The Old Tattered Flag

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Evolution of a crafters booth!

As I sit here on a Monday morning with loads of orders to fill and a shop to put back together, after a wonderful weekend in Ghent, NY at the Heavens To Betsy Spring Hook-in, I just had to sit and write a quick post.  Yesterday was that day we dread all year, the organization of tax STUFF to hand over to the accountant.  Ugh!!!  But before that my husband proceeded to show me some drawings of what he wants to do to streamline my booth.  I realized this morning that as I unloaded the trailer that this is a constant evolution.  What is the perfect booth set up?  I know for sure we will never have it because, I'm not sure if you know this or not, but I'm a very stubborn person.  I do not want to have anything that everyone else has, so my booth will always be a little different even if that means that it takes a little more elbow grease.  I don't want to have the pre-made screens and set ups that you can by from store set up websites.  It's really funny when we start hauling our booth set up in to an event center.  People look at us like we are crazy, but then somehow it all comes together.  I am reminded of Mom and I loading a dolly with cinder blocks.....yes, that's right...cinder blocks and 6 foot boards to display the wool on for our first hook in.  Times have changed.....we only did that once!
So, I thought it would be a fun post to show how our booth has evolved over the years.  I don't have any photos from the first "cinder block" hook in so you will be spared that horror.

The two pictures below were after we returned to NY from living in Missouri for a year.  This is when we really started traveling to hook-ins.  This was in Feb. 2014, in Ghent, NY again.  It got the job done.

Not too bad for pattern display, but a pain to set up!

I knew I wanted to feature certain rugs for each show based on the next season as hookers are always at least 1 season ahead.  This is when we started getting serious with a display.  Not too bad to set up, just a few screws then lifting it up on the table.  This was also when we started using lighting.  Thanks To Betsy's husband, Eric we realized this was very important!!

It was pretty, but still wasn't right....there was no organization.  

I think this display is at the Brandywine Hook-in, perhaps also in 2014 or 2015.  I was still using the screen to hang patterns.  Too messy though!

Still using the "feature board".  Still pretty, but still messy, we need organization.

Then came the call from Kathy inviting us to Rug Hooking week at Sauder village.  We would have to cram into an approx. 10 x 10 booth......we needed to have a plan.  I needed more organization and still wanted to have a feature board.
We managed to fit a LOT of product into a little space and our new display worked well...

But this was the size booth I would really have like to have at Sauder (we were happy though).  We always like to bring our shop on the road so we always rent at least 2 spaces.  This booth is 20 feet across, again, the Brandywine rug hooking guild.  I think this was our booth at it's best!  On the left you can see that we were using "the beast".  It's a rolling pattern closet.  This booth is wonderful, but it still needs some improvement.  It takes us about 3 hours to set it up, not too bad for all of this, but we want to streamline it more.  

So, back to the drawing board my husband was yesterday.  This is the look I want, but we are working on ways to streamline, pre-load our shelves so we can load at home, roll it in and there it is.  I also would prefer to not use "the beast".
So, as you can see, it is always an evolution.  What is the perfect booth?  I don't know, but we are trying to find it?  
Until next time.....


Maureen said...

What a fun post to read. Have you thought of putting out a survey to your loyal shoppers or blog readers? Off the top of my head when I am shopping and browsing, if its on the floor level I have to skip over it (knees are showing their wear and tear) Since my eyes are the same age as my knees I truly appreciate any extra lighting as you show in your pictures. Makes shopping so much more enjoyable

theoldtatteredflag said...

That's a good idea. We do know that if anyone, not just older ladies, has to bend over to look at something it's probably not going to happen. Thanks for writing Maureen!

JustGail said...

Thanks for sharing the booth evolution. I don't do rug hooking, but I suspect my likes & dislikes of quilt booths would be similar. A pretty booth might bring me in, but if I, or the owner, can't find the pattern/kit/materials, I will probably not buy anything. And while the Sauder booth is nicely arranged, I can easily see it getting jammed up with browsers & customers. What's truly distressing, isn't not being able to get in to look, it's being in and suddenly being surrounded and can't get out! And good lighting is a must have - I don't care if it's a quilting, needlework, or antique store/show booth. If I can't see, I'm not buying!

Glenda said...

Your booths are so pretty. I cannot imagine the pain and time it takes to set them up. Years ago I taught preschool and we had shelves/cubbies on wheels. They had hinges so you could actually push two together where they were closed up from the kids. It might work for some of your wool . It could be set up at home closed together locked and rolled on to the truck. We purchased ours through a school furnishing center but would be easy to build.

moosecraft said...

A gorgeous (and growing booth)!!! Looking forward to seeing what evolves! :-)

C Reeder PhxAz said...

When I am at a show the very first thing that draws me to a booth is the personality of the owner - not what's in the booth. Do you appear to be glad you are there or grumpy from lack of sleep and setting up? Are you engaging me to find out what I want? Even in a busy booth when the owner or worker bee greet me I will always buy something in there even if it's just a small widget or piece of something. I recently attended a show in Phoenix and sought out a booth I really was looking forward to buying at again. The husband/wife team were engaged in conversation about a customer who had just left booth being very mean about her personality etc. never even said hello to anyone coming or going. My first thought is what will they have to say when I leave. I left and didn't buy anything. Went back a couple hours later into the show and they were both still complaining. Last year I spent $300 in that booth. This year zero. For me the eye candy appeal of the booth is important too but not #1 consideration.

About Me

Thank you very much for taking the time to read my blog. I am married and just entering the second phase of my life as a Army retiree's wife. My husband and I did 25+ years in the Army. He is now officially a retired Colonel and has just entered the civilian workforce and I am happily settled in our 1830 Stone house. I (along with my Mom) operate www.theoldtatteredflag and currently we are building a small shop in the back part of the house. We live in Northern NY, right near the Canadian border. I have two handsome sons and 2 puggles. Life is busy for us, but I wouldn't have it any other way.