Sunday, 5 May 2013

Tips for How to Host a Successful Vintage Display

This weekend, I had the enormous pleasure to be a vendor at the Binbrook Country Home & Garden Show in the lovely small town of Binbrook - just west of Hamilton, Ontario. This was a two day show which also featured great home décor, lawn and garden care, craft and food vendors. It was a very successful weekend and I had the opportunity to meet so many vintage collectors and admirers.
My display at this weekend's show! I had stuff everywhere!!

My success really came down to a few key tips that I'd like to share with you:

1 - If you don't have it, you can find it: A great part of being a vintage curator is that you get to bring amazing items to people who appreciate them and will give them a new life. Unfortunately, I may not always have what they are looking for. So, instead of simply saying "sorry, I don't have that", I take that opportunity to ask them to write down their name and contact information and I let them know that I will keep my eye out for that item and will contact them when and if I am able to find it. I keep this list with me (as it gets bigger and bigger!) and always keep my eye out for those special items that my customers are looking for. Customers will appreciate that you're taking the extra time to search for a special item that is important to them.

2 - Variety is the key: My shop is made up of so many different items and when I attend a show, I always try to bring items that I think will suit the customers I expect to see. For example, this weekend's show featured an antique car show and swap meet, so I made sure to bring any car related items I had and a whole lot of tools and industrial pieces. Those sold like hot cakes! The key is that I didn't just stick to those - I made sure to bring a lot of other unique items like kitchen pieces, books, furniture and even some kids toys. It is important to know who your audience will be and to make sure that you bring a lot of what they will like, but don't forget to keep a good variety!

3 - Go from a seller to a picker: I see a lot of customers who really appreciate all of the vintage pieces in the shop and explain that they have many of the same in their home. I never miss this opportunity to let them know that not only do I sell, but I buy vintage as well. I give them my card and encourage them to think of me if they ever decide to downsize or sell some of their pieces. Although not all customers may be buyers, quite a few may be sellers who can add some amazing items to your shop!

These are just a few of my tips - I hope that you find them helpful!


  1. Kim, your booth looks amazing! Thanks so much for the tips!

  2. thanks Cheryl :) It's the crates - they really save me every time!

  3. So much great stuff in your booth! Love that green chair! Thanks for the tips and wishing you much success at future shows!

  4. thanks Julia! That green chair is a favorite of mine - so pretty!

  5. Kim,
    Great idea to use display pieces that double as boxes when you go to pack up! Also great hints. Your space looks amazing.

  6. These crates are life savers and make packing up and travel a breeze! Thanks so much Jen :)

  7. Thanks so much for sharing Kim. I so wish there were shows like this around where I live. Great Job!

  8. Kim, these are great tips!
    I love the idea of having a "hunting list" for customers :)
    Your booth looks great and I'm so happy you had a good weekend!

  9. Love your blog post and set-up. Your space really does look great.

  10. Excellent advice Kim.
    Thanks for the good read and sharing your experience!
    All the best for your upcoming shows!

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  12. Something happened to my reply...
    I really like your display crates. Look a lot like the potato crates we use here on the farm. Over 40 years-old and tough as pine knots!
    You do have so many diffent unusual items. I spy gorgeous patel books and a cool red gas can. Your mint green chair looks like the daddy of one I have for that color!
    Great job!!!!