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Your ultimate guide to merchandising a vintage booth
Merchandising: your silent marketer as a vintage shop owner. Photo: Grey House Treasures

Your ultimate guide to merchandising a vintage booth


Meg and Dave Halisky, co-founders of Grey House Treasures, make a splash at every pop-up with their living room-meets-antique-shop booths. Meg shares her secrets to merchandising in our free guide

You ever have those moments when you’re a little overwhelmed at a vintage shop or a market because there’s just so many options, so many vendors, and so much inventory to look through? 

It’s the best kind of overwhelm, but still, it happens to the best of us.

You feel yourself being pulled into certain booths over others. Then you linger there, carefully checking everything out. 

Something about the setup probably drew you into one particular booth over another. Maybe it was the fixtures that created a homey vibe. Or some well-placed vintage lighting. Or a mannequin with a great outfit. Or something shiny that you just had to see up close. Or an eye-catching sign. 

There’s always a crowd around the Grey House Treasures booth at a market for those very reasons: co-founders Meg and Dave Halisky have curated a your-grandma’s-living-room vibe for their vintage and pre-loved decor shop that feels welcoming to multiple generations and styles, from boomers who reminisce about their childhood finds to the “grandmillennial” set.

Meg and Dave love to layer tablecloths, add plants and dial up the shine in their booths. Photo: Grey House Treasures

It’s as much a showcase as it is a show booth. Over the years, Meg and Dave have traded utilitarian shelving for thrifted warm woods, painted vintage cabinets and lots of opportunities for visual interest. 

“Some of my favourite comments are, ‘It looks like a living room’ or ‘This feels like an antique shop,’” Meg says. “Merchandising definitely makes a difference in sales — I do see a difference if someone just lays things flat on the table versus creating a big display.”

To keep customer eyes interested, Meg creates small vignettes with books, vintage brass and other small decor pieces throughout her booths, layers textiles and incorporates a variety of textures and plants.

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Meg and Dave opened Grey House Treasures in 2019, selling first on Instagram before expanding to markets including the 613 Flea, the Ottawa Antique & Vintage Market and the Toronto Vintage Show among others, a booth at multi-vendor collective Johnie’s Vintage in Arnprior, Ont., and now on Etsy.

Meg, who worked in a hospital during the height of the pandemic, eventually left her job to run her shop full-time. 

She says it felt like destiny to open a vintage shop. “We always thrifted growing up,” recalls Meg of her childhood. “We were always garage sale kids. We grew up living beside an antique store. It's just always been something that I've been passionate about and then I got my husband hooked on it.”

Meg says that merchandising is as much about selling yourself as it is your booth wares. Photo: Grey House Treasures

Meg has years of experience in retail, and has an eye for setups: she has a photography diploma and has worked in photography stores and studios. 

“I loved organizing the store and moving things around,” says Meg. 

Now, while she and Dave have nailed a process for every market Grey House Treasures does, they mix up the look for their booths every time. 

Get Meg and Dave's merchandising tips

‍Meg shares some of her and Dave’s best merchandising advice, from product displays to the importance of merchandising yourself as a vendor, in a FREE downloadable seven-page tip sheet called Merchandising Your Vintage Booth.

Download it now!

Looking for more merchandising ideas? Check our Story Highlights on Instagram for Merchandising Week. Or try these articles: Three ways to merchandise your vintage shop, Engaging shoppers at a market, Selling at non-vintage markets, Level up your product photography and 10 things we learned about opening a vintage storefront

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