Recently, four of my fellow jewelry artist friends and I decided to attend a small local Farmer's Market in nearby Troy, Texas. The venue features a covered pavilion with a concrete floor and restrooms at the adjacent Community Center.
We ran a little late, but still had plenty of time to set up. We met with Laurie Bailey, the Troy city council woman who is charge of the event. I filled out the paperwork as the others began setting up. We were given the Number One space as we were new to the venue, so we had great visibility.
We set our two 4 foot tables and our two card tables in a U shape and placed our four folding TV trays within easy reach for drinks and a work space. The wind was an issue and we had to rethink our displays. I gave up on the "upright display is best for visibilty" rule and ended up laying a lot of my pieces flat. Over all, I think our area had a good presentation.
Of the five of us setting up, Valerie and Dori had done a few small shows and Venus and Dian were total newbies. This show was very much a practice run for all of us. We did a lot of networking with the other vendors who were only too happy to share their lists of area venues with us. We had a couple of small sales and made a few purchases of our own. After all, who can resist local raw honey and fresh, local tomatoes?
The Troy Farmer's Market is held the 4th Saturday of every month from 9 a.m. till 12 noon at the Pavilion near City Hall. Come by if you are in the area on market days! If you can't make it, please support the farmer's markets in your area!
TIPS FOR ART/CRAFT FAIR SET UPS
1. Tape...lots of tape. Double Sided Tape is useful for securing small items to the table. Duct Tape will hold small signs, extension cords, etc, in place.
2. Baby Wipes. I buy inexpensive generic wipes and keep them in my cooler. Use to wipe off tables and chairs, and as hand wipes. A chilled wipe across the back of your neck is a great pick me up at a warm outdoor show. And, as I found out when I did those Bayfront shows in Corpus Christi...they will remove sea gull dropping from your fellow vendor's oil paintings.
3. Lesson learned at this show....bean bags to weigh down displays. We did not have them this time around. I will be making some this week. I am thinking...3x5 inches, filled with pinto beans (or whatever is on sale). Maybe add a removable slip cover in a nice cheery color or print.
4. Years ago, I made a custom fitted cover for my four foot table. Having it fitted saved time in set up. The length of fabric for my four foot table was about 9 feet....roughly 3 yards. I used 60 inch wide muslin and draped it over the table. I hemmed the raw edges for a more finished look. I placed the muslin on the table and adjusted it so that it reached the floor on each side and in the front. I left a floor clearance of about 1 1/2 inches so that the bottom edges of the cover would stay cleaner. Place books on each corner to keep fabric from shifting and gather the excess fabric at the legs and fold the excess into a dart. Secure this dart with straight pins. Do this for all four corners. Carefully remove the fabric and sew the darts on a sewing machine. You can leave the darts as they are or carefully cut each dart up the center and iron flat and trim away excess fabric. The darts will not be visible so it does not really matter. Turn inside out and you now have a custom fitted table drape. You can also make a fitted cover in the fabric of your choice. A shorter cover in a print to slip over the muslin cover would add a pop of color to your set up.