Come visit me next Saturday in Katy at a local bridal jewelry trunk show hosted by The Loken Group. Only a select handful of local jewelry artists will be present, including Lazy Owl Boutique. This is a great time to browse and order customized jewelry for your big day or for your bridal party.
FREE Bridal Jewelry Trunk Show Nov 10 from 2 to 4 featuring local custom and fashion jewelers, raffle prizes, wine & snacks. Brides, bring your mom, mom-in-law to be, sisters, friends – as many as you like!
As I mentioned (not sure if I did actually, let’s pretend), I did a craft show last month in Katy, Texas. Setup was all day the Friday before the show started. My craft show adventure weekend started out pretty stressful. It was a really busy week at my day job, and my husband ended up having to work late on Friday (and all day Saturday) so I was flying solo nearly all weekend. I left work as quickly as I could to go home to grab my tables and inventory and head out on the 45 minute drive out to Katy, during rush hour AND during a terrible thunderstorm. Of course when I finally got home, my puppy had peed all over her crate.
By the time I made it out to Katy, I had about an hour to set up as much of my booth as I could all by my lonesome. After check-in I found out my booth was not actually IN the main arena, but in a hallway…directly outside the MEN’S restroom! The show director promised me this would be a preemo (primo? premo? is it even a word?) spot, so I decided to put a smile on my face and make the best of it.
Anyway, it wasn’t a super wonderful show, but it was my best yet (out of 3, still a craft show newbie here), and a great experience. I met some other wonderful vendors, made some good sales, and handed out almost all my business cards.
Plus, I got to debut my new and improved show display (see past discussions of my display here and here)! I graduated from 2 to 3 tables, with the addition of my vintage china plate tiered displays (that’s a mouthful!), and all my new titanium post earrings. I also made a handful of colorful yarn wreaths to sell. AND I got to try out my new VistaPrint banner!
One side of my display
Oh hello, men’s restroom!
Antique shutters, antique plates, yarn wreaths…
Handmade earring card display for my plated stud collection
Birdhouse display and antique printer’s tray display
Check out my tutorial for how to make my DIY ring box display here, and also an explanation for how I built my DIY earring card display here.
I’ll be setting up my display again May 19 at the Friendswood Fine Arts Institute’s Art in the Park!
Sorry it has taken me so long to update about my first craft fair experience. Last week (on Halloween), we picked up a stray dog. We could not keep him since we already have 2, one being a newly rescued puppy, so I spent the week desperately trying to find an adoption/foster program that would take him in. EVERY no-kill rescue program in the city of Houston was at max capacity. Just when I thought we were going to have to send him to animal control (and basically sign his death warrant, as he was a big black pit mix), I found a friend in Baton Rouge who would give him a loving home. AMEN!
Moving on to a totally unrelated note, here are pics and a review of my booth from my first craft show on October 29.
I had paid for an outside booth, and luckily the weather was nice, although a bit chilly. It was the first weekend of colder temps in Houston this fall. As you can see, thanks to the suggestions from yall, I did cave in and make a small sign. Obviously it’s nothing special, just paint on a piece of blue poster board, but I figured this sign was better than no sign. I’ve already devised a better banner for my next show, so have no fear.
I made a few last minute changes to my set up, and put my printer’s tray of crystal earrings on the taller table rather than the small card table as planned. The sun was shining into one corner of my area, and I wanted to try to put the crystal earrings in the sun where they could really sparkle!
Necklaces and stud earrings were displayed on my card table…That’s a mannequin from Pottery Barn, a Goodwill frame with hooks and fabric, and another Goodwill frame with twine strung across the back and mini clothes pins to hold up my earring cards. If you want to read more about the making of my earring displays, check out this post.
Here’s my booth as a whole. As far as my experience went, my day was SLOW. I was really excited to be there and excited about my booth display, since I worked so hard on it…but I quickly realized that this show did NOT have the right audience for me. It was the 40th year of this show at an established Episcopal church in a suburb of Houston. The crowd was about 80% ages 60+ ladies. Nothing against the older crowd, they just weren’t into my stuff. The tupperware ladies were the booth next to me and they were selling like hotcakes (however I did overhear their total revenue at the end of the show, and they didn’t make much more than me, mostly because everything they sold was from their $1-$3 bins).
