What truly makes a booth successful

What truly makes a successful booth / FunkyJunkInteriors.net
I have done at least 1 million garage sales. Maybe even 2. But when you cart your stuff off your property into a small temporary booth, it’s a whole different story!

 Remember my other posts on all my stuff I was bringing HERE and HERE? I knew I was in trouble as soon as I started packing up the truck. There was NO way it was all going to fit. No way. How could miscalculate so (hilariously) off?

Right then, neighbour and friend Corrine walked into the yard to see how things were going. And all I could think to say was “It won’t fit! Man!!! I need a trailer.”

“You can use ours! It’ll be available tomorrow!”

Eureka! Yes! AWESOME! VERY awesome! I normally say no to stuff like that but… not today. I was in a bind. So I moved everything that needed to go in the trailer onto my driveway, prayed it would be there in the AM, and hit the hay.

The next morning, I fully expected to have a very hurried day even before we unpacked for the booth. Time to load that trailer…


My first booth experience via FunkyJunkInteriors.net
I woke up to this. The trailer was #1 in the yard. #2 fully packed. #3 ready to roll.

I nearly cried. Someone was gonna get a bear hug!

And Corinne happened to have two dollies I could borrow as well.

Seriously… how could I miscalculate this entire event by such a large landslide?!

It made me think of a good blogger friend. She wrote me one day, tagged the kind of personality I was and then said to me, “Let people help you with where you’re going.”

BR’s words struck a loud chord. And I listened. Thank-you friend. You know who you are. I used your advice that day for sure.

fall hydrangeas / funkyjunkinteriors.net

So many last minute preparations to be had! Crazy amount. The last thing I grabbed on the way out were these nearly dried hydrangeas sitting in water by my front door. They’d make all my junk look pretty.

(I had no idea anyone would want to buy some, but they did.)

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Biz cards in my toolbox card tote, sign up sheet for a draw, and we’re all set!

My son came with me to help. We unpacked from 2-6. Seriously… and with a quick run across the road for a few sandwiches with 2 minutes to go before the show.

With one last munch….

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… we were open for biz. The booth was positively stuffed to the rafters. So full in fact, that some stuff stayed in the truck until the next show day.

My apologies for poor pictures. I couldn’t figure out the settings in 30 seconds, so I shot them the way I had it because people were filing in. And pretty much edited all the colour right out again. Such a pro…

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These metal letters were from down South when I went to Lucketts in Virginia last year. I fell in LOVE with them and grabbed my logo.

Can’t wait to hang them up in my revamped basement and / or workshop! Soon!

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I’ll be giving away a toolbox kit too! A great way to touch base with those that paid me a visit. So grateful!

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I’m not stressing about the poor pictures much. I had Zoe Brown Photography on site doing her special thing, so I think we’re in for a real treat. As soon as she’s edited them, you can bet I’ll be sharing them here. I desired some pro photos for promotional purposes.

The booth was busy, then slow, then busy, then slow. But it was fun to gab with other vendors in between, or do a little twig garland making.

And then onto day 2! 

The show ran for a full day. I met the nicest vendors with the most beautiful wares. From leather bound journals, homemade soaps and scrubs, food and other crafty booths. It was clear Crafty Affaire did a very nice job at jurying who was in this show. Everyone was perfection.

Well… if you call rusty junk perfection that is. 🙂

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I will admit, my booth rather ‘stood out.’ I looked at it among all the pretty around me and wondered if maybe I didn’t fit in. 

But I was told otherwise. Over and over again. I had folks walk in and just STARE. Maybe my town doesn’t see much of this stuff? I’m not sure. But I’m pleased to say, many walked away with some small trinket filled with memories.

I also had a crate of old books. When I brought up how pretty they were, no one held the books for that reason. They were purchasing for the stories and memories inside… wow!

My son stayed home on day 2 so I did all the packing up after the show. And I think that was a very unwise decision. It was a LOT of work, having me one of the last to leave.

Aside from that blunder, I sure didn’t do this alone. From my neighbour’s generosity with their equipment, my son for his strong arms and help, to the vendors and Wendy (my sis!) that watched over the booth when I was at the workshop, for niece Zoe to take some amazing shots, and Ginna for inviting me to this event, it took many hands to make my first booth experience a good one!

Thanks to all those that helped, visited and shopped! You truly were part of the many hands that made my first booth experience a roaring success in my eyes. 🙂


In a perfect world, next round I would have a double wide booth. One side would be decked out like a real room to give ideas on what to do with this stuff. And the other side would be in bulk. I could even do demos all day long.

See? I have been thinking… 🙂

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Categories: Events, Junk Drawer
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23 thoughts on “What truly makes a booth successful

  1. OMG Donna! For a newbie, you sure did an awesome job with your booth! Like everyone else at the Market we were all in awe of the goodies you had to offer. If only I could fit that rusty stool in the car I would have bought it. I missed out on those sewing machine drawers too. You had so many amazing junk in your booth! People were raving about them. Actually everyone that bought some of your treasured junk were very happy with their purchases.

    I am so glad that you were part of the Harvest Market and it was truly a joy to work with you. You are one awesome lady and inspiration to all! Hope to work with you again.

    And I will be willing to help you out if you need to clean out some more of your junk!


  2. Hi Donna – Oooooohhhh is this good timing! I’m excited for you in spirit and love your display! I’m getting ready for my first “big” book sale table at a charity event this weekend and while my excitement is large, my display is still a bit sad. I repurposed a tool caddy and that’s as far as it got. Will be pinning and using some of your ideas in a much watered down version for future events. Thanks for the inspiration! Hugs, Holly

    • Ohhhh the two ladders and planks worked fabulously!! Try that if you have room to make instant bookshelves!

