I have just been bombarded by so much interior eye candy lately, and with our move coming up very shortly, it's hard for me not to day dream even more about what I want our home to look like. Lately I'm loving lots of white, bright spaces with natural materials, and textures with calming shades and the occasional color pop. Our new place had already got good bones, I just can't wait to put our stamp on it. Here's some inspiration I've come across. Drool with me now:
I'm no expert at this for sure, and the things I'm currently selling don't take up a lot of space, but over the handful of times I've sold at events I've wanted to improve my displays without spending a lot of $$$. Here are some of the strategies I employ (or have employed) to create an attractive and functional table.
1) Good 'ole paper
Back on Maui I made a sign out of the same cardstock I use to print my cards. After plastering them with mod podge I had a pretty sturdy, water-proof sign. Unfortunately I didn't hold onto it for some reason when I came over to Hilo, so I ended up making a simple sign out of paper again what was bold and eye-catching.
Before my Farmer's Market experiment, I wanted to find a way to create an upright display. I couldn't figure out what to do, and for days I sat around...stumped. Then the toner cartridges I ordered came in and they ended up being the perfect size to display my cards! A little snip snip and I had sturdy card displays. They even came with packaging foam that I used as stands to create a "stadium" effect.
Here's what they looked like after I cut off the flaps and about 2/3 of the front:
3) Now that I had my boxes, I needed to make them pretty, which leads me to my next tip: FABRIC.
I went to the fabric store (the only one in Hilo really...) and picked up a yard of burlap for $7 (a little pricey I know, but it's Hawaii, and it's just a yard.) I just LOVED the texture and color and though it would go well. Wrapping my boxes in burlap was tricky, but each box got a little easier as I figured out the best technique. I also wrapped my little foam blocks. I love fabric because it can turn ugly things pretty and attach to ANYTHING. Because I was going for a natural look, the imperfections in the way I applied my fabric just gave it more character.
4) Borrow stuff
I borrowed a table from my parents for my Farmer's Market booth. Eventually I'm gonna get one, but at the last minute, borrowing was a big help. See what you can borrow from family members, friends and neighbors if you're on a tight budget.
5) Look around and work with what you've got.
For me that's included a wooden drawer, a couple of wooden boxes Keola's Grandma let me have, thread, clothes pins, bobbi pins, glass jars, sand from the back yard, baskets, rocks (to weigh stuff down)...you name it. The day before an event you can often find me wandering around the yard or the house, picking things up, turning them over, envisioning how it can be used or transformed into something useful. That's just how I work.
The display for my last event came together on the morning of. At 6am I stood up a wooden drawer face down (it had no handles) taped my sign to the top, taped up a couple pieces of thread across the drawer opening and hung cards with bobbi pins (genius by the way, since bobbi pins don't indent the paper like clothes pins do). From a distance the thin thread made the cards look like they were floating. I just LOVE this drawer because it's so sturdy and stable and really became the centerpiece to the whole display.
Here's a shot of the ugly back side where I kept all my cards ready to package up for people:
So there you have it! Craft booths are fun because each one presents new opportunities to be creative and resourceful. Doing booth events can be a little costly upfront depending on the venue. Some venues will provide more (like tables and chairs), others want you to bring a tent, tables, chairs, etc. Each one is different and presents its' own set of challenges, but by getting creative and using inexpensive materials, you can make your display look like a million bucks.
I'm growing to love selling at events because every time I go it's an experiment. Who's going to be there? What adjustments do I need to make to my display? Granted, I still didn't make what I've made at First Friday, but I sold for four hours in a MUCH lower traffic event, and still made way more sales than Farmer's Market.
I hit the right demographic - locals.
As soon as I got there I knew I was around the right people. I received lots of positive feedback and curiosity since no one had seen me before. It was great fun talking to people about my products and my plans for the future, and I left feeling really good about continuing to do local events rather than Farmer's Market. Every event is a gamble but if you know your target audience you can make a calculated risk and are more likely come out on top. I also told myself that I wasn't just there to make money, but to meet people and make connections and that's just what I did.
Great day all around.
P.S. If we just met this Saturday, welcome to my blog! Check back often for the latest news, subscribe to my email list or follow me through my social media channels.
Yesterday on a bit of a whim I ditched Wordpress for Squarespace (I had been thinking about it but wasn't really planning on moving), and while it's taken some getting used to, I think my blog looks more professional and elegant than I could ever have done on my own, all with a lot less time and headache.
This change comes partly due to wanting to reposition myself as a home decor/lifestyle brand rather than the surf brand that I felt like was my only option even though that's not really ME. I really feel in my gut that this shift (even if it's just in my head) is a good one.
Initially I wanted to make a couple simple changes to my existing site, and every time I change the look of my site I get frustrated over the fact that I can't get EXACTLY what I want due to the fact that I don't really have the know how to create a completely custom Wordpress site.
Squarespace offers gorgeously designed templates with pretty decent flexibility to make it your own - no coding required. I used to be the total DIYer when it came to my website, but thinking about all the hours I wasted slamming my head against a wall trying to figure out code and test out a zillion plugins trying to get just the right functionality is just not worth it anymore. SO I'm forking over $8 a month to have a professional looking website that I'm proud of. If one day I leave Etsy, there's a built in store I can use here without having to direct customers to another site.
The biggest change design-wise is of course my header. You'll soon find that header on all of my social media channels. I decided to ditch the heart as a logo because I think SoPupuka is catchy and memorable enough to stand on its' own. I was also feeling a little restricted by the heart. It might be purely psychological, but getting rid of it frees me up to explore all kinds of new designs and new products.
My takeaway? Paying for something that would take you hours and hours to figure out on your own is worth it, and sometimes those spur of the moment decisions turn out to be the best of all.
This past Saturday I got hit with inspiration and I spent a fair chunk of time working on some new designs. So FUN! Part of my focus is creating versatile designs that can go on to several different products. I really find myself drawn to the home decor/lifestyle route as opposed to clothing. My closet is pretty pitiful and unimaginative. I'd feel like a total fraud if I tried to sell clothes ha! Anyway...Here's a peak at one design I'm in love with:
Mau loa means forever. It's circular shape represents the family relationships never ending, and the heart (obviously) represents love.
I cannot WAIT to roll this out.