Do you go to art, craft, bead or antique shows and wonder what's involved? It does get easier and faster to set up the more often you do antique (or bead) shows. Fewer crucial things get forgotten: there's nothing worse than driving for 3 hours and starting to set up when you realise you've left the box containing all your jewellery at home! Luckily with this show, had we forgotten anything, we were both ten minutes away from our respective homes.
Between us we had two vanloads full of boxes and larger items, all of which had to fit on, under and behind an 8-foot table. And up. Always think in terms of UP. We used a wooden ladder (thanks, Pinterest) and added two 5-foot shelves. Next time, we'll bring my 2x6-foot grids and display all the frames and mirrors behind the table on that.
First, empty the van(s) of everything. Dollies are indispensable. Get one with big tires, rather than piddly little ones. You may think you're saving money, but you'll be amazed at the weight you're going to be piling on. Bigger tires = more maneuverability. Another thing to note is that parking lots will be full of holes, gravel, snow and ice -- or puddles. Or in the summer you're going to be trying to move loads on lumpy grass fields or along cobblestone or brick streets. Don't cheap out. Also invest in a bag of assorted bungee cords especially if you're on your own and don't have an extra pair of hands to hold things in place as you're pushing and shoving the loaded dolly around on bumpy surfaces.
The other thing is pack as many things in bins or boxes so that the lids can be closed and you can stack them on the dolly. My bad habit is lumpy items sticking out of boxes.
We arrived at 6:15 and unloaded both vans, got coffee and breakfast from the snack bar. In between chatting with other vendors we got everything piled in front of and behind the table and tried to avoid piling items on top of the table. The cover was the first thing to go on. Normally, many shows require you to have a cloth that covers the front to the floor, but in this venue we can display a lot of larger items on the floor underneath the table as long as they don't creep into the aisle itself.
7:23 The table from the back. Note our primo location conveniently across from the snack bar.
7:23 View of the front of the table:
7:55 Emptying the boxes. Shelves are on the ladder which has been moved to one end of the table. (Watch in the background of these photos how everyone is using shelves on their tables to go up):
8:43 All items are on the table, boxes and dolly are back in the van and we've started to roughly place items:
10:05 Open for business:
This applies to virtually any show you do: bring lots of smaller risers and a variety of plate stands for plates, platters, or display boards for jewellery and smaller silver items. Clear plastic boxes are great to vary the heights of items and because they're clear they let ambient light shine through. Group like items with like and, within that, keep similar colours and patterns together. This show doesn't offer electrical outlets, so Nancy brought a battery operated goose-necked clamp lamp which helped to spark up the jewellery and silver which we'd grouped together.
How did we do? Wellllllll... not so good. The loon decoy (up on top of the ladder) is winging its way to Hull, England, and I sold a green dragon and phoenix pendant (to another vendor) and a key. Lots of people were looking, but...
A lot of these items will be going to the One of a Kind Antique Mall this afternoon, and the rest to an online auction. But I will keep refining what I buy and what I offer -- and hope to see you at the next Nostalgia show in November.
Thanks for looking!
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