What Working At My First Pop Up Shop Taught Me

Yesterday was a very exciting day because I had the pleasure of being a vendor in my first pop up shop! Not only was it special being a vendor, but it was also very special to share this experience at Anthropologie, the company I have loved and been apart of for the last 6 years. In honor of Mother’s Day, Anthropologie in Woodcliff Lake, NJ hosted a Mother’s Day Pop Up Market that featured local artisans. Earlier this year I started this my own brand of essential oil rollers, Love Is Essentials, and sold them at the Pop Up Market this weekend. I sold two different types, After Dawn which is a calming lavender and sandalwood blend, and Dusk is an invigorating lavender and eucalyptus mixture.

Because it was my first time being a vendor, I learned a lot from this experience, both in what I am happy I did and things I will do differently next time. Here’s what I learned:

What I Would Do Again

I overall loved my table set up. My table display included:

  • Chalkboard
  • Table runner
  • Two wooden stands
  • QR code scanning sheet for payment
  • Round bins for product display
  • Testers
  • Business cards

When I first started setting up for the event, I found that my display wasn’t as eye catching as I would have wanted it to be. It looked plain next to the colorful and whimsical Anthropologie displays. My manager ended up saving the day by letting me borrow some displays and product from the store to help spruce up my table. Adding a table runner, elevated stands for product and a basket to display my product in added a much more professional and fun touch to my table.

This pop up taught me that convenience really is key. People do not just want to see your product, they want to experience it, and they want the experience to be enjoyable and simple. Two ways to do this is by having testers at your table and having QR codes displayed for payment. Testers give the consumer an opportunity to fall in love with your product before they buy it. Now that they are in love, they want to purchase it and move on to the next display. If the payment process is simple, they will be more likely to buy. I printed QR codes for Zelle and Venmo so that payment was simplified and buyers had options. Even today, it is still important to bring change and allow cash payment. I was surprised to find that many people wanted to pay with cash. Overall, when it comes to payment, options and convenience is key.

What I Wish I Did

While I found the experience to be successful, there are still some aspects of my display I would change next time. I realized once I was setting up that I didn’t have my social media page displayed anywhere. Having my social media displayed would have allowed those at my booth to follow me and keep up with my business, resulting in brand awareness and sales down the line. Next time, I want to make a flyer with a QR code that leads to my Instagram page and I want it to be in an acrylic, plexiglass sign holder so that it looks more clean and professional. I would also want the “scan to pay” sign in the same holder.

Another thing that I wished that I did would have been to network more with other vendors. Networking is so important because especially as a new business, there is so much to learn from those who are more seasoned. Get to know other vendors, follow them on social media and even exchange numbers so you can keep in touch. You never know, they may be the one to tell you about your next event.

Out of everything, the thing I wish the most that I did differently was have more control of my emotions. A week before the event, I allowed myself to get so anxious that my brain went over every possible negative scenario. This was extremely harmful and of course only made me feel miserable. Going forward, I choose to believe in myself and not allow myself to be a victim to the thoughts passing through my mind, especially if they are not serving me at all. In hindsight, I see that my anxiety was completely pointless, especially being that none of the negative scenarios that I imagined even came true. The only thing that it did was make me suffer for absolutely no reason at all. This experience taught me the importance of believing in myself and treating myself the way that I would like to be treated by others. I wouldn’t allow for the people in my life to tell me negative scenarios, so why would I do it to myself?

If you have a small business and would like to be a vendor at a market or street fair, I encourage you to do so. It is not as scary as it looks and there is so much to learn and grow from through the experience. If you have any additional questions about being a vendor, feel free to ask me in the comments or send me a DM on Instagram (linked below). Please also check out my Etsy page Love Is Essentials and try out my healing essential oil rollers.

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Etsy Page: Love Is Essentials


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