How to Dress a Knockout Craft Stall / Table

So your mission is to create an enticing stall, your very own charming  micro corner of the Craft Market. It should be inviting, it should quickly create a great impression and say a lot about you and your brand.

This post will look at some tips, trick and ideas for making maximum use of that trestle table/stall. When renting space at a craft fair space is often limited and there are often other limitations such as not being able to use floor standing items (such as rails, baskets or shelves) to display your work. So, a little thought has to go into getting the most out of the space that you’re given.

Here are some table dressing tricks I have used in the past:

  1. GET ORGANIZED - Try to group items according to their function/size/colour/theme/price or anything that quickly and easily makes sense to a passing onlooker. Some sort of organization on your table will make things less confusing for the customer and will make it easier for them to quickly find what they are looking for. A chaotic looking table is a turn-off.
  2. AT WHAT PRICE - to price or not to price?  I say price; I think that it’s best to clearly display prices because customers are often too shy to ask for the price (as it can make them feel obligated to buy). Also if a customer can quickly refer to a price tag or a price list it saves them time – which is rather handy if they have a little kiddo pulling on their arm!
  3. WEAR IT WELL - If selling items to be worn try to display one or more of these items modelled, either by yourself/jewellery stand/dummy etc. When people can easily see how gorgeous your items look when worn they don’t have to imagine it for themselves. We’re all about making life easier for our customers!
  4. GET HIGH – Get some 3D action on your stand. Your table will look more alive and be more eye-catching if you create points of height on your stall – rather than having all your items lying flat on a flat table. Create ‘steps’ on your table by using some same sized boxes and covering those boxes with some nice  cloth. Use cake stands/baskets/jewellery stands/rails/ vintage books etc. as raised surfaces on which to display your items.
  5. LESS IS MORE – I think it’s best not to overload your table with products. A table that contains a well chosen selection of items looks more polished than a table that is crammed with items (which I think gives a messy  spaghetti junction effect). If you’re bringing extra stock replenish during the day rather than pile it all on the table.
  6. LET THERE BE LIGHT – Ensure your table has plenty of light. Many fairs do not supply spot lighting. It’s worth bringing your own because the brighter the light is, the more colourful your handiwork is (things like beading, shiny buttons, and metal accessories will sparkle) and that really does make a difference. Also, the shine of a light from a spotlight (or a pretty lamp) will be noticed from afar by approaching customers.
  7. SHELVE IT – Put your more special items on the higher level of your stall (see #3) and the less expensive items within easier reach – don’t be too fixed about this, you still need to mix things up a bit so your arranging doesn’t look too obvious. Apparently whilst in a shop we judge items at eye level to be of mid quality; items at higher levels to be of higher quality, and lower items to be…(you guessed it). That said, items at eye level tend sell faster because we feel more comfortable buying the mid-quality item that is not too expensive, and not too cheap (in the words of Goldilocks; “Just right”). Next time you are in the supermarket check this out for yourself. For more consumer psychology click here, and here. This is not something to get yourself tied up in knots about, just something else to maybe  consider…
  8. PROP IT UP – props are a great way to add instant personality and warmth to your table.  If appropriate try a prop such as: a jug of flowers, a candelabra, bunting, books, pretty mirror, ornaments, cake stand, vintage gloves etc. But don’t overdo it!
  9. IT MUST BE A SIGN – Try to make up a sign for yourself with your company name/and or your name, and contact info. You can also say things like ‘All lovingly handmade’; ‘Gorgeous ….. made from fine French silk with hand beading’ (or whatever is appropriate); ‘All original designs’; ‘Commissions are welcome’. Make up your sign using photoshop, Illustrator etc. (or get a friend to do it). Don’t make up a sign using paints and crayons unless you (or a friend) can make it look really professional. An unprofessional looking sign will look pants and will cheapen the look of your handiwork. Make your sign A3 size so customers don’t have to squint, and laminate it. Try hanging the sign in front of the table. If you can’t do A3 try doing an A4 and displaying the sign in an attractive picture frame.
  10. WHAT A CARD -  Business cards? Yeah deffo get some. You need to be able to communicate where else you sell and/or how you can be contacted for commissions and to be invited to sell at other fairs.

…and most importantly wear a smile on your face (but not a manic one!) even if your tootsies are giving you grief, you have a hang over, things are a tad slow etc. wear a smile and the world will smile back (at least, it really ought to!)

What Stall Dressing tips do you like to use?

Lisa X

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2 responses to “How to Dress a Knockout Craft Stall / Table

  1. Great tips Lisa.
    Here’s one of my own. Make sure you cover your table, using something neutral to allow your product to stand out( I tend to use cream , keeps things light) Make sure whatever you cover your table with is big enough to reach the floor at the front and sides ( folding and pinning excess material so no one trips over it) This can hide a multitude of sins, as well as keeping your extra stock safe under your table.

  2. Ace tip Linnhe! Espesh about having the long cloth to hide all of your gear. :)

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