      One vendor BEGGED to buy both ladders for his own booth display. That’s one sale I very proudly and defiantly said NO thank-you. 😀

  3. Donna, Just in case you might not know this, there are senior citizens who don’t have blogs and don’t know how to blog but, are so enchanted with you young women in today’s world. When I hear folks complain about young folks today, I won’t have it. I tell them you have got to subscribe to these beautiful and talented young women’s blogs. They are mother’s and wife’s, professional and doing a fantastic job at it. Love your love for junk (good stuff). What a creative gal you are and LOVE your junk and creativity. Gwen

  4. I alternately smiled and laughed out loud reading this post. I have thought all along you and I are kindred spirits, but now you have confirmed it. My first booth went much the same way…and I got much of the same advice from a good friend because I try to do it ALL myself. My first booth was many, many years ago, actually in a different business than I am in now, but the challenges are still pretty much the same. Once the first one gets out of the way, the rest just start evolving and going more smoothly every time. Yours will, too. 🙂

  5. Donna,

    How wonderfully exciting for you and incredibly inspiring for all of us who follow you !

    Your booth looked awesome 🙂

    You have got the “junk” in me stirring….

    Congrats !!!

  6. OOOOOh, Donna, you continue to amaze!! I’m the gal who stole your decorated stairs idea for my old farmhouse.
    Your booth is so invited! Presentation and first impressions are everything. Not sure where you are but do you have a calendar of events; when/where you do booths? I’m in central IL.
    I assume you passed out business cards? do you also have photo album or portfolio in the booth? saw a vendor with a laptop slideshow of jobs they had done; that was effective too.
    I just totally love your style; it is reflected here at “the ranch” as well.

  7. Awesome job Donna!! Wishing you continued success on your Adventure!! I too recently set out be my own boss, in the land of selling pretty junk 🙂 I’m starting with renting a space in a bigger shop, & spending sleepless nights trying to design my booth, your is truly inspirational!! & with encouragement from Marian (miss Mustard Seed) I even stuck my toe into the Blog world, So excited to follow along on your journey Best wishes,
    Thanks for Sharing

  8. Hi Donna, I follow your blog regularly and forward it to many friends. I attended the market on Sat., had my special needs daughter with me (she loved your display and we bought a book). From my perspective, your booth was over the top best. In spite of the quantity of ‘goodies’ it didn’t feel like a stretch for the eye to take in! I found my eyes racing from one superb found object to the next. Your capacity to attract didn’t disappoint. I generally felt underwhelmed with the overall market…………it felt too pat, too cookie cutter, generally not visually captivating enough to keep me there very long. It’s too bad a more funky, off key venue doesn’t present itself. It was great to meet you and I look forward to the next affair you participate in.



  9. Congratulations on making it through and to pack up alone….. I can feel how hard it must have been after a long, exciting day.

    I have a question…. do the meat grinders work? I mean are they usable to grind meat? I just realized that even if they were still available, it would be too much for me to pay for S&H. I so want a working meat grinder.

    The pictures you took are great, I could see a lot of great stuff.

  10. I think you could do a store or a permanent booth in an antique mall type setting. Maybe lease a building and rent out spaces to other vendors! Just some ideas to think about!

  11. Everything new involves a learning curve, but it sounds like you have a lot of loyal friends and family (and us fans!) 🙂 Nobody is an island, and we all need help once in a while. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that we’re so happy and proud of your success! You’ve worked very hard for a very long time, slowly ‘building’ a dream that is now beginning to come to fruition. You richly deserve it 🙂
    P.S. When you’re in Niagara Falls this weekend (near my neck of the woods), won’t you PLEASE give some thought to coming again in future to do workshops?! 😀

  12. Hi, I just started following you and love all the stuff you do. My hometown has a few summer festivals where people sell this kind of ‘junk’ and those are always my favorite booths!

    Can’t wait to read more,


  13. I think you did a great job for your 1st trip out. I so remember mine- in a borrowed horse trailer.
    You have great stuff and will do well.


  14. About your trailer being loaded and ready for you: There are still truly good people in the world. Give them a hug for me, too! I’m glad your booth went well. I wish I could have been there to see your success. There is no one like you and your stuff, for sure! As always, best wishes.

  15. Donna – You’re booth was beautiful! Wish I could have been there….how did the workshop go? I bet you didn’t come home with a single toolbox kit leftover, did you? You’ll have to do a post on the workshop alone! You really have the best neighbors! Hugs to you!

  16. Wow! Your booth looked so unique and junky cool. So many treasures to look at. That tool box kit giveaway had to be a huge success, as well. Congrats on your booth show and looking forward to your niece Zoe’s photo perspective to come!

  17. You did a great set-up for this being your first show! I love your “logo” in the background. I’ve done about 15 years worth of shows with my parents and had my first show without them last November. It is a lot of work and no matter how much experience I thought I had, it was so different being the one running things. There is never enough space at an indoor show either!. I prefer outdoor shows since you often have more breathing room. Thanks for sharing your booth and your experience 🙂

  18. I am doing a booth for the first time. Not sure if I need to get a square for credit cards………also did you have to get a sales tax id number? I am doing this as a one time thing to see if I like it……so wondering the rules?

    • Hi Kelly! Tax numbers come into play with how much a business makes and whether or not it’s an official licensed biz. I’d check with your state / province on how to proceed with that part.

      But you can use the square to add up cash sales and such too with no tax numbers. It’s a great tool I highly recommend!

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