First Outside Fair

by Janine.
(Holliston, MA)

Janine's Outdoor Jewelry Booth  - featured on Jewelry Making Journal

I have been making jewelry for a long time (20+ years) but it was time to start selling outside!!

I finally bought a tent from Job Lot and collected displays and tables over the last few months.

Janine's Outdoor Jewelry Booth  - featured on Jewelry Making Journal

Took the leap and signed up for a small spring fair in my local area to “test” out my displays.

I signed up for a bigger fair in September so it was important that I test out my set up and break down times as well as other details.

Janine's Outdoor Jewelry Booth  - featured on Jewelry Making Journal

I learned that I need to weigh down not only my displays (getting horseshoes in the future) but weighing down my tablecloths as well (any ideas?).

It went well but was very hot plus many events were happening at the same time so it wasn’t as busy as expected.

Janine's Outdoor Jewelry Booth  - featured on Jewelry Making Journal

Do you do outdoor fairs? What do you think of my set up?

Janine’s Jewelry Design
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  1. Janine, I like the addition of the vines and flowers to decorate your tent – it adds a nice atmosphere to an outdoor event. About the tablecloths, I’ve had success with tying the corners of the cloths to the legs of the table. And a smart idea to test out your outdoor tent and displays at a smaller show like this one.

  2. Chris says:

    I like your booth especially the tent & wood crates. I am doing my very first show this weekend & am nervous but excited and not sure what to expect! I am also unsure how to price things so hope i wont charge too much or little. I will definitely tie down the corners of tablecloth & will think about getting a tent if I continue with more shows. I think your booth looks very inviting & displays are easy to see your pieces you did a great job!!

  3. Chris, good luck at your show this weekend, and for pricing help, you may want to see my Jewelry Pricing Formula post here on Jewelry Making Journal.

  4. You could do a couple things for your tablecloths but I like to use tablecloth weights on the corners. You can find a gazillioin ideas on Pinterest for how to make them. Horseshoes are a great idea as are leftover tiles or sand for displays. You are smart to start little and tweak your booth at the same time. If I may make a couple of suggestions: 1) Look around your local thrift stores for bed risers…they will raise your tables making it easier on the buyers to look over your jewelry. 2) Have all your tablecloths match and go to the ground. This hides table legs and allows you to store bins underneath. 3) I really like the 3-tiered display you have the square sign on. It brings the eye up and gives a vertical line…maybe more of them in your booth? 4) Not sure what the lucite display has in it but maybe put them on something that will make the items pop.
    Good luck!!

  5. I got the best view of your set up from the first and third pictures. I love the green logo, combined with the flowers. It gives your brand a really distinctive natural look. Very pretty! I would suggest, if it is possible, to run with this even more – find table covers in the green or a burlap color, and have all your display items blend with this too – do more of the light, bright, wood and burlap look. The contrast between some black components (the black logo, the table cloths, the black boxes) and some light, bright components undermines the look of your brand. And, if space permits, feature even more of your necklaces individually, rather than crowded next to each other in the black display boxes. (Try extra levels to create more space). Good luck!

  6. It’s great to see different angles of your booth. And I love your big signage. I agree that you should raise the tables. People will appreciate not having to bend over, especially if they have been at the fair for a few hours. Also, I would get rid of the stripey chair. It takes up room that customers could use to stand in and it doesn’t match the overall look of your booth. Finally, I would strongly consider weights for the legs of the tent. It only takes one little gust and the tent goes flying. Where I live, we are required to have a minimum of 20 pounds per leg. PVC pipe filled with concrete, an I-bolt in one end and rope make for an easy solution. The rope goes over the beams at the corner. Make 4, one for each corner.

  7. Nice display Janine. I agree with comments about tablecloths reaching the floor. Mine are sewn down the corners, almost like slipcovers for the tables. Here’s a great tip for keeping cool (even in South Florida) – wet a washcloth, put it in a zip baggie and keep it in your cooler.

  8. Cyreathia Reyer says:

    Depending on where you are located and the wind conditions in your area, weighting down your tent is of the greatest importance. My first show of the year is in mid-April in NE Kansas (which is the beginning of our storm/tornado season). It is a 2 day event and invariably we have a major tornado producing thunderstorms go through. I have 100 pounds of weight on each leg – one on the bottom foot plate and the other ratcheted to the top of the frame. This will help keep your tent from twisting. For weighting down my tent, I use 50 pound old scale weights. They are nice and compact and have a handle. 5 gallon plastic gas jugs filled with water will also weigh approximately 45 pounds. I also use the lower stabars purchased from Flourish, I bring them up as far as I can on the leg and these also help keep your tent from twisting and bending the frame. I also use them to anchor (with zip ties) my grid walls which add height to my display.

    To weight down my necklace easels, I cut a 6 inch length of 2×4 and then cut a diagonal slit (using a table saw) across and making a couple of passes it is wide enough to slide the easel in to for added weight and to keep them from blowing over. I also have a 5 foot section of 2×4 that I cut the same diagonal slit down the length and then use “C” clamps to clamp it to the back of my table and it will hold about 4 of the necklace easels.

    To weight down your table coverings, you can sew large metal washers to the corners and the bottom center to keep them from blowing.

    It has taken me 7 years of doing my windy April show to get my display to virtually windproof. During that show, I am usually battling winds with up to 50 MPH wind gusts. If anyone wants more info on my windproofing, I am more than happy to help and share what I have figured out over time.

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