Booth re-do

Front focal display from last week.

Front focal display from last week.

Since both of these two drop leaf tables sold in less than a, I really needed to completely re-do the front focal point of my booth.  But I just wasn’t ready to scrap the ‘wedding dessert buffet’ theme just yet. I’ve been trying to ‘segregate’ the white and aqua items, each color in their own little vignette for a more powerful visual impact, but I just didn’t HAVE any more white tables to replace these with so soon!

Booth front focal display.

Booth front focal display.

Since I didn’t have any white tables to replace those that had sold in less than a week, in order to recreate the wedding dessert buffet theme; I had to intermix my aqua and white pieces.  It’ll do for a while.  The weatherman said “lots of sunshine in the 7 day forecast” so I should be able to get outside and get some more tables painted white.

One of a kind mannequin

One of a kind mannequin

Did you notice this beauty surveying her kingdom in that previous picture???  This is the first in what I hope will become a series of one of a kind ‘art mannequins’; that I just made.

P1200183She does have a pretty white post base.  I just didn’t have room to display her where it was visible.  She is standing atop a bench just behind the front display.  The base is adjustable in height and removable, making it easier to fit her in the car for transport.

P1200181I had really hoped that you could see her silver necklace better in this picture.  It’s a little silver frame with a silver key hanging from it and a pewter color heart tied to the key; all hanging from a grey sheer ribbon.  And she had to have strands of pearls, of course!

P1200180You can better see her whispy white ‘faerie-like’ wings in this picture; that match her little frilly white skirt.  What do you think of her???

Perfect sign for a wedding dessert buffet.

Perfect sign for a wedding dessert buffet.

And I remembered to add the sign to the display this time!

P1200162

And the white birds decided to join in the festivities.

P1200165A couple of porcelain cherubs stand guard over the wedding cake.

P1200161A vintage metal tea light candle holder sits atop an over-sized, upcycled metal cake stand as an impromptu cupcake display.

White and aqua combined display in the back corner.

White and aqua combined display in the back corner.

Because I had to pull the aqua tables to the front display, I had to move some existing white pieces and place a few new white pieces in what had been the ‘all aqua’ corner of the booth last week.

P1200195This sweet little vintage smoking table was just brought it.  Would make a great bedside table or lamp stand.  $59.00

P1200198This little ‘chest’ atop the picnic basket is a new addition too.  $35.00.  Love how the little three drawer chest fit into the cubby on the right!  I’m guessing that this was probably a cook book stand and the drawer for recipe cards?

This same spot last week.

This same spot last week.

This is how it had been last week.  I just could NOT make myself move that big oval aqua coffee table again so soon!  (that thing is a BEAST!)

P1200207This spot previously housed all those white birds on pedestals that are now at the wedding buffet.  I like the contrast of the black pieces on this white shelf MUCH better.

Upcycled metal table top mannequin.

Upcycled metal table top mannequin.

 I almost forgot about the silver and white mannequin’s little friend here!  She is a ‘table top’ style (no stand) of upcycled rusty and verdigris metal scraps with lace punched green verdigris wings; which are removable for easy transport.  This lovely is $190.00.

P1200178The oval gold frame around her neck is sold separately.

New white mini pie safe?

New white mini pie safe?

Does this mini pie safe look familiar?  It had been in my booths for months and gone unnoticed.  So I took it home for a pretty whiter make-over! $39.00.

P1200191Added a few new lamps to brighten up the space.

P1200236Vintage crystal lamps are always a good bet.  They go well with so many different styles.

P1200224So, that’s how the booth is looking this week.  The road construction has finally made it’s way down the street a bit, so parking for Stars is once again plentiful and easy to access.

P1200222Come by soon and meet the new ‘girls’!

February sales report for my booth at Stars

I really didn’t have high hopes for this to be much of a ‘good month’ sales wise, given ‘everything else’ that is going on this month.  

