You may be landing on our page after looking for barn sales, or you may be a long time follower and surprised to see the new look. Either way that you arrived we are glad you’re here. And yes, we’ve changed things a bit. We knew that our following had thousands of people but the ones that kept engaging were the barn sale “hosts,” the ones who were organizing these vintage markets and events all over the country. Yes the shoppers were looking for events, and the vendors were looking for events but since they are happening all over the country the best place for finding these local events is social media. We may have an event calendar again one day, but for now we will just have blogs about featured events and focus on the services we want to provide to help our core group — the barn sale hosts.
So I want to take some time today to explain our three service categories and how they may help you in growing or opening your own barn sale business.
Virtual Assistant services
This is our main service for event managers, barn sale hosts, and/or vintage market coordinators. Our aim is to help you with your to-do list, by crossing off tasks one-by-one. Examples of these services include, but are not limited to: vendor search, contacting & creating master list, invoicing and contracts, vendor map layouts, setting up ticketing websites and more!
Experienced in Microsoft Suite (Word, Excel and Powerpoint), Squarespace, WordPress, Weebly, Wix, EventBee, Event Brite, Google Analytics, Google Drive, Dropbox and Mailchimp we can help with most all clerical tasks you can come up with. We will organize the work in a way that you can use more efficiently and free up more time for your business.
Our next services is blogging. We know this is a huge time consumer for our clients, but it’s something we totally enjoy doing! There is an art and techy side to blogging and we feel like we have got a pretty good handle on it! We enjoy the research, photo selection, SEO and publishing aspects of blogging and happy to take it off your hands. We just ask that you provide a gallery of images (perhaps from your event photographer), your list of vendors and we will do the rest online. We not only will setup a gorgeous looking blog post, we will credit and link each vendor (collecting all social media handles IG, FB, etc.), optimize SEO so your posts will be found on Google, and post for you!
After the blog post is up we will let the social media sharing, web traffic and analytics climb and provide with you a quick synopsis of how the post performed one month after posting.
And last, but certainly not least is our Creative Design services. Many of you found The Barn Sale Business thru this service. We have designed 100’s of event postcards, flyers, invitations, logos, marketing materials and more. With a degree in Commercial Art & Design I truly love seeing a vision come to life and match the branding thru and thru. Hire us today to make your vision come true and set you on the path of success with beautiful branding.
In this second post, we’re going to chat about figuring out WHO you are in regards to personal style and taste and exactly HOW much it influences the look and feel of your barn sale. We are excited to be featuring a new barn sale host to the blog, January Alexander from Handmade Harvest Vintage Farm Fair located in Bethpage, Tennessee. Also, Tara Martel of SproutzDesign Barn Sale is contributing with us again, she was a great resource for our last post on “How to Host a Barn Sale : Location“. Both of these girls have always been a supporter of the Barn Sale Business and always willing to help out. Read along to learn some valuable tips and ideas!
The topics are kind of hand-in-hand: deciding your design style / theme of the event and the strategy behind it all. This will not only brand you as a business but also help attract the right kind of vendors AND shoppers. There are a host of ideas out there for strong design ideas for events. Use Pinterest as a great starting point for design elements and colors that speak to you. Once you know a direction it’s a great idea to hire a reputable graphic designer to create your event poster and social media graphics. Once you have your advertising materials it’s time to hit the ground running and tell everyone you know about your upcoming sale!!
January Alexander of Handmade Harvest Vintage Farm Fair “So I want to host a farm festival, but I’m unsure what to call it….hmm, how do I choose the best name, theme, logo style?” This is what came to my mind when I was conjuring up my idea for what is now my event called Handmade Harvest Vintage Farm Fair. There are 3 parts I feel that are key when choosing your event name.
1) The name itself. Another huge piece to planning a barn sale (or farm event) is deciding what you’ll call it. It must be something fitting, catchy, unique and fun! Try and choose keywords that hit home to you and what you are trying to promote. Think like your target audience and ask yourself does this event sound fun, inviting, full of trendy and unique goods….does the theme look creative and stylish? When I was originally brainstorming, I immediately knew my event wasn’t exactly a barn sale, but had similar components. I wanted to be sure and choose a name that best described what I hoped our event would become. I envisioned a vintage style sale, along with family friendly, old-fashioned fun combining fair style elements and farm flair….hence…Handmade Harvest Vintage Farm Fair was born!
