At my last show in February, I had some pictures taken of my display table etc. and was appalled at how awful, uncomplimentary to me and my product and how unprofessional it looked! I made a decision after that to spend some time and money before my next show on dreaming up and realizing a new display and set up that would draw people in and immediately tell a story about who I am as a designer and what I’d like my product to say.
I have always been drawn to the worlds of the circus, carnival, side show and gypsies. I love all the old and faded colours – burgundy, taupe, linen, burnished gold, black and browns, the patterns and motifs in the striped tents, gypsy caravans, side show posters and banners as well as the triangle pennant swags used in these events and designs. The more I thought about it and started to gather research and materials to create my vision, the more I could see it and the more excited I became!
After a month’s worth of diy, shopping, sewing, gluing and planning, it all came together. I used fabrics in my colour scheme that evoked a vintage and aged feel for my back drop, my table and to wrap the rods of my garment rack (the shiny chrome finish was just too glaring and did not fit). I crafted various lengths of paper and jute pennant banners in various patterns and designs with a common theme to them all. I sourced antique wooden crates, old wooden spools and a weathered hat block for layering and holding my millinery work. I included a couple of feathered black crow friends, grinning and creepy skull twins, tea dyed lace doilies and some retro valentine/love themed signs. I also purchased a burlap wrapped dress form on a wooden stand with black braid trim and “Paris” randomly stamped on the fabric to use as a display method for any wearable art piece I might want to have at a show.
Once all my ideas and projects were finished, I was ready for a test run and assembled everything in my living room. I was moved to tears of joy and pride in myself when I finally saw it all completed and could not wait to do it again at an actual show. This past weekend at the OVCC show, it was unveiled for the first time and was met with rave reviews! Customers and fellow artists alike commented on how professional it looked, how unique it was and how it really did reflect my product and drew a person in. Success!
I am a person who knows how important branding, a complete image and how you display and market yourself and your product is to one’s success so I am still baffled by how I managed to drop the ball where my display methods were concerned. Anyways, problem fixed and still more room to grow, add on and improve as I work with my new “store environment” for shows – I’m now on the hunt for a floor standing hat rack!