Booth Design for Indie Handmade: Little Korboose at Renegade Handmade in Chicago

Booth Design for Indie Handmade, Little Korboose at the Chicago Renegade Craft Fair

by April Nemeth of Little Korboose

Hi there! It’s April over at Little Korboose and I’m here today to talk about what it takes to make a craft show booth/tent dynamic and enticing to customers without spending a fortune! The most recent fair I participated in was the Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago so I am sharing how I planned/designed my booth for the event. This is an outdoor fair with over 300 of the best indie artists around, so you have to be on top of your game with so much amazing talent (competition) surrounding you.

Several things to consider when thinking about your set up:

Booth Design for Indie Handmade, Little Korboose at Renegade Handmade in Chicago

1 – Invest in a WHITE or light colored EZ UP tent or tent with straight legs, not angled. White lets way more day light in, so the tent seems larger and more airy inside, thus people will feel more comfortable and want to shop for longer!

Booth Design for Indie Handmade, Little Korboose at Renegade Handmade in Chicago

2 – GO SHOPPING! yeah I said it…go out to retail stores, get a look at their layouts and absorb what you see around you. Think about how you can make your tent SHOP-ABLE. Study traffic patterns, displays, fixtures, etc.

Booth Design for Indie Handmade, Little Korboose at Renegade Handmade in Chicago

3 – Make the displays for your items modular, collapsible and easy to transport or carry. Displays should help your items look organized and clean!

Booth Design for Indie Handmade, Little Korboose at Renegade Handmade in Chicago

4 – Signage is huge! Make sure your customer knows where they are. Have a banner with your company name or logo and your url large enough for people to see as they are walking past your tent. Your company name/logo might be enough to entice people to come check out your merch.

Booth Design for Indie Handmade, Little Korboose at Renegade Handmade in Chicago

5 – Don’t forget flyers and business cards! Many customers will walk and entire event without buying anything the first time through and then go back and make purchases. Help them remember to come back by giving them a company flyer!

About my booth design:

When setting up for Renegade or any other outdoor fair, I always keep a few things in mind. First, I want my tent to be comfortable enough for customers to be in for an extended period of time. The main goal is to try to get my customers to stay in my tent for as long as possible. The longer they stay, the more they shop, and the more money Little Korboose makes!

Booth Design for Indie Handmade, Little Korboose at Renegade Handmade in Chicago

I also think about what kind of mood I want to set which is usually HAPPY, BRIGHT, FRESH + PLAYFUL since most of my items are for children. Bright colors and whimsical decorations are key. Pictured above are my Little Korboose Star Garland, hanging colorful prints, and robot + owl pillows displayed in a suitcase.

In addition, I have many pieces that need to be displayed that have gotten overlooked in the past, when I was a rookie 🙂 , so we designed a wall that you can easily disassemble and reassemble as well as transport from your car to your site. This helped sales TREMENDOUSLY! Don’t underestimate the power of displays. It’s all about visual merchandising! For example, a solution was needed for merchandising my robot stickers. Selling them in packs that could hang on the wall at eye level seemed like the best option, so I came up with a packaging solution suitable for this idea. No one missed them!

Booth Design for Indie Handmade, Little Korboose at Renegade Handmade in Chicago

Frequency is also a huge factor for sales: the more times the customer sees the same item, the greater the possibility is that they’ll pick it up and eventually purchase it. I hung the packs of stickers in two places on the wall and put a handful of them in a basket on a table across from the wall so they were visible by all customers no matter where they were located. Also, one of the locations the robot stickers were hung was at eye level for a child. They are a customer too! There were many times throughout the day that I heard, “Mommy, look Robot stickers!”It is important to consider who may be with your target shopper as they may have great influence on the purchasing decision.

Finally, don’t be afraid to test new items! If you are nervous to produce a lot of a particular item based on how much time it takes to make or how expensive it is, just make one or two and see what people think. Customers love to comment, so even if the feedback isn’t completely positive, at least you are learning something without going broke. Many Little Korboose items have been tested in this way and have either prompted me to produce a billion, zillion more or to stop production all together. 

Well, that’s all for me! If you have any other specific questions about show/booth set up or about Little Korboose items, please don’t hesitate to contact us at

little korboose, april nemethApril Nemeth is a new guest contributor for Oh My! Handmade-welcome to the community! She is the designer/artist behind Little Korboose. Learn more about April and Little Korboose by visiting the blog, becoming a fan of the Facebook page and following LittleKorboose on Twitter.


  1. Benny says:

    Ahhh!!! Love. You must be doing a zillion things right, your booth looks amazing.. and even just virtually browsing it makes me want to head on over to your shop and drool some more (and see if you have another helicopter painting). ;D Congrats on your success and thanks so much for the post!

  2. iam_artisan says:

    Your booth looks so cute… Thank you for sharing your booth design tips…. I love joining fairs specially during the holiday season and this post is really helpful…


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