We've been proudly peddling our wares at Atherton Mill and Market in Charlotte for just over a year now. We started there in a small tent outside and graduated over time to a regular booth inside the building. As the market grew, our little soap company has grown right along with it.
Recently it has become quite obvious that we had just a few too many products for our relatively tight space. Things were getting a bit squishy and we literally did not have room to introduce any new products. So, when the opportunity presented itself to build out a booth, we jumped on it.
We spent the better part of today in the very quiet market deciding how we wanted to present ourselves. The first step was to move in all the pieces that we had accumulated for this very purpose. Below you can see a gorgeous dresser we picked up at Warehouse 2120 sometime ago as well as a table made of old boat wood, and two work benches that Frank and Shelli from Freshly were kind enough to build for us.
Additionally, we pulled our potting bench out of the garage and brought it in. It's a lovely little piece that Wayne built for me over five years ago.
We spent several hours thinking, talking, and shifting furniture. It was a painful process, but we wanted to be as happy as possible with it before starting to add any product. Thankfully, all our large pieces are on casters, so most of it was an easy move.
The first thing we decided to do was to find a way to hide the storage under our work benches. After a quick trip to Mary-Jo's (gotta love that place), we started stapling burlap into a skirt around the bottom. Thanks goes out again to Shelli at Freshly for the recommendation.
Here's our first skirted piece. Not too bad for two folks who weren't quite sure what they were doing and were making it up as they went. :) The plan is to stain/paint/distress the exposed wood in the next few weeks when we have some additional time.
Next up was dealing with the exposed wall on the right side of the booth. It was painted white, but screws were visible and it just didn't make my heart sing. Since at this point Wayne was a pro at stapling, we decided that more fabric solved that problem (at least for now).
As he moved along the wall things became a bit tight and there was a bit of this going on (providing no end of entertainment for me):
After we added the product and our price sign, here's the end result. Although I'm still not 100% sold on the fabric choice, I am quite happy with the overall result.
Just to the left of the bar soap station we added the dresser and put gift-related goodies on it.
To the left of that is an antique wash basin stand courtesy of a friend of ours. Back in the day it probably lived in a bedroom and held a pitcher and basin. For us, the plans is for it to hold our laundry detergent, sachets, and dryer balls.
To the left of that is the other workbench to which we added bath salts, scrubs, body wash, and lip balm.
Right before calling it a day, we took a minute to add our liquid soap and refills on the potting bench and hang our chalkboard sign in front of the booth.
Over the next four to six weeks we expect the booth to continue to evolve. We're waiting for one more custom piece, and will tinker around with the product layout. Even with that in mind, we are ecstatic with the progress we've made and look forward to feedback from all our market friends - vendors & customers alike.