Sunday, November 13, 2011

Arts and Crafts Show - Changes & Challenges

When preparing for an arts and crafts show, different venues require different considerations. I’ve only participated in outdoor events over the past few years and my tent/canopy played a huge roll in how I displayed different items. For example, I had constructed a “clothes line” for my handmade doll clothes for 18” dolls - like the American Girl, Our Generations, and Springfield dolls. The tent frame made it easy to hang two 1” x 4” wooden slats (separated by a table) with holes drilled along the 4” flat side. I then would string line making rows going across. I had “doll size” clothes pins and think it was cute (and effective) for customers to see the fashions hanging out on the line!

The next three upcoming arts and crafts shows are inside = no tent. This weekend will be my first time to experience an inside show! And, it’s over two days! I’m extremely grateful, as I’m tired of fighting the Texas wind and other elements (like rain, because you never know what Texas weather will be). I’m also grateful we’re able to set up the afternoon before (another first)! Anyhoo… I’ve had a few changes/challenges to work through, to wrap my head around.

I first asked myself, how in the world would I display the 18” doll clothes without the clothes line I've always used? For a brief moment, I considered putting up the tent frame within the recreation center! But then decided against it! Good choice, Lanetta!

After taking a quick search around the Internet looking for ideas on garment displays, I stumbled upon this design:
I would love to have this for my aprons!

I asked my husband if he would help me create a similar design, but a wee bit shorter/smaller! He did, and now I have two! Here’s one set up how it will be:

I think the miniature “Doll Clothes Store” racks will work nicely. This time next week, I’ll know for sure (because the show will be over!)!!!

At next Friday and Saturday’s event, the venue will provide two tables: either 6’ or 8’ or maybe a combination of both, but I won’t know until I get there on Thursday afternoon to set up. I’m very grateful two tables are provided, meaning I don’t have to carry them inside (then back out)! I am taking a small table of my own just in case I need more surface space within the allotted 10’ x 10’ area. I've prepared table covering for any and all possibilities!

Anyone who knows me, this not knowing beforehand drives me crazy! It’s a challenge indeed! I, however, can/will get over it! There’s a perfectly good reason why it drives me crazy – I am an advance planner, always have been. I like to be prepared! And, I find nothing wrong with that either!

In addition, the realization hit – because it’s a two day arts and crafts show event – I’ll need to pack up my products (leaving tables & their coverings & other props) and take with me on Friday night when the show is over for the day, then re-set again on Saturday morning!
Many people highly recommend NOT leaving items overnight. I agree. I’m responsible for me, and mine, no one else.
So with that said, it will get done. I had just not realized all the ins and outs before a couple of days ago! Wake up, Lanetta!

The tent frame had also been used to display another set of items… my bags & totes! I would attach/stretch an expandable hat rack across one side of the tent & the bags would hang from the pegs. Now, what would I do, how would I showcase them?

Remember, I have no clue how much table surface I’m going to have available at this arts and crafts show! I’ve got to allow at least 4’ for my books, autographing the books, and the stand displaying the beaded bookmarks. Then at least 6’ for the girls (3 models are going with me) and the 2 clothes racks!

Here's a pic of the three models (ready to go!) and only one rack... the second rack will not fit on a 4' table!!

And then... where to put my other little items… the Christian Prayer Beads, tissue holders, card holders, and anything else I'll whip up between now and then?!?

Anyway, I decided to simply use a regular sized coat rack for the bags. I couldn’t find one I really wanted, for the price I could pay, so I’m using ours, the one my parents gave us years ago. I’m sure it will work beautifully. And, I’ll take extremely good care of it!

I think all panic attacks have been worked through now. I have a game plan for this arts and crafts show. Now I can enjoy the time meeting folks, making new friends, and visiting with friends who stop by my booth! Yes! That’s what it’s all about!

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