Market displays for small spaces


We’re off to Starbucks for their holiday markets. I’m excited because the second time around, I’m more prepared.  Last year when Carol mentioned that we ought to do this fair to showcase our lovely fair trade items, I had no idea what to expect.  Meira was barely a month old (she came with us to the market) and I was feeling a little schlubby with all the fancy Starbucks employees but I met a lot of really great people that also champion the fair trade ethical fashion cause.

This year I’m prepared.  We are only working with half a table space as there are many vendors in one of the Starbucks HQ conference rooms. I had to curate what to bring and I decided to do a dry run through and display all the products I chose to make sure it would all fit and look decent.  I think I brought way too much stuff last year and this year I’m lean and trim (my stuff not me!) and I have one tote, the crate and one small box. And no babies.

I’ve got some tips and tricks for you all to not spend a ton of money to display your vintage finds, crafty goods, jewelry or fair trade items at the market:

1.  Build UP. Think apartment as opposed to a single home dwelling. It’s also more eye catching to people who pass by our booth.  You want to think of display items up high.  To display the jewelry, I took a acrylic and wooden frame and used it portrait style.  I spent 3 dollars and bought some cup holder hooks and screwed them into the top of my frame to display necklaces. The great thing here is that I could use a dry erase market and write the prices at the bottom.  I used a easel to hold the frame up.

2. Stagger your items.  Tall things in the back, shorter things in the front and then your flat items at the front edge of the table. I bought the white cra box from IKEA. I think it cost about 5 dollars. I chose to use plastic so that I don’t have to worry about cracking or worry about vintage wooden boxes.

3. Double duty displays. I chose a wooden crate so that you could see through the gaps and placed my soft items.  I used the top part to display my poster of our business and I added some hooks in the front for my DIY banner which are so easy and quick to make. I can also lean products against the wooden crate and the white box to display more items.  I have seen people use vintage suitcases which is another great idea and also cake displays

4. Mantle hooks. Oh I’m so glad it’s Christmas so mantle hooks and weights are in abundance in the shops right now.  So awesome to be able to use the space below the table to hang items like bags, shirts, or your business name.  It adds a little flair to your table. Hooks run from about 10 – 20 dollars depending on the style and number of hooks you want.

5. If you can — bring a coat/hat tree.  They look awesome and then you are able to display things like bags and soft items.  You can try finding one in the thrift shop and then going out and buying more hooks to add to their tree.  That way you can display a lot of products at once without taking up a lot of space.

6. Lastly, TEST it out. I have gone out and bought items that may work for display but inevitably it doesn’t.  I would try to use the item during my set up time and it just wasn’t working.   Building my display at home helped me out a lot because I did have a few items that I bought that I thought would work but doesn’t so I can return it and save some money. The picture above is my “dry-run” for my display for the market that happens tomorrow.  I took a few pictures so when I set up, I know where everything goes.  Testing is super helpful because it will save you loads of time. and you can just enjoy chatting and meeting customers.

Happy market days!