Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Better Booth Display: DIY at Urban Ore

This is the first in a series of posts focused on helping you build a Better Booth Display.

Holiday show season is here! Part of preparing for the shows is coming up with ways to display your items. One must consider, table type, table covers, backdrops, signage, seating, displays, etc.- not to mention easy packing and keeping the weight light.

Hardware stores are fabulous places… but have you considered salvage yards and thrift stores? You can save a small fortune on base supplies and ‘ready to wear’ displays.

The other week I went to Urban Ore in Berkeley for inspiration. If you haven't been there yet, set aside a bunch of time- it's 3 acres of recycled goods!

I now take you on a photo tour of the nearly endless possibilities…

‘Ready to Wear’ Displays

Ok- maybe you aren’t so handy with tools or don’t have the space or the time to create your own. No worries! There are many ‘ready to wear’ displays available- baskets, glass/wooden/metal trays, shelves, glass front cabinets, window shutters, fireplace screens, mannequins, and even sections of actual retail display racks.

‘Some Assembly Required’ Displays
Have you ever thought about using an old wooden chair on top of the table for height? It’s an instant shelf and with some screws or hooks around the seat edges etc. you can hang plenty of items from it. How about using an old paned window with screws in the framing to hang items? Same thing goes for old cupboard doors and odd items like vintage washboards. How do you make them stand- screw a couple hinges between them to create a folding screen type of unit. Use old frames (you can even do a quick coat of paint) but use fabric or printed photos and some corkboard underneath it where the photo goes and create mini free-standing cork boards to pin your items to.

Seating, Lighting and Backdrops

Many salvage yards and thrift stores have tons of options here. You can find everything from retail and home lighting to room screens and folding chairs for you booth- even in painted colors! Maybe you aren’t into a rattan folding screen, but think of it spray painted apple green behind you with a sign hanging from it. It can help create a ‘booth’ feel even with just a table top display.

Raw Materials

Need height on your table- use old floor boards with old books or cement blocks between them. Want instant flat backgrounds under your items on the table- use old tile or mirrors.

Look For Inspiration

You can search online for inspiration on how to use these materials. Use a search engine or check out Flickr or other photo sharing websites for these keywords:

Salvage display
DIY Display
DIY Craft Display
Show Display
Craft Display
Booth Display
(enter items you show) Display – i.e. ‘Quilt Display”

A Final Note - Putting It All Together

You can have a very pulled together look even with salvaged items. Pick one or two materials and use only items with those materials. Example: Glass and Iron- You can use dark iron wire racks and towers for hanging and a mix of glass trays on the table. Even if the trays are different styles, if they are all glass they will look consistent.

Enjoy creating!
Tara Evans -Velvet Otterhound - online store - blog

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Social Media Week at Etsy

It's Social Media Week over at Etsy and each day they're sharing all sorts of tips and tricks on using social media to build your business. They're catering to everyone from newbies to experts so you're sure to learn something no matter how experienced you are. 

The week will be filled with highlights from the Seller's Handbook, livestream workshops and chats, but the big event is Thursday when comedian Eugene Mirman, Twitter's Elizabeth Weil, Amy Turn Sharp of Little Alouette, Etsy's own Laura Chin, and Jen Rubio from Warby Parker come together for Almost Internet Famous.

Check out the full schedule and sign up for the livestreams to soak in the knowledge.

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Friday, October 21, 2011

Introducing a new Co-Chair

Hello everyone! My name is Genevieve and I am honored to be introducing myself to all of you as the new Co-Chair of I Heart Art: San Francisco along with the much loved Steph Cortes. Some of you may know me as the Co-Founder of Lightbox SF, the creative business coaching service I run here in San Francisco. For those of you who've never heard of me before you can read a little more on our Who page.

You may be thinking that I have a lot of "Co" titles in my life and well... I do. I believe in collaboration and community and not going it alone, so I guess it's fitting. That's also the part of I Heart Art that I'm most excited about, creating and supporting the local community of crafters, artists, makers and creatives. 

To that end I have a few teasers: 

Over the coming weeks we'll be running a series of blog posts focused on creating the best booth display ever. We know many of you are in heads-down mode getting ready for the chaos that December will bring and we want to help you make it the best holiday season yet. So keep checking back over the next few weeks for advice, resources and tips to make your holiday shows a smashing success. 

Steph and I are also in the beginning stages of planning an after the holidays social. Once we've all made it through and had a little recovery time we want to gather to lick our wounds and trade war stories. Of course this will also be a chance for us to talk more directly to all of you about what you want to see for I Heart Art in the coming year and for us to answer your questions. We'll let you know as soon as the details start coming together. 

Lastly, I also want to encourage all of you to send us your questions and suggestions. I Heart Art is still new to San Francisco and we're just figuring out what it should be. While Steph and I have many ideas it's also for all of you, so please don't hesitate to tell us what sort of support you need and programs you'd like to see. 

I look forward to hearing from you!

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