Set up/tear down woes- please help!

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PuddinAndPeanuts

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Had a kick butt show last weekend, but set up and tear down are killing me at about 5 HOURS each. Please help!

I sell assemblage jewelry partially made from upcycled vintage parts along with my bath and body. That style jewelry just doesn't work well with minimalist or sleek (at least I don't think so...). I should note that my typical customer is a 30-60 year old woman in to the shabby chic/chippy vintage/more is more look. I do as many vintage shows as I do craft shows (always with bath & body as well as Jewelry). My point being that the pared down to basics look that is so perfect for most of you, probably would sink me. I badly need help on how to maintain my current esthetic, but make it way, way, WAY more streamlined. I do need to maintain the flexibility to respond to different booth sizes and configurations.

These are pictures from a couple different shows. I tried to include a variety of far away and detail pictures.

Thanks so much for any help you all can offer!

ImageUploadedBySoap Making1478529079.606423.jpgImageUploadedBySoap Making1478529134.529064.jpgImageUploadedBySoap Making1478529204.621093.jpgImageUploadedBySoap Making1478528981.273713.jpg
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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Can you put the black "body part" displays whole in a box each and just tidy them a little when you take them out? Do you take a whole hanging line of those newspaper things down and then stack them, so you only have to connect the top one to your bar each time? Do those big boards have just hooks, or solid rings so that the items can stay on in transit?
 

navigator9

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Wow! Five hours for set up and break down is a lot. A crazy lot! I've done both jewelry and soap, so maybe I can help. What takes the longest? That would be a good place to start.

I see pictures of those vertical boards both empty and full of jewelry, so I'm guessing that you put all of those pieces on the board after you arrive at the venue? Is there any way that you can transport those pieces fully loaded? Wrap them tightly in a large piece of fabric and safety pin it so that if anything falls off, it will not get lost? Then stand it up or lay it flat in your vehicle, so that it doesn't get tossed around too much. If you have all of your earrings on cards, that at least keeps the pairs together. Necklaces are tricky. I never did find a good way to transport them, and it does take some time to get them all untangled from one another, but what if you put each of them in its own organza bag? That way, at least you don't have to untangle them from one another. Just take them out of the bag and place them on your display. Then when you make a sale, you can put it back in the bag for your customer. Maybe instead of having so many different display pieces, you could organize things together, like have some large bracelet bars with more bracelets on them, and large T-bars for more necklaces. You could then use the individual necklace displays to showcase special pieces. Would it be possible to put pieces together in a zip lock baggie, with a note on it..."three tiered silver tray", so that once you put out that display piece, you know that everything in that baggie goes there?

I like the look of your display, there are lots of interesting little display pieces to explore, but I can see where it would make for a long set up. But five hours is just nuts. I know that with the style of your jewelry, this display works, but I'd work at streamlining it a bit more. You could try it and get customer feedback to see how they feel about it. There has to be a way to do it or you'll burn yourself out in no time. Good luck to you!
 

cmzaha

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^^^I had typed up a very long suggestion but navigator condensed down a lot of my suggestions. I have to be able to set up in 1 hr at most venues and I have a lot. Your setup to me is rather mind boggling and I would just give up. :) I can do 9-10 tables in a 10x10 space. I like all products grouped to their own tables. B&B goes on the 4 front tables, I elevate a 4' table behind each 4' front table, giving me 4 in front. Hubby's golf art goes on 2 elevated tables on the side, and my crochet hats on 2 more elevated tables on the other side, with duckies on a table vertical to my front tables. It is very easy to work with 4' long tables especially if you get telescoping tables. I would lose the round tables and get 2'x4' tables. They are also very easy to pack.

