Editor's note: Today's guest post is written by Jenna from Jenna Lou Designs. Like many artists who have been selling at craft shows for a few years, Jenna's display has evolved as she's become more show savvy. What started as a standard DIY setup (complete with vintage bedsheet tablecloth) is now a custom-built booth design that wows at shows. She's here to share photos of her booth's transformation and some of the things she's learned from six years of show participation. Let's start by taking a look at her booth through the years.
Jenna says: "I had to dig a bit to find some of my first craft show photos, but it was worth the look. It's amazing to me to see how far I've come in the last 6 years. I've been proud of my work at every stage, but looking back now there are a few things I would have told myself then if I could have.
Jenna Lou's Tips for Craft Fair Success
"1. Invest from the beginning (or as soon as you can). This one is difficult because I do firmly believe in not overspending while building a business, but when I look at how many different versions of my booth I've built and how much I've spent on upgrades, I really wish I would have saved up more to begin with and skipped a few of those less-than-great displays.
"2. Portability and ease of set up are worth it! If it's impossible or far too stressful/difficult to set up a booth, then you are going to be in a bad mood at the show to start with and less likely to want to do them again. When I first started doing shows, everything broke down into tiny elements and it took us close to 2 hours sometimes to set up. Putting everything together was my least favorite part about doing shows. When I finally figured out how to make things go faster by leaving more elements together (and now the whole thing stays together) it made a world of difference for how challenging I considered shows.
"3. Talk to EVERYONE. I'll admit when I was new to shows I would only talk to people who talked to me first or looked very interested ... as in they were ready to buy. I did not like “selling” AND I STILL DON'T, but what I learned is that I don't have to feel sleazy pushing my products to people ... they really sell themselves, but it does help to just strike up a conversation with people to build a customer relationship. You will be surprised by the connections you'll make that all started from a simple “hello, how are you today?”.
"Building a booth that is both shopper friendly and reflects your products/business aesthetics will boost your confidence and better demonstrate your commitment to your business for shoppers, press, and peers."
Can you relate to Jenna's booth evolution? How has your booth changed over the years?