Monday, May 19, 2014

Wind proof Jewelry Craft Display

How to survive a windy craft fair for your jewelry display?

 How to display my jewelry for the craft show against horrible wind ?  I am at my wits end.

I am serious about displaying my jewelry for craft shows with the most beautiful and functional way.  And I work hard to make it look aesthetically pleasing  and functional. A week earlier I do a mock show display  at my home , in my living room, even after doing craft shows for the last five years and at least six or seven shows a year so that I do not forget any thing. So that I can give the best I can.

Still, it was such an embarrassment  this weekend in an out door show that it took me quite awhile to get over with it.

Here is how it looked in the beginning:

After 2:30 pm the wind stared catching up.  First, it knocked off my two  rotating wire earring stands that hold 24 earrings earring each. Then the busts one by one with necklaces on them.  It totally destroyed my whole theme, all my planning, my pride and self confidence. And  when people started to come back to my store for the second time  after they have seen all the booths, this  is what they saw.  I was totally crushed.

What do they see now ?  My earrings are flying, bracelets on the floor...I am running around like a chicken with out head.  I was almost in tears.

My friend, a ceramic artist and I was sharing the booth.  This was her turn to bring the tent and the weights.  She forgot the weights. And we found after we hoisted the tent,   that part of the tent is  broken, We kind of managed- the roof was not all the way up, and it was not that noticible.  But forgetting the weights was disastrous.

We could  not go home at that point, we had to find a solution very quickly. All my jewelry was flying all over.  I started putting the necklaces  that were on the busts just flat.  Put all the earrings in a basket ( thank God, I had some extra baskets).  We took off the sides  of the tent which was working as a sail  at that point and then took off the whole tent with the help of our kind neighbors.

Fortunately I made okay selling before this catastrophe started,  so made the booth fee and some more.  But the whole thing made me feel very low.

We have already signed up and paid  for another show in August right  here and many vendors said it is typical that the wind will be there.  So I need a solution.

 I took a deep breath and remembered
  So I decided to  think about strategies.  First of all the remedy for wind is weight.

Bring weights - not only for my self but for the neighbors too - just in case.

I do use stones in pillow cases that I tie around the legs of the tent at the bottom.  No matter what,  I should always bring them.  In case my neighbors forget them, it will be giving them an important helping hand, besides we are not alone in this journey.   I learned that my neighbor  vendors' mistakes can affect me.

I read from the comments in a blog - a fellow sufferer, Janice writes - "... that not only weights at the bottom of the legs, the key is to attach the weight to the canopy frame."

How to use weights so that they look pretty?

 I decide to attach some weights to the canopy frame.  How could I do that so that it looks beautiful as well as functional?  I think I'll get some stones or rice bags that I'll tie in  burlap  bags and squares tied with raffia.  I'll use several weights - 5lb, 2 lb and 1 lb weights in the similar burlap squares with raffia to match and  give the display a cohesive look. These bags could be hung from the sides of the tent in a nice way.

There are some useful ideas in Rena's blog where the writer mentions similar solutions to add weight aesthetically, making it cohesive with your display and brand.

Remember bungee cords, sturdy yarns or rope, safety pins, paper clips, silly putty, clamps and all these things that with help against wind.

Flat display:

Think how I can display things flat?
*Use beautiful baskets,
*Trays  uplifted  with easel - ( I did this and it it did not topple)
*Tiles standing on wire easels for necklaces instead of flimsy leather or velvet busts -(save them for indoor shows).
*Here I got a great idea that I am going to steal - the portable jewelry binder
*Boxes with lids attached.

I think I am also going to use boxes as my display.  Cover the Priority Mail Boxes with fixed lids that I receive for  my jewelry  supplies from various on line stores and cover them with the same co ordinating burlap.  I can use the  flap as a vertical side for  hanging necklaces and keep similar necklaces in nice gold boxes for people to find out.

The most important thing it to do a trial show at home on the driveway a week earlier.

Phew!  Instead of making jewelry I have enough home work cut out  now to survive a windy craft fair show.  


Monica - Abadia del Abalorio said...

What a horrible day you had!!! We always think in craft fair shows with sunny days, but these things can happend.... It is fun the way you explain it!

Anindita Basu said...

Thank you Monica. Your comment is very precious to me. I love your rings in your site. I made some adjustable toe rings and did very well in the craft fair. But yours are very pretty.

Carol D. said...

I have seen some booths using buckets of water as weights. Good idea if you know water is available.

Anindita Basu said...

Thanks Carol. I have seen that too. I think there are better solutions than gallon of water as weights - the problem is when you forget to take it and the fact that not only the bottom of the legs but the entire structure needs weight to survive from wind.

Divya N said...

I have had bad experience with wind at craft shows. I usually plan in such a way that 70-80% of my display is flat on the table and the remaining propped up. I also keep a plastic or cloth sheet to quickly cover the pieces incase there is a lot of dust and sand blowing in

Christy said...

Your windy day sounds exactly like what I experienced at an outdoor show today. I ended up having all of my jewelry lying flat on the table and felt, just like you explained, that all of my weeks of preparation and beautiful displays were a waste. I love all of your suggestions about wind proofing a display and look forward to trying them out at my next outdoor event in September. Thanks!

Anindita Basu said...

Divta, That's a great idea. Keep 80% of the display flat. I can just have 20% vertical things to just attract the customers and then they can hunt similar products kept in baskets, trays which are individually packed in see through boxes, packets etc. I have a show on Aug 2 at the same place and I am dreading it.

Anindita Basu said...

Christy- Thanks for your comment. I am also looking in to all kinds of options to battle the wind. Let me know what worked for you.

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