Although your booth looks nice I find it much to cluttered for my 60' ish taste and I like Shabby Chick. Instead of the pictured backdrop and nice curtain of burlap works well. I have seen this done quite often with jewelry displayed directly on the burlap. One gal I know takes down her burlap wall of earrings folds and rolls it so she just has to un-roll it when she gets to market. Most I see use large display pieces that as Navigator mentioned, can just be carefully packed. I would also separate the B&B products so it does not distract from the jewelry. I will mention, but not to hurt your feelings, I do not like the grass jewelry display pieces. Maybe longer velvet boards that you can display on an easel and leave all jewelry intact. I have also seen very nice displays using acrylic display boxes or shadow boxes that can be closed and packed. There are many ways to cut down and still look very nice. Personally when I look at jewelry I like it uncluttered so I can see what I am looking for. Think how jewelry is displayed in stores, streamlined so you can find what you want without distraction. The people whom I saw with the jewelry in display boxes had beautiful pieces of wood on their tables, and used old large books and the decorative boxes from Michael's for holding their display boxes. Small trunks or antique suitcases work well for hanging chains on the inside of the lid then lay a nice piece of velvet inside the bottom for display. Again, close the lid and it is ready to move.
 

dixiedragon

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Your display is gorgeous! I'm with navigator - what takes the longest?

Re: necklaces - I really like those large picture frames you have. Maybe you can put the necklaces on one of those? Two pins at the top so the necklace hangs nicely. Then for transport, secure them with 3-4 of those 2 prong pins so they don't tangle.
 

TBandCW

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That is a very nice booth, but time is money and 5 hrs is waaaay to long to set up.
Can you hire someone to come in and help? I'm usually a control freak when it comes to my set up, but I let the high school kids that volunteer at last weekends local high school craft fair set up my candle display. Geez, nobody dropped anything and it looked great!
Take a good look at your displays and think if you really need all the extra touches you do. Example: find an easier way to display your bath products instead of using an end table, find a solid piece of fabric for backdrops etc.
 
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dixiedragon

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If you make good money doing this, it may be worthwhile to hire somebody to design some kind of display piece that fits in with your aesthetic, travels well, is sturdy, etc etc.
 

PuddinAndPeanuts

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Can you put the black "body part" displays whole in a box each and just tidy them a little when you take them out? Do you take a whole hanging line of those newspaper things down and then stack them, so you only have to connect the top one to your bar each time? Do those big boards have just hooks, or solid rings so that the items can stay on in transit?

First- thank you for taking the time to help me out here. I do 15-25ish shows a year. This is killing me!

I think the 'black body part displays' are some of my busts. They are velveteen covered cardboard and require no assembly other than taking them out of a protective bag.

The hanging book pages- yes, I unclip the top from the pole, fold accordion style and box. I am considering changing this to the same pages, but placed on a clear shower curtain to save time in this step. Just have to consider how much of the 'cool' factor I'll lose if I do that. This part of my display is a huge time suck, but brings in tremendous traffic.

The boards sit on tripods. The items sitting on the little black cards can be left on in transit- sort of. Those are hand made cards to hold charms. The cards are punched out, then hole punched, then a thread loop added. A charm is then attached to the thread with a jump ring. The cards are pinned to the boards using sewing pins. I can double pin the cards and if I cover them with heavy enough vinyl, they don't get too screwed up when I haul them around. The only problem is I use a pick up truck and if the boards get rained on (and I can't think of a way to waterproof the mess), then all those cards are ruined. (They are time consuming to make). Additionally, trapped rain in three causes mold on the fabric covering the board. Fixable, but time consuming. I run in to problems in that weather can be super unpredictable in our area. "Don't like the weather? Just wait 30 minutes!". Weather reports are not trustworthy, and to be perfectly honest, I sometimes take a day or so before I get to unloading. The fix for this one would be a way to waterproof. Other frames are retrofitted to display bracelets. The trays that hold the bracelets are permanant, but the bracelets have to come on and off for each show- that's a less time consuming task than you would think (for once!!).

Wow! Five hours for set up and break down is a lot. A crazy lot! I've done both jewelry and soap, so maybe I can help. What takes the longest? That would be a good place to start.

