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
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.
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.