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1023 Springdale Road, Building 6B
Austin, TX, 78721
United States

Austin's favorite stationery shop and workshop studio.


The Paper + Craft Pantry blog is home to our latest DIY projects, current inspiration sources, and small business advice. 

Small Business School: Craft Market Set-Up 101

Pei Sim

Can you believe the holiday season is just around the corner? With the semi cooler temps, there's something about the beginning of this season that brings about nostalgia and a reminder of traditions.

If I had to pick one of my favorite traditions, it would be visiting local craft shows and markets to pick out thoughtful gifts for the loved ones in my life. And we all know that holiday seasons = craft shows and markets galore!

The most exciting parts of these markets for me are not just the product, but the way in which they are displayed. Visually appealing set-ups and table displays, in my opinion, can make or break a market's success for the individual vendor.

In what seems like a past life, I was on the visual merchandising team of a global retail brand and really found passion with showcasing great product in lovely vignettes. That experience was a huge help when I participated in markets and has also been invaluable in making sure The Paper + Craft Pantry looks adorable and "Instagramable" for everyone who comes through our doors!

Here are my top 5 picks for a visually engaging display:

1. Start to finish: Signage + Branding + Packaging
Nothing is more frustrating than having to guess what the business is called, or how much something costs! Especially if it's a busy craft market, you may lose potential customers if your business isn't easily identifiable and if pricing is hard to navigate!

First step, have your sign somewhere that folks can easily see! If you have wall space, consider hanging it up behind your table or booth (the more table real estate, the better – more on that below). If you're not able to hang anything up at your booth, placing a small sign in a photo frame on your table is a great and quick alternative. This framing trick also works well for providing pricing information to folks if you're not able or it doesn't make sense to price every item. 

Offering simple packaging for your customers to end their shopping experience with you is key! You can even take the extra step to "brand" your bag by adding some ribbon or twine with your business colors or a customized stamp. I can't tell you the number of times I've stopped someone at a market or fair to ask them about the bag they're carrying to find out where that vendor is located!

2. Depth + Levels
Adding dimension to your table by creating visually interesting heights that draws attention to a featured product is quick way to immediately elevate (pun not intended but I couldn't help myself) your booth! It also allows you to create more table real estate by building and layering products vertically!

3. Power of Plenty
A full and plentiful table always looks better than one that is arranged sparsely. And I'll go ahead and debunk the myth: "plentiful" does not have to mean "cluttered". You can create the feeling of a full table of beautiful merchandise while still keeping things looking clean and crisp for your customers.

4. Business Cards + Newsletter Sign Up
People want to know where they can find you even after the market or event! Set yourself up for success by always slipping them a business card and incentivizing them to sign up for your newsletter! Who doesn't love return customers? 

5. Flowers
I'm a huge believer in adding a little vase of flowers to your table or booth space as the finishing touch. Partially because any excuse for flowers is fine by me, but mostly because flowers add a hint of color and liveliness to your table — no matter the product!

Want to see how we set-up our Paper + Craft Pantry booth at various markets and fairs? Come see us in Houston, Texas at the Girl Crush Holiday Market on Saturday, November 11th from 11am to 5pm. 

What are some of your favorite to-do's or must-do's for your craft market set-up? Tell us in the comments below!