Sunday, August 17, 2014

Booth Space Shuffle: School Daze

Sister M and I were working in our booth spaces recently, getting our supplies all lined up for the back-to-school scene you see pictured below.
Panoply's "too cool for school" vintage map
Much of what you see in our space above was already part of our stock in the store, but we rearranged it for a fresh look. The retractable U.S. map dates between 1959-1963.  It's still in overall very good condition - way too cool for school. It needs to be in someone's home den or library!
On the chairs, we have a French enameled vintage lunch pail in mottled green/white, and child's cup and saucer in mottled blue/white. Of course, there's an apple for teacher, and two school bells. The suitcase holds a framed, 1912 Cream of Wheat magazine ad, "A Visit with the Chef", with a little girl leaning over the kitchen counter, watching the cook make her Cream of Wheat. A little hard to see, but we have recess playthings, both on the bench (tennis racket) and underneath (roller skates). There's an industrial (metal) double eighth note for the music room. Also on the floor, in the carrier, are plenty of glasses with straws, ready for the cafeteria lineup. Lastly, in the suitcase, there's a stack of vintage hankies, enough for the entire class!

We made several other changes in the last couple of months, as pieces sold.  We removed the picnic table for a sale we'll be participating in, come September, and replaced it with what you see pictured below:
This is a really sweet, old table, with porcelain casters on the legs.  It's holding an ironstone pitcher and early (20th) century, heavy (!) oak wall phone. A couple of cane seated chairs complete the set. The antique rice basket on the floor is holding several European grain sacks.

Other changes in our space were prompted by wanting to remove a curio cabinet and its contents in our other booth. We ended up changing out room dividers from one side to the other, moved a few pieces of furniture, and fluffed it up. The picture below shows the before and after of the space where we removed the curio cabinet (far left, with hats temporarily on glass shelves where we removed all vintage jewelry) and switched dividers behind the space. The white shutter doors look much brighter.  I picked those from my neighbor's trash pile (they were a broken closet door she was tossing).
LEFT: Before we removed the curo and dark wall divider; RIGHT: After, white shutter door brightens the anchor space
That change, of course, caused a domino reaction (just like home, right?). We moved the darker wall divider to the opposite side of the space, which prompted yet another adjustment. There was already a divider in that corner, as you can see from the photo below:
LEFT: Before, the floral wall divider was in the corner,k behind desk. RIGHT: darker divider behind chair, desk in center
Afterward, we moved the light, floral screen forward, as the anchor for the right corner of that space (below):
Back side of right side of space, with light floral divider moved forward
Here's what the space looks like from the frontal view now:
We like the curio cabinet gone from the left side, and things are much lighter. Speaking of curio, I've been consistently adding a few of my vintage purses, mostly the mesh ones, to the curio we still have, as they've been selling. I'm purging a few of those purses from my personal inventory.
It's a funny thing when you're in retail.  You can have something in stock for a very long time, and once you move it around, it almost always stirs sales.  It's easy for customers, even repeat ones, to overlook things that may seem obvious to us, especially in our booths, as we tend to pack them in. That school vignette?  Here's what it looked like before:
LEFT: Before the school vignette, we had a laundry set up.
Here's how we swapped the main ingredients at the wall (school) vignette - the ironing board and bench - to/from the center of that same space (adjacent to the new, country table setting earlier in this post).
LEFT: Before, the bench was in the center of the booth; AFTER: ironing board and bench change places
There are always leftovers, just like at home, when we switch things up, so we adjust our styling. The pig pillow on the little chair (previously on the wall above the ironing board) is a good example of a leftover. He's now hiding inside a crate, getting weighed. :)
Our rule: once it's in the store, leave it (unless you come up with a cool, new idea for home use). In this case, we only took out a wall shelf, wooden beach/camp child's chair, and the previously mentioned picnic table.We're planning a camping vignette for the September fair, so those pieces will all work great there.

Meanwhile, the purge project in my basement continues, with 47 hours of work logged so far. The fair we're participating in in September was part of the impetus for this project of purging and reorganizing "stuff". So was the rule of not bringing stuff back home from the store once there (obviously we weren't following our own rules). At the rate I'm going, I might be finished by September - what a job!