rusty gold show in lebanon, pa
This weekend, Marc and I set up a 10′ by 20′ space at The Rusty Gold Antique and Artisan Show at the Lebanon Expo Center in Lebanon.
It was a long string of days filled with packing up, moving, setting up and unloading. We’re both pretty tired on this rainy Monday morning, but I wanted to take some time to share how the show went if you weren’t able to attend.
The show was held at the Lebanon Expo Center in Lebanon, PA. It’s just about an hour from our home studio in Coatesville and roughly 45 minutes away from one of my retail locations in Morgantown.
The Expo Center itself is quite nice. The show was inside one of the larger buildings and it was climate controlled. There are indoor restroom facilities and a snack bar. Our building had plenty of entrances to load and unload, spacious parking spaces to accommodate everyone’s rental trucks and trailers and was secured at night.
Loading and setting up
Because I already have two retail spaces already set up and staged, I simply deconstructed one of them and packed everything up – paint and all! Marc and I got a 15 foot rental UHaul truck and drove it down to Morgantown Market. We spent about 4 hours wrapping up all of my furniture and smalls, loaded up all of my paint display pieces and carefully packed up my MMS Milk Paint and General Finishes products.
After that, we went back to our home in Coatesville and loaded up the new pieces I had been squirreling away just for this event.
We easily filled the entire truck and took our time getting up to the venue.
It was easy to unload because we could pull right up to the doors of our building. We worked smart with hand trucks, furniture dolly’s and flatbed carts and pretty much let gravity do all the work!
We put all of the furniture out first to define our space.
Once the furniture was where I wanted it, I set about taking the protective plastic wrap off. While I was busy with that, Marc set up the paint displays. We took breaks throwing the big balls of plastic wrap at one another!
As Marc worked on paint, I set about staging each piece with the smalls we brought.
Marc did a great job organizing all of the paint too. That’s a really big (and heavy) job!
thoughts from the show
The show itself was so-so. We broke even in terms of sales, even though I sold a few pieces of furniture. Between the cost of the rental truck, mileage, gas, food and the entrance fee for the event, most of our sales went towards paying back those expenses.
The foot traffic at the event was also so-so. This was the first time this event was being held, so it didn’t surprise me that it wasn’t mobbed. Events take a few years to gain traction, so it will be super fun to see this event grow. It was also Mother’s Day weekend, so people may have been traveling to be with their families.
I also realize that I sell a very large and expensive commodity. Most people that walked by my space remarked at how pretty my furniture was and how much they liked it, but they simply didn’t have a need for a piece of furniture in their home. It was either that or the color wasn’t quite right or the size was a bit off. Buying a piece of furniture is not a decision that you make quickly or haphazardly, so I’m not surprised everything didn’t fly out the door.
The paint didn’t fly off the shelves either, but that’s okay too. I handed out a LOT of brochures and talked about it quite a bit with customers. I held a paint demonstration that got a few people curious about what I was doing, so overall people got a taste of the products I offer. They know where to find me when they need product!
So overall, the market wasn’t a major money-making event but it was still worth it. We got our name out there which is great for advertising, brand recognition and networking.
Marc and I are really tired after so much hard labor in a short amount of time. We’re going to try to take it easy this week to rest back up and get back into the swing of things. I’ll be busy with paint inventory, reordering, reorganizing and putting things back where they belong.
Witches Fly North in October
You can mark your calendars for my next market event. On October 4th and 5th, I’ll be participating in the Witches Fly North market hosted by Diane Gibble of Miss Morgan’s Milkweed Antiques. This market is very well-attended (last year, there were over 5,000 people in one day!) and is definitely worth visiting. It only happens once a year, so make your plans now to attend! More details will be coming as we get the event nailed down, but I’ll be participating in a super fun way with Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint. I can’t share too much now, but stay tuned as I’m able to share more!