A Makeover for the “Road”


you might remember from a Quilt Market post I published a few weeks ago, that we had come to the conclusion that prior to our next retail show, we would be giving some serious thought to either expanding to a larger-sized booth or taking fewer bag samples with us.

The problem? Our current setup is making us feel a little claustrophobic. We hardly have room to turn around behind our sales counter, our storage areas (under the tables) is so jammed-packed that we can’t find what we need when we need it, and we have no room to expand our notions line.

And you know what? I can’t even begin to tell you how many different table setups I’ve tried on paper! Nothing seemed to resolve our problems and give us a decent balance between display area and storage/personal space. I was starting to get a little nervous about it too, because with a single booth looming at Road to California, I knew I had to come up with SOMETHING! Anyway, shortly after Christmas I got a pretty bad cold and I just couldn’t sleep well at all, which left me a LOT of time to just lie there thinking and dozing… and thinking and dozing… and it so happens that this is a TERRIFIC way to solve a problem! Did you know that your mind continues to work on a problem while you’re sleeping? Well it does, and it does so without the constraints that our conscious self automatically imposes! Pretty cool, right? So did it work?

You bet it did!

The very second I opened my eyes midway thru my 2nd restless & miserable night I literally LEAPED out of the bed and made a mad dash for my sketchpad before I could forget the solution my mind worked out for me while I was dozing off!

It’s TOTALLY different than anything we’ve ever set up before. Beginning at the right of the sketch, we’ll have a narrowish entry way into our totally roomy work area (we could sleep back there, but won’t!). Then I’ll have TWO tables set up long edge-to-long edge. The front table will be standard height, but the one behind it will be counter-height, which will provide me a narrower, but taller display area. There will in fact be room enough for three layers of bag samples.

Our sales/customer service area will be out in the corner area (elbow) of the booth and the notions area will be over to my right and will be on a 6 ft table (we only had 4 feet in Houston).  Another nice thing is that we can access and restock ALL the notions carousels (and I’m adding a new one) from behind the counter. And get this… because almost all of our floorspace is BEHIND the tables, we’re opting to bring a soft mat for us to stand on instead of our usual purple flooring. (That poor knee of mine was barking pretty loud in Houston) So for the first time EVER we’ll try this special mat which is designed to be easy on the joints! Should be interesting, we’ll let you know how it goes!    🙂


And as usual, my next move was to tape out my display area boundaries on the garage floor. For me, it’s real important to actually set up my bags and make sure my display will “work” before I find myself 2000 miles from home without alternatives. And as you can see, I “photo-shopped ” this picture a bit (above) to let you see the 3D effect we’ll have in the tri-level bag area. I’m REALLY excited about trying this out!


And here’s my shelving all set up. You might notice that I have some new shelving supports that are much shorter than the old ones (thanks Dad!) and this is the how we managed our mid-level shelf. The back shelf is about 2″ taller than it actually should be. It’s the closest I could come to an exact simulation, but it’s close enough to for the test run.

And here’s the bag samples we’re taking to the “Road” show. Please note that only two of the bags on the mid-level shelf are actually on a bag stand. I like this because without bag straps in the way, it’s much easier for our customers to check out and reach the bags that are on display in the row behind them. And just so you know, we’re also bringing 3 more bags that we’ll hang from the draperies alongside our entry-way.

And here’s a head-on shot of our display and even though that back shelf is ~2″ taller than the set up will be in California, and even though my husband’s workbench is a really crummy backdrop for my beautiful display (sorry sweetie), I’m very pleased with the visibility and accessibility this arrangement provides!

But only time will tell!  So stay tuned because we’ll be winging our way to sunny southern California on Tuesday of THIS WEEK where we’ll be setting it all up for REAL at the Road to California Quilters Showcase & Conference! YIKES!

And now… it’s YOUR turn!

If you have any questions or comments about our display, I’d love for you to share them in the space provided below, and if by chance you are planning on attending this show, we’d LOVE for you to stop by and check it out in person! We’ll be in Booth #2106 in the Pavilion!


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8 Comments So Far, You're Next!

  1. That is a really smart solution!

  2. I can’t wait to see your plan in action. I won’t be there but I look forward to photos.

  3. Looking forward to reading how it all came down.

  4. It’s a great idea! Now all you need is a high stool or something to lean on while you’re standing there. I noticed that the drawing had three pattern bins, but you only used two in the set-up. Did it come down to a choice between a bin and a sample? Just curious. I know I’m a little anal about such things, but it looks a little out of balance. Maybe put the purse inserts in the middle?

    • Well. I always like the bag inserts within easy reach of the sales area. They, along with the Guardian and whatever is the new pattern require the most demonstration, so its helpful if they are nearby. I am hoping to get by with only 2 pattern bins. We’ll have to see how it goes. 🙂

  5. My question is, when you run out of this room, what are you going to do next?
    I’ve already had to think along these lines, in maing two
    tables, with triple row of risers!
    Thanks for the help from before on making my risers. They work like a charm!!!
    This last year, I had to be creative out on the road, but
    already knew in the back of my mind we were going to
    have to plan something different! My boards for the risers were cut to fit them. I’ve grown to 3 tables at an
    exhibit, so had to be more creative for more risers.
    My dh numbered all the cross-buck risers, you generously gave me the dimensions to. So this last year, we had to expand that. It works really well!!
    Altho, I believe my long boards, need to be a little sturdier, well, that’s for this years expenses!!

  6. It looks good! I think you will love having the mat to stand on, and having the extra room so that you can easily access your supplies should eliminate a lot of stress. It’s such fun to see your photos and commentary.