Friday, March 4, 2011

A *SMALL* Booth Update

When I first started renting an antique booth last August, I was told that smalls would be my bread and butter.  They would pay my rent even in a very slow month.  Smalls are what they call the knick-knacks or chotzskies.  Our booth is overrun with smalls and they sell well. 

On the other hand, large pieces are selling well in our store and that’s where the big money is. Through observation and experimentation, we are finding that people buying the large items don’t like to look at them if they are covered in smalls.  They are reluctant to ask someone to clear off the piece so they can take a better look.  The boothies who sell the most large items don’t clutter them up.  They put their large items out front where they are easy to inspect and easy to move in and out of the booth.

So, how to have the best of both worlds?  Martie and I share a large 20 foot wide booth.  We thought we had come up with a wonderful idea.  We were going to make a small 8 foot wide area for smalls.  It would be a sort of wide hallway lined with shelves.  We were calling it our treasure hunt area.  It would have a 4-5 foot walkway, open shelves on one side and several lamps to keep it from feeling confining.  We would fill it with smalls.  the larger area would feature our largest pieces.  Genius… or so we thought! 

We met yesterday and tore our whole booth apart, making a huge mess all around us.  We moved our shelves and a million bakers racks in place for our treasure hunt area and hated it.  Neither area would be appealing. 

It was a good exercise because it led to a better idea. We are now lining the perimeter of our booth with shelves and the center space will be filled with our larger pieces.  We tried to put very little on those pieces – just enough to draw the eye and make it feel decorated.  We had two large tables so there wasn’t as much walk around room as we hoped, but we were both very pleased with the outcome!

7520 This is the view customers have when they approach our booth.
Martie’s table is one of the items highlighted in the center of the booth.  We tried not to put too much on it.  There might be a bit more than we planned, but we just couldn’t help ourselves.  We had a lot of yellow smalls in our booth and we started putting them together and loved the look.  We scattered yellow around the perimeters and featured it on this table.  Since the chairs had black seats, we added a bit of black on that table top.  Our goal was to feature the table and make it appealing.  By the way, it looks like there’s a smudge on the table, but that’s a price tag.

7524 My table ended up with less on top, but more around and under it.  We had a lot of medium sized pieces to work in and that was the best spot for them.  Having two tables to fit in was tricky.  I love my green chair on top of the table.  I just finished that chair this week, along with four others.  I need to show them off in a separate post.  The table was one that I found back in September, but I didn’t show it for sale for very long.  We ended up putting a fabulous tablecloth on it and using it for display in our booth most of the winter.

Martie took home her large wood shelf to paint, so we were in need of fast extra shelving.  We both brought in extra bakers racks from our homes.  Those are life savers in booth – they’re light and easy to move. 

7528 This shelf has a few Easter things and colors to coordinate.

7527 The tall quilt rack was made for me by my sweet hubby years ago.  It’s now home to a collection of tablecloths, which keep selling like crazy.  Most of the tablecloths have come from Martie and she has sold quite a few that I have been very tempted to bring home with me.

7526 There’s an odd corner jut out in our booth.  We maximized the space by fitting it two bakers racks. The one with all the blue on it is one that I re-did a while back.  Right now, it’s display only, but I’m going to put it up for sale soon.

7529 The chest of drawers is one of our large items that we just didn’t have room for in the middle. Once a table sells, if this piece hasn’t sold, we can move it to the middle to be featured more prominently.  The wicker shelf is for sale, too, but I’m not in a hurry for it to sell. It’s a fun display shelf for the booth.  The wicker lamp in the upper left corner sold.  I just brought it in. Now we need another lamp in that spot.

7521 This display ended up with lots of pink, including the set of Texas-Ware I just got from Susan.  

7522 The white bakers rack is one we are using on loan from the store.  It belongs to Lorraine, the owner.  We’ll return it a.s.a.p. so it will be available for someone else.  These extra shelves are great when something big sells – it keep the booth from having a big empty spot. This side of our booth is the least attractive.  It’s not ugly, but it’s just not a coordinated look.  By the time we got to it, we were having to use what was left.  This is not the side that is most visible to customers coming down the aisle. 

We could have kept improving, but we ran out of time.  It doesn’t matter – after the weekend, hopefully, there will be plenty of gaps from where things have sold and we’ll need to move things around again. A booth doesn’t stay the same for long!  Having a booth is one of the most enjoyable things I’ve done in my life!  My only regret is that I didn’t discover it sooner.


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