Building Your Own T-Shirt Kiosk - Part 2

Click here to read Part 1

In the first installment of this article, I walked you through figuring out the overall concept and design of a mall T-shirt airbrush kiosk. In the second part, we’ll continue following the kiosk through its construction, set up, and ultimate working location in a major shopping mall in Indianapolis, Indiana.


With my rough working plans complete, I was off to find a custom cabinet shop that could help turn these ideas into a functioning T-shirt kiosk. Finding a cabinet shop to take on this unconventional challenge was not easy. After unsuccessful meetings with three different shop owners, I ended up with Schrock Custom Woodworking, a central Illinois cabinet shop whose owner was willing to put in the extra time needed to make this project a success.


After working through the nuts and bolts of the plan with the cabinetmaker, the shop presented me with a bid of $ 1 2,000 for a completed kiosk, minus transport to the mall and set up fees. Believe it or not, this price seemed reasonable-I’ve spent 30% more on other kiosks I’ve built in the past. The shop plan was to complete the building in three weeks with set up of the kiosk in the mall to follow.

We made detailed drawings of the kiosk using my rough working drawings. Once these were finished, the shop crew went to work cutting all the wood parts that would ultimately be put together to form the different components of the kiosk.


At the time we built the kiosk, electricians rewired the mall’s power to the kiosk site, because we needed a full 50-amp service to accommodate all our power equirements. This was a major project that the mall’s managed on our behalf, as floor tiles had to be removed and the concrete floor beneath had to be cut in order to run the entire new power supply to the kiosk space. The total cost of this electrical project was $4,000, which the mall split 50-50 with West Coast Airbrush.


Three weeks after the cabinet shop started building the kiosk, it was finished. We began the move-in at 6 p.m. on a Sunday evening, after the mall had closed. A building contractor friend of mine arrived with two 20-foot cargo trailers to move the many components of the kiosk from the cabinet shop to the mall. We then began piecing together the 56 individual component cabinets, steel overhead light and sign wraps, and display fixtures.


The kiosk has its own internal wiring system complete with a 50-amp fuse box and individual circuits and switches for each piece of electrical equipment in the booth. Each cabinet’s internal wiring simply plugs into an outlet in the adjacent cabinet, which made setting up the wiring very easy. After the kiosk is totally put together, the electrical loop becomes complete. We simply plug the wires into the hot outlets coming out of the fuse box panel. We placed on& switches (which are all labeled for the part of the kiosk they control inside the compressor cabinet for easy access.


With the kiosk all powered up, we started installing the equipment. Everything has a place in this booth, as we planned each area in the kiosk to accommodate a certain piece of this. For instance, the cash register, hot press, compressor, equipment storage, and merchandise storage each had a designated place that we incorporated into our final floorplan.


The kiosk took four men six hours to move in and set up in the mall. The day after we set up the kiosk, the artists operating this branch store began the two-day process of moving in the blank T-shirts and display items into the new space.


The merchandising of the kiosk was also part of the overall plan. The fixtures had to match the industrial look of the kiosk. Details like these are a big part of a successful mall kiosk.



After three days of set up and display work, the new West Coast Airbrush kiosk at Greenwood Park Mall in Indianapolis, Indiana, was ready for business. Operating this new booth is a pleasure for the artists because every working component of the airbrush kiosk has undergone years of scrutiny and redesign. This kiosk works with the artist to maximize the dollars that can be brought in during a busy day. And that is what a successful kiosk design is all about. Please utilize any idea you find in our plan and put it to work for you. Until next time, remember to “just do it.”




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