P1110966So many other options for spending and drawing the attention of the shoppers; starting with the Junk Salvation show, then the Super Bowl, then the snow storm (which literally shut the city down for days!) then Valentine’s Day, President’s Day sales all over the place AND the Expo Antique show coming the end of the month!!!

P1110926After a disappointing (but not unexpected!) start to the month, once the snow cleared the shoppers came out to SHOP!

P1110937And again, as happened last month, LARGE pieces are selling very well.   I had quite a bit of restocking and rearranging to do yesterday after I packed up the Valentine leftovers.

P1110918Took this fabulous shabby cubby shelf in.  Perfect to display all my small white dishes in.

P1110919Pretty carved embellishment along the top.

P1110920Hooks on the back so it can be hung on the wall; but it also sits nicely on a flat surface, as I have done with it here.

P1110924Shabby aqua pedestal bowl, that for now (due to lack of room!) is being used as a prop up for a lamp.  Will fill it with shabby Easter eggs when I take the Easter stuff in.

P1110928I flipped this little shelf upside down to create a ‘pocket’ to store some journals in.

P1110931This is the plate rack I just re-did.  Perfect for displaying note cards in.

408772151Here’s the before version.

P1110796And the after.

P1110937To ‘build up’ my front facing display, I took my largest wood bench and ‘bridged it’ across the top of the two white end tables; then built my display UP from there.

P1110945You can see where I positioned the bench a little better here.

P1110944I really try to create my displays in LAYERS.  I try to think of how it will ‘break down’ and look if/when one or two of the pieces sell.  How it will be easiest for the sales staff to ‘un-do’ a display and remove a piece for a shopper; and quickly and easily  put it back in place without having to completely rearrange; yet not leave it a complete mess so that I have to make a trip in EVERY time something sells.  AND not leave any big empty HOLES when something sells.  I hate empty space!!  (as if you hadn’t already figured that out!)

P1110933Vintage ballet slippers under glass cloches.

P1110942I sold 36 of these monogram blocks last month!!  Little inexpensive ‘impulse items’ like this are always great to have.

P1110943I keep them right out in front; where there is room for the shopper to kneel down and dig through for the exact letters they need.

P1110948This 9 hole cubby seems small compared to the new 18 holer I just added.  This is a Pottery Barn re-vamp.  A little more of a classic style with the crown moulding on the top and bottom.

P1110949Upcycled little round table; lamp shade wire cloche sold separately.

P1110952More wire cloches and wire bird house.

P1110953Little 4 drawer apothecary chest.

P1110956Wall display.  The crate shadow boxes ARE for sale!

P1110970Shabby beachy blue frames.

P1110969Starfish frame.

P1110936Spring and Easter decor coming up next.

HOW hot is it?!?!?

It’s so HOT that I just burned my hand opening the car door!!  And it’s not even the ‘hottest part of the day’ YET?!?!  Ack!!!  I though I was going to work outside, painting sign boards today.  101 degrees is just too much for me to work in, even in the shade!

Not only is it early in the day to be getting this hot already, it’s quite early in the SUMMER for us to get this hot here in the Pacific Northwest.  We had a string of 90-100 degree days the end of June; then it cooled off a bit for 4th of July week.  Used to be that it never got this hot until August, and only for maybe 3 days.  sigh.  If I wanted this kind of heat, I’d move back to California!  Thank God for air conditioning and popsicles!

I am finally getting more display shelves painted and in place in my booth at Curiosities.

7.13.13 Both + finds 157Took these 2 shelf units in a couple of weeks ago.  The bases are from an old display at Stars; an end table cut in half.  Michael added some 2×2’s for back legs and I painted them to match the shelves.  Raising the ‘plain ole box shelves’ up one legs really dresses them up nicely, AND is quite practical.

7.13.13 Both + finds 158

You  want to get your displayed items as close to eye level as possible.  Stuff that you put on the bottom shelves typically does not sell very well. (so be sure to ROTATE it to higher shelves!)   With the pretty curved legs of these shelf bases, the product under the shelves is nicely ‘framed’ and more noticeable than if it was just a bottom shelf.