2) The colors. Just like any great party, you always plan a color scheme. Choose colors that speak to you. Choose colors that fit your style. Choose colors that are on trend. Choose colors fitting for the season. If nothing jumps right out at you, find a great piece of art or something beautiful on Pinterest and pull inspiration from that! The combinations are endless! Check out our Pinterest board for tons of color inspiration ideas!
3) The logo design. There are so many great barn sale logos out there! Mixing great colors, fonts, vintage images, banners, stickers, textures, etc! There are so many options, but be careful not to copy your heros! There is plenty of creativity to go around. Keep it original and unique to you! For my HHVFF logo, I knew instantly what I wanted to use….I wanted to make a simple logo, but also use additional detailed art for promotion. I’m a Hatch Showprints lover (using them for my wedding almost 10 years ago) and knew I somehow wanted to incorporate an old show poster into my announcements as well. Luckily, one of my best friends is an amazing graphic designer, so collaborating with her on my collateral was easy. BUT, with all the great design programs in the market now days, designing is much simpler for everyone. Whether you hire a graphic artist or create a great logo yourself, make it represent your vision and as always be inviting to those viewing. The end goal is for viewers to see a clean and clear logo, best describing your event AND imprinting a message in their mind…a memory that says….”Come to my barn sale, it’s going to be so awesome! You’ll find the coolest goods, have tons of fun, eat delicious food, leave grinning, giggling and hoping for more!”.
Check out some of our most favorite logo designs by viewing our PORTFOLIO…
Now, get cranking on that LOGO!!! Remember…Great Name, Beautiful Colors, Trendy Style!! Have fun and Happy planning! Until next time….
“For the two sales we have held, we have just called it “SproutzDesign Barn Sale” we may pick more of a theme in the future that relates to the seasons we are holding the sale in but I will always incorporate our business name into the “title”.
We do not do “booths” I have all the vendors bring their merchandise the week before and they are welcome to help set up but i do all of the staging and I like the look of everything being “mixed” together so it all blends and flows. We are pretty small scale so maps are not necessary in our setting. We do not charge admission for shoppers and I don’t plan to. Our first sale included apple cider sales, all proceeds went to a local outreach ministry. Our second holiday sale we served hot cider and cookies free of charge. Our entertainment has been limited to music from our favorite pandora station.”
Once again, we hope you have learned something for your own barn sale, feel free to leave a comment with tips you have to share!
Okay, if you missed INTRO of the “How to Host a Barn Sale” series, click [HERE] to catch up! I think it’s pretty important to peek at the first part, because it kind of shows you why this series started, and it gives you some background on myself, too! Take a sec to catch up with us, and then let’s move on to the next in the series. Introduction Part One : Location Part Two : Style & Strategy Part Three : Vendors Part Four : Marketing & Advertising Part Five : Event Coordination Part Six : Helpful Advice
In this first post, we’re going to chat about figuring out the perfect location in regards to your barn sale setting.
Location is everything. One of the biggest draws of a barn sale is the atmosphere and gathering of folks in one local spot. While you do not have to have a barn to have a successful barn sale it is a wonderful touch and provides shelter in case of weather. Most of these type sales are in rural, country and/or outdoor type settings. Wedding venues make for good locations too! (Especially in their off season!) There are a few key points you want to make sure your location has, parking, bathrooms and ample space. Plenty of flat open ground is perfect while most all vendors will bring their own tent + set-ups. If you have a covered area then marking off booth spaces by size is a great alternative. Parking is key and it’s even nice to have big clear directional signs or a reliable person to stay around and help park folks. You don’t want your shoppers to have to “off-road” too much as some might not be as “brave” as you are. Their vehicles may not be suitable for this either. Codes will enforce bathrooms for a public event. You either need to rent or build a set to use on site. Not the glamorous part of the sale but necessary.
Own A Barn – Have A Sale….Simple, Right? Oh, but I forgot — I don’t own a barn, I don’t even have a garage! I live in a split level home on a three-quarter acre lot in the middle of suburbia. What’s a girl to do???
