display soap at a fair, craft show or store
HOW YOU DISPLAY YOUR SOAP IS IMPORTANT
We have used baskets to display our soaps for years. Mainly
because baskets create the illusion that there is more soap than
you actually have. When soaps are stacked on top or each
other or in a straight line from front to back, it creates the
visual of a single product - the eyes only see the first bar.
But when the soaps are haphazardly arranged inside a small basket,
the presentation is rustic and inviting. It lures customers
to actually pick up the soap and smell it. Below is a basket
of soap from our store. Notice how the soap spreading in all
directions gives the illusion of quantity? Baskets are easy
to find. Just look in local dollar stores, especially around
the holidays. We know one soap maker that uses HUGE baskets,
actually they are wicker laundry baskets, completely filled with
bars of soap. For her, it makes for a better presentation
because she only makes about eight varieties of handmade soap.
So, this large quantity of only eight types is a very impressive
display. It tells her customers, "I make soap, lots of soap
and there's plenty more where that came from."
soaps displayed on the shelves of
our retail store. There are four more sets of shelves with
just as much soap as your see here.
SETTING UP A FLEA MARKET DISPLAY
Setting up an entire soap display
for a flea market or craft fair doesn't have to be difficult.
We do it with nothing more than a six foot table, two wooden
boards, some mini milk crates and two pieces of cloth. Below are
two pics of just such a setup. I managed to dig through the
computer to find photographs from our first year of setting up at
the Nashville fairground flea market. As you can see, this
is before we started using baskets for the soaps. But, we
brought so MUCH soap with us that it still made for a good
presentation. I also know it is an old picture because we haven't
colored our soy candles for years.
The above setup is in a 10 x 10 booth
space. In the background you can see booths behind us that
are facing another aisle. In the first pic, the table on the right
is set about two feet from the back of the booth space. It
is a six foot long table. The table beside it that helps
create the L-shape is a four foot table. This way, we can stand
behind the table. It leaves enough room for two folding,
camping chairs (we would take turns sitting) and the stair-step
effect on the table gave lots of room behind it for - the cash
box, shopping bags, lunch, credit card slips, etc.
How to create the stair-step. Set up your table.
First, cover the table with your first table cloth. To create two
tiers, you will need: 2, six foot long wooden boards as wide as --
the milk crates you're going to buy.
up three milk crates in the middle of the table, one at each end
and one in the center. Behind those crates, you will need
six milk crates set up the same way but stacked two-high.
These are mini milk crates. They are also found in many
dollar stores but you can also buy them in stores like Office
Depot for around $2.00 each. Stores such as the DOLLAR TREE
sometimes carry them for $1.00. Next, place the boards
across the milk crates which creates your shelving. Now,
take the second table cloth and drape it over your makeshift
staircase. By placing the crates in the middle and back of
the table, the table itself becomes a third (or bottom) step in
your display. In the left pictures above, you can see we
went one step further and created a small shelf BELOW the table
using a few boxes and another wooden board.
If you want to make an L-shape, set
up the four foot table beside your six foot as we have done above.
In these pictures, we used burlap to cover the shelving and a dark
green tablecoth for the table. Later on, we began using all
solid green and liked it much better. If you choose fabrics
that are 100% polyester, you will find you don't have to do a lot
of ironing before a show. Just wash and carefully fold or roll the
fabric. Of course, you want to pick a fabric color that
reflects the theme of your company. We chose green because
the word Green is in our company name. Also, earth tones and
greens give off a more natural appeal to showcase natural
CRAFT MALLS AND ANTIQUE STORES
You'd be surprised at how much you
can fit into a small space and still make it look good.
Below is our display back when our products were in
the store called THE BLACK
LION located inside
Mills Mall. The mall is currently closed due to the flooding
of Nashville in May of 2010. However, we had pulled out of
Black Lion the previous February to focus on our retail store.
The space you see below was simply an L-shaped space made up of
one, eight foot wall and a side wall that was less than three feet
wide. Additionally there was table space in the center of
The tall shelf shown on the right
side of the photo was provided by the store. The shelving to
the back of the pic was made using simple strips of wood nailed
together for the shelves. The end pieces and one center
piece used the same wood made into a straight ladder shape,
allowing the shelves to slide through them from the end. The
entire unit was mounted to the wall with L-brackets. As you
can see above, there was plenty of space to display soy candles,
lotions, creams, sugar scrubs and plenty of soap and gift sets.
Check in your area for antique
stores or craft malls that rent space. Before committing to
a lease, shop in the store a few times and see if the staff is
helpful and friendly to their customers. Also, is it on a
busy road or tucked away on backstreets that no one travels on?
Hopefully, the picture above demonstrates how much you can do in a
The two pics below are of our first
and second store locations.
our first store, approximately 350
our second store, around 650 square feet with a back office.
TIP - place best seller items at eye level.
The only thing that should be on bottom shelves (shelves that are
level with the floor) are extra stock, decor or empty gift baskets
waiting to be filled and sold. Rarely, do customers like to
bend over and shop on the floor. When designing your
displays, keep everything in easy reach.
I hope the few tips and photos I've given here half
stirred some ideas in you. The most important thing about
how to display your soap and other products is that the style
reflects the message you are trying to convey. Sometimes it
can be simply the color scheme, the choice of fabric, a little bit
of signage and a few simple baskets.