7.13.13 Both + finds 163By putting the taller shelves on the outer corners, and lower items beside helps draw the eye to the center . . . welcoming shoppers to ‘come inside’.

7.13.13 Both + finds 157You also want to ‘be aware’ of what your booth entry is ‘framing’.  What items it draws your eye to at the back of your booth.  I don’t ALWAYS remember to display with that in mind.  Looking at pictures helps me notice things like that which may go unnoticed when I ma there in person.  It’s a continual process!  As soon as something sells, everything has to be rearranged!

7.13.13 Both + finds 188THIS inward facing display is my nest ‘target’.  I want to get rid of the crates for shelves on the INSIDE to the booth; and this is the last  of them.

7.13.13 Both + finds 164I will continue to use the crate shelf system on this outer facing wall where I predominately have primitives on display.  Not sure how long I’ll continue to stock the primitive stuff.  Really depends upon how well it sells!  

7.5.13 curiosities only 024I’m not entirely ‘sold’ on how the transition from primitive to cottage works at this corner.  But then I also don’t have any BETTER ideas right now.  So, I’ll just ‘let it ride’ for a while as I focus on the inside of my booth; then see how I feel about it then!

P1070151Last week I got rid of SOME of the crates inside the booth; replacing them with this shelf.  will be adding another shelf this week.  These are ‘raised’ up off the floor and sitting on a bench to get the product closer to eye level.

P1070128Reconfigured the outer crate wall a bit to incorporate the crates I took from the inside.  I KNOW I have too much stuff sitting on the floor in this display!  And NONE of it has sold!  But I can’t stand bare spots in my display.  So, I just occasionally rotate it to higher shelves!

P1070130

Took in some more cow pitchers and creamers.

P1070148Pretty stoneware with gold rim bowl and pitcher set.

P1070162Little nests with eggs.

P1070152MORE white pitchers and creamers.

P1070154Altered pickle jar and a gallon jar filled with blue and aqua spools and balls of thread.  Cat topped cloches and cat creamer.

P1070157A couple of upcycled cloches.

P1070135Upcycled bird finials (the ‘how I did it’ post coming soon!)

P1070136Several bags of rag balls and thread cones and spools to use as jar or bowl fillers.

The bed is back in my space at Stars . . .

 . . and I totally rearranged 75% of the space yesterday!  WHEW!  That was a LOT of work.   But it’s the kind of thing that once you move ONE thing, it’s a snowball effect and it ALL has to be moved!

Here’s what’s going on, in general, with my space at Stars.  My sales have slowed considerably since the first of the year.   I’m not sure if it’s ‘just me’, of if everyone else has seen the same slow down or what???  I’m not friends with other vendors that I can ask ‘how their sales are’.  Soooooooooooooooo  I work on the assumption that I just need to ‘DO BETTER’.

The first six weeks in the new space (and with the bed in place) and sales had not picked up, I decided the bed had to go BECAUSE it was not a ‘real bed’ and not for sale so it wasn’t doing anything to improve my sales.  Maybe it was even HURTING my sales because it made my booth SO cramped and difficult to move around it.  Out with the bed and in with some additional furniture.  No difference.

So I decided I may as well put the bed back in, if for nothing else but the ‘ahhhhhhhhhhhhh’ factor.  But now I had to make ROOM for it again.  I took out one big display shelf, and used a smaller table for the bed this time.

For some reason, this BIGGER booth (than the one I moved from) has always FELT smaller to me.  I thought it was such a GREAT idea to line the two outside edge OPEN sides of the booth with back to back shelves to really maximize the space.  But it didn’t seem to improve my sales any.

Another reason for putting the shelves on the OPEN sides was that I wanted to use the other two actual walls for hanging things on.  Ah, but ONE of those two walls was really only HALF a wall, halfway back; making it unusable for hanging things.  Might as well cover that spot with a tall shelf.  And THAT is where this latest rearrange began.

