How I plan and prepare for Pop-Ups

How I plan and prepare for Pop-Ups


4 minute read

How I plan and prepare for Pop-Ups is a system I've developed over years and years of practice. There's a lot that goes into the preparation before a show and forgetting something crucial can make or break your experience. But with time and experience this is something that has become second nature and I can say I've got my process down. 

For those of you that don't know, a Pop-Up is a temporary art event, much less formal than a gallery exhibition or art fair, where a small group of artists and makers create a space to showcase and sell their work. Pop-Ups can be hosted by restaurants, breweries, retail shops, and other venues. 

Often times, a local business will host a Pop-Up in order to market to their clientele to come support artists and to also have the artists market to their audience to come support the business. It's meant to be a symbiotic relationship between artists and businesses as well as a fun shopping event where you can meet and buy from local makers.  

How I plan and prepare for Pop-Ups:

  1. Make all work and back stock - this usually takes a few weeks to a month of preparation in order to make enough work. I like to make sure that I have the breadth of what I offer available, as well as multiples of designs, and a variety of ring and bracelet sizes to try on. All backstock for the show
  2. Build a mock set up - there's only a limited amount of time to set up and break down your booth so it's important to know exactly where and how things will be displayed to make the set up process quick and easy. I usually build a mock set up either in my backyard or in my living room and I'll take pictures of my display so I can copy my exact set up the day of the show. How I plan and prepare for Pop Ups
  3. Pack everything up - since we are usually shuttling everything we need to build our booth between the car and the venue it's important to make as few trips as possible so packing everything into easy to carry totes is important. Sometimes it's even necessary to bring a dolly or a wagon if you have to park far from your venue. Everything packed up
  4. Make sure your car is in tip top shape - I often travel a distance to attend these events and the last thing you want is for car trouble to get in the way of you making it to your show. I like to make sure that my tires are inflated, oil is clean, fluids are filled, and if I've been putting off any major car repairs getting that done before traveling to a show is super important. I also camp in my rooftop tent in order to make traveling to shows financially viable so I make sure my tent is clean and ready for sleeping.  The truck with the rooftop tent is ready to go

Important things to bring:

  • table
  • table risers - this helps raise your table up to a more comfortable viewing height
  • table cloth - also doubles as a place to store your extra stuff during the show
  • signage
  • display items 
  • jewelry
  • mirrors
  • hand sanitizer
  • business cards
  • price tags
  • POS system - like a Square reader
  • ring sizers - to size customers' fingers
  • ring mandrels - to get the size off any rings in question
  • pliers - in case of necklace length change requests
  • polishing cloths - to keep everything looking nice and shiny
  • packaging - in case a customer needs a box or intends to give it as a gift
  • extra layers - in case of weather changes
  • water and snacks - this is super important 
  • shoes you can stand in all day

I mainly do art events and pop-ups in Missoula, Bozeman, and the Flathead area in Montana. If you're in the area, hopefully I'll see you out there!

If you can't shop with me in person you can always click to head to the online shop!

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