I see pictures of those vertical boards both empty and full of jewelry, so I'm guessing that you put all of those pieces on the board after you arrive at the venue? Is there any way that you can transport those pieces fully loaded? Wrap them tightly in a large piece of fabric and safety pin it so that if anything falls off, it will not get lost? Then stand it up or lay it flat in your vehicle, so that it doesn't get tossed around too much. If you have all of your earrings on cards, that at least keeps the pairs together. Necklaces are tricky. I never did find a good way to transport them, and it does take some time to get them all untangled from one another, but what if you put each of them in its own organza bag? That way, at least you don't have to untangle them from one another. Just take them out of the bag and place them on your display. Then when you make a sale, you can put it back in the bag for your customer. Maybe instead of having so many different display pieces, you could organize things together, like have some large bracelet bars with more bracelets on them, and large T-bars for more necklaces. You could then use the individual necklace displays to showcase special pieces. Would it be possible to put pieces together in a zip lock baggie, with a note on it..."three tiered silver tray", so that once you put out that display piece, you know that everything in that baggie goes there?

I like the look of your display, there are lots of interesting little display pieces to explore, but I can see where it would make for a long set up. But five hours is just nuts. I know that with the style of your jewelry, this display works, but I'd work at streamlining it a bit more. You could try it and get customer feedback to see how they feel about it. There has to be a way to do it or you'll burn yourself out in no time. Good luck to you!

If you see my reply to the efficacious gentleman, you can get the (entirely unnecessarily overly detailed) full explanation for the boards. The short answer is that, yes they can be kept with stuff on them, but it's not actually practical unless I can find a way to waterproof them. They're BIG- the square one is by far the smallest at only 4x4ish feet.

Necklaces- I use ziplock bags between shows. I may be switching to the organza though to combat unrelated issues.

Bracelet bars- can't do those since most of my bracelets would hang upside down. No doubt there are dozens of options for laying out more bracelets together. But do I want to? They sell well, and they're pricey. Other than set up time, a disadvantage to this display is that there's a LOT to see. With the display, and even with the jewelry- it requires observation some level of attention to get what you're looking at. I doubt anybody comes in my booth and really sees everything. It's too **** much to take in. By dividing bracelets onto several displays, I increase the likelihood they will notice them. Ok, so take your same concept (cause it's a good one) and apply it to necklaces. Most of my necklaces require busts to see what they are. Some of those that don't are already on mass displays. The ones wrapped around bottles are the only ones I could maybe mass together somehow.

I can't keep jewelry with its display. My display changes too much depending on the space I have, and I often need easy access to pieces between shows.

Thank you for your thoughts!
 

navigator9

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While I like your backdrop, if it's a major time suck, as you say, I'd definitely consider something else that can work as well, but doesn't take so much time. Although you may have a banner, I don't see one in any of your pics. How about a solid backdrop with a big banner going across the back? You could have something equally as cool, and attention grabbing, but less time consuming. You've got to find a way to cut down on your set up/breakdown time, it's just way too much. I don't know how long you've been doing this, but sooner or later, it will get you. I sure hope you making big bucks at your shows to make up for all the time you're spending. Like TBandCW, I'm a control freak when it comes to set up, but if you have someone at least to help you unload, get all your stuff into the venue and get tables set up and tablecloths on, and that backdrop up, I know for me, that's the part I don't enjoy, and that I find the hardest. I love setting everything out on the tables, and arranging things, although if I had as much stuff as you do...I don't know. It just seems really overwhelming to me, and I know how tired I am at the end of a show, having been up late the night before, and early that morning, and thinking of having to spend another five hours breaking down would burn me out in no time. I'm hoping for your sake that you're in your twenties!!! LOL :-D
 

dixiedragon

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Re waterproofing - check out the storage section - I get them in Publix - for giant ziplock bags.

