A BIG Layout Change for Houston 2015



we’ve had a nice long respite from traveling. Our last show was over 4 months ago at the Spring Quilt Market in Minneapolis, MN and while I’ve gotten a whole LOT done and I’ve enjoyed my time at home, its time to start thinking about our upcoming shows, in particular, the Fall Quilt Market and Festival, both of which are in Houston (in just in a couple of weeks, YIKES!).

And here’s the thing, the last time we made a major change in our booth layout was in January at Road2Ca (see picture above), because this configuration has worked SO well for us. R2Cbooth2Almost perfectly in fact, except for one thing! The way our table is placed, our customers can only see ONE side of our carousel displays (see picture at right) and when the booth is really crowded, this means customers often don’t see all of our products. This has grown into a bigger and bigger problem as we’ve added more new notions and zippers to our product line.

So what’s the remedy? Well, I guess the obvious solution is for us to expand from a single to a double booth. But not only is that solution expensive, but it’s an expense that will carryover to every single show we do. In other words, it’ll permanently cut into our bottom line, so for that reason alone I have resisted it, considering it to be a last resort. Instead I started searching for an alternative to the carousels we’ve been using, and here’s what I’ve got in mind!

BoothLayoutFall2015As you can see, our basic booth layout will not change. Our bag samples will still be shown similarly to the way we did at the Road2Ca and subsequent shows, but instead of our notions and zippers being hung on 4 different carousels, they’ll be displayed together on one continuous grid wall.

NotionsGridEmptryHere’s the grid wall I’m referring to. Shown here, it’s 6ft wide and just a shade over 6 ft tall. I should EASILY be able to get ALL of our notions and zippers on here AND I think I’ll even have room to hang our patterns here.

Time will tell. I’ll test it out by loading up this wall with our notions and zippers and then seeing how much space is leftover. You might remember that we typically put our patterns in bin boxes which are situated amongst out bag samples. This system has worked OK. I really have no serious complaints about this system, but our patterns would be far more accessible for our customers if we could hang them on the grid wall, AND, this would free up some much needed space on the sample tables.

I do have one BIG concern about these grid walls and that would be how they will hold up during shipment to Texas in October and then to California in January. We load all of our supplies and product on a pallet for shipment via UPS Freight to both of these locations.
We can easily surround them with our other supplies, and we can stretch wrap them in place so that they will absolutely NOT move an inch…but experience tells me that since our shipping crates are never stacked 6ft tall on the pallet, that means that ~18 inches will be sticking out above the crates and therefore somewhat vulnerable… and that makes me a little…shall we say, nervous. They should be fine… but suppose they aren’t?

But, in the meantime…

it appears that someone in my household thinks they’re just GREAT! (He’s had a BLAST playing on what he apparently thinks is his own personal jungle gym!)

So… stay tuned for a future post when we’ll show you how this grid wall looks when it’s loaded up with our notions, zipper and patterns. In the meantime I’d love to know what you think of this grid wall? In particular, do you think it’s an improvement over the carousels we’ve been using?

And remember, we love reading your comments and answering your questions too, so please feel free to leave them in the space provided below.

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9 Comments So Far, You're Next!

  1. Two concerns come to mind.

    One is that keeping an eye on your display and re-stocking needs may be slightly problematic. It looks like you have to go to the far side of the booth and walk the whole way around it to check the display, then go back around to get the needed stock.

    The other is that the display wall appears vulnerable to shoplifting. I don’t know if that’s a problem at these shows or not. I worked in a small fabric store for a couple of years, long ago, and, by-and-large, found that the people who shopped there were scrupulously honest. I hope you find the customers at these shows to be the same.

    • Thanks for your comments Diane.
      Concerning the re-stocking, the gridwall is actually set back from the show floor about 12″ due to the support legs. This will allow for me to see the front of it by leaning over the sales counter. We can also somewhat see the display from behind. My husband will be with me as well, and I will be able to hand items over the counter to him and he can restock that way. Not quite as convenient, I know… but it wont be too bad.
      As for the shoplifting… it’s always a concern. My husband is a cop and has a pretty good eye for that but this was always a possibility even with our old setup. I think the majority of our shoppers are honest, but I know there is always a certain amount of loss due to this problem. I think every merchant has to deal with this unfortunately. There’s really not an airtight solution. 🙂

  2. I don’t think Diane’s first concern is problematic since you will be able to see from the back side what is getting low. As long as you can tell from the back what it specifically is you’ll be able to take the product with you the first time you go around to re-stock.

    My thought was the height of the grid wall could block the view of the posters you have hanging on your shared walls. Although you will be able to see those from the other side where the bag display/entrance is located.

    • Good question Carolina! The grid wall is 6 ft tall and the back curtained walls are 8 ft tall. We know the grid wall will block a few of theposters… some more than others, but we’ll strategically place the ones featuring our newer stuff where they can be seen the best. 🙂

  3. Is there any way to make your grid wall hinged or in two lengths that can easily be put together at the show and be stable? That would solve the height problem on shipping.

    • It would be nice if there was Lynn, but I’m afraid there is not. We got it all packed on the pallet OK and it was sticking up some, but i have been assured it will be just fine…. hmmmm we’ll see wont we! Stay tuned for more!

  4. Definitely looking forward to reading (and seeing) an update on how this turned out!

  5. I like your kitten’s new jungle gym. You are so kind to provide it for him, and in return he is generous enough to allow you to take it to the show!

    Good luck with shipping the grid!