It was at least a learning experience. I made back about three times the booth fee, but that still wasn’t much. Most everyone that bought something from me was one of the few young moms there, buying something for themselves or for their daughters. My rosette stud earrings were popular for the daughters and I sold mostly those. Much to my surprise, people were most interested in the rosette studs and my button rings. People just love buttons. Unfortunately, I didn’t make many of my button wire rings large enough to fit the fingers of the older ladies (I generally make them sizes 5-7 to aim for the more youthful Etsy crowd who for some reason seem to have smaller fingers haha). I didn’t even list any of the stud earrings in my Etsy shop until after the show, so I was surprised at that. I had assumed that my old hollywood crystal jeweled earrings would be the biggest crowd pleaser, particularly in my white printer’s tray display, but not very many people looked at them. I am thinking it’s a little early to build a hypothesis though based on this one show, but it’s definitely important to see how customers actually interacted with my products in person.
I also got some experience using Square, which went very smoothly. About half my transactions were via credit card, and Square deposited the money in my account within a couple days. No problems there!
Finally, I got an opportunity to just step out of my shell for a day, which I’m sure I really needed.
Stud earrings display above.
Pictured below are my old hollywood style earrings displayed on an antique printer’s tray, a shutter from re-Habitat, and a wire file folder holder from Hobby Lobby.
I’m really looking forward to my next show. Since I created SO much inventory for this past one, I won’t have to bust my butt over the next few weeks making things. This one will be December 3 & 4, two whole days, and I’m thinking the demographic will be more my speed, at least I’m hoping!
Please let me know what you think of my booth display and if you have any suggestions for me!
Ahhhhhhhhhh. Saturday I’m vending in my very first craft show/fair/festival/whatevs. I’m pretty scared. I’m a pretty socially awkward/shy person, so I’m also pretty anxious about just putting myself out there and interacting with *strangers*! Haha.
As you may know, I’m an avid researcher and reader for any topic I’m unfamiliar with. Thus, I’ve been scouring the blogosphere and Etsy forums and reading all about how to prepare for a craft show. Other than just general nerves, I feel like I’m as prepared as I can be. I’ve had the tables set up in my living room for about 2 weeks now. I’ve set up my Square account and practiced swiping credit cards. I’ve got $100 in cash change. I’ve got receipt books, an inventory spreadsheet and a clip board, handheld mirrors, a vending apron, table risers…probably more stuff than I’ll ever really need.
The past month I’ve taken my inventory from about 45 items to 240 items (wowzers!). I’ve also been diligently working on creating displays and a table setup as cheaply as possible.
You’ll notice the keyword here is “cheap”. Since I’m just starting out with the craft show circuit, I’m not ready to invest a bunch of money in my displays just yet. I’m looking for inexpensive ways to build a nice-looking setup. Here’s my practice setup thus far (I haven’t ironed the table cloth yet so please ignore the wrinkles!).
Here’s a summary: I’ve got a 4 foot table on the left with a printer’s tray that my helpful husband spray painted white and screwed in tons of little half inch brass hooks. I hung crystal earrings of various sizes on the hooks. On that table, I also have a little metal file folder holder and an old little shutter, both used as earrings displays.
The table cloths are just cheap full size bed sheets I found in a neutral tone. I bought a little cheap lace tablecloth to spice up the crystal earrings table.
My main 6 foot table has all my stud earrings on the right (hopefully I’ll be listing some of these in my Etsy shop soon). I bought the frames on this table from Goodwill for cheap and spraypainted them per my color scheme. The one in the center is actually a memo board that I re-covered with some neutral beige fabric.
You can see the ring box I discussed making in this post in the center of my table.
The memo board displays all of my bunting necklaces, and the blue frame on the left has hooks on the top to hold my other necklaces (again, installed by my handy husband).
I’m hoping the unique printer’s tray earring display will catch customers’ attention.
For my earring cards, I used a thin, spray-painted frame and hung rows of heavy twine across the back. I stapled the twine and used mini clothes pints to hold up the earring cards. I’m pretty happy about how this one came out! I used a wooden spice rack to display extra cards on the table top as well.
I found the little wire ferris wheel at Goodwill and used it to hang my charm earrings.