3.12.13 NEW BOOTH Stars 001THIS is what the ‘aisle side’ (as opposed to the side that faces the back wall side) originally looked like.

3.20.13 stars Passion signs 080THEN it occurred to me that it would look more cohesive it both the shelves on either side of the entrance to my space were the same color; so I switched that up.

5.14.13 Stars Curiosities 014THIS is what that side of the booth looks like now.  The BIG aqua hutch that was on the left is now along the inside wall, just behind the little round table on the right hand side.  HERE:

5.14.13 Stars Curiosities 045The entire part of the wall that this hutch is covering up AND the area that the shutter behind the round table is in the previous picture is the ‘unusable’ part of the wall.

5.1.13 Stars Curiosities 037This is what that same area looked like before.  I was trying to make use of the hanging space by using shutters, but that ‘sloppy space’ on the far left where you see the fabric always bothered me.  So I just covered it up.  With less space to hang signs now I’ve just had to display some like this:

5.14.13 Stars Curiosities 035Time will tell if this works or not.  Might have to have Michael build me a sign display box.

3.12.13 NEW BOOTH Stars 011This is what the outside corner of the space USED to look like.  The right side faces the aisle and the left faces the back.

5.14.13 Stars Curiosities 020This is what that corner looks like now.

3.20.13 stars Passion signs 106This is what the booth looked like with the original bed.

4.8.13 STARS no bed 001Then this is what it looked like after I took the bed out.

5.14.13 Stars Curiosities 026And this is what it looks like now.

5.14.13 Stars Curiosities 036This little corner is the part that hasn’t been changed just yet.

4.24.13 buys stars etsy crap 065And this is what is on the other side of that corner, facing the back wall.

I’m happy with the changes for now; although I’m sure I’ll do a fair amount of ‘tweaking’ still.  But it still FEELS smaller than my previous space which actually WAS smaller.  sigh.

The ONLY think I can think of that could me making it ‘feel smaller’ is that I am leaving ‘openings’ 3-4′ wide on BOTH of the open sides of the space.  And my old space only had one open side to work with.  So maybe next time, when I work on that other corner, I’ll go ahead and close up the entry on that side and make the only opening a bit bigger.

I’m MOVING!!

 . . . into a BIGGER space at Stars!

HALLELUJAH!!

I have been waiting and hoping and praying for a bigger space at Stars for over TWO years now!  When it looked like none of the bigger spaces were NEVER going to be available, they offered me that secondary small wall space (3’x8′) near my original space.  I did the best I could with it, but really needed ONE bigger space to have room for BIGGER pieces; AND More wall space.

After fumbling my way along with that additional small space, and realizing that it really wasn’t working for me, I gave notice to move out and just resigned myself to ‘patiently await’ a larger space.  The space I have is actually SMALLER than the typical 10×10 booth; and is only 8’x10′.  AND it’s 10 feet DEEP and only 8 across; AND only has walls on two sides.  

Originally it was one larger space that got divided into two.  My greatest hope was to someday be able to have ‘that whole thing’.  Alas, that was not to be.  And may very well have ended up being a case of ‘biting off more than I could chew’.  I covered the back wall with shelves, which severely limited my ‘usable wall space’.  I’ve got SO much product that I can’t  sell because I do not have the wall space to hang it on!  sigh

So, a couple of weeks ago they asked me if I was interested it ‘trading spaces’ with another vendor who has a 10×10, and was wanting a slightly smaller space.  HECK YEA!!  Many phone calls and emails later, we (Stars, the other dealer and I) worked out the details of the swap, and will be moving this Saturday.  

Any other time that I have moved to a new/different space, that space has always been EMPTY; and I was able to just move my stuff in.  easy peasey!  But this time we both have booths FULL of product, and I can’t move mine until hers is empty; and she can’t move her until mine is empty?!?!  AND we are both along the back aisle, so will be traveling the same path to/from old/new spaces?!?!?  Quite the conundrum; and I’ve been doing a LOT of thinking and planning and pre-organizing!

