8 Keys To Vending At A Quilt Show


So you have decided to vend at a quilt show – congratulations! This can be an exciting time as you prepare and a checklist will certainly be helpful with this endeavor.

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8 Keys To Vending At A Quilt Show

So you have decided to vend at a quilt show – congratulations! This can be an exciting time as you prepare and a checklist will certainly be helpful with this endeavor.

8 Keys To Vending At A Quilt Show


Lets Start With The Large Items

Since we always like to pack the large items first, lets start with them. If tables are not included with your booth fee, figure out just how many tables you will need that will fit comfortably in your booth. It may be helpful to print out some grid paper and design your booth on paper now to save a bit of time at the show set-up.


Next, will you be taking patterns? What display pieces will you need for those, rounders, slat wall, etc. How about your quilts? Will you be hanging them from a pipe and drape system provided by the quilt show sponsor, or are you in need of taking one yourself, or other props to use in displaying your quilts. Don't forget the stepstool if you will be assembling pipe and drape, or hanging from a system already in place. Seating is another consideration. Will the venue be providing comfortable seating at your booth, or would it be best for your back to take a stool or comfy folding chair. A cash register or cash drawer and laptop or iPad will be quite helpful for keeping track of your stock and sales. Be sure that whatever sales system you take, can be secured so that you are able to walk around your booth without fearing that your sales system will "walk away" in your absence from the spot. Last, but certainly not least, a hand truck or rolling cart to get all of your wares in to the venue can save a lot of time and your back!


Samples Sell

Make sure that you take as many samples of your quilts to show as possible. It's also a good idea to take a few extra in case you sell out of some patterns, or quilts themselves, so you can keep your booth fully stocked right up to the last minute you are open. It is always so sad to go to a booth only to see a sign on the sample that says "Sold Out", or to see empty spaces because your customers just know that they missed out on something special. If you can take your quilts and "extras" on wheels, like in a suitcase or rolling tote, it will make life much easier for set-up.

Oh Snow Happy Snowman


Patterns and Notions

Make sure to take plenty of stock in patterns and notions, and any items that may be difficult for your customers to obtain elsewhere. If your booth has all of the items that are needed to complete a project, your customers are more likely to make a purchase. In fact, many quilters are turning to kits for convenience sake and some like them just so that they don't have "leftovers".



Baskets for Shopping

If you have an extra foot of space in your booth, shopping baskets with a handle are an excellent idea, especially if you carry small items like threads and needles, beads, and other small notions. Customers are more likely to purchase items if they are not juggling them while they shop.



Setup Items

Now that we have the large items packed, lets discuss the small items that are necessary for setup. First, you will need tablecloths or drapes for the tables, pins or clips to hold your quilts, and signs – don't forget the signs! People hate to ask prices, and will sometimes walk out of a booth without making a purchase just because an item is not priced. Make sure to take some lighting if customers will need to match fabrics and threads, or just in case your booth is not positioned under good lighting. Not all venues will have power available at the booth, so battery powered lighting with extra batteries is a great idea.

setup items


Time for Sales

For your checkout area it is great to have a table or small space where shoppers with large loads can place their items as they shop. This will also be helpful for you as you may start the checkout process as soon as possible and bag their items for them (don't forget the bags). Also, remember to add a business card or promotional give-away in the bag to keep your customers coming back. Another good idea is to have a stack of business cards out in another area of your booth so that potential customers can take one and contact you if they are not able to make a purchase that day.

Time for Sales


Receipts, Money, and Credit Card Needs

Now, for the final important items to pack. Receipts (either written paper ones, printed ones, or emailed receipts are helpful for your customers and keeping track of your inventory). Cash, it's not used as often as it used to be, but you still need to make sure you have a good supply of cash on hand to make change for your customers. Depending on the cost of the items you are selling what denominations of cash will be used the most. Finally, credit card supplies if you will be accepting credit cards (which is most helpful). You will need the hardware and software downloaded and either data or wifi available to operate your system. Some venues do not have wifi available and you will need to rent wired internet access to enable you to accept charges. If this is the case, it can really add to the price of the booth, so check this out early.



Last But Not Least - Layers of Clothing and Snacks!

Don't forget to have layers of clothing available for the show and during set-up when large doors may be open to the outside and hot or cold air may be flowing in at an unusual rate. As you get tired working the show you may also get cool, or the participation may be greater (hopefully) than anticipated and it may get quite warm so dressing in layers will make it easier to keep comfortable for those long hours at the booth. Also, don't forget snacks! Hopefully your booth will buzzing during the entire show and it may be difficult to get away and purchase a meal, so having some easy-to-snack on food handy will be helpful.

Have fun and enjoy your quilt vending experience.

Clothing and Snacks


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How stiff or soft the fabric or quilt is.

Same As: Drapability
Accessories that are available for sewing machines and are especially made for quilting.
Small sewing supplies such as pins, scissors, rulers, seam ripper, and so on.
An easy way to create quilt blocks with unique kaleidoscope designs. These designs require a set of identical pieces cut from a print fabric. Rather than finding and cutting each piece individually, a quilter can cut and layer a number of large, identical print rectangles to make a stack.

Same As: Stack-n-Whack, Whack
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