For the pricing signs, I got tiny-sized canvases from Hobby Lobby, spray painted them brown, and hand painted pricing info in lime. It was quite difficult grouping over 200 items into just a few price ranges, but I really did not want to price each item individually as I thought it’d just be too time-consuming.
Editing to add: I got my frames and memo board to stand up by using those metal picture frame holders you can get at Hobby Lobby or any craft store. They are generally sturdy enough to support these light-weight frames.
What do you think? Give me your feedback! My biggest worry is that I do not have a SHOP NAME anywhere on my table! I mean, I have my business cards out, and I had bought a large canvas to paint Lazy Owl Boutique on, but there’s just no room to put it out on the table so I gave up….hopefully it’s not too big of a deal. I’m thinking if this whole craft fair venture is successful, I’ll order some sort of professional banner with my name and logo and everything.
I’m so excited to share my Pinterest Thursday: I Tried It! Project with you all today.
In preparation for my upcoming craft shows, I’ve given a lot of thought to how I can display my jewelry at my booth. Since I’m sort of just testing the waters here, I don’t want to spend too much money on jewelry display items and new pieces. So, I’ve been trying to figure out inexpensive ways to set up my booth and show off my inventory while still having a cute, unique, attention-grapping display. I’ve been gathering ideas at my Craft Show Display Ideas board on Pinterest (check it out!).
I’ve got of all sorts of frames and boards and foamy things to hang my necklaces and earrings from, but rings are a different story. Bring in this wonderful little pin I found:
The pin is for a tutorial on how to make your very own ring display box/tray/thing from a cutlery tray. Now rewinding, when we first moved into our house, I bought a new cutlery tray for the kitchen, only to find that it was slightly too big to fit in our drawer. I threw it in the back of my car to eventually return to Bed, Bath, and Beyond, but let’s face it, that place can sometimes seem like the 6th circle of hell, and I don’t like going in unless I have $250 lying around that I want to throw away.
Thus, much to the annoyance of my husband, I never made it around to returning the cutlery tray. Fastfowarding, when I saw this tutorial, I was like, AHA! Finally something I can do with that tray! Now I can make a super cheap ring display box AND avoid ever stepping into Bed, Bath, and Beyond.
The main two items you need are any sort of cutlery tray type thing, or just a plain tray, and some upholstery foam, which I found at Joann.
Some scissors and a box cutter or a knife are also helpful, along with some relatively thick fabric. If your fabric is too thin, you’ll be able to see the green foam through it.
Use your scissors or a knife to cut out foam pieces to fit in the cutlery tray divisions, or, if you’re lucky, one big piece for a regular ole tray. In the pinned tutorial, she uses just one big tray, so it’s a lot easier. Sadly I was working with a tray with lots of divisions, so I had a lot of cutting to do. I was sort of worried my final result might look odd with all the divisions, but I think it turned out just fine (you’ll see soon).
Here’s my box with the foam pieces fitted in. I then took my box cutter (you could use a sharp knife too) and started slitting lines through the foam where I wanted to be able to sit the rings. I sliced the lines about half-way into the depth of the foam, and I tried to keep my lines straight (but didn’t really succeed) and evenly spaced.
After I was done cutting lines, I took my fabric and cut it into pieces, and basically stuffed in into the sliced lines, folded it under the pieces of foam, and stuffed it all into the box. I used the point of my scissors to really stuff the fabric in there and make it as taut as I could get it. I chose a basic neutral colored muslin fabric. I planned to paint my tray a bright green and I really wanted my rings to be able to pop against a non-distracting background. Obviously, you can have fun with the fabric and color scheme and make it match your bedroom or branding or whatever.
After spraypainting the tray green (and thus restuffing all the foam pieces), this was my final result:
Yeah, some of my lines aren’t straight, and my fabric is a little wrinkly in places, but once this baby is full of rings I think it’s going to look great! I also love the green color. I can’t wait to see it on my craft show table full of shiny things! The only bad thing is that when I made it, I realized how many rings I need to make to fill it up! I put EVERY ring I currently have for sale on it in this picture, and you can see it’s like….1/5th full! I have a LOT of work to do!
I think this is a great project even for non-craft show vendors. You could make one of whatever size you want for your own personal ring collection and show it off on your dresser or vanity. It’d also make a cute handmade gift for a friend!