We managed to get the opportunity to start a couple of hours BEFORE opening.  HOPING we can get most of the big stuff done in that time.  She sells a fair amount of vintage clothing, and has a big rolling furniture rack, so that will be fast and easy to move.   since I have WAY more stuff than her, we’ve decided that she will empty her booth first, and stack her stuff in the aisles just next to mine.   Then WE will be able to move our stuff directly into our new space.  (after we get the fabric hung on the walls first!  Gotta cover those orange walls!)  And fortunately for us, she has opted to KEEP the fabric on our existing space, so we don’t have to tear that down.  It was worth the amount of time and work it would have taken to remove it; to just let her keep it for free!

Our NEW space is also on the back corner, the next aisle over, AND only has 2 walls also.  I am DETERMINED to not block those walls with furniture of display shelves so that I can actually HANG stuff on the walls.  I’ve got two cream colored queen size flat sheets that are just long enough to cover both walls.  Beyond that, I really wasn’t sure ‘what I was going to put where’?!?  

Considering we are working against the clock, and given the fact that I just cannot ‘move things around until it looks right’ the way I used to (because of my back!)  I decided to make a ‘to scale’  floor plan of the new space and all the display shelves and big furniture pieces I had.  And after playing around with it for a while, here’s what I’ve come up with:

2.27.13 Stars MICHAEL projects 130The white is the booth size.  The back and left sides are where there are walls.  Other 2 sides are open.  The big dark rectangle is the area rug (to cover up some of the orange floor!) The smaller rectangle at the back corner is a twin size bed, and will hold piles of pillows and vintage chenille bed spreads.  That ‘tab’ sticking out over the top of the paper is a tall skinny shelf that will be set on its side and put across the top of the booths two side walls for additional display space.

2.27.13 Stars MICHAEL projects 129Then the plan’ is to ‘cluster together’ as many of the display shelves as possible in the corner where the two open sides meet; as shown above.  Biggest display shelves in an “L” shape facing outward, with room at the very tip of the outside corner for my round spinner rack.  Then MORE shelves backed up to those shelves facing inward.  Then still more shelves as ‘end-caps’ on the ends where the others meet ‘back to back’.  And some of these are only 3-4′ tall shelves, so I will be stacking those!

2.27.13 Stars MICHAEL projects 128

That just leaves me with TWO shelves to find spots for.  Where I have the one on the far right in the schematic is where the side divider wall doesn’t come all the way to the aisle.  Not sure that will stay there or not.  It MAY go to the opposite corner, backed up to the single shelf that is shown there.  Then maybe I will use my tall shutter dividers to fill in the missing side wall part. And/or create a little corner vignette with them on that side.  I just have to wait and see how monstrous the cluster of shelves looks!

At least we’ll know exactly where to put a good 90% of the big and display stuff without any ‘figuring’ (and wasting of time!)  Once all the big and heavy stuff has been moved, I can let Michael go home; then I can ‘putz around with the display’ by myself at my own pace.  

In the back corner where the bed will be (bed is NOT for sale; just used to display linens) we’ll be attaching a big shutter to the wall at the head of the bed. I’ll lose a little bit of floor space by doing so, but the corners really aren’t very functional.  Bu rounding it off, I can at least hang things from the shutter.

I’ve got one of those pretty net canopies to hang over the bed.  Excited to see how that looks.  Just might add some little white lights to the canopy too.  

SO, all that is pretty much ALL I have been thinking about lately.  Getting all the linens that have been stored away for years washed, folded and priced and ready to go.  Don’t plant to take very much additional stock for the space on moving day, with the exception of the bed and bedding.   Can figure out what else to add in the weeks to come.  

Gosh, I’m worn out just telling you about all that!  I think I need a nap now!