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Teach Soap • View topic - Display changes for 2014

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 Post subject: Display changes for 2014
PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 6:38 am 

Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 2:57 pm
Posts: 238
I have been doing markets for a long time, and for the most part, I enjoy them. My sales are good, I average $900 per day. I did 2 a week last summer, and will be doing 4 per week this year. Greed is a huge motivator 8)

I am a big fan of looking through online photos of displays, always hoping to improve my own. I use google images searches, with terms like "farmers market soap display" and "craft fair soap display" and related ideas.

I find about 99% of the displays look, to my eye, and in my opinion only, very cluttered. Even ones I have seen pictured on several soap forums are like this. I find myself drawn to the simple displays, with plenty of product, but still...not looking like a big table full of junk.

My challenge is this: to have plenty of product on display, but to achieve a look of abundance instead of clutter. (Yes, I have custom displays with 3 shelves, proper signage, a custom printed banner, etc. Still not happy with it when I look back at photos.)

For example, I used to arrange my soaps so that similar colours are not next to each other, a green one with stripes ,then a pink swirl, then a cream and brown swirl, then a blue one with stripes ,then a solid lavender, then a solid yellow, then a pink stripe, then a blue stripe---get the idea? But when I look at the very few pics online that catch my eye, they tend to have the colours arranged in groups - all the blues together, all the greens together, etc. It gives a sort of a swath of colour as you look across the table - a rainbow effect.

Not sure if I am explaining this well.... But I also wonder - what catches your eye? Have you ever completely changed the look or layout of your table? What do you like or not about what you have now?

Just hoping for inspiration - thanks for your time!


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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 7:43 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2008 11:14 pm
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Location: Mistress Of Lather
I prefer simple myself. A solid color tablecloth that doesn't take attention away from my soaps. My soaps are in alphabetical order as I find that easier.

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Irena
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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 4:57 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2013 8:48 am
Posts: 562
Location: North Carolina
Coordinated colors are the thing that catches my eye, I like your idea about all the colors together. Also, I tend to like displays that have some vertical height, sometimes when everything is on or around the same level nothing stands out. My displays probably wouldn't work for you with the volume you sell unless you could do it on a bigger scale, but they are like shallow boxes that lean back just enough so the soap doesn't fall out. I stack it 4-5 soaps high with the fronts of the bars displayed. I think people are attracted to it because it looks uniform and because it stands almost vertical it can be seen at a distance.


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PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 7:24 am 

Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 2:57 pm
Posts: 238
My fabulous hubby has built me a new tilting display stand for my soap, and some new shelves for the other products.
And against all normal booth decorating advice, I have a new, brightly coloured tablecloth.
I was using burlap last year, for that "farmers markety" look, but when looking back at the photos, it just looked drab.
Also - hanging the banner (although beautiful) across the front of table was a major PITA.

So I designed a printed tablecloth using Adobe Illustrator. It has the company name printed on it, so that eliminates the step of hanging the front banner.
It is very bright, but the displays sitting on it are natural wood, with the soap on top of them. So hopefully the soap will still stand out against the wood.
And that colour will not go unnoticed - for good or ill :wink:


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PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2014 6:01 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2013 8:48 am
Posts: 562
Location: North Carolina
Please fill us in on how it works out for you! I've been looking at a lot of displays because I want to make some changes for the fall. My husband made my tabletop displays for the spring, which I loved, but quickly realized they don't hold as much as I'd like to have displayed. I'm going to be making a lot of soap for the fall and I'm thinking about doing away with one of my tables if my husband can make me a tall stand with shelves. Just not sure how it will all fit together.

Did you make your table cloth or order it custom? I've thought about making my own, but afraid they won't turn out nice.


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PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2014 6:40 am 

Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 2:57 pm
Posts: 238
My first market is tomorrow, so I will try to get some decent pictures. I will be doing 4 markets per week all summer long, in fact - through the middle of October. I only did 2 per week last year - Sat and Sun, but now I have added Tuesday and Wed. I am excited, but a little worried about how tired I will be.

I ordered my tablecloth online through a company called Flagaholic. I looked at, and thoroughly investigated, a number of these online custom companies, but this one was the only one to have a good combination of service, price, and trustworthiness. It is a full dye sublimation print, which is better than the screen type print I have had before. The screen type print leaves you with a layer of plasticy, rubbery stuff on top - that is what your image / logo is made of. Like a cheap printed T shirt - they can feel stiff, and eventually , if folded or laundered a lot - the image can crack and peel. The dyed table cloth feels like normal fabric. I did the design myself with Adobe Illustrator. They had a free month trial ;)


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 8:20 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2013 8:48 am
Posts: 562
Location: North Carolina
How did your market go? Did you love your new display?

Thanks for the info on Flagaholic. I've been looking around, and they do have some nice options. I need to be sure to have the logo I want before ordering anything, right now I have a pre-made one that I purchased online but I'd really like to find someone who can do graphics to make one that is mine only.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 8:45 am 

Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 2:57 pm
Posts: 238
Thanks for asking!

The market went great!! I totally loved my new display - I think I may have actually achieved, or at least come closer than ever - to the look of abundance instead of clutter!
I hit my sales goal as well - so bit of celebrating yesterday when we got home. It was a pretty good crowd for opening day.

I have another market tomorrow - a new one I have never done before, so I have no idea what targets to set for myself for that one. It is an odd time - 3:30-7 in a mall parking lot. Sounds awful, but it has a fairly good rep among some other vendors that I know.

My DH took a few pics, but I haven't downloaded them from the camera yet. I still have some tweaks to do to the setup, but overall - it was heading in the right direction.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 8:47 am 

Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 2:57 pm
Posts: 238
BTW - about the Flagaholic thing - I did my own graphics - very simple ones, using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. They have a free 30 day trial thing, and they were both a lot easier to use than I anticipated. Saved me the money of a graphic designer, and the hassle of trying to get my ideas across to someone else.

I'm sure I would have been a nightmare for a graphics person..."gee, can I see that logo in 56 different fonts?" :lol:


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 9:37 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2013 8:48 am
Posts: 562
Location: North Carolina
Yay for your great market day and your new set up! Very exciting! I'll bet the one at the mall will get lots of people getting off work in the evening. Can't wait to see your pics!

I wish I lived in a more populated area sometimes. We have a few markets around here, but they are very hard to get into. You kind of have to "know" someone. Plus, there are a couple other soapers locally, and they have cornered the market so to speak at the weekly farmers markets from what I can tell. They don't often do the craft fairs though, so I'm keeping my distance for now from the markets, but trying to be friendly with them when I see them so hopefully someday if I get into a market it will be on good terms with the others.

I may try the photoshop or illustrator, I just dread how long it will take me to sit at the computer and learn it.


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