Saturday, May 14, 2011
It took me several years to build up a display that finally works for me. Something that often is not mentioned in talking about displays is transportability. I am a rug weaver and usually bring 200 rugs to a show in order to sell 20. They take up a great deal of space in the van so I needed to find displays that were effective yet collapse. I also had to work with a very small budget and buy pieces a little at a time. Big investment was the tent... then the smaller pieces came over years. It takes us 2 hours to set up and about that to tear down.
I found a mess of beautiful candle holders that are perfect for holding my felted wool balls. I purchased some very cool small tiles from other artists to use as paperweights during windy sales.
I bought two standing racks at a Ben Franklin going out of business sale. They had previously been used to display and sell oil cloth table cloths. I needed to invent clamps though to keep the rugs from spinning off the racks. Those were made using boards and recycled bicycle tires (for gripping power) I had my name painted on them for an additional bit of publicity. The racks themselves are aluminum and go on top of the van. They are light enough that I can get them up there all by myself (although I do have to wipe all the bugs off them before each show). The rods then can go inside the van.
I finally found grid-work that I could use to hold a large quantity of product, yet still make it fairly easy to see and locate colors and sizes. The grids pack up into 16" cubes which make transport pretty easy.
I use the fitted covers on my card tables to hide any emergency items I need... tool kit, purses, small cooler of water and snacks, bags etc. The color of that fabric ended up being the color theme for my whole display. I had a beautiful large hunk of drapery fabric in brown which was just large enough to create the covers for my two card tables. It was such a nice neutral against the fiesta of color that I used that same brown along with cream to accents all the rest of my pieces where possible. Even my business card is brown and cream.
At another going out of business sale I procured a collapsible bin which has been a godsend for displaying the wool balls. It has three tiers, two of which rotate and has been the best display for stopping customers in their tracks. The whole thing collapses down almost flat, making it wonderful to travel with.
The most recent addition to the display has been my WebWorks sign. I have collected the tags off every shirt and pair of pants I have filleted in my rug making and they were perfect to quilt a sign out of, although I think I need to expand the sign to say Webworksfiber, but I have bins more of tags :)
While I am constantly on the lookout for new ideas, I am finally happy with a display design which works for me. I have gotten many positive responses from customers about the visibility and color of my display and most important they recognize me year after year.