I'm starting with my very first craft show I ever did. I had been on Etsy for about a year at this point, but nothing too extravagant. My first show was with the St. Louis Craft Mafia at their Green With Indie Craft Show in March of 2009.
Since this is my first craft show ever, I'm not going to beat myself up TOO hard on my merchandising technique. I did really well at this show actually, which set my precedence over all shows in the future on my hourly wage to make at them. Whether or not this is a good idea, I couldn't say. But let's start with the displays.
The wooden displays shown in the picture are handmade by my ex father-in-law. He was pretty crafty and had taken down their old back yard fence and made me a few things. They were originally a faded brick red color and I painted them black and then one I spray painted silver metallic over it and the other I sprayed gold metallic. Don't ask my why I thought this was a good idea. It really wasn't. They should have matched or at least played on one another with other displays done in a similar fashion. However this was not the case. So anyways I used them to prop up my carefully cut earring cards which had a multitude of different types of earrings on them. Mostly charms, some vintage, all quirky. This actually wasn't a bad idea. But I'm not even sure how I got my size for the cards or how my father-in-law had gotten the size for the displays. In any case, as you can see on the top row of the right one a card has fallen over. So this is basically the entire reason why a design like this does NOT work. These displays are also quite bulky and do not store well with other items in pack-in and pack-down.
Onto the tray. I love old trays, vintage or otherwise. They can be great display tools for craft shows or just home use. But in this manner it is ugly. Trays are great on a surface when used to corral other items like a few vases and a jar or another tray with small items plus a mug or two with things sticking out of them. They are NOT good when displayed with random crap all over them with 10 million clashing patterns all in a disarray. I have seen trays gone vertical to house handmade magnets people sell, that is a great way that a tray can be used ALONE, but really one of the only ways. Otherwise, stay clear of trays except for corralling things as mentioned before.
You may not notice, or maybe that was the first thing you noticed, but my tags are WEIRD. I have no idea why I didn't just use little stickers? I currently use little rectangle, rounded corner stickers that are like 1/4" x 1/2" and have been using them for years. But here I have small hang tags with the string taken off, and then brads are holding the hang tag through the card where I have obviously punched them through. Why on earth did I do this? Did I not know about the stickers yet? Because this was just TIME CONSUMING and really pointless.
The tablecloth isn't bad, it's busy along with all the other patterns of the earring tags and the tray and everything. But not terrible.
I don't have many images from this show. I know that people were walking around taking photos, but I didn't. I am going to search for more on the internet, if I find them I will post them here so I can further nit-pick myself at my first show! Until then... learn from my crafty mistakes!