It’s show, market and home decorating season! This is the time of year when everything gets ramped up and all of the holiday shows are starting! As well as owning my own retail store, I’ve been doing shows such as flea markets and other venues for just over 14 years now, and I normally wonder how I am either going to… A. Fill a space or B. Cram everything I brought into it. And I worry I …A. Don’t have enough or B. I brought the wrong things. But the truth is, you can make you booth look great on the fly with these seven secrets to merchandising, styling and display for a show or market (or retail store!).
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I’ve learned a few tricks about merchandising that I thought I would share with you! The best part is, these secrets work in your home too!!! Merchandising was one of those things I really sucked at when I started and each time I did a show I learn a little something more, and got a little better. When I opened my retail store, I put a lot of those things to work. I am happy with how much better I have grown and will continue to grow and I want to share some of those things I’ve learned with you. You can also buy my eBook Your Creative Business and Getting Started for ways to make passive and active income and use the skills and talents you have.
If you’ve ever wanted to start selling at Handmade Markets or Vintage Shows check out this post.
I started learning by walking into a great store and gleaning all of their creativity by studying their displays. I still do it. But I wish someone could’ve helped me, or even if there was a class I could take. So here are a few tips about merchandising,styling and display if you feel the same way! And I’ve also included a video of extra retail display tips and ideas below:
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1. Create a display that gathers like-minded objects. Everything in this case has a “collected” feel. From the old bottle to the statue, it all feels old, like it could be out of someone’s curiosity cabinet. It all goes together in theme and color scheme and it makes it feel cohesive.
2. Repeat themes and objects. In the cabinet above,glass on the bottom, glass in the middle,glass at the top. and below, books and chairs.A desk, and lamp an “office theme”.In this even longer shot of the same cabinet, see how it looks really full now? It is important to re-display constantly and keep your display active. As things sell, you need to fill holes and spread out if you don’t have items to replace them with.
3. Go for height. Height is your friend. Don’t be afraid to safely hang, stack and move the eye upward. What looks better? Items laid flat on a table like a craft fair, or items displayed at various heights to catch your eye? Use shelves, books,stools,chairs,little tables and even crates to get height. I love this collection of crates for display.
4. Make it interesting and group. Again, this could be a hodge podge hot mess, but instead the clustered pictures look interesting. It makes you want to look again. None of them even relate but since they are grouped the eye sees them as going together. You can also see how in this post about display rules of 1-2-3
5. Use common items in uncommon ways. i.e. putting beautiful china in a vintage tool box. Hard vs. soft and masculine vs. feminine. Above all it looks interesting. Or even using a branch for a clothing display instead of just a plain old bar, it makes you want to look at it again. It’s commonly uncommon.
6. Add a pop of something unexpected. Hanging branches with hanging teacups, is unexpected and fun. You aren’t just selling your things, you are selling the idea of your things…You’re selling a style. It’s something unexpected and surprising that’s fun opens up the seller’s eyes and catches their attention.
7.Make it pretty. Customers aren’t always sure how to use what you are selling, and they can’t always picture the final result. If you make it pretty and show them how to use/display it, they feel they have a reason to buy it.
Start noticing how stores with great displays like Anthropologie use these tools like height and the unexpected to make you want to spend your money.Heck, I like to go in there just to pretend I live in there. It gives you a certain feeling,and t makes you want to bring a piece of that place home with you. Google Anthropologie store windows and then hit images.You’ll see what I mean. You can find some items here to use in your display.
And I lied, there are actually 9 secrets, but seven sounded better on the infographic. 🙂
8. Create a story Whether it is in your own home as a geese flying over the moon mantelscape, or in a retail display called Camp Christmas people love to be transported into a good story. Pick a theme and run with it and make your customers mind be delighted.
9. Finally, Talk to “your” people. Talk to your customers. You don’t have to jump all over them like a used car salesman on his first day, but how do you feel when you go in a store and someone ignores you?Or they are on the web on their phone? Say hi, be friendly and engage with out being pushy. And a smile goes really long way. 🙂 I hope you loved these seven secrets to merchandising, styling and display for a show or market or retail store and are inspiring you to play with your visual merchandising.
And find out more about joining the Kitchen Table Creative Club here.
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