Designed in San Francisco

How to Plan a Pop Up Shop

Since launching Consttant, I have been so grateful to sell Consttant merchandise in 2 pop up locations. I am currently in the process of organizing and planning 5 more to come in the span of the next 2 months. It's holiday season and I am trying my best to showcase Consttant in as many places as possible!

Researching and planning is a majority of the journey leading up to a pop up shop. It's all about the planning because once you actually get to the location everything is ready to be set up because you had planned out the layout and your goals of that day. One goal I always have is make the same amount that I had paid to be there as well as spreading the word as much as possible. Think of this pop up space as advertisement. It is not always about digital advertising but also meeting people and connecting is even better to hear firsthand how customers like your brand. You paid for this space, so definitely take advantage of how you can utilize it for your needs.

I chose to be a part of bigger markets/fairs to host Consttant pop ups because 1) Bigger markets have a lot more foot traffic to visit your pop up and 2) It is really awesome to meet other entrepreneurs in the creative field.

In the midst of planning several more for the holidays, I wanted to put together some tips that reflect how the past couple have went. After my first pop up I found that the 2nd was only very slightly less preparation because the displays were made. I hope these 5 tips can help you get started and spark other ideas to satisfy the needs of your brand. This is more of a short and sweet list of things that I wish someone had told me while I was planning. Don't forget to leave a comment and tell me what your favorite fairs or markets to attend are!

consttant booth at undiscovered sf

1. Apply to markets/ fairs that fit your niche.

For Consttant's first pop ups, I chose to sell at larger markets to take advantage of the following it has. The research of finding fairs is another big task that takes a while to actually check off your to-do list. I would say, don't be picky at first and apply to as many that you feel comfortable selling at and make you excited to be there. The application process usually includes a jurying fee either you just pay that or pay the whole amount upfront. After that is the nerve racking couple of weeks you have to wait till you find out if you have been accepted or not.

side profile view of consttant layout

2. Start planning the layout.

Dimensions are key! When I first starting planning the first pop up, I felt so overwhelmed on where even to start planning what goes where. Start with your dimensions, what you want your booth to look like, and what your goals are with this particular pop up. Sometimes having limited space can be a blessing and a curse. I see it more as beneficial because it makes you get creative with space and how you can organize your products on what you want to promote more than others and figuring out the kooks and crannies to put inventory. I always make sure to layout all the displays the week before the event including all clothes hung because last minute changes may be needed (well always in my case). Always make sure to include hidden pockets of space for inventory.

consttant floor plan for undiscovered sf pop up shop  planning the consttant pop up shop in san francisco  sketch of coatrack found on pinterest

3. Organize your Inventory.

Plan accordingly to see how much inventory you will need to bring. Factors to think about: how much space will be left after hanging merchandise, how many sales you made at previous events, how many do you want to sell. Make sure to make an excel sheet with all the inventory you bring and be able to organize and make it look good so that things won't get messy and confusing when you need to restock after someone makes a purchase.

marisa founder organizing inventory in consttant booth   putting consttant caps on to the coat rack

4. Interaction

An aspect to not forget about are what your goals are with interacting with customers. Since being solely an online shop, I interact with customers mainly through social media and email. So planning out how you want to bring people in, engage with them, and share your story of your brand is very important to think about beforehand. This can include freebies, interactive game, or just your wonderful personality that pulls people in.

table display for consttant handmade accessories

organizing merchandise in consttant booth on diy racks

clothing display of nori denim kimono

5. Gather everything the night before.

Have all your things in one place the night before the event. It'll help avoid a sleepless night of making sure you have everything checked off your to-do list. Also make sure to have transportation 100% a-ok and ready to go the next day. Bringing hand carts and dollies are also just as important as all your inventory and display because you need to bring that into the venue as well and that's not gonna carry itself! I always plan to be able to rest up and make myself in a great mood for the next day, but usually I end up going over details up till the night before. But I believe in you!

marisa Lee creative director and founder in the Consttant booth

P.S. I'd be happy to chat about any further topics in more details in the comments section or for a faster route talking on @consttantmade Twitter. Currently planning for Consttant's first outdoor pop up shop in Berkeley. Good vibes all around!

Feel free to share this article with your fellow entrepreneurial creatives!
Don't forget to check out the shop too :)
Stay Consttant.

Share this post

Love Note

Back to the top