especially psychologically for some reason.

I loved seeing how you and your neighbors set up your booths so beautifully. Everything is tasteful and so special. I do understand what you mean about lighting. The only place that I felt had enough light was a fair in a school cafeteria.

I have been working on an unconventional display item that would work good for a big space or an outside fair. I don't know if you saw my post about decorating an umbrella clothesline (covering the white plastic with yarn and fabric strips)? I can use it to hang blankets, clothing and banners from and I think that it is a cool idea ... thought it all up on my own!

Best of luck in your selling season; hope all goes well.

Kathy M.

Hallie said...

I love your post and am honored to be included in it! :) I brought my fibers and rug materials with me on my trip and can't wait to start it! Perhaps tomorrow, we have a down day! :) I so enjoyed getting to visit with you and hope we can get together soon!!:)



Nezzy (Cow Patty Surprise) said...

I so enjoyed the little tour of the bazaar. I'd go crazy at the puppet booth. I'm a sucker for the little guys...use 'em in Kid's Church!

God bless and enjoy this beautiful day sweetie!!!