Find a farm … a farm with a barn, a REALLY big barn. Find a farm with a really big barn and easy access. Find a farm with a really big barn, easy access, and plenty of space to park. Okay, you get the picture, don’t you? After you find all this, the work begins, this is where you set about the business of convincing the farmer/owner that you are not crazy, just enterprising! You might find this hard to believe but there are 1,000’s of people who have never heard of barn sales (as we know them). When you tell a 70+ year old man that you want to use is barn for an upscale barn sale, he will inevitable wonder about your sanity and stability.
Yep, that is exactly how it happened for me! Through a series of untimely and unnerving events, I found myself without a venue, less than 45 days out from my spring market event. It was a nightmare but, that’s a story for a different time. I had nearly given up, one more “look see” and I would be out of options! I drove onto the property at Bottom View Farm, in Portland, TN with little to no hope that I would be able to salvage my spring market. I could not have been more wrong…Two barns, several additional buildings, an on-site restaurant, permanent restroom facilities and so much more! I could not move fast enough, I think I even scared them a bit. I babbled on about what I would do, what I needed them to do, and the future possibilities that were popping into my head like a tiny fireworks display. All the while these wonderful folks were looking at me as if I was speaking Greek, I later realized (through their own confession) they just weren’t sure about this woman and her lofty ideas but, if I was willing to pay for the use of their land and buildings, what difference did it make to them if I was a wingnut! After all, I was the one taking the risk, not them.
The rest is history… Bottom View Farm and The Cook Family, who own it, have proven to be the home and family Sweet Tea & Shopping didn’t know we were looking for. While it is certainly a benefit to own your own barn, that just isn’t always the case. For us, calling Bottom View Farm “our home” is the next best thing. The moral of the story…You don’t have to own a barn to have a great Barn Sale!
Our “barn sales” actually take place in our big metal shop behind our house. It’s covered, walled in on three sides and has a concrete floor…all great features for any weather that may arise in the Pacific Northwest. We have ample parking on our gravel driveway and our house is conveniently located off two main highways and close to our “downtown” in our small rural town.
Sweet Ila Mae’s is very dear to our hearts. It took years for us to take the leap of faith and plan our first event! During that time, it was always on our minds and we had endless conversations prepping and planning for our first event. We knew all along where we hoped the setting of our first sale would be and choosing the name came easy too. We would suggest choosing a theme that is meaningful/sentimental to you, something you can be passionate about. Our roots run deep with Sweet Ila Mae’s. We host our sales on land that has been past down thru generations within our family, our daddy built the barn himself with his own two hands (and the help of some really special friends).
We chose the name Sweet Ila Mae in honor of our great grandmother, in which the land was inherited from.
Every last detail of our sale has some special meaning to us and our roots… from antique tractors that belong to our dad, our grandfathers adorable Ford truck, and a wagon that had been used for many years in our community to harvest crops.
Everything about Sweet Ila Mae’s is sentimental and meaningful to us! In fact, it’s a family affair… You’ve heard “it takes a village”… this has proven to be true for our barn sales. It is important to have a support system that will be there to help every step of the way and we are so thankful for our amazing friends and family who have been there for us and helped us live out our dream!
We hope you have learned something for your own barn sale, feel free to leave a comment with tips you have to share!
Since opening The Barn Sale Business in 2012 the one question I get asked more than any is, “Do you have any tips for hosting my own barn sale?” and although this isn’t a simple question it makes my heart happy to hear someone starting out on their own journey in this industry. I have taken a long while to write this blog series and I hope you follow along each week as I post a new topic. If you’re visiting this post long after it’s published you can click [HERE] to see the list of all the posts in the series!
I want to preface this series too and say I am no expert, I’ve just had my fair share of experience doing barn sales and talking to tons of hosts along the way. I’ve helped with every step of the process and found many tips and tricks that can make or break a sale. But none of this goes without saying it takes hard work and dedication to see a sale through, there is no “magic recipe” for the perfect sale and you never know whats going to happen!
So in our first blog series, appropriately named “How to Host a Barn Sale” we would like to introduce you to 5 seasoned barn sale hosts; Julia, Tara, January, Rachel and Megan. Each incredibly talented in their own way they have willingly provided the Barn Sale Business with some wonderful and super helpful tips. Read along to learn some valuable information and ideas!