Turn The Tables - Question 4

Turn The Tables - Question 4

Where do you buy booth displays, walls, anything for a retail or craft show display? Photo styling props? Do you have any DIY hacks you could share?
When it comes to craft show displays, trade show displays, and retail shop displays I feel like I am a champion in this area. Not necessarily because I am some wiz at it, but simply because I have done it so many time; sometimes failing and sometimes winning. One of my favorite places to get displays is the flea market. I love some good ole stuff with a story, but most importantly you can get really interesting stuff for really great prices. My home is filled with vintage furniture. When it comes to tradeshow booths, we have done it all the ways, but our current booth and our booth we have used for more shows than every other way we did it was built by my pal David Dill of D+P Design Build in my hometown of Jackson, Mississippi. He is a master craftsman and is amazing at what he does and the smart ways he builds a booth so that it goes up easier, weighs lighter and hold up over time. One of the best places I have found display stuff online is called Clear Displays. We buy a lot of our card holders, clear acrylic art print holders and clear wall shelves for greeting cards. For styling props I head back to the flea, but also have always been able to find cool stuff at Urban Outfitters or Anthropologie! Happy reading friends! xo, Kristen
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I love World Market for cute kitchen styling props and Parisian/French themed items, Sur La Table also for French themed items but they also sell the cutest holiday spatulas and I love to bake!

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We buy so many things for our trade shows at IKEA! For photo styling props, I like going to thrift stores, or to our own library for books to use as a part of the display. Also, Hobby Lobby (GULP) has lots of inexpensive little do-dads that look cute next to a card!

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Kelly Moore from Type A Society taught me the importance of good props and how a styled vignette is so important to support a story. I receive so many styled shoot submissions, and as I’ve spoken about on other platforms, some creatives are forgetting the purpose of styling is to support a story. And even better if it’s a true story! Perhaps we should change the term from styling to story-supporting?

Whether you are styling a product you’re trying to sell, a booth at a craft show, a photo shoot you want published, a wedding, fashion, whatever—the most important thing is to remember, what story are you trying to tell? People want beauty, yes. But more so, they want an experience.
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I have taken an extended break from doing craft and art fairs, though I know I will return one day. Pegboard was always useful for me at craft shows to be able to hang and ease of rearranging to fill any gaps if my paintings sold.

For photo styling ideas, I love using the self-stick vinyl Limestone tiles from Lowe’s. In-store, I think each one is less than a dollar and it is a nice touch to have for styled photos on Instagram.
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I’m all about “fake it until you make it” - spray paint is one of my favorite prop tools. A good can of gold spray paint can transform almost anything into Instagram-worthy status! I’ll head to the thrift store and find items like platters and apply some paint to them for quick and easy displays - you can even dip paint some items for a more modern look. I am a big fan of walking the aisles of Target or TJMaxx to find little things here or there to use as props too - I think most business owners will agree that “prop shopping” is definitely a perk of owning your business! Before any big shoots, I always walk around my house and gather up my ‘props’ to bring to the studio!
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One of the first times we did the National Stationery Show, I stopped in my tracks outside the beautiful Fawnsberg booth. Being the kindest people ever, they shared their booth plans with us and the next time we exhibited, we followed these. It worked out beautifully. Packable, but polished!

For photo props, I love to lurk around the junk stores in town. Hunt & Gather is the mecca!
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I've never really liked the look of plastic cable ties poking through foam board booths. I prefer a more seamless look, plus those plastic cable ties can get in the way of your product display. My favorite hack for a trade show booth display is to “MacGyver it” a bit. I duct tape a paint stick to each side of the foam board panels, were the seam is, and then run the cable tie under the paint stick and attach it to the pipe and drape behind the boards. It gives you a super seamless look to your booth.

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We build our own booth walls and get the materials from Home Depot. we often use somewhat unexpected materials to help pull off a particular look we’re after without breaking the bank. for instance, we’ve used house siding panels to get a shiplap look, which we combined with decorative-brick wall-panels to create our signature lake + loft look. The panels are light, inexpensive, and with a little paint can create a super custom look! Ikea is also a major go-to for us (as it is for so many!). For our last booth, we were able to create a large island for just $125 using four Ikea bookcases and a slab door from Home Depot!

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I LOVE vintage industrial supplies, and some of my favorite display pieces are re-purposed items I’ve found at flea markets, estate sales, and Ebay. Our number one most complimented item in the store is our vintage green Rotabin, which was intended to hold hardware parts. We use it to store and display party favors. You’d never believe how much product we can store in that bad boy. I found it on Ebay and had to have it delivered by pallet truck to our warehouse, but it was worth every penny.

For new display elements, Ikea really does have some great, inexpensive but super functional pieces. Their picture ledges are perfect for displaying greeting cards and art prints - and I also have a few of their simple shelving units for displaying products in our store. Finally, painted wooden crates can so store many different products and are portable and super affordable.
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One of our fav places to find cool, random stuff is Society of Salvage. Check them out on Instagram

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We used a few different sources for our retail display pieces and our work tables. IKEA is always a go to for great, economical shelving and display pieces. We have some shelving units from there and we plan on making a trip soon for some new pieces. Our work tables were definitely a splurge (Restoration Hardware), but they are unique and beautiful. I get bored really easy, so we are getting ready for a fresh look at the shop. We have several IKEA pieces picked out and we are having a local carpenter build our new shop tables. Here are our favorite IKEA pieces: PRODUCT 1 PRODUCT 2 PRODUCT 3

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