Regarding the pages - they are very cool looking! But if they are paper I am assuming they are somewhat fragile?

Maybe a fabric like this:
https://www.fabric.com/buy/0278289/...ck?cm_vc=756b1813-cbc1-43b3-84bd-29889bf8fb7b

You make iron-on of some of the large objects you have, like the shoe. Attach them to a wooden dowel or a painted PVC pipe. When you are done for the day, roll them up. That way they don't wrinkle, and they store tightly.
 

Saponista

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I'm thinking you need to keep certain parts of your stall ready set up to just get out and put up. The parts where all the jewellery is pinned on need to be made smaller so they can be packed away in one piece each time without having to take each item off and just re stock them as necessary. 5 hours is just such a huge waste of your time! I really feel for you.
 

dixiedragon

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I'm with Saponista. I'm thinking get one of those really long Rubbermade type containers - like the ones that go under beds. Then get only picture frames that will fit in those containers. Put your picture frames with jewelry in those. then if you need to get to it between shows, you only have 1 container to go through.

Regarding the pages. You could make some kind of scaffolding and attach the pages to those. Then take down the scaffolding. The pages are all attached to 1 long dowel, so roll that one up.
 

PuddinAndPeanuts

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While I like your backdrop, if it's a major time suck, as you say, I'd definitely consider something else that can work as well, but doesn't take so much time. Although you may have a banner, I don't see one in any of your pics. How about a solid backdrop with a big banner going across the back? You could have something equally as cool, and attention grabbing, but less time consuming. You've got to find a way to cut down on your set up/breakdown time, it's just way too much. I don't know how long you've been doing this, but sooner or later, it will get you. I sure hope you making big bucks at your shows to make up for all the time you're spending. Like TBandCW, I'm a control freak when it comes to set up, but if you have someone at least to help you unload, get all your stuff into the venue and get tables set up and tablecloths on, and that backdrop up, I know for me, that's the part I don't enjoy, and that I find the hardest. I love setting everything out on the tables, and arranging things, although if I had as much stuff as you do...I don't know. It just seems really overwhelming to me, and I know how tired I am at the end of a show, having been up late the night before, and early that morning, and thinking of having to spend another five hours breaking down would burn me out in no time. I'm hoping for your sake that you're in your twenties!!! LOL :-D

Definitely not in my 20's! The backdrop, I've got a few ideas to speed that up. I'm not willing to give it up just now- it's too much of a draw. And despite all the work- it is worth my time. I guess if I calculated what I make per hour I'd faint with horror- but- I'm about 3/4 poor, and the profit from one good show pays my mortgage for the month.

I have discovered something silly that makes just a huge difference. I started wearing headphones and listening to music. I swear if shaves an hour and a half off set up time. Of course, then I "serenade" those around me too...

Re waterproofing - check out the storage section - I get them in Publix - for giant ziplock bags.

Regarding the pages - they are very cool looking! But if they are paper I am assuming they are somewhat fragile?

Maybe a fabric like this:
https://www.fabric.com/buy/0278289/...ck?cm_vc=756b1813-cbc1-43b3-84bd-29889bf8fb7b

You make iron-on of some of the large objects you have, like the shoe. Attach them to a wooden dowel or a painted PVC pipe. When you are done for the day, roll them up. That way they don't wrinkle, and they store tightly.

The book pages are laminated- totally water proof! :)

Definitely not in my 20's! The backdrop, I've got a few ideas to speed that up. I'm not willing to give it up just now- it's too much of a draw. And despite all the work- it is worth my time. I guess if I calculated what I make per hour I'd faint with horror- but- I'm about 3/4 poor, and the profit from one good show pays my mortgage for the month.

I have discovered something silly that makes just a huge difference. I started wearing headphones and listening to music. I swear if shaves an hour and a half off set up time. Of course, then I "serenade" those around me too...

I like your book pages on scaffolding idea a lot- I may do that instead of the other idea I was considering, thanks!
 
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