Business Inspiration, How To

How to Host a Barn Sale: Location

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.
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.

Julia Proctor of Sweet Tea & Shopping Markets

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???

photo credit : busy bee traveler

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!

Tara Martel of SproutzDesign 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.

To find out more about Tara and SproutzDesign Barn Sale visit her Facebook page or website!

photo credit | sweet ila mae’s

Rachel Davis & Megan Dodson of Sweet Ila Mae’s Barn Sale

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).

photo credit | sweet ila mae’s

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!

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