AQS Daytona Setup: the Ah-Ha Moment


as you’ve probably surmised by now, we are constantly on the lookout for ways to improve upon our booth display, and what better place to shop for potential improvements than at a show, right? And while we were at the Road to California show last month, my husband spotted a booth setup that he felt sure would improve our security (which has been an issue for us this year).

He was visiting with our friends over in the ByAnnie booth when he noticed that they were using several new display elements for this show… display cubes made from lightweight metal grid. And here’s the deal, it turns out that these cubes were not only excellent shelving units, but they were also excellent security devices! How so, you might ask? Check it out below….

Due to the open grid-type nature of the cubes, it turns out that they’re PERFECT for clipping and thus securing small products, like handbags and accessory items. The good folks at ByAnnie were zip-tying their items to their “grid-boxes” after having lost THREE bags at Quilt Festival last Fall and said they were working GREAT, but I was remembering these cool spring cords (see above photo) that my Dad had given me last Spring and how they might just be the perfect compliment to this system, and since I’m not interested in any more samples “taking a walk”, I figured, why not give them a try?

So when we got home I set up a test display in the basement just to be sure they’d work for us. In the photo above you can see how they look set up on our front table. I went and dug out our old (and taller) shelving supports (visible on the elevated table) so that the bags displayed on the back-most row would be visible behind the new, taller gridwall boxes.

Of course I’ll cover these back shelves and lucky for me I have PLENTY of extra purple sparkle fabric in the closet. And just so you know…. my “purr-sistent” assistant is fascinated with the new gridwall boxes and in this shot you can see that he is weight-testing our shelves.

And the really great thing I didn’t anticipate about these gridwall boxes is that they actually provide me with a FOURTH layer of  bags. (How great is that?) There will be a layer of bags on TOP of the boxes and then a back row behind them. The bags on the back row will basically be inaccessible to our shoppers now (but obviously not for “Your Almost Daily Purrr”) since that display row will now be roughly 6″ higher than they’ve ever been before, but that’s no problem. We’re always happy to get samples down for our customers to examine!

And finally, here’s a picture of our entire bag display area. The table level samples are tethered to our gridwall boxes with those really cool and very stretchy spring cords. But don’t worry… our customers should still be able to examine our bags to their hearts content, but we’ll be able to rest easier with this higher level of security for our precious samples.

The second level of bags is actually zip-tied & hung from the gridwall box itself, but not so tightly that they can’t  be opened and unzipped and otherwise examined both inside & out, just the way we know shoppers like to do.

And finally you might be wondering about the new sign we’ve had made up for our display at AQS Daytona Beach…. well, here’s the deal. I really can’t tell you how many people at Road2Ca asked us the following question, “Are you selling these bags”? … because we actually lost track at 100+ and yep, they actually thought they were going to pick up one of these one-of-a-kind beauties for the cost of a pattern…. $12.99. So I’m thinking (and hoping) that maybe this gentle nudge will cut down on the majority of those type of questions (which to us can feel disappointing, annoying and a little discouraging on an alternating basis!)


And now…. it’s YOUR turn!

I’d love to know what you think about our new setup! Do you have any comments, questions, or suggestions you’d like to share with us? If so, please remember that we love reading your comments and answering your questions too, so please feel free to leave either of both in the space provided below.

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14 Comments So Far, You're Next!

  1. You would think that like minded people who know much work goes into each and every item would respect you and not steal. I am so sorry that you have to resort to this type of display, what the heck are people thinking?

    I can also relate since I work in a school and have to batten down my things every night because my peers like to do some free shopping, too. During the day I can leave anything out and the kids leave it, but nights and weekends… should say that it’s the groups that come in to tutor that are the worst.

    A shame……… but your display rocks!

  2. Seems to me that your new and improved system should work great. But then, the idea of “free shopping” as the previous poster spoke of is something that still disappoints me, especially among the sewing community. Yes, I know there are others who attend these shows, but still… And to expect a handmade creation for the cost of a pattern is ludicrous. However, on a more positive note, have you considered adding to your display your purrfect assistant. It would provide both security and attention getting. I’m just not sure what the salary is in kibbles. Remember how successful Finding Waldo was/is. Thanks for sharing your trials and tribulations with us. We’re pulling for you (and your whole team ;>).

    • I would LOVE to take Pippin along with us. He is a little shy about meeting new people though. I’m afraid the whole thing would just be too stressful for him.

  3. It’s sad that you have to go to these lengths (attractive as it is) to protect your products. I work in a small quilt shop, and am appalled at the amount of shop-lifting we have! Not by kids — by “ladies.”

  4. Your display is perfect, it saddens me that there are so many dishonest people that everything has to be tied down and watched.

    • It IS a sad thing, but you know it only takes one or two bad apples to spoil it for everyone else. The overwhelming majority of folks would never dream of taking anything.

  5. I think those clips are too easy to undo while looking at a bag. Use the stretchy thing but zip tie the end rings to things too. Good luck! I hate thinking of people who sew as thiefs.

    • Me too— We may zip tye them, but on the other hand, those clips are pretty stiff, I dont think anyone could get them loos without it being pretty obvious to either us, or another customer. 🙂

  6. It looks great, and what a plus having the extra display space. People will still expect they are for sale, count on it. Samples are not for sale, specific signage may cut down on people asking. They will still ask. And expect to pay next to nothing. Whereas, I think under 13 bucks a steal for the pattern.

  7. Roxann Williams

    While I totally agree that the “five-finger discount” to which some people think they are entitled is disappointing, I think the solution is brilliant. Also this lends itself to a whole other look for a booth. Think industrial/even steampunk or line the crates for a futuristic art display. What an opportunity to distinguish your booth while protecting yourself all at the same time! Wishing you all the best!

  8. The new display is purrfect! I like that it adds another shelving dimension to the booth. I foresee that you can do all sorts of things with this type of wire shelving. Best wishes!