I had my very first Stella & Dot vendor event last month! I had so much fun putting together the display and I wanted to share some helpful tips for other stylists who might be thinking about doing a vendor event!
See my Top 6 Stella & Dot Vendor Event Tips at the bottom of this post!
One of my teammates registered for a local Spring Faire event in our town and asked if I wanted to join her. I have a wedding show coming up in July so I thought it would be a great opportunity to see what a vendor event would be like.
With a registration fee of only $40, we had nothing to lose!
DISPLAY DESIGN DETAILS
We only had a week to get everything together for the show. Luckily, I love me a good design challenge!
The first thing I worked on was this hand-painted sign (check out the tutorial!). It turned out beautifully and set the tone for the rest of the design.
I made sure to include this jewelry organizer I had made for Mother’s Day (check out the tutorial here).
I wanted to create as much height as I could with the display. I also wanted lots of textures. Since it was a Parisian-themed spring fair, fresh flowers were a must!
I picked up the larger white wooden crate at Jo Ann’s for $9.99. I found the smaller one at a local thrift store for $2.99. I scored a super-cute, battery-operated, white metal ampersand marquee, also at Jo Ann’s, and used a 40% off coupon to get it for $12.
Then, I picked up the small, wooden, shabby chic chest ($11.99) and round mirror and stand ($22 for both) from Hobby Lobby.
I used some leftover gray duckcloth and acrylic paint from my making my sign and one of the kids’ circle sponge stamps to make a cute polka dot wrap for the tulips and tied it on with gray gift wrap ribbon.
I loved that the hints of aqua from the tulips, watering can and Stella & Dot sign matched our (new for summer) Isa Disc necklace!
We used two 6-foot folding tables and arranged them in the back of the tent. We kept bags on display stands in the corner behind out hostess display section.
We also purposely edited down our items in each tray to keep it really clean and less overwhelming–a skill I am still trying to perfect at actual trunk shows!
I found these cute little clothespin chalkboard signs at Michael’s and I used them on our versatile necklaces to show how many ways there are to wear them.
HOSTESS REWARDS DISPLAY AREA
For the corner of the display I made a little hostess rewards display area (check out these awesome hostess rewards booking images).
I put the boxes on a burlap charger that I had used last year in my summer trunks how display (check it out here). Then I used a chalkboard sign in front of it to show what our average hostess earns for free when she has a trunk show.
This area was perfect to point to when we were explaining what Stella & Dot is all about and it was a great conversation starter.
BOOKING INCENTIVE DISPLAY
We did a booking promotion: “Book a show in May take a bag away.”
To advertise our special, I found a folding chalkboard sign for $3 in the dollar bin section of Target and made it cuter by hot-gluing a metal flower embellishment I found at Hobby Lobby for $6.
We used two of our retired bags to help book in tight, since there were less than 3 weeks left in May.
SAMPLE SALE DISPLAY
A key tip for a Stella & Dot vendor event is to make sure to have some sample sale, cash and carry items on display.
We positioned ours out in the front of the tent next to our dress form with bright, eye-catching scarf. The dress form was borrowed from one of my fabulous hostesses and I used my daughter’s nightstand (check it out here) to hold the sample items.
Together they were the perfect Parisian vignette!
I found that cute white box with chalkboard front at Michael’s on sale for $9.99 and used a tray in front of it to show some of the sample sale items.
As my teammate, Joy said, “People love a sale!” And it’s true, 50% off items really drew people in and we made a few sample sales.
STAND IN FRONT OF YOUR TABLES
My sister-in-law (who is also a Stella & Dot stylist) gave our team a fabulous tip for vendor events: Never stand behind the table–it makes it more intimidating for people to want to approach and touch the jewelry.
There were many other jewelry vendors there (who were behind their tables) but we were getting much more foot traffic in our tent and I think that the table set up was a huge contributing factor.
YOU’LL NEED HELP
There were three of us in all who did the event. This was a good number for the size of this event.
It gave coverage when people had to leave or take breaks but still allowed us to devote ourselves to the guests.
ACCOUNT FOR TIME FOR SET UP & TEAR DOWN
There were only two of us there for set up and it was a doozy! It was my first time setting up my hubby’s tent (he assured me it would be “easy,” yeah right!). My teammate, Gillian, got a bad cut on her hand when we were lifting up the sides. It took us longer than expected.
Luckily, I had practiced the display layout so we made up time there. All three of of us were there to breakdown and that went much more smoothly.
TOP 5 STELLA & DOT VENDOR EVENT TIPS:
1 – REGISTRATION FEE:
Make sure the registration fee makes sense for your business level. This local event had a very low registration fee so our only real expenses were our display and our time.
Ending up with 2 decent sales, a show booked in the same month and a list of 10 warm hostess leads, it definitely made sense to do this event.
Set up and break down were difficult and time consuming, so keep that in mind too.
2 – YOU GOTTA HAVE FRIENDS
You are going to need the right amount of stylists with you.
This is great because you can split registration costs. You will also want to set parameters on how you will split sales, shows and contacts.
Ours was a small event and three of us seemed to be the perfect number for breaks and handling the larger influxes of guests.
Our job is all about developing relationships and giving great service, you don’t want anyone to fall through the cracks because you can’t give them the attention they deserve!
3 – GOALS & EXPECTATIONS
Decide on the mission of your event.
Is it to create sales (honestly, you might be better off doing a pop-up shop at a local boutique or salon)? You might want to do a sample sale and free shipping on regular orders.
Is it to get warm leads for hostessing? Then you’re going to need make sure your 60 second commercial talks about your hostessing opportunity.
You’re also going to want to gear your display to the hostessing opportunity. A hostess special is also a great idea (e.g. we did a promo “Book a show in May, take a bag away”).
4 – DISPLAY
You need to make your display fun, interesting, beautiful and informative.
If you have a whole tent to fill, try to come up with a theme and create a space that people will be naturally be drawn to explore.
Stand in front of your table to be more approachable.
Also, keep your trays minimal–try not to have more than 4-5 items in each. This will also make it easier to keep track of!
Try to do a practice run of setting up your tent (if you need one) and display. This will make it easier to pack up and set up on the day of your event.
5 – LOGISTICS
Figure out in advance how you will take payment. There was no WIFI at our event. We had to use paper orders and place them after the show. It was also tricky with sample sale items.
I had a mother and daughter who wanted to get 5 or 6 sample sale items. They only had $40 cash and there was a balance of over $70. I had a good feeling about them, being that they were locals, and had been in our tent for some time.
I asked the daughter to become Facebook friends and sent her an invoice and my mailing address. I took a risk and it paid off–they were happy to be able to take home their new pieces on the spot and I didn’t loose the sale because they didn’t have more cash or a check on them.
Decide ahead of time how you’ll handle payments and talk the the event coordinators.
6 – STAY POSITIVE
There were quite a few vendors that stopped by our tent complaining that there weren’t enough people at the event and that they wanted to leave.
Some of them wanted to stay and talk and vent to us.
Personally, I was happy to be meeting new connections in my hometown and enjoying the beautiful atmosphere!
And I think that’s why we had so much more action than the other vendors–we had a positive outlook and were grateful for the good things. This could very well be because we don’t have to do vendor events for a living like many of them did. Whatever the case, stay positive and have fun–it’s contagious!
Leave a comment if you have any questions, I love to help fellow Stella Sisters!
You can also find me on Instagram @mmtmblog! Be sure to check out my popular Pinterest board “Stella & Dot Trunk Show Ideas” for great display ideas, themes, booking images and lite bite & drink recipes!
Stay sparkly my friends! xo, Kristen