Frankly, building walls was the scariest part of this task for me.
And I wasn’t even going to be the one to do it. Josh swore on stacks of Bibles that he would be able to build us walls for an 8×10 booth, no problem, and I smiled apprehensively.
Other than walls, we need to fill the dang thing. Budget was an issue every step of the way, so we really had to be creative about how to stand out without dumping a bunch of cash.
We’re super lucky to be so close to NYC, so rather than renting furniture or worrying about sending everything by freight, we decided the cheapest option would be to just use furniture from around our house and haul to NYC in a van.
As a buyer at these shows, I’ve always felt overwhelmed by all of the stark white, commercial-feeling spaces. Super clean and modern, for sure, and I imagine they draw a lot of people in. But, I personally felt all of those bright stark white spaces bleed together, while also being really aggressively BRIGHT. In contrast of all of that, I wanted to make our space a sort of cozy, welcoming respite from the commercial and clean. Warm yellow is always my go-to color, which already lends itself to being cozy and inviting. We built on that with the homey hardwood furniture, and then tried to think of anything else that would cozy up the space- make it feel less like a show room, and more like i invited you into my house for coffee and, oh okay fine, some stationery. Table lamps, vases of flowers, and definitely several places to sit seemed the best way.
I figured the old desk would make a perfect spot to sit and flip through a catalog or write an order, while a pair of chairs would make a nice rest spot for weary buyers after endless walking. We brought the old wooden bookcase and several baskets to hide all of the ugly necessities we’d need throughout the day- change of shoes, bottled water, deodorant, phones- while the bare shelves were great for stacks of catalogs and jars of pencils.
We struggled with how to inexpensively get our logo up without taking up too much wallspace and ended up jutting the bookshelf out as a sort of counter for people to come grab a few freebies. We bought our logo in custom vinyl and hallelu, Josh’s experience hanging vinyl made that part of things easy peasy.
In hindsight, I realize yellow might not have been the best plan. Yellow is so tricky! It can go to neon or too mustard very easily, so we chose very carefully, and I was thrilled that folks walking by commented on how nice the yellow looked. But it didn’t translate as wonderfully in photos, and I found that a lot of the photos I found of my own booth in instagram feeds made me shudder a bit at the harsh, harsh yellow.
desk, bookcase, lamp, baskets, vases, wooden chair: from home
teal chairs: Ikea
jute rug: Target
waste basket: Target
wall construction: Lowes and Home Depot and scrounging in my in-laws’ shed
clip lights, extension cords, surge protectors: Home Depot
shelves, frames, matting, envelopes: scrap stores, paper stores and Frame USA
vinyl logo sign and booth numbers: Dana Decals
flowers: a bodega on our way to the show
embossed pencils: Get Stuck Up
candy: grocery store