Set Up

Kelly, a weaver in Iowa, is considering starting to do shows in her area, so asked about my booth setup. I promised her I’d do my next post on that topic.

I also told Kelly that this is an old shot – probably about 4 years – and indoors. My booth layout evolves and changes over time, and indoors looks different from outdoors, a corner space different from an interior space. I almost never bring my camera to a show. Too many things to think about and keep track of, I don’t need one more, so this is the most recent booth shot I have. I guess I’d better update it soon, since some shows ask for a booth shot. Anyway, here it is.
my show booth

Given all my qualifying statements, I’ll tell you here what remains important to my layout. One thing is this fabric-sided, bamboo-shelved hanging shelf.
hanging shelf

I roll my scarves and arrange them in the shelves roughly by color. Shoppers are free to look at things in the shelves as well as those draped around.

Another constant is shower curtains rods. For most shows I use 6 of them. They are a nice diameter and expand from about 3′ to about 6′. This makes them very flexible to fill the space I need them in. Usually I have two shower curtains on one side of the booth, one hanging higher, one hanging lower. In this photo I only have 1 rod per side, with the other scarves draped over the top bar of my booth. Less than desirable.

A third constant is what I call ‘the rod men.” I have two of these stick people, each of which can hold one shawl or two scarves beautifully. Here one is on each side of the booth, they’re now usually paired.

Last, I almost always have my little rigid heddle loom in my booth. I try to get a corner space so that I can demo weaving the entire time. I think it makes a huge difference in the interest in and understanding of my work. Plus it gives me something to do.

The wicker room divider you see here was the only time I ever used it. It doesn’t really work well with the rest of my setup, or with my weaving.

If you’ve never done shows before, I suggest looking at a lot of other booths, both weavers and other crafters/artists. Wander around any art & craft show you can find. Look at how they’re set up, where the artist stands/sits, how they interact (or don’t) with shoppers, how they decorate (or don’t) their booth, how they cover their tables, what their signage is like, and more.

There is no right or wrong. Everyone does it differently, so you have to find what works for you. Laura Fry, an incredibly talented weaver and weaving teacher, has put any number of photos of her booth setup on her blog. It’s very different from mine. Scroll